I just finished a tour of WW1 sites with John Bromage. He was very knowlegible and had a wealth of information about the subject. He also introduced us to several friends who were subject matter experts about various battles, battle fields and fortifications. He was very approachable, and after conversation was able to adapt the schedule to fit our personal interests. He also was very knowledgeable about the local culture, was very familiar with the local scene, and was a great dinner companion. He also was very courteous and would often go the extra mile dropping us off close to events, retrieving the vehicle in the rain, tracking down lost items, etc. He made our trip seemless. I would give him my highest recommendation.
Horseshoe Bay, TX
John Bromage is a gentleman and a scholar. He was an excellent guide and driver for about 7 days through eastern France and Belgium touring WW I sites. I highly recommend him and his services. His french came in very handy. If you need a guide for France this is the man and company.
John Bromage has been our guide throughout Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Loire Valley. His French and English are excellent. He has a passion for food, wine, and history and is very knowledgeable about all the towns we traveled through. He is a naturally witty person who is delightful to be with and makes your trip very memorable.
I had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Normandy Beaches and Battlefields this past July. I cannot imagine any other tour company more knowledgeable, comprehensive, efficient or passionate in their tour. They not only take you to the sites, they take you back in time, surround you with the action, the move of armies, the stories of individual soldiers and in impacts on the civilians. French Custom Tours goes above and beyond the call of duty. Absolutely riveting.
John Bromage not only made our trip to Paris seamless and alleviated any stress associated with traveling in a large European city, he added a spark of fun with his charming personality and quick wit. He was knowledgeable, personable, prompt and attentive. His restaurant and site seeing recommendations were perfect for our group. We would highly recommend John to anyone in need of a guide and/or driver.
I have worked with John Bromage on a number of occasions touring the Western Front and Normandy landing beaches.
John has excellent knowledge of the geography of these areas together with comprehensive background knowledge of the actions which took place there during the wars. His presentations are always interesting and engaging for his clients.
He also has excellent client relations skills, being perceptive to the needs of each person in the touring party, and ensuring that any issues are dealt with promptly and satisfactorily.
I recommend John highly in his role as tour director for battlefield tours.
I have known and worked with John since 2005, and it has been a pure delight. He is very knowledgeable and a true professional who goes above and beyond the norm to provide travelers with a truly fascinating experience. I have sent over one hundred clients to John, and they all returned with great memories and full of praise for him.
I have had the occasion to utilize John's services several times, both as a driver and a guide. He is extremely trustworthy and knowledgable and all of the clients to whom I have referred him have been very pleased. He is good with both small and large groups and is extremely likable. I am able to recommend him unreservedly.
Colorado Springs, CO
We had the great pleasure of spending a full day touring the American sectors of the D-Day invasion of Normandy with Tim Smith of France Custom Tours. Tim’s incredible knowledge of the invasion included taking us to key locations which large tour buses wouldn’t be able to negotiate, as well as lesser-known locations that played pivotal roles in the operation. He accompanies his narratives with a portfolio of maps and aerial photos which serve to clarify the relative positions of the armies on both sides of the battle. Tim’s own experience as an airborne infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam serves him well, as he has keen insights concerning the challenges faced by the American forces in Normandy. While visiting the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach, it was immediately evident that Tim had spent many, many hours studying this hallowed ground and had detailed information concerning numerous gravesites and memorials at the site.
This was an exceptional experience for both of us, and we are indebted to Tim Smith for his extraordinary scholarship, courtesy, and professionalism. We would unhesitatingly endorse Tim Smith and France Custom Tours to anyone seeking a comprehensive view of the D-Day landings. It is impossible to imagine anyone doing it better!
Chesapeake City, MD
We highly recommend Tim Smith as a tour guide of the World War II landing beaches. Via email Tim planned an excellent tour tailored to our time needs for a September 0f 2012 tour of the Normandy Beaches. We took the train from Paris to Le Havre where we planned a one night stay at a B&B there. Tim picked us up the next morning at our B&B with a very comfortable van that easily accomodated our considerable luggage. He even had bottled water for us.
We then began a day long tour of the important British/Canadian and American landing sites and visited a museum. My wife later told me she wasn't really interested in going on this tour, though she loves history, because she thought it would be a rather uninteresting view of battlefields. At our first stop at the Pageus Bridge where we saw the gliders that the men, for stealth, glided in to land right at the bridge, at dark, after being towed by planes from England, my wife was touched, awed and amazed at the courage and skill of the brave men who fought there. She thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour.
It was Tim of course who made the whole thing come alive, and whose wealth of knowledge was always so evident. Tim had arranged for us to stay at an English Officers historic B&B for two nights. The Colonel gave us a wonderful briefing in his map room of where the landings took place and the time table of the landings. Tim had already shared most of the information with us but it was great to have a visual picture. We then spent another day seeing the Ameican Beaches. We ended the day at Omaha Beach Cemetery. Tim had us stand by the flag pole just when the flag was to be lowered knowing that they would ask me, as a veteren, to fold our beautiful American flag with my wife, when it was lowered while taps was played.
What a memory to cherish and a perfect end to our day. We had dinner in Bayeaux at a sidewalk restaurant just down from the Cathedral and from there saw the cathedral light up in full glory when night arrived. Tim drove us the following day to our B&B in Honfleur where we had reservations. Our tour ended but the great memories linger on. We could not have had a better guide and it was especially poignant in that tim is a Purple Heart Reciepant from the Vietnam war so his empathy with the fallen and the brave was so heart felt. We highly recommend this tour company and especially Tim Smith to lead your tour of the Normandy Beaches.
Our group had travelled to France with John twice before and had two perfect trips: World War II Sites/ Chateaus and then World War I Sites/Wine. (2 of the group have travelled with John two additional times to the South of France and Wineries).
When we decided to visit England and Wales in May 2012, we wanted to continue benefitting from John's skillful driving and good travel advice. We called this tour our Castle and Garden Tour. We constructed a plan to visit the Lake District, the Cotswolds, and Southern England, with the concluding destination as Kent, the "Garden of England."
Janet and Mary chose destinations and hotels, with some advice from John. All accommodation/airfare was booked by Janet and Mary. John gave advice on driving times, best number of days to stay, logistical considerations, etc. At the destinations, John often found the best places to eat.
To have John as a driver during a trip ensures a sense of security and confidence not easily attained with other modes of transportation. Having John drive and advise allows our group to be flexible. A rough itinerary is set back in the states with hotel stops at appropriate distances. As the trip progresses, this itinerary is followed, but if a member of the group sees a special place not originally planned for, that place can be added. Enough time is allowed for that flexibility. John makes sure that each day's schedule is not overloaded.
John's eight-passenger van also allows for comfort and convenience. The van is roomy and pleasant. With a small group, needs can be accommodated easily. John pays attention to each guest. He keeps the van clean and ready for each day's travel. He negotiates the narrow roads and sheep with finesse.
John's skills as a guide are evident in every location. His knowledge of history and culture is impressive. His wit and personality are ideal for a guide. The hotel owners always respond warmly to John's charm. We look forward to our next trip with John to Cornwall, Wales and Ireland and we heartily recommend John as an intelligent, interesting and enjoyable traveling companion. We couldn't imagine going to Europe without him!
This past May (2012), after years of planning, I was finally able to travel to Normandy. My trip had a significant purpose, to visit the sites where my father was after landing on Omaha Beach to where he was killed and finally temporarily buried before being expatriated to the US for final burial. I researched many custom tour guides before choosing John Bromage of France Custom Tours.
My visit required a tour company with extensive knowledge, not only of the well known beaches and battle sites, but of the out of the way by-ways that my father's unit traveled and set up their hospitals at the temporary airfields. When I finally got to meet John both my wife and I had a strong feeling that we had made the right decision. John's knowledge of Normandy, and I might add of France itself, was extensive. From the materials that I sent him he was well prepared to help me achieve my goal. In fact, I was elated by the personal interest he took in my quest. He contacted local historians, city halls and mayors to find the information that would lead to me visiting the sites that were so important to me. I was extremely surprised when the Mayor of Cardonville asked me if I would assist in laying the memorial wreath on May 8th, VE Day. I was overwhelmed by the experience.
Quite frankly, I felt it was becuase of John and is dedication and diligence that led to that day. Anyone who is traveling to Normandy, not only with a specific mission like mine, but to take in a comprehensive tour of the beaches and battlefield, will not make a mistake in selecting John Bromage of France Custom Tours. He made my trip the trip of a lifetime.
Santa Rosa, CA
We arranged for a private tour before we left for France through John whom we were referred to by a friend who had toured with him. . He was not available but referred us to Tim Smith his father in law. Tim picked us up in Grandcamp Maisey(there were 4 of us) and proceeded to give us the best tour ever. The 2 ladies thought we were going to be bored but Tim put it all into real life and drew us in. We spent the entire day with him and saw more than we ever would have seen on our own. The fact that he is a Vietnam Vet made it even more real. The husbands were thrilled because both of them are retired servicemen. So all in all it was the most rewarding day because of the passion Tim has for the Normandy History. We would recommend John and his company to all.
We recently returned from a three week trip to France and decided only late in the planning to include a trip to Normandy to see the American landing beaches and Cemetery. We only had a single day - sandwiched in between Paris and a week's stay in Morgat in Brittany. It was one of the most memorable days of any vacation we've ever taken! Because of time constraints, we decided to hire a personal guide and were lucky to be matched with Tim Smith from France Custom Tours.
We took the early train from Gare St. Lazare - fares were very reasonable (booked on the french SNCF site). Picked up our rental car in Caen which we would keep for the following 9 days and drove to Bayeux where we checked in to the historic and beautiful bed and breakfast run by Major Chilcott and his lovely wife, Rosemary.
There, we met Tim, a Vietnam Veteran, who would be our guide for a day trip to Utah and Omaha Beaches, the American Cemetery, Pointe du Hoc, Brecourt Manor, Angoville au Plain and other points of interest. Tim traveled in our car – we were four for this tour including me, my sister and two 16 year olds – so a car that could accommodate five was key – for us a Volkswagon Touran rented through Auto Europe, a company I’d definitely recommend.
We started our tour in the Map Room of the Chilcott’s Bed and Breakfast where we received an overview of the key sites we would visit that day. The map covered a full wall and we benefitted from Tim’s solid knowledge of the Allied Landings and the Nazi defenses. We spent a wonderful day in Tim’s company and then had the added pleasure of meeting his charming wife, Kathleen and sharing dinner with them both at a lovely restaurant overlooking the harbor at sunset. We ended our day with a trip to a few of the German gun batteries in the area.
A huge endorsement for Tim and France Custom Tours comes from our two children who tell all their friends that this day was the highlight of their trip to France. Tim had many stories to share - vignettes that really brought home the poignancy of this historic period and also reinforced for us examples of France’s enduring gratitude for its liberation. I can’t recommend highly enough the quality of this tour. Tim is the father (and father-in-law) of Gigi and John Bromage, the operators of France Custom Tours. They not only offer private, guided tours of Normandy but also of other regions in France. They will even pick up clients in Paris and have had the experience of guiding celebrities on tours of Normandy. Tim was exceedingly discreet about their clientele despite our curiosity. We really had a sense that he enjoys getting to know all the people who travel to Normandy to learn more about this key part of our military history and its part in turning World War II around.
My husband and I took his parents and his uncle to France in October of 2010 to see Paris and to then visit the Normandy beaches and the WWII sites. I still count my lucky stars to have found John Bromage to be our guide for our special trip.
John and I communicated for many months and he was so enjoyable and seamless with whom to work with. He knows the right questions to ask and really tries to meet the needs of a group before meeting them. John designed our tour for us and included everything we asked to see including the Mont St. Michel and Monet’s gardens. By designing our tour I mean that he booked our hotels, planned our itinerary for each day and allowed time for the family to do things on our own. He even picked us up in Paris and delivered us to the airport after our seven day tour with him. I am not a history buff but my husband, father in law and our uncle had been dreaming of travelling to these sites their entire lives. John surpassed our expectations with his amazing knowledge of centuries of history and his talent for delivering the information in great detail and with great interest. It was refreshing to be with a local person who could translate for us and save us so much time because he knew where to take us and he had special shortcuts and back roads that novices like us would never have found.
I had been concerned about our group getting along and travelling relatively stress free. John is a diplomat and a gentleman and can engage and interact with each individual in the group. It was wonderful to have such an enjoyable person to make our adventure perfect. He gave us spells of quiet when we covered many miles and we never tired of his personality and spirit. I can’t sing praises loudly enough about John Bromage. We hope to plan a trip with him again one day! Merci beaucoups John!
John was hand-picked for our 2010 Hiram College Alumni Tour. Our tour coordinator had traveled with him twice before, and our group of six ladies certainly approved of her choice. Several of us had never before met, and John's charming and witty personality made us all feel at ease with each other. John helped direct lost luggage to catch up with us, and arranged for an air-conditioned restaurant on a 90+-degree day. He remained unflappable when our itinerary had to be changed, and displayed his knowledge of the area by suggesting an equally interesting substitution. John and his family hosted a picnic for us and his friends on July 4th at Omaha Beach—what an unforgettable experience! He met us bright and early to be the first at Chateau Chenonceau for a group photo at this charming site, and on another day to beat the hoards of people walking up to Mt. St. Michel. Some from our group are hoping to travel again with John next year, and we could not recommend a better guide.
My husband and I and close friends traveled with John Bromage this past June (2010) for 6 days in Normandy and Brittany. I found John on his France Custom Tours website. I was very hesitant to plan a trip with someone I knew nothing about, especially since another couple was involved. After a couple of conversations and many emails with him, I felt very comfortable. Our experience with John was more wonderful than anything I could have ever hoped for. From the time he picked us up at our hotel in Paris until we left him 6 days later, we all had a great, fun time with him. In every way John's knowledge of the area's history and culture is exceptional. His personality is charming, funny, polite, thoughtful and a pleasure to be with at all times. He was always very punctual and very flexible in terms of any changes or new stops we requested along the way. His hotel and restaurant recommendations were all terrific. John was a great guide, a great person to spend several days with, and a great value in terms of all that he does and is willing to do for his clients. We could not recommend him more highly.
After our wonderful trip with John Bromage in September 2008 (bottom testimonial), two of us returned in May 2009 for a two-week tour of South West France. We canoed the Dordogne River, attended a cooking demonstration, toured the Lascaux II and Font de Gaume caves, and visited wineries in Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Corbieres to mention a few highlights. John planned the trip so that each day was different and better than the last.
Shawnee Mission, KS
We absolutely loved John, who was much more than a driver and guide. We were astounded at his knowledge of all the areas we visited, but especially of the D-Day beaches and sites. Some of us harbor a huge passion for World War II history, stories and sites, and John was the perfect guide. He has a wealth of knowledge about the beaches and sites surrounding the landing area. He was also courteous, efficient, (often picking up lunch for us while we shopped or toured), and considerate (bringing umbrellas and making reservations at crowded restaurants). It would not have been the same trip without him. John made us so relaxed, never rushed, always able to drink in the sights, sounds and tastes of Normandy and the Loire Valley. We feel so lucky to have had him as our guide for our unforgettable dream trip.
Normandy Tour Guide Exceptionale!
My West Point classmates and I had the pleasure of being led around the Normandy region by Nicholas Kennedy in August 2008. We were treated to a first class tour of all the beaches attacked on D-Day, and the appropriate museums complimenting those beaches. Nick's knowledge was extensive and comprehensive. He led us and our wives through various towns, roads and vistas that gave us a better understanding of what the Allies faced in Normandy in June & July of 1944. During the four days that Nick guided us, his many anecdotes relevant to the places we were visiting were educational, insightful, and sometimes sad, and other times humorous. We could not have been more pleased with our tour of Normandy thanks to Nick's professionalism. It greatly enhanced our understanding of the history of the invasion. I unhesitatingly recommend Nick Kennedy.
Corpus Christi, TX
When we planned our 2008 trip to Normandy and the invasion beaches we sought the best guide available and I am happy to say that we certainly found him in the person of John Bromage. The five days spent with John in Normandy couldn't have been better organized and enjoyable. The accommodations John arranged including Ferme San Simeon, Honfluer and Chateau La Cheneviere, Port-en-Bessin were top notch. The best part of the trip was due to the depth of knowledge John has about all aspects of the Normandy invasion. He brought life to all that I have only read about for these many years.
We can recommend John and his services without reservation and you are welcome to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.