With D-Day just around the corner I thought we would focus on a couple of the D-Day tours that are available. Having been on several tours I can tell you that the best tour was the one offered by Leger travel. There are 4 and 5 day tours available and all tours are conducted by specialist battlefield historians. I advise anyone, not just those with an interest in history but everyone to go on one of these tours, I promise you will not regret it.
The D Day Landings in Normandy tour begins on day one with a local pick up, there are over 500 pickup points so you don’t have to travel far to get the coach, this was a very convenient as I personally don’t like hanging around in airports for hours. The coach there drops off at Dover and you then travel on to Normandy, where you stay for 3 nights.
Day 2 – This day’s focus is on Britain’s participation in D-Day, beginning at Pegasus Bridge where airborne trooper stormed the beaches. You have the chance to see where gliders landed, the first place to be liberated on D-Day and also visit Memorial Pegasus Museum where the original bridge is actually located. After lunch the tour than moves onto the British landing beaches themselves, at Juno beach you can then learn the story behind the Canadian role in the battles here. The day ends at Mulberry Harbour which is still visible out at sea.
Bunker at Omaha Beach
Day 3 – The focus moves onto America’s role in D-Day at Omaha beach, learn about the real story behind Saving Private Ryan with a visit to Omaha beach where the landings took place and the American Normandy Cemetery where many of the people who lost their lives are buried. You will also visit the new Normandy War Museum at Omaha Beach. In the afternoon the focus will be on Utah Beach, the location of many successful landings and visit the museum there and the memorials too many that lost their lives there. The day ends with a visit to the German Cemetery where thousands died. One thing I did like about this tour was the non-partisan nature of it, there were no ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ it’s just a tragic story of thousands of men who lost their lives for their country.
Day 4 – You then travel back to Calais and back home
If you choose the 5 day tour on the 4th day you will focus on the Battle of the Bocage
Day 4 – The focus is on the fighting that occurred in the French countryside of Bocage. You will travel along on the river Odon and visit the Churchill tank memorial. In the afternoon there will be lunch in Falaise and a walk along the ‘Corridor of Death’ where the German’s made their retreat, and fought with Polish and Canadian troops. There is a visit to the Polish memorial and museum where a rare orginal Tiger I tank can be seen.
Day 5 – Travel back to Calais and back home.