At 81, my Dad has always been interested in anything having to do with WWII and visiting Normandy has been on his bucket list for most of his life. Due to unforeseen health and physical limitations and of course Covid, it was most likely never going to happen. When I came across Patrick's on-line private tour, I knew that this would be the next best thing to being there....and it did not disappoint! It exceed expectations on what a virtual tour could provide. Coupled with Patrick's impressive knowledge and professional demeanor, he had us all glued to the screen for the entire time. What cinched the 5 star rating for me was that my Dad had learned new things about Normandy/D-Day that he had not learned through his 60+ years of reading and watching documentaries on it! We can't wait for the Spring so that we can sign up for additional on-line tours!

Sharon M (TripAdvisor contributer)

Mariette, Gerogia, USA

My wife and I just competed a virtual tour of Omaha Beach, given by Patrick. Being situated in our New Hampshire (USA) home, we had no idea what to expect. However the mechanics worked perfectly even with a 6 hour time difference. A tour like this should be a requirement for everyone enjoying freedom. Patrick’s knowledgeable narrative made us feel like we were experiencing history. Spend the time to have a tour. Although physically less tiring, emotionally less it was not. Thank you, Patrick.

Paul (TripAdvisor contributer)

Moultonborough, New Hampshire, USA

These virtual tours allow us to visit Normandy when at the moment this is not possible for a lot of people .
I have seen a few of them now - Utah beach , Omaha beach , St Malo,etc .The tour guide Patrick is excellant ,and brings the history of each area alive . He also takes you to parts of the area that would be easy to miss.Because the tours are live it feels as if you are there as he walks along the bluffs of Omaha beach ,or the streets of St Malo.
You don't have to have a knowledge of the history of DDay to enjoy these .

Sue V (TripAdvisor contributer)

Devon, UK

Yesterday, my wife and I participated in a VIRTUAL tour of parts of Omaha Beach led by Patrick. This tour was excellent! First of all let me compliment Patrick on his donation of time and effort for this wonderful tour. In this time of restrictive travel and semi isolation, what a generous man Patrick is for giving us all some time away from our "lock down" and putting us "right there" in Normandy. Second, Patrick has an enormous amount of knowledge and history of the D-day landing and he shared that fascinating information with us during the tour. In addition, Patrick has the technical prowess (and I assume equipment) that he uses to broadcast the virtual tours in extraordinary quality. We could read the logos on t-shirts of random people on the beach and (hilariously) could see people actually changing clothes on the beach. (Patrick did his best to shield his viewers from anything embarrassing!)
My point is that the quality of the broadcast was superb!
Finally, because the tour was live, we were able to type questions to Patrick during the tour and he would answer the questions live!
Thank you Patrick for this wonderful service that you have provided! I look forward to going to Normandy some day soon and visiting in person. I hope we can meet Patrick then and perhaps get an "in person" tour !

RB50 (TripAdvisor contributer)

Orlando, Florida, USA

Patrick does an amazing job as a tour guide and is extremely informative, but he also does online virtual tours too! Especially important now that many cannot visit the amazing battlefields of Normandy. Patrick can ‘virtually’ take you to the sites of St Mere Eglise, Omaha Beach and Pointe Du Hoc amongst others. I have been going to Normandy every year for the past 10+ years and these online tours have been vital for me being able to see the places I love. Despite feeling I already had a good base knowledge of D-Day events and sites, I have still learnt plenty from Patrick. Excellent tour guide and well recommended!

Karl (TripAdvisor contributer)

Shropshire, UK

Patrick is doing a wonderful job with his virtual tours. They are very interesting and informative. A great way to keep our travel interests going during this lockdown period. A great way to look forward to another trip from USA to Normandy when the time is right.

BrentG (TripAdvisor contributer)


Patrick picked us up from our ship in a beautiful spotless air conditioned 6 seater van sharply at 9:00am and returned us to the ship at 6:30pm.
Patrick is extremely knowledgeable of the history of DDay and the important significant areas to visit. He is flexible, accommodating and all around good host.
As an added bonus his wife Nicky who is a caterer prepared a fabulous lunch to have a picnic on a table covered with a blue checkered table cloth and real dishes and silverware in a lively scenic area along the tour.
This tour was very informative and covered all the places we wanted to visit to commemorate a
Dream  of visiting Normandy.
We want to do this again and stay at the Chateau!

Florence Dickerson

Denton, Texas, USA

Seven members of our family, five sisters & two female cousins booked this tour with Patrick. He picked us up at the house we had rented & told us we could change his tour with suggestions of our own. When we informed him our father, William Pettigrew, had been a glider pilot during the invasion, he took us straight to the American Airborne Museum in St. Mer Église. It brought tears to our eyes to see the Waco glider he had flown, called a flying coffin. Patrick also added details & information that we had never heard from our father. Touring the American D-Day beaches & cemetery was sobering. We also wanted to see the German Cemetery, quite a different look of black crosses & a large black monument on a small hill.
Patrick handled a group of seven women with humor & sensitivity. If you would like a private tour, this is the one that will work with you if you want to deviate from the norm.

concharpey (TripAdvisor user)


Our group booked Patrick for the day to take us on a D-Day tour of the Canadian sights for a day excursion from our cruise stop at Le Havre. He picked us up from the cruise ship in Le Havre on time and we got started on a very informative and eye opening day. He had the day planned out from the start with many stops from Pegasus Bridge to Juno Beach and more, and he left the Canadian Cemetery to be the last of our stops so we could look back on the day and reflect on the sacrifice made that day by so many. He was very informative during the day at the sights and during the drive between the stops. I would recommend Patrick and We Love Normandy to anyone planning a trip to Normandy and wishing to spend a day seeing the D-Day sights. Thank you Patrick

waltergobbo (TripAdvisor user)


Our family (four kids ranging from 15-10) have done multiple tours across Europe on this vacation.... and they all agree that Patrick from We Love Normandy was their absolute favorite!

He was knowledgeable, friendly, flexible, responsible.... and many more adjectives that describe a fantastic tour guide!

You will not be disappointed... learn the history of the area with We Love Normandy!

John and Lynette

Texas, USA

We were on a cruise that docked at Le Havre. Our cruise line (Viking) offered a Normandy excursion, but we decided to book our own private tour for a group of 4 adults. What a smart decision that was! Patrick is an exceptional guide -- knowledgeable, warm, approachable -- and he makes the history come alive. He met us at the port and spent the entire day with us, returning us on time. Our experience began with a 360 movie which was an excellent stage-setter for our time in Normandy. After visits to Utah and Omaha beaches (with a bite of lunch at a neat little seashore pub), we concluded the day at the American cemetery. Sobering and memorable for all of us. We highly recommend We Love Normandy and Patrick Hilyer. He created an thoroughly enjoyable experience for us.

LudwellMom (TripAdvisor user)

Saratoga Springs, New York, USA

What a great pleasure to have unearthed the perfect guide for an important - first time - tour, the Normandy D-Day beaches... We are avid Francophiles, with many trips to France in our past; however, having never visited Normandy, we wanted to ensure a special privately guided tour of the beaches. Our choice turned out to be spot on.

Many attributes make Patrick an extremely valuable tour guide: he is highly knowledgeable of the subject matter, was flexible in terms of our interests, was keen to offer interesting facts and perspectives, and is personable and welcoming.

He knows the area thoroughly (so much so that we covered an incredible number of bases that would have taken us double the time driving on our own), and seems to be a constant learner, vs. a supplier of rote information. It was clear to us that the business he and his wife own in the hospitality space is a great background for “We Love Normandy”. 

His van was modern, clean and very comfortable, and he provided historical background which my husband, more versed in WWII history, found intriguing. It’s our pleasure to highly recommend him to anyone seeking a trip to the Normandy region!

LLMANDWW (TripAdvisor User)

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Absolutely wonderful day touring the Normandy beaches with Patrick. He modified the tour and we were able to visit Juno Beach for the Canadians on our tour which was fantastic. We also saw the Dick Winters statue which my husband especially enjoyed being a fan of the band of brothers. Everyone on the tour had an amazing day. Thank you so much Patrick for sharing your knowledge and giving us such a memorable experience.

Linda R (TripAdvisor User)

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Patrick picked us up for a private beaches tour at the cruise ship terminal in Cherbourg. He spent a full nine hours with us. We could never have seen or learned as much if we were in a group tour. He provided us with many fascinating insights at each stop and as we drove from place to place. We visited Utah beach, St Mere Eglise, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha beach and the American cemetery. The pace was not hurried in any respect and we do not move that fast. We had time to visit the church and museum in St Mere Eglise and had a nice lunch there at a "locals" restaurant he knew. We would highly recommend Patrick and hope to return to Normandy and spend more time with him.

Jay F (TripAdvisor User)


Your tour was everything we hoped it would be. We learned a lot and the pace was just right for us. We hope some time in the future we can return to spend more time in Normandy and enjoy Nicky’s cooking.

Chuck and Mimi Roby

California USA

We just returned from a whirlwind tour of France. Without a doubt the two day private tour we did with Patrick was the highlight of our trip! His knowledge of the area ( DDay and Mont St. Michel) is outstanding! And his love and respect for the area is contagious! Most important, however, is the fact that Patrick has the gift of sensitivity. That is what makes him an extraordinary guide! He knows how to adapt to his clients’ interests. Not an easy task in our case. A limited mobility 76 year old and a super active 16 year old! No canned speeches or routines for him. Patrick is spontaneous and flexible! We cannot wait to return to explore more of Normandy with him. When we left the next day for Southern France,  my Grandson said, “ I miss Patrick. I wish he was still with us! He is so cool!”. That is the highest compliment one can hope to receive from this teen!!

Carol Basanez

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We were very lucky to have booked probably the best & most knowledgeable guide for the Normandy Beaches. Patrick is a Brit who has lived in France for years—for English speakers, no need to struggle to listen to an accent—very easy dialogue & wonderful to spend a day with. We were taken to sites that the “tour buses” don’t offer which totally personalized the experience. Can’t imagine a better experience. We only had one full day with Patrick but could have easily engaged him for another day or two—a walking encyclopedia. Picked us up at our hotel & delivered us back at the end of the day. Patrick made the day “come alive” as we shared & envisioned events from 75 years ago.

TrishArens (Tripadvisor User)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Patrick provides a wonderful historical overview of each of the Normandy beaches and museums!!! Very thorough and informative!!! I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend him if you are looking for a great historical perspective!!!

bray78703 (Tripadvisor User)

Austin, Texas

Patrick was an outstanding tour guide for a half day tour of Normandy. His knowledge, kindness and organization was outstanding. I highly recommend him.

804worldtraveler (Tripadvisor User)

Salt Lake City, Utah

Thank you and Nicky again for your professionalism and attention to detail. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at chateau de Canisy. The only issue that we have, is that we did not stay long enough with you! We will be recommending your services to our friends and clients you are traveling to Europe.

Jim Dolan, Christie's International Real Estate

San Miguel de Allende

Great tour hitting all sites included in tour description. Knowledgeable and congenial. The four of us enjoyed ourselves very much.

Coastal174513 (Tripadvisor User)

Patrick, I wanted to thank you so very much for making our trip to Normandy even more exceptional than we thought possible. We were actually going to meet friends in Italy but I insisted on coming thru Normandy first ( just me and my wife)  to experience all of the history there. I looked around on the internet and after much scrutinizing of available tour guide services I selected you to help and guide me through several days of traveling, room reservations, tour guides and much more. Selecting you turned out to be the best thing to make our trip successful and enjoyable. You were prompt about all details and even gave us advance notice about a pending rail strike, arranged alternative transportation, as well as providing much necessary travel type tips and info. Your offer to get us booked at the Chateau de Canisy turned out to be a highlight of our trip. We couldn’t have been more pleased with all of your services, your professionalism and the personal touch that you added.

We appreciate your making our trip great and will certainly be recommending you to other friends who might be coming to your area,

David B. Timberlake

Oklahoma, USA

We entrusted a group of 38 close friends and family to Patrick and Nicky for a four-day stay in Normandy.  We absolutely were in the best of hands!  It was truly one of the most memorable vacations we’ve ever had.  Every single detail leading up to the trip was handled professionally by email and the occasional conference call to ensure that all our expectations were met.  And during the stay, Patrick was our constant resource, while Nicky treated us to the most amazing meals.  What a treat, and a vacation none of us will ever forget!

Peter Weichlein, CEO, USA Association of Former Members of Congress

Washington DC, USA

We had the pleasure of Patrick and Nicky being our guide and hostess on two trips to Normandy.  They make their clients feel welcome and ensure that they enjoy the Normandy experience.


Each trip was a special occasion for a son and daughter whose father was a tank commander in Normandy with the 2nd Armored Division following D-Day.  Patrick gave us a private tour of the many places that their father had recorded in his field diary about his battles as well as the D-Day Beaches where he landed.  Patrick’s explanations about the area and the historical context made the trip an emotional and memorable one that they will never forget.


Added to Patrick’s ability as a tour guide, I can most certainly attest to Nicky’s culinary skills. Having run a restaurant in the past, this young lady really knows her way around a French kitchen.  Her dishes are a real dining delight.


If you want to have a great Normandy visit, you can’t do better than Patrick and Nicky as your hosts

Gene Hoots

Charlotte, NC, USA

Merci infiniment à Nicky qui nous a chouchouté le temps d'une soirée très agréable.

Céline et Mathieu

Rouen, France

We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to you for creating such a special experience for the International Council.

Terry Dickinson

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, RI, USA

Thank you for an out-of-this-world meal!

Dr Anna L. Fisher MD, Astronaut

New Albany, IN, USA

Each day of our Normandy visit was a delight.  Our itinerary was so varied and interesting but encompassed the things we had hoped to see.  We loved visiting the two other Chateaus and gardens.  The Chateau de Balleroy was especially lovely and the antique miniature furniture museum was amazing.

We enjoyed visiting the  magnificent Cathedral in Bayeux and seeing the Tapestries in the near-by museum. However, the high- light of our trip for me was the visit to  The Church at Ste-Mere-Eglise, Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, and the Normandy American Cemetery.  When you asked if anyone had a family member buried in the cemetery and I responded that I did, I had no idea that we would be able to locate the grave site so easily.  It was very emotional for me and my husband and his family were so touched by the pictures we were able to send to them. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness!

Bert Barret

Charlotte, NC, USA

Thank you again for your assistance with scheduling our trip, as well as your hospitality and accommodations.  I cannot state to you how much I appreciate it! Nicky is an amazing chef!  My family cannot stop talking about how delicious her meals were.

Casey H. Hargroder, Attorney at Law

Beaumont, TX, USA

Please echo the entire group's accolades to Nicky  for her delicious meals. I can still taste them.

Preservation Society of Newport County member

Locust Valley, NY, USA

Patrick, just wanted to follow up again and tell you how wonderful and perfect our trip to Normandy was. You were a pure pleasure to spend 4 days, touring and driving around with. You understood what we wanted to do, and tailored each day to the tee. Not only did you take us to the major sights but some of the off the beaten track local ones as well. Our visit to the ciderie was one of our favorites.


You and your wife were gracious hosts at Canisy, we felt right at home.


As my son said, “it was a trip of a lifetime.” Thanks you for making it happen. You are the true ambassador for Normandy.

Warren Cohen

New York City, USA

I’ve been telling EVERYONE that my trip with you was truly the best in my life. As an American everyplace we visited was so exciting and at the same time emotional. Missing you and Normandy.

Ellen Peck

Florida, USA

I just spent five wonderful days in Normandy having Patrick take my group to all the places of interest. He is very knowledgeable and gave life to all the history of that area. Nicky kept things rolling when she took us to Bayeux to see the cathedral and the farmer’s market. At the market, we purchased ingredients to be used in a cooking class taught by Nicky. Chateau de Canisy, where we stayed was a step back into history. The 1000 year old chateau is an absolutely beautiful place to call home when visiting the Normandy area.

Frances Barts

Charlotte, NC, USA

Patrick made arrangements for our family to spend the day with a guide to take us to all the major D-Day sites. I had spent weeks on my own trying to find a guide -- but all were booked solid for the month of June. Patrick immediately contacted a colleague -- a fabulous local guide -- who gave us a wonderful day and brought the history of WWII and the region to life.

cocodemer2 (Tripadvisor user)

Connecticut, USA

Our travels with you and our lovely visit to Canisy were truly magical.  We so appreciated all that you did for us and enjoyed every experience along the way.  Many many thanks – to both you and your wife – for a memorable time in unmatchable Normandy.

French Heritage Society Members

New York City, USA

We Love Normandy is a fantastic one-shop guide to one of the best known and most historic destinations in France. Nicky and Patrick offer everything from expert guide services to tips and information about what to see and where to go in Normandy. 

Bob Taylor, Communities Digital News and founder of The Magellan Travel Club

Charlotte, NC, USA

Patrick is the host extraordinaire. He arranged our tours, Military Might D- Day Tours by Valerie Vaultier, our taxi from the train station in Lison and met us outside upon our arrival.  

Kathleeenw (Tripadvisor user)

San Francisco, USA

As soon as Patrick had welcomed us, we knew our stay would be very enjoyable.

candy030 (Tripadvisor user)

Oswestry Shropshire, UK

Our host, Patrick, and his staff are outstanding and most accommodating. Overall, a very charming, peaceful and a unique experience.

Mike G (Tripadvisor user)

New York City

Patrick is charming host and manages his staff superbly. An experience not to be missed and I thoroughly recommend it.

john1234_10 (Tripadvisor user)

Northampton, UK

We were really spoiled during our stay by Patrick and his team.

Rik0412 (Tripadvisor user)

Maldegem, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Patrick is helpful, kind, and goes out of his way in assisting guests. 

Ron T (Tripadvisor user)

St. Barthelemy

Patrick and his team truly make you feel at home, always gracious, caring, always there when you need them to be. They are the friendliest group you will ever meet!

Jeff C (Tripadvisor user)

Los Angeles, USA

Accueil remarquable de gentillesse et professionnalisme par Patrick.

claud b (Tripadvisor user)

Saint-Denis, Reunion Island

Please reload

TripAdvisor Travelers Choice 2021