From earliest times - the emergence of France & Germany out of the post-Roman world - right through the story of the 20th century, from World War I to the Cold War.
The countries today, through their cities, their architecture and their lifestyles.
* We organise tours DIRECT with you – we have no public list of tours.
* We handle numbers from 2 to 10 – families, small groups of friends.
* We arrange itineraries, book hotels and site entries, can advise on transport (eg help find you a minibus company, if your group is larger than 4 people), and provide personal guiding.
* We step onboard your car / rental car *, or a minibus that we can arrange but you pay for direct (we had to stop making the payments for minibuses since the Package Travel Regulations 2018 increased the risk carried by the tour operator in situations such as the Covid 19 shutdown: client gets 100% refund, whilst the tour operator has to cover all the pre-paid up-front costs). Note that we do not organise travel to/from the tour start/finish point(s) - eg flights, trains.
* (happy to drive if you can add us as an Additional Driver)
Normandy stretches from Monet’s Garden in its south-east corner to the giant chalk cliffs at Etretat in the north, and from Mont St Michel in the south-west to the cathedral city of Rouen in the east.
It includes the D-Day Beaches and the lands fought over afterwards - stretching down to Falaise, with the castle where William the Conqueror was born, and a striking new museum commemorating the story of civilians in Normandy in World War II.
Normandy is the apple orchards of the beautiful Pays d’Auge countryside, and the beaches and cliffs at Dieppe where Canadian soldiers suffered in an August 1942 raid.
See Normandy - some itineraries for some suggestions.
The bridge at Monet’s Garden
The cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, scaled by U.S. Rangers on D-Day
This large, new region takes in Picardy – including the Somme, Amiens, and the beautiful Bay of the Somme – and the former Nord / Pas-de-Calais region, with the Channel cliffs, the big cities of Lille and Arras, and the Canadian World War I memorial at Vimy Ridge.
It includes the striking cathedral at Amiens (the largest in volume in France), the Louvre-Lens offshoot of the Louvre museum in Paris, some of the major World War I sites, beautiful open, rolling countryside, and two interesting inter-war sites in Roubaix: the ‘La Piscine’ art gallery in a former municipal swimming pool, and the Villa Cavrois, the modernist family home of a textile magnate.
For more see Hauts de France - some itineraries.
Cratered landscape of the Battle of the Somme
The River Somme
The open roads of eastern France
Another of the new ‘mega-regions’, Grand Est takes in, from west to east, Champagne, Lorraine and Alsace.
This includes the champagne fields between Reims and Epernay, de Gaulle’s home at Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises, the great medieval cathedrals of Reims, Metz and Strasbourg, the Verdun & Argonne battlefields of World War I, the Vosges Mountains, Maginot Line forts near the German border, and the Surrender Room in Reims where German forces surrendered at Eisenhower’s HQ in May 1945.
A stunning mix of open, rolling countryside, huge forests, great cities, and some off-the-beaten track villages in Lorraine particularly.
From the top of Reims cathedral
Champagne fields at Epernay
The new ‘mega region’ of Occitanie includes the regions of Languedoc - vineyards, medieval villages, Mediterranean coast, limestone Causse scenery - and Midi-Pyrénées: stunning architecture (the Romanesque cathedral in Toulouse; the 21st-century Millau Viaduct spanning an entire valley), high-tech (the Airbus plant in Toulouse) & Pyrenean scenery.
See our separate Occitaine page for more.
A hilltop village in Languedoc
All text, maps & photos © Dr Thomson’s Tours Ltd.
Website design by Joseph Thomson
Last updated April 2020
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Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7AW
Dr Thomson’s Tours