Your Tour Guide
All tours are led by Colin McGarry. Colin comes from an Engineering background in the UK. After meeting his future french wife in Brittany he came to Normandy in 1980. A serendipidous meeting with a member of the Calvados tourist board brought Colin into guiding in 1982. From hating history at school, he fell into the cauldron of Normandy history and has been lapping it up ever since.
In 1982 there were few visitors and thus few guides. 1984 was the 40th anniversary of the d-day landings with president Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II, Troudeau, Mitterand, Thatcher, and 8 other heads of state present at the Utah beach ceremony. Colin was honoured to guide members of the 101st airborne on that day. President Reagan's speech at Pointe du hoc raised a lot of interest in d-day, encouraging more visitors to come. Another factor was the fact that many veterans were starting to retire after having been busy rebulding their lives after the war. They had time and the inclination to come back with their families. Films like Saving private Ryan and the HBO series Brothers in arms have had a great influence aswell.
Visitors often ask if leading d-day tours becomes wearing. The subject is so vast, as is the geographical zone (75 miles wide) that every tour is slightly different. Between the main obligatry sites there are many small sites to be visited and subjects to be covered. At any crossroad one can go left, straight on or right and see something different.
Normandy, which is a region 400km wide, has historical vestiges dating back 200000 years and has been the theatre of many turning points of european history: the Roman invasion, Viking incusions, William the conqueror, Hundred years war. All these events are great subjects for tours. Normandy also has some unique sites like Mont Saint michel, Honfleur, Etretat and Giverny.