D-Day – Portsmouth & Normandy

About the tour: D-Day – Portsmouth & Normandy

  • Campaign: World War 2 (WW2)
  • Campaign Dates Covered: Jun 1944 - Aug 1944

This tour will cover the following key events

  • Operation Overlord - 6 June 1944
    Commonly know as the D-Day Landings, Operation Overlord saw the successful invasion of the German occupied Western Europe druing WW2. The operation involed Allied troops landing on five beaches in Normandy and launching a surprise attack on the Germans.
  • Operation Epsom - 28 June 1944
    The purpose of the operation was to outwit the Germans and take control of the occupied city of Caen. Despite two days worth of fighting, in June 1944, securing the British a position on the River Odon, a powerful German counter attack saw the British withdraw.
  • Battle of Caen - 7 July 1944
    The battle of Caen saw the Anglo-Canadian troops attack the Germans in another attempt to gain control over the city of Caen. After an air strike and fierce battles faught over two days, on July the 9th Caen was in Allied hands.
  • Operation Goodwood - 18 July 1944
    Often referred to as the largest tank battle in British history, the battle saw the Allied forces attempt to capture the rest of Caen. When the batte ended, Caen was free from German control but was mostly left in ruins.
  • Operation Bluecoat - 30 July 1944
    Part of the offensive in the Battle of Normandy, Operation Bluecoat was launched in the attempt to secure the road of Vire Junction and Mont Pincon.
  • Operation Totalise - 8 August 1944
    The operation saw Allied troops attempt to break through German defences to the south of Caen. The plan was to lure the German army into Falaise where the Allied forces could trap and attack them.
  • Battle of Falaise Pocket - 12 August 1944 –
    This battle was the decisive part of the Battle of Normandy. Falaise has gone down in history for being known as th place where a complete German army was wiped out during WW2. The Canadian, Polish, British and American armies trapped the Germany army in Falaise and launched a successful attack.

Tour Introduction

On this tour we visit some of the key locations involved in the day that changed the course of World War 2. The 6th of June 1944 saw the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches and a battle that would be remembered forever. We spend time in Portsmouth visiting Southwick House, where discussions were held for the planning of the D-Day Landings, before we head to Normandy. In Normandy we make a number of trips to the D-Day battlefield sites, we see where the American soldiers landed at Omaha Beach and Utah Beach and the iconic Pegasus Bridge. We see many war cemeteries and superb museums, such as the Overlord Museum and the Merville Battery Museum. We also get a ride in a Dakota aircraft simulator! Making this an in-depth, D-Day experience.

Tour Includes

  • 6 nights hotel with breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
  • Travel by Silver Service coach
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Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
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Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Tangmere Aviation Museum

Local departure by coach or Door-to Door service then travel to Kent where you meet your tour coach and specialist guide. Our tour begins at Tangmere Aviation Museum in West Sussex from where the 2nd Tactical Force flew into Normandy on D-day. After we continue to Portsmouth for an overnight stay.

Key Visits

  • Tangmere Aviation Museum

Day 2 - D-Day sites, Southwick House

This morning we visit the Portsmouth Memorial, which commemorates Naval personnel who fell on D-Day and then go to Southwick House* (access subject to approval by the MOD) where the Allied Commanders met to discuss plans for D-Day. Here we see the D-Day wall map, then take an afternoon ferry to Normandy and onto our hotel in Caen for a five-night stay.

Included meals: Breakfast

Key Visits

  • Portsmouth Memorial
  • Southwick House

Day 3 - The Airborne Story

We focus on the actions in the early hours of D-Day, visiting Pegasus Bridge and its museum and then the Drop and Landing Zones. We continue to the Airborne graves at Ranville, the important Breville Gap and then the superb Merville Battery Museum

Included meals: Breakfast

Ranville War Cemetery

Ranville War Cemetery (2)

Key Visits

  • Ranville War Cemetery
  • Pegasus Bridge

Day 4 - America's D-Day

Today we look at the American Airborne story, starting at the Dead Man’s Corner Museum; an original building which featured in the D-Day story, it has an unrivalled collection of Airborne memorabilia including items belonging to the ‘Band of Brothers’ including Dick Winters. We then travel through the area where 82nd and 101st Airborne landed and see the Iron Mike Memorial at La Fiere. We spend an extended lunch period in St. Mere Eglise, having time to visit the Museum, before travelling out to Utah Beach to begin our look at the seaborne landings, seeing the new Higgins Boat Memorial.

Included meals: Breakfast

Iron Mike Memorial

Iron Mike Memorial (4)

Key Visits

  • Utah Beach
  • Iron Mike Memorial
  • St. Mere Eglise

Day 5 - Britain's D-Day

We continue with the D-Day story today in the British sector beginning with the story of Sword Beach seeing the Piper Bill Millin memorial, as well as the British D-Day graves at Hermanville War Cemetery before travelling to the Hillman Bunker site where the Suffolk Regiment fought on 6th June. We then travel into the Juno Beach area and have lunch at Courseulles, later seeing where the Canadians landed as well as looking at 1Charlie – a Churchill AVRE that was part of the D-Day story but which remained buried until the 1970s. On Gold Beach we see where Stan Hollis landed and look at the story of this D-Day Victoria Cross winner, and then see Britain’s deadliest D-Day beach at Asnelles before looking at the Mulberry Harbour – the artificial port – in Arromanches.

Included meals: Breakfast

Juno Beach

Juno Beach (6)

Key Visits

  • Juno Beach
  • Sword Beach
  • D-day in Normandy: Mulberry harbour in Arromanches.
  • Arromanches
  • Hermanville War Cemetery
  • Hillman Bunker Site

Day 6 - Bayeux to Pointe du Hoc

This morning we begin at Bayeux seeing the War Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing before going to Longues sur Mer to the gun battery site that threatened the British landings: it is one of the few where the guns still remain and was used in the filming of the Longest Day. After lunch in Port en Bessin, where the Pipeline Under The Ocean (PLUTO) came in, we visit the Normandy American Cemetery before visiting the massive Overlord Museum with its tanks and life-size recreations of D-Day. We then travel down on to Omaha Beach looking at the real story of Saving Private Ryan. We end the day at Pointe du Hoc where the Rangers assaulted this gun battery site which threatened the landings on Omaha.

Included meals: Breakfast

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach (8)

Key Visits

  • Omaha Beach
  • Longues sur Mer
  • Port en Bessin
  • Normandy American Cemetery
  • Bayeux War Cemetery
  • Bayeux Memorial
  • Pointe Du Hoc

Day 7

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

1 x lunch/museum package available whilst on tour approx. cost €40


Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

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You will stay for one night at the 3-star Ibis Portsmouth in the centre of the city. You will then stay for five nights at the 2-star Carline Caen Nord, the hotel has a bar, restaurant and lift.

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Travel Extras

With an overnight stay or a Door-to-Door pick up, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Door-to-Door service

On Battlefield tours of 7 days’ duration or more, you don’t even have to think about getting to your local joining point. If you live within 20 miles of one of our free joining points we’ll pick you up from your home and take you to meet your transfer vehicle, then return you back home at the end of your holiday. The cost is just £30 per booking each way for up to four people per booking.

If you live a little further afield, you can also take advantage of this convenient option for an additional charge – please enquire at the time of booking.

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