One of my favourite tours to conduct. It covers not only the Canadian role on D-Day but also takes in the first few days of fighting heading towards the airport at Carpiquet and the strategic city of Caen.
For groups not wanting to visit the Juno Centre museum later in the day, I start this tour in the area where the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion landed as part of the British 6th Airborne Division. We cover the important role of the Airborne Division holding the eastern flank during the invasion and ensuing weeks. We would visit the area of the chateau at Varaville and the crossroads near the brickworks at Le Mesnil where Canadian paras held off a German counter-attack at the point of a bayonet. We would then head off via Ranville, across Pegasus Bridge and off to the eastern end of Juno Beach.
For groups who DO want to include a visit to the Juno Centre, the tour starts at St. Aubin sur Mer. where we commence with an overview of D-Day and the assault made by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. It is here where we begin to understand the geography of Juno Beach, contrasting to that of its neighbour Sword Beach and vastly different to the American beaches.
This seaside town of narrow streets and high sea walls is where the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment (see the video) and tanks of Fort Gary Horse battled ashore. There are some great memorials here and preserved German bunkers.