Cannot day enough good things about this experience. Ben was recommended by a friend who says he was very impressed with the experience. This does not come close to quantifying I and my family’s trip. Ben imparts his expertise with far more knowledge and personality than your typical guide... And you stay in his house! Make sure you watch the second episode of “Band of Brothers” and Saving Private Ryan before you go! Don’t leave without talking to Ben’s neighbor Lucien a local who lived through the entire occupation and liberation of Normandy.
Ben and Jaye are incredible! Ben’s tour is one of a kind and brings D-Day to life right before your eyes. From the moment we stepped off the (still moving) train at Carentan Station until the moment we said goodbye, Ben and Jaye treated us like lifetime friends. They have a beautiful and comfortable home and they entertain you with amazing food and great stories. I highly recommend the two-day tour for anyone who wants to learn more about D-Day. In my two-week stay in Europe, I saw great cities like Amsterdam, Paris, and London, but Ben’s amazing tour through the quiet Norman countryside is still the part that I will remember forever. I can’t wait to go back!
We had two full days with Ben. First day at Utah Beach and the inland villages where the Airborne landed. Second day at Omaha and related inland locations. Both days you see the actual places that you have seen depicted in movies from The Longest Day to Saving Private Ryan and learn what actually happened there. Ben and his wife were gracious hosts, sharing their lovingly restored villa. He has tracked down the families and stories of many of our young men who gave their lives, making the tour personal and real. We had been to Omaha Beach before with a larger tour group, but it was superficial by comparison. My only regret is that we did not book a third day with Ben.
From the time Ben picked us up at the train station until he dropped us off, we thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality provided by both him and his wife. We felt welcome in his home as if we were family. Ben's knowledge of the D-Day events was incredible. He had many personal stories of those who served and died in the area. Each stop on the tour was an experience in itself. We especially enjoyed meeting Lucien and the great museum Ben took us to. I have traveled to five continents and taken many tours and I have to say that Ben's tour was, by far, the best I have ever taken. I would recommend it to anyone who asks and even to those who don't.
The trip to Normandy was not my idea but I was willing to go along with my husband and another couple. Little did I know what an important experience lay in store for me. From the moment we arrived at the Manor House I felt welcome and "at home". Ben and Jaye are perfect hosts in their beautiful, spacious restored home that is at once comfortably modern and historically charming. Jaye is such a wonderful cook and creates relaxing atmosphere, along with the darling dog, "Saffy" and the resident chicken "Lady Mary". Ben is the perfect historian with his amazing memory for names dates and details but even more important is his ability to invest the stories of D-Day with the magic of his storytelling. As we stood at various important sites, Ben would show us his black and white photos of how it looked in 1944, then proceed to weave a spell with his words. i could look out on the site and vividly imagine the scene coming to life before me. Meeting with Ben's neighbor Lucien, who (like me) was a child during the war, hearing his story and seeing his memorial wall brought a deeply personal and different view of D-Day from the aspect of the civilian experience. Ben brought every site to life with his knowledge and insights. I not only learned about but also felt the events as they unfolded.
At the end of each day it was comforting to return to the fireside of Manor House to unwind and reflect. I cannot imagine any way in which this tour was not incredible. It is an experience I will never forget. And neither will you. Do this tour with Ben Trumble...you will be forever grateful that you did!
My uncle Joe, who I was named after was shot down early morning on D-Day and my father landed on D+21 so it holds a special interest for me and my family. Uncle Joe's crash site was recently discovered and my cousins visited a few years ago staying with Ben Trumble, who provides personalized D-Day tours. They raved about Ben and the tour and highly recommended it. On a recent trip to Europe, we added it to our itinerary. Thanks to Ben and his wife Jaye, it was the highlight of our trip.
We stayed 3 nights in their beautiful home and were graciously hosted by Ben and Jaye. The accommodations were superb, Jaye's meals were terrific and the conversation engaging.
Our 2-day tour was excellent and literally started near their house. My uncle's crash site was nearby and Ben introduced us to a neighbor who was 10 years old on D-Day who related his experience (in French but Ben translated).
We toured St Mere Eglise, the big gun placements, Point du Hoc, Utah and Omaha beaches and the American Cemetery. Ben brought each site to life with stories of individual heroics, including the battle of the bridge in the Tom Hank's movie, "Saving Private Ryan".
Ben and Jaye provided us a truly memorable experience worthy of a 5-star rating. I highly recommend it.
If you want to truly delve into what the soldiers and civilians experienced on D-Day and the following days trying to hold the beachhead, tour with Ben. Any tour guide can recite a lot of dry facts; however, Ben brings history alive through the people that lived it (often their final day or days). He is an expert who will expand the knowledge of even the most well studied on D-Day, yet completely engage a person with only a general understanding of the assaults. If you can manage it, I recommend the two-day tour. My wife and I spent 14 days in France, and we agreed the unforgettable part was the tour. And, last but not least, Ben and Jaye are wonderful hosts.