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One of the items on my bucket list was to take my two grandsons to Normandy with a top level historian and guide to give them a real sense of what happened.
After reviewing a number of guides, we selected Colin McGarry. It turned out to be an excellent choice. We spent five days touring the beaches and the battlefield sites. I am an amateur historian and have learned quite a lot about what happened. But Colin was able to provide extensive material that filled in many gaps in my knowledge of D-Day.
What was particularly welcome during our tour were the extensive books of photos taken at specific places and Colin's ability to match those photos with what we were seeing.
Colin was very good about adjusting the tours to our specific needs and interests. It was wonderful experience that the boys and I will remember for a long time to come. Colin, thanks again for a truly memorable time!
Yes I agree with some of the other comments Colin was very good and also really accommodating with how long we chose to each place and showed us some extremly superb and sad places.was great trip.Thanks
Colin was outstanding and a real student of D-Day events. His demeanor was engaging and he was very easy to talk to. He was also quite flexible. We toured the American sites and he took us to see the site of the battle of Brecourt Manor after hearing us discuss its events while in the car. It was not on the original itinerary. I highly recommend Colin and believe you will enjoy your day with him as we did.
Colin was a fountain of information, he could answer EVERY question that we asked him he not only knew about the area, but while driving to each area knew about the homes that we passed, by far one of the best tour guides we had on our 13 day vacation, really flexible when we had to cut our time short! Couldn't have asked for a better guide!
We enjoyed our tour with Colin very much. He took the 3 of us, my wife and 17 year daughter to all the sites. He brings a binder of information with him to explain some of the details as they pop up during the tour. He lead us to small sites in the near by towns as well that had battle activity and history tid bits. I feel I am very well read and informed about WWII, but Colin added much new information. I would not recommend touring the beaches without a guide. There is much to be learned.
Colin is an excellent guide, He is knowledgeable, prompt and pleasant to be with for long stretches of time and a very competent driver. We were with him for two days and he proved to be the key to our seeing Mont St Michel and getting to our cruise's departure dock in Honfleur. Other than renting our own car, and stressing ourselves to find our own way in a timely manner, there was no other way to accomplish what we did in our limited time. A total success -- highly recommended!
Our nine-hour tour of the American Sector of the Normandy Invasion went by extremely fast and that was due to the skill and knowledge of our guide Colin. Colin has a huge compendium of facts to tell, he tells them well, and he knows when to stop talking and let one's own thoughts take over. I highly recommend Colin to anyone.
Colin was fabulous, professional and incredibly knowledgeable. What a treat he is to see Normandy with.
We had a fabulous tour with Colin around the Normandy area. He is incredibly knowledgeable of the battles during WWII. He took us to the normal tourist sites in the area (Omaha Beach, cemeteries, etc.). But he also took us to little villages and told stories of individual soldiers and what happened in those villages. He was also knowledgeable about other times in history and taught us about other events that occurred in that area in the past. We highly recommend this tour.
Colin absolutely elevated and enhanced our tour. My husband is a history buff and so his questions were far more obscure and detailed. I am not as well-versed in WWII history so my questions were of a completely different nature. He was able to work with both of us and make it incredibly fun, with compelling and new anecdotes. He went at a perfect pace and was a joy to be around. I wish every personal tour guide could be guaranteed to be a "Colin"!! Highly highly recommended, without reservation
Great tour and guide thanks. William Cross
Colin was wonderful! He was informative and entertaining without being a "chatty Cathy". Though one of our travellers (there were 4 of us.) is extremely knowledgeable regarding the Battle of Normandy, Colin was able to add still more information of interest. He was able to answer all our unrelated questions also and had a good sense of humour. He responded promptly to our advance communication regarding itinerary and his judgement proved absolutely accurate. We readily recommend him and ToursByLocals.
Colin met six of us, all seniors in the port of LeHavre and drove us to the Abbey of Mont St. Michel. He was personable, knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. Our journey was two hours away and his driving was terrific, his guiding us through the Abbey was extremely interesting and our experience was awesome. We stopped at a restaurant of his choosing and all of us thought the choice to be perfect. We were comfortable in his car and would highly recommend Colin and ToursByLocals. A memorable day had by all!
Colin is extremely knowledgeable, laid back without chatting incessantly, drives safely and has a very comfortable vehicle. Goes out of his way to make sure you see what you want to for extras.
Colin: Just a quick note to say "thank you" again. It was a pleasure to meet you and your wife. Kathy and I enjoyed, and were educated, by your encyclopedic knowledge of the D-Day battles. I know that we under-utilized your services, but I had really only wanted to see Utah Beach on this trip. By the way, the author, whose name I couldn't remember, who recently (2005-2006) wrote about Utah Beach was Joseph Balkoski. Balkoski also has written a history of Omaha Beach.
Colin was a great guide and he helped make our Normandy trip a very memorable one. We would highly recommend him to anyone else visiting Normandy. A solid 5 of 5.
Last June you took our group, from George Fox University, on a tour of the Normandy Beaches and the surrounding vicinity. We were very impressed with you and your knowledge of the historical significance of Normandy. We were also quite impressed with the lunch arrangements.
I'm now wondering if you would be interested in leading another group from our school
Please email me if you feel this is something you'd like to arrange and lead.
Head Volleyball Coach
Associate Professor, Dept. of Health and Human Performance
Colin Thanks for a great trip. We are still reading about all the history of the Normandy area. It is a total "history overload"
However very interesting, the remainder of our trip went well. No problems and your directions to our first stop were perfect. We turned left at the "Patton Tank" and on to Maison de la Roche Torin. Grenoble was hot!!!
Hope to meet you again in the future.
Thanks again a great trip
John and Katie Manchester
Colin, Last year a friend of mine, Frank Duperier, from San Antonio used your services in Normandy. He said, and I quote, "Best guide I've ever had". My wife and I plan on being in London visiting our daughter in May and would like to tour Normandy and Mont St Michel--possibly other areas for two days. We don't necessarily want a private tour (just the two of us) but would like to be in a small group, a minibus, van or such. I would like to know if it is possible to join or be combined with a group with the same or similar goals in mind, and to have an idea of the costs involved. We will not return to London but will travel on to Cannes. Any suggestions you can make are appreciated. Thank you very much, Michael Spradlin
Hi Colin I was on the Seabourn Pride this past May and you picked 6 of us at the ship and guided us to the beaches at Normandy
I am possibly planning another trip on the Seabourn which will return to Rouen on May 21st , 2008---if I do book this trip I would like to see if you could be available to guide my wife and I on that Wednesday the 21st----at this time I am just checking on your availability---please advise if that would be possible
Thank you very much
A long overdue thank-you for the wonderful tour you gave us of Normandy August 9. Neal and I really got more out of it than we even imagined... and were impressed with the range of your knowledge, as well as the scope of the beaches. In fact, all four of us watched The Longest Day again two weeks ago, over two nights, and picked up on even more details.
I only got the photos back that I took this weekend and that prompted me to think that I should drop a note of appreciation to you. Having been on our tour and the long distances involved, I doubly appreciate now your addition of Bayeux and Honfleurs to break things up and add some interest for our teenaged daughters. As a matter of fact, at my book group last night, one of my friends said that she and her husband would like to squeeze a day in Normandy when they go to France in early October. I will give them your name and e-mail address. Her name is Ann Murray.
Again, our deep appreciation... and all best wishes to you and your family,
Janine and Neal Salvey
we arrived home last nite after a great trip. the highlight was seeing Normandy and your tour.
I will keep your name and e-mail address on file to recommend to friends in the future. thanks again and good luck to you.
Mark and Jody
I'd like to thank you for the great tour you gave our group on March 14. Your expertise was much appreciated by everyone. I know it was a rather rushed day, but I know the tapestry was well worth seeing, even if it wasn't on the original plan.
I know that you'll be guiding another one of my groups on April 2. They're from Edmonton, Alberta, and I'm sure they'll enjoy you guide services as well. If you get a chance to send me an email about this tour group, I'd appreciate it.
I've told Annemieke at Wens that I'd like to use you for future groups. I'll likely have several more Canadian groups there in March, 2010.
Regional Tour Consultant
School Voyageurs/New Dimensions Travel & Tours