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David O'Keefe's
Black Watch Battlefield Tour

- Normandy - Dieppe - the Scheldt - Nijmegen - Groningen -

 with historian & professor David O’Keefe 

Driving through the Bocage of Normandy

Jul 11 - Jul 20

The highly prestigious Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (The Black Watch), one of Canada's most famous regiments, were virtually wiped out during "Operation Spring" on July 25th, 1944 - but their remarkable story of strength, tragedy, and determination against all odds doesn't end here.

Join us, with historian and professor David O'Keefe, our one and only lead guide Glenn Edmonds, and special guest guide Joël Stoppels, on this special journey retracing the footsteps of Canada's most prestigious regiments from the beaches of Normandy to the Liberation in Groningen. 

David O'Keefe.jpeg

tours led by David O'Keefe

David O'Keefe served as an infantry officer in the Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch of Canada) in Montreal and was later employed as their official historian for nearly a decade - who better to lead us on this much anticipated tour?

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The Black Watch Tour Info

Destinations:  France, Belgium & the Netherlands
Tour Dates: July 11th - July 20th, 2023

Flight departure: [July 10th, to Paris CDG] 
Flight return: [JULY 20th, from Amsterdam AMS]

News & Updates about this tour

The Black Watch Tour Map & Outline

Trou Map

^^^ Explore by scrolling through the cities we will be visiting, and zoom in to get familiar with where we will be visiting on this tour.


  • Join us to explore + honour the story of the Black Watch Regiment - from the shores of D-Day to the Liberation of the Netherlands

  • Enjoy beautiful, independent, superior tourist class accommodation throughout our stay with our favourite hoteliers

  • Extended orientations at Juno, Verrieres, Dieppe, in the Scheldt, Nijmegen, and Groningen

  • A special opportunity to the Liberation of the City of Groningen with our local battlefield host Joël Stoppels 

  • Executive coach transportation, with washrooms, air conditioning, and now ozone filtration!

  • Join our long time Battlefield team, along with the guidance of professor and historian David O’Keefe throughout the tour 

The Black Watch Tour | Itinerary


--  Monday, July 10th 2023

Depart from Toronto's Lester B Pearson Airport on your overnight flight to Paris CDG Airport. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]

Day 1 - Tuesday, July 11th

This morning, upon arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you’ll greet the team, including our guide, historian and professor David O’Keefe. Together, we begin our journey to Normandy, with a stop en route to visit the place where “D-Day” began. Pegasus Bridge, located in the small town of Benouville, was assaulted in the early morning hours of June 6th,1944 by the British 6th Airborne in an incredibly daring mission to gain control of its vital position. A full orientation will be provided at the bridge - take a look at the first house liberated in France, the Café Gondree. We then head to the city of Caen for our hotel check-in. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and reception. [Overnight - Caen (B, D)]


Day 2 - Wednesday, July 12th

After an early breakfast this morning, we’ll head out to explore the Canadian beaches and battlefields of Normandy. We will start with a visit to the darkly notorious Abbayes des Ardennes. This 11th Century Gothic Structure became the Headquarters of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division in the time leading up to the Allied Invasion. We continue on to Point 67. This strategic position overlooks the Battlefield of Verrieres Ridge, one of the enemy’s strongest lines of defense in all of Normandy. During Operation Spring on July 25th, 1944, The Black Watch of Montreal was virtually wiped out. A complete overview of this highly controversial action will be explained from different angles. We continue from Verrieres to the CWGC Canadian Cemetery of Bretteville-sur-Laize to pay our respects. This afternoon, we visit the exhilarating and informative Juno Beach Center, located right off the dunes where the Royal Winnipeg Rifles landed under heavy fire on the early morning of June 6th. Here we will meet with the Juno Beach staff, see the original enemy bunkers, museum, and memorials along the beach. After lunch, we visit the first house liberated by Canadians, the Queens Own Rifles House. This home is a pilgrimage point for all Canadians to see. By midday, we will pay respects to the Canadian men who lost their lives fighting in the early weeks of the Normandy campaign at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian CWGC Cemetery. Two thousand forty-eight of our country's bravest lie in peace at this immaculately kept sacred ground. Personal stories and accounts of a few of these individuals will be told for all to contemplate and reflect on. Tonight, enjoy a meal out on your own in the city of Caen. [Overnight - Caen (B)]

Day 3 -  Thursday, July 13th

Saying our farewells to the Normandy region, we head east to the seaside resort town of Dieppe with a rest en route in the commune of Bourgtheroulde. Upon arrival in Dieppe, we’ll visit Green Beach at Pourville. We will also view the main landing beaches of Red and White on the Dieppe seafront. This evening, enjoy our welcome dinner in Dieppe. [Overnight - Dieppe, Hotel aux Crabes (B, D)]


Day 4 - Friday, July 14th

This morning, we will pay our respects at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery before continuing to Blue Beach at Puys. After exploring the bunkers, gun emplacements, and cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties, we say our farewells to Dieppe. We then drive up the coast to Antwerp, just as the Canadians cleared up the coast in September 1944. We’ll make a stop outside of Dunkirk in the small town of Spycker to speak of the difficult events that took place here in September 1944 as the Black Watch liberated the town. Tonight, we continue to Antwerp for our hotel check-in and dinner. [Overnight – Bergen Op Zoom Fletcher Stadspark Hotel (B, D)]


Day 5 - Saturday, July 15th
After breakfast, we take the drive to Zeeland to visit the Liberation Museum of Zealand and Liberation Park to discuss the Battle of the Scheldt. Zeeland was the hardest-hit province in the occupation, and the effects of the Battle for the Scheldt were felt far beyond. This single operation cost the Canadians more casualties than any other operation during the whole of WWII. We then head to the small village of Woensdrecht. Here, the Black Watch and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry engaged with the German 6th Paratrooper Regiment in a fierce battle on October 13th, 1944 - "Black Friday” as it is known, due to the high losses of men from both Canadian units - however, victory was achieved, and it paved the way in cutting off a large number of German forces in the Battle of the Scheldt. We end our day with a solemn visit to the Canadian CWGC Cemetery of Bergen-Op-Zoom before heading to Nijmegen to enjoy our welcome dinner and overnight. [Overnight - Nijmegen Van der Valk Lent (B, D)]


Day 6 - Sunday, July 16th
After breakfast this morning we spend some time exploring Nijmegen. Here, Canadian units faced fierce German counter-attacks and infiltrations, artillery shelling, dangerous patrols, rain, wind, and bitter cold. See the remains of the Canadian foxholes. After lunch, we will enter Germany from Groesbeek to discuss the Battle for the Reichswald during Operation Veritable. British and Canadian units attacked from the north, while the Americans closed the trap from the south. To conclude our day, we’ll pay a visit to the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek. Tonight, enjoy exploring this historic city with dinner on your own. [Overnight - Nijmegen Van der Valk Lent (B, D)]

Day 7 - Monday, July 17th

After breakfast, we depart for Wageningen to see the Airborne Museum before an extended visit at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Holten with a chance to see the extended information center. Before returning to our hotel, enjoy lunch at the Canadian Clubhouse, home to the 005 Canadian Legion of the Netherlands. We’ll end the day with a private visit of the ​​Liberation Museum in Lochem before returning to Nijmegen. Enjoy exploring this historic city with dinner on your own. [Overnight - Holten Area Fletcher Hotel Sallandse Heuvelrug, Rijssen (B, D)]


Day 8 - Tuesday, July 18th
After breakfast, we say our farewells to Nijmegen before making a stop in Gorssel to discuss Operation Cannonshot and the crossing of the River IJssel. In Apeldoorn, liberated on April 17, we will take a moment at the 'The Man with Two Hats’, Canada’s National Monument. After lunch, we continue the drive up to Groningen, where we will pay attention to Operation Amherst, the last airborne operation carried out by French SAS paratroopers to support the Canadian advance. [Overnight - Groningen Fletcher Hotel Paterswolde (B, D)]


Day 9 - Wednesday, July 19th
After breakfast, we walk through Groningen with our fellow friend and battlefield guide Joël Stoppels, learning more about the Battle of Groningen. After lunch, we’ll visit the Canadian Liberation Forest in Groningen. Opened in 1995 on the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, you’ll find 30,000 maple trees here, planted to pay tribute to the Canadian troops who liberated the City. We then drive via Appingedam to the port of Delfzijl where the last fighting in the Netherlands took place during the Battle for the Delfzijl Pocket in April and May 1945. Tonight, enjoy our farewell dinner before we prepare for tomorrow’s journey home. [Overnight - Groningen Fletcher Hotel Paterswolde (B, D)]


Day 10 - Thursday, July 20th

This morning, after breakfast, we say our farewells to Groningen and head back to Amsterdam AMS Schiphol International Airport for our return flights home. [(B) Meals onboard]



Cafe Gondree .jpg

^^^ The Café Gondreé

Verrieres Ridge.jpg

^^^ Point 67 Memorial at Verrieres Ridge  


^^^ Juno Beach Memorial Park


^^^ A private visit at the Memorial Museum in Dieppe


^^^ Liberation Museum in Zealand 


^^^ the Sunset March in Nijmegen  

71078_fullimage_bocht van ameland groningen via marketing groningen.jpeg

^^^ Transfer North to Groningen 


^^^ The Canadian Liberation Forest in Groningen

***This itinerary is subject to changes*** 

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Thinking about arranging a custom pre-tour trip or post-tour trip extension? 
We encourage it! 

Coach & Hotel Space made available for a maximum of 24 people per 40 seat coach

Minimum Tour Capacity: 

15 Travellers per 30 seat coach


The Black Watch Tour | Inclusions

Tour pricing comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:



Some Lunches (L) & 
Some Dinners (D)


Single Room Supplement


Gratuities to your drivers and guides

Porterage (luggage handling to your room is available upon request)

Travel Insurance (please contact your travel agent / DH Tour if you need assistance booking medical or trip cancellation insurance)

Accommodations in Superior Tourist Class Hotels throughout (3-4*)


All Entrances as per your Itinerary

Full-Time Tour Manager & Escort


Transportation in fully air-conditioned, ozone filtered executive coaches


Breakfast (B) throughout, Most Dinners (D) and some Lunches (L)


Online Map Kit, Tour Resource & Info Guide


All service fees, surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

The Black Watch Tour | Pricing

O'Keefe's The Black Watch Canadian Battlefield Tour

Summer 2023

$5747 CAD

$1280 CAD

Land only - per person, based on twin occupancy

Single Supplement

**Air is available from all major Canadian cities - please contact your Travel Agent for more information**



Initial Deposit: $500, ($300 of which is non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately


Your Remaining Balance: Due 90 days prior to departure


All funds will be collected by our host agency, DH Tour. If you would like to use your credit card, our agency will collect your payment details over the phone after you have registered. DH Tour accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as cash and cheque payments. 

Personal cheques can be made to:

“DH Tour”

Attn to: Karen Burwood [Travel Manager]

Mail to: 

2289 Fairview Street, Suite 321,

Burlington, ON

L7R 2E3

Please review our Groups Terms & Conditions before booking with us.

Next Steps


Early registration is recommended for this battlefield program -  we suggest you register as soon as possible to hold your space


An initial deposit of $500 CAD ($300 is non-refundable) is due immediately to reserve/secure your spot.


Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure 

Have questions about our tour program? 

Our Host Travel Agent - DH Tour - KAREN BURWOOD
p: 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954

Tour contact info

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