Looking for a quick getaway and a fan of history? The February edition of Lonely Planet magazine has five history and culture weekends in Europe. We're going share them with you one at a time. First up, a trip to the scene of historic WWII battles on French soil.
On 6 June 1944, 160,000 Allied troops took part in the sea and air invasion of Nazi-held Normandy – the greatest amphibious invasion in history. The Americans landed at beaches code-named Utah and Omaha (the scene of the heaviest fighting), while a mostly British and Canadian force took Gold, Juno and Sword beaches to the east.
UK-based Battlefield Tours arranges its own and tailor-made guided visits to the beaches, military cemeteries and other key D-Day locations such as Pegasus Bridge. It is also possible to base trips around the experiences of relatives who fought in the campaign.