A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron


Canadian troops passing the ruins of the Cloth Hall. Image from Library and Archives Canada.

From October 1914 British and Commonwealth troops began to march.

A place of memory

The city of Ypres, at the heart of the Salient, was involved early in the First World War. The British were associated with Ypres throughout the war, and involved in all four battles which bear the name of the town. During the war, the town was almost constantly under bombardment, and was reduced to ruins.

After the War there was a proposal to preserve the ruins of the town as a memorial to the British and Empire soldiers who had fought and died in the salient. This was then modified to preservation of just the ruined Cloth Hall and cathedral. However, the town was eventually fully rebuilt, including the Cloth Hall and cathedral and today, standing in the town, you would hardly believe that most buildings are at most 80 or so years old.
By the time Sir William Pulteney and Beatrix Brice published a battlefield guide in 1925 they recorded: «We step from the train to a brightly new and very complete town.
We make our way through the streets to the Central Place, and here a square of hotels, shops, houses stare with strange incongruity to a mutilated thing rising stark and jagged against the sky». This was the ruins of the Cloth Hall, still not then rebuilt.

The Menin Gate, Ypres

In Flanders stands the ancient town of Ypres. Once a centre of the Flanders wool trade, it became one of the most important European city-states of the 13th Century. In 1260, Ypres had a population of some 40,000 - more than the population today. The same time another great city, Oxford in England, had a population of only 4,200.

The area has been fought over, through the centuries by the Dutch, the French, the Spanish - no wonder that the area was called «The Cockpit of Europe». But it was the Great War which resulted in the destruction of the town, and the loss of its priceless mediaeval architecture.

The Menin Gate Memorial is perhaps the most visited Great War Memorial on the Western Front.
(The only other serious contender is the Newfoundland Memorial Park near Beaumont-Hamel, on the Somme.)