We Love Normandy provide private D-Day tours across the Normandy region. Patrick is an experienced, qualified driver/guide and a member of the Normandy Battlefield Tour Guides Association. He will take you on an unforgettable tour of the D-Day sites, tailored to your areas of interest. His online program of WW2 broadcasts - Virtual D-Day - has been enjoyed by thousands of people worldwide, and he is delighted to welcome our international visitors back to beautiful Normandy.
All the historic D-Day sites are proposed, and our tours are tailored to your areas of interest. The US Airborne sector, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach, the US Cemetery... these can all be toured in a day. Want to explore the British sector? Aromanches and the Mulberry harbour, Bayeux and the CWGC cemetery, the Longues-sur-Mer artillery battery, the brand-new British Normandy Memorial, Gold Beach, Sword Beach and the iconic Pegasus Bridge - can also be covered in a 9-hour tour. Those interested in the Canadian sector - Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Bernières, the Abbey d'Ardennes and the cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer - can visit all these sites and more.
MEALS AND REFRESHEMENTS
Your tour vehicle is stocked with complimentary cold mineral water. For lunch there are two options: a tasty meal at a local restaurant or a delicious picnic from Nicky's Kitchen prepared specially for you. Picnic hampers from 20€ per person including drinks.
Patrick will pick you up from any location within the Bayeux area, and other pick-up locations can be arranged. Tours typically begin at 9am and return at around 6pm.
Your comfort and security are our top priorities. Patrick is a fully qualified commercial driver (VTC) and carries unlimited personal accident insurance cover. Your vehicle carries up to 6 guests in air-conditioned comfort. Click here for a detailed description of the tour vehicle.
BOOK YOUR D-DAY TOUR NOW!
We are currently taking inquiries and bookings for Private D-Day tours in 2021 and 2022 with ZERO deposit. Prices start from 79€ per person for a group of 6.
Payment can be made using our secure on-line payment platform (STRIPE), or by credit card or cash on the day of the tour.
Click here for prices and bookings
AMERICAN SECTOR D-DAY TOUR
We start with an early pick-up from any hotel in the Bayeux area and arrive at our first destination: Utah Beach. We will visit the memorials, the bunkers, climb aboard a landing craft (LCVP) and then walk down to the beach where Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr told his battalion commanders: “We will start the war from here!”
"...I cannot recommend Patrick enough. He is fluent in both English and French which I found a huge plus as our French is not near conversational. His knowledge was profound and he really timed our whole time together perfectly. As an American, I found the whole day to by unbelievably emotional as well as spiritual. Patrick's guidance and expertise made it that much more special..."
Time allowing, before leaving we can visit the Utah Beach Landing Museum*, watch a short but highly informative movie and view the impressive exhibits which include Major Dewhurst’s B26 Marauder ‘Dinah Might’, a DUKW amphibious truck and a restored Higgins Boat landing craft.
From Utah Beach we take one of the five causeways which provided the troops with their only exits from the beach across the flooded fields, past the Leadership Monument dedicated to Major Richard Winters, Easy Company 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and through Sainte-Marie-du-Mont – one of the first villages to be liberated on D-Day.
We arrive next at Sainte-Mère-Eglise, a place made famous by the movie The Longest Day, where a manikin of paratrooper John Steele still swings from its chute lines atop the spire of the town’s 12th-century church. A visit to the church to see the beautiful stained-glass windows which commemorate the town’s Airborne liberators is followed by a stroll in the town square – the scene of one of D-Day’s first assaults on the night of June 5-6 1944. At this point we can enjoy a quick, simple lunch break and (time allowing) visit the Airborne Museum whose fascinating exhibits include a WACO glider and an entire C47 Dakota transport plane.
If we are running ahead of schedule, we can visit the village church of Angoville-au-Plain, where two young army medics, Robert Wright and Ken Moore, valiantly treated over 80 casualties in the heat of battle.
Window in the church of Sainte-Mère-Eglise
Pointe du Hoc
After lunch we will travel the long road which links the Utah/Airborne sectors to Omaha sector, stopping en-route at the site of one of D-Day’s hardest fought (and held) objectives: Pointe du Hoc. We will learn about the 2nd Rangers battalion who, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Earl Rudder, scaled the seemingly insurmountable cliffs to capture the gun battery complex at the western end of Omaha beach. We will see the big gun emplacement pits and casemates and visit the Fire Control bunker.
Pointe du Hoc
From Pointe du Hoc it’s a short, pleasant drive to the villages that run the length of Omaha Beach – Vierville-sur-Mer, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer and Colleville-sur-Mer. We will visit the Omaha beach memorials and set foot on the beach that claimed more allied casualties than any other on D-Day. We will follow the ‘draws’ – the heavily defended steep-sided gullies which provided the troops with the only exits from the beach.
Omaha Beach from Strongpoint 60
Lowering the flags at 'Taps' at the American cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer
The North American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer covers 172 acres of beautifully tended cliff-top lawns above the vast expanse of Omaha beach. We will visit the memorial, the wall dedicated to over 1,500 missing soldiers, and the graves themselves – 9,388 crosses and stars of David. We can locate and visit the grave of a relative, or pay respects to some of the cemetery’s notable heroes, among them Theodore Roosevelt Jr, his brother Quentin, the brothers Preston and Robert Niland (who inspired the story of Saving Private Ryan), General Leslie J McNair, and Medal of Honor recipients Lieutenant Jimmie Watters Monteith Jr and Technical Sergeant Frank D. Peregory. We will plan to be at the cemetery for Taps and the solemn ceremony of the lowering of the flags (4:00pm during the winter period / 5:00pm during the summer period).
If time allows, we can visit Strongpoint 60 which gives a wonderful sweeping view of the beach itself.
At the end of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel or pick-up point.
BRITISH & CANADIAN SECTOR D-DAY TOUR
Pegasus Bridge, Ranville
We begin with an early pick-up from any hotel in the Bayeux area then transfer to our first stop, Pegasus Bridge Memorial.
We’ll learn about Operation Deadstick – the 6th Airborne Division’s textbook capture of the Caen canal and Orne bridges in the early hours of D-Day – then step across the original bascule bridge, renamed Pegasus after the paratroopers’ flying horse insignia.
There’s a short and informative film introduced by HRH Prince Charles who inaugurated the memorial in 2000, and some fascinating exhibits including a full-scale replica of a Horsa Glider.
"Patrick had the day planned out from the start with many stops from Pegasus Bridge to Juno Beach and more, and he left the Canadian Cemetery to be the last of our stops so we could look back on the day and reflect on the sacrifice made that day by so many. He was very informative during the day at the sites and during the drive between the stops. I would recommend Patrick and We Love Normandy to anyone planning a trip to Normandy"
Lord Lovat's Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade.
Colleville-Montgomery, Strongpoint Hillman
After disembarking at Sword Beach, the 1st Suffolks advanced towards Caen and encountered two German strongpoints codenamed ‘Hillman’ and ‘Morris’. The garrison at Morris surrendered, but the defenders in the underground fortress of Hillman fought on (many to the death) until the evening of D-Day. We will visit the bunkers and trenches that cover an area of over 20 hectares. The village of Colleville was renamed Colleville-Montgomery in Monty’s honour (and to distinguish it from the village of the same name above Omaha beach).
Fortress Hillman, Colleville-Montgomery
We arrive at the eastern end of the landing beaches at Ouistreham and pause to visit Lord Lovat’s statue, the 70th Anniversary Sword Beach Memorial, and the Kieffer Monument (a tribute to the French commandos). By the end of D-Day, over 28,000 men had come ashore at Sword for 683 casualties. We will then follow the coastal road through the villages of Riva Bella, Lion-sur-Mer and Luc-sur-Mer to the Canadian sector.
From Sword we arrive at Juno: six miles of beach from Langrune-sur-Mer to Graye-sur-Mer. Here Major General Keller’s Canadian 3rd Infantry came ashore. 21,000 troops landed but several companies – notably the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada – suffered heavy casualties. Resistance from the German 716th Infantry Division and elements of 21st Panzer resulted in nearly 1,000 troops killed, wounded or captured. We will see Canada House in Bernières-sur-Mer (one of the first private residences to be liberated on D-Day), the Juno Beach Centre and the charming marina at Courseulles-sur-Mer – the port where Winston Churchill first disembarked on June 12, 1944. Here we can pause for a quick lunch at one of the many cafés and restaurants on the harbour front.
Le Grand Bunker museum, Sword Beach
Canadian Memorial, Juno Beach
Gold beach, just north of the cathedral town of Bayeux, was the responsibility of the British XXX Corps under Lieutenant General Bucknall. 25,000 men disembarked on Gold’s five miles of sand but the German defence resulted in over a thousand British casualties. One man’s courage – Sergeant Stan Hollis – earned him the only Victoria Cross awarded on D-Day. We will visit the tram stop on the beach (misidentified by allied reconnaissance as an enemy pillbox) where Hollis came ashore, the Mount Fleury Battery which he neutralised almost single-handedly, the British Normandy Memorial and the village of Crépon where a memorial to his Brigade, The Green Howards, now stands.
The Green Howards Memorial, Crépon
Continuing westwards, we arrive in the seaside village of Arromanches-les-Bains. The gently curving bay, sheltered on two sides by cliffs, was the ideal location for the Allies’ artificial harbour, codenamed Mulberry. We will view the remains of the harbour from the cliffs and descend to the beach where several of the giant caissons used to support the floating piers can still be viewed. On June 15 1944 the harbour began operating and by the end of the war 2.5 million troops, half a million vehicles and 4 million tonnes of supplies had been brought ashore.
Phoenix Caisson, part of the Mulberry Harbour, Arromanches
A little further west we arrive at the gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer. On D-Day, four 152mm guns in concrete casemates fired on targets at sea and on the beaches. The British cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Argonaut put the battery out of action, but we will see three of the original guns that are still in position. If we run to schedule we can visit the Fire Control bunker which is remarkably intact.
152mm gun at the Longues-sur-Mer battery
Bayeux, British Cemetery
We end the day with a solemn visit to the final resting place of 4,648 British servicemen and the memorial to over 1,800 missing, at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Bayeux. For Canadian guests we can visit the Canadian cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer near Juno Beach.