Client comments and reviews
 

"The only way to do it and we would highly recommend it to anyone unless they have been a few times already!

A trip to Normandy for the D-Day Battle Fields and Landing Beaches was on our Bucket-List but the thought of organizing a visit, booking Hotels, Ferries from the UK, finding a means of transport between the numerous sites  and which places to see, seemed insurmountable. We were also wary of trusting to someone we didn’t know but we were lucky enough to find Discovery Battlefield Tours and the owner, Steve, who was able to help us get the most out of our first trip over to Normandy.

Our trip was tailored around what we wanted to do and places that we wanted to see plus suggestions from Steve. Steve drafted an itinerary and provided some suggestions on where to take the ferry and best locations to use as a base. After trading emails and some modifications, Steve booked the ferry, the hotel and informed us of passport requirements. We put extra pressure on Steve because we chose to go when the annual anniversary events were taking place on June 6th but Steve was with us and very familiar with the sites, he knew how to get there, how to beat the crowds, where to park and the best vantage points. If we had to do it ourselves we would never have accomplished so much in the time we had, so it was really good value for money. Even when bad weather impacted the ferry service for our return to the UK, Steve took care of arranging alternative passage and worked with us to modify our tour to get the most out of every minute that we had in Normandy. Something that could have easily ruined the trip had we been doing it without Steve’s help.

We would like to go again when it isn’t so busy but we will still use Discovery Battlefield Tours and enjoy the visit without the stress of organizing it"

 The Grays from El Dorado Hills, California"



"Steve at Discovery Battlefield Tours was recommended to us when we were trying to organise a trip to Ypres for our father's 80th birthday. Dad had always wanted to visit the place where his grandfather lost his life at the Battle of Passchendaele and we were able to arrange the trip so we were there for the actual 100 year anniversary.
Steve did an enormous amount of research prior to our trip and found out a lot of information about our great grandfather we were unaware of. He produced a bespoke itinerary for us, keeping us informed throughout, and organised absolutely everything for our trip including picking us all up from our homes, the Channel Tunnel crossing, onward journey to Ypres and a stay at a wonderful B&B. We visited places specifically linked to our great grandfather as well as other more well known places of interest in the area.  Steve was a mine of information throughout and was excellent company.  All in all, the trip was very enjoyable, stress free, relaxing and of course, at times, emotional. Most importantly, it was a very special and memorable experience for dad."

JL and DR, Hampshire

 

"From the moment I enquired into Steve Cottam and his battlefield tour to commemorate the untimely death of my father's uncle at the age of 20 in 1918, Steve provided a wealth of information, a personal, tailored itinerary and his own knowledge of the Great War. This was a very important journey, in particular for my father and we were all given a sensitive and humbling insight into the events of WW1. Steve was superb and we would not have had such a thoughtful and well planned experience had it not been for his passion, understanding and knowledge. Thank you Steve for making this such a powerful and evocotive trip."
AA and CA Bristol, AM Wiltshire and DM Dublin
 
"It was the best holiday I have ever had" so said my grandson of 10 years of age. This sums up our experience with Steve Cottam of Discovery Battlefield Tours. We were a party of six- two grandparents, two parents and 2 grandchildren-with the primary aim of visiting the place where our relative was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Over the 3 days, we visited numerous Commonwealth cemeteries, battle sites and key landmarks with Steve, who provided us with the stories and backgrounds to some of the individuals who lost their lives, which added a more intimate and personal dimension to the thousands of names on the graves. This culminated on the final day with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial where our relative's name is engraved. Before the tour, Steve had carried out extensive research, based on the limited details we had provided, and was able to discover information  of which we were previously unaware. As a result, the trip felt focused and tailored completely to our particular family interest, which made the whole experience extremely poignant, personalised and visual (especially for the children).
Throughout, Steve made every effort to ensure we got as much as possible out of our visit, including arranging a guided tour of the trenches within Thiepval Wood where our relative would have spent his final hours. Without Steve's invaluable direction and knowledge (historical, geographical and practical), it would have been extremely difficult to have co-ordinated the visit under our own steam. Our every need was met, from the inspired choice of accommodation (Number 56) with its superb location and hospitality, to the luxury of being driven around in air conditioned comfort! All in all, a truly memorable and fitting way in which to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War and the profound sacrifices made.


GR, LR and family Essex UK

"Steve escorted me on a five day tour of the battlefields and cemeteries of Belgium and France to help me find my 3 Great Uncles and 8 distant Cousins, all of whom perished on the battlefields of Passchendaele and The Somme.  A lot of people to find in a short space of time! 

Throughout the tour Steve was a mine of information, helping to explain and show as far as it was possible, what happened to each of them, and where they may have been injured/treated/died and/or buried and about the battle that he had fought in.  We went to all the places that I wanted to visit, successfully finding all of my eleven relatives!  I was able to wander around and take my time at each site, take lots of photo’s, while Steve described what could have happened to my relative and he also talked about the cemetery that my relative was buried in or Memorial where his name was listed.

Steve also slotted into our itinerary other places he thought that I would be interested in seeing, these included the Essex Farm Cemetery, the Cambrai Tank Museum, the Lochnagar and Hawthorn Ridge Craters, the Langemark German Military Cemetery and Vimy Ridge.  At every site Steve was very knowledgeable and he also made the places that I didn’t know that I wanted to go to, places that I am very glad that we did go to!

The whole trip, from start to finish was a very memorable, interesting and thought provoking experience with Steve organising everything from start to finish, including all the travel arrangements and the excellent B&B accommodation. 

CH, Cornwall


 

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