How can I find a knowledgable English-speaking guide who would pick us up in Bayeaux and take us on a customized tour of the Normandy Beaches?
I've had the pleasure of traveling with Dale Booth on an RS tour to the Bayeaux/Normandie area. He is able to tailor tours and is one of those folks who is able to make things come alive while giving you the pertinent facts.
Hopefully his company will survive the pandemic.
We enjoyed Dale Booth’s Band of Brothers tour so much we returned the following year to learn more about the. British and Canadian experience.
Patty, I'd love to go back and have do the British and Canadian sectors with Dale!
I'll add that in spite of him being a step-on guide on our RS tour, he was able to tailor some things to the group. I asked him if we went by the location of what was a temporary landing strip that my Dad's WWII fighter group used, would he point it out. He did so AND mentioned other ALG's and brought in some relevant information regarding fighter planes during the day. One guy on the tour had a Dad who landed on DDay and Dale was able to point to the area where his unit would have come ashore. Very poignant for the guy and the rest of us!
We hired a private guide. He was awesome. Met us at the train station in Caen, dropped us in Bayeaux then picked us up the next day for the 2nd day. He gew up in Normandy & had stories of his grandparents billeting German soldiers. He pointed out shell ricochets at Pointe Du Hoc. He took us down to Omaha beach at low tide and pointed out the gun placements. We were in tears
We used Overlord Tours for two days of small-group tours of D-Day sites in September 2019. The company also offers private tours.
Since we had previously taken tours of the American sites, we took the "British and Canadian Experience" tour on one of our days. This was extremely interesting to us - especially Pegasus Bridge and the Commonwealth cemetery nearby.
Sylvain Kast is terrific! We have a family member who served during the invasion, and I had a small amount of information about his unit. Sylvain researched it for me ahead of our tour, and was able to locate a monument dedicated to them in a small village. He will point out things that you will miss if you attempt to tour the area on your own. Sylvain is extremely knowledgeable, responsive to emails and passionate about the area. Highly recommend! https://www.d-day-experience-tours.com/
Another vote for Dale Booth! We did his one day US tour in May 2019. My husband is a WWII buff and was blown away by Dale's knowledge. He picked us up at our hotel (Hotel Bayeux) in Bayeux right on time and off we went. We are so glad we did his private tour instead of another company's group tour. This single day was the highlight of our trip to France. We would highly recommend Dale for your Normandy tour. You won't be disappointed!
We have been twice. The second time we used a private guide (did not care for the Overlord group tour we did the first time) We used this company:
I have recommended them to others on this web site and received good reviews back from them. The company is a husband/wife team who used to work for Overlord. They decided to open their own company so they could tailor tours to what customers wanted. They will pick you up in Bayeaux and will contact you before you come to get your input on what is important to you to see. My own experience with finding a guide was that anyone in the Rick Steves book was already booked or did not respond to my e-mails. (which probably means they were booked) We were trying about 6 months out. I took a chance on this company just from searching the internet and was 100 per cent happy. (We did this tour back in 2014).
Am chiming in just to echo a previous poster who found the Canadian and British sites to be an interesting and informative complement to the American sites. I did Bayeux Shuttle's 1/2 day group tour of British and Canadian sites in the morning combined with their 1/2 day tour of American sites that afternoon.
We have done this a few times and I highly recommend Allan Bryson. He is excellent!
Our hotel, Lion d’Or in Bayeux, organized a tour for us. Ask your hotel for help.
https://www.toursbylocals.com/ is our goto site whenever we begin looking for a personal guide. We've used them all over Europe including Normandy.
We weren't actually able to do our tour because of the pandemic, but after striking out with individual guides (it was 6 months out from our trip and they were all booked) we were able to hire a private guide through Overlord Tours for our small group. I was insistent on having a guide as I have a special interest in WWII and wanted to be able to tailor it to our wants. We got all but 4% of our money back when the pandemic hit and we had to cancel.
I highly reccommend Chris Emery with Visit D-Day tours. As a retired Royal Marine Commando, Chris brings an in-depth and interesting perspective. He met us at our Bayeaux hotel and traveled with us in our rental car. The tour was tailored to our interests and full of historical sight knowledge and personal accounts of WWII veterans. It was a highlight of our Normandy vacation.