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The Western Front

Prices start from:

£289

per person

3 -
5 Days
World War 1
Belgium, France
12 - 200 travellers

Overview

The Western Front stretched all the way from the North Sea coast of Belgium to the Swiss border, covering over 400 miles.  During our tour we will be looking at some of the key battles which took place along this front line, including the four major battles fought in Flanders Fields, where more than 250,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers gave their lives and The Battle of the Somme, which started on the 1st July 1916 and by the end of the day, the British had suffered over 60,000 casualties.

For four long years Flanders Fields was the scene which epitomised the horrors of the Great War and at the heart of the Salient lies Ypres, where each evening the ‘Last Post’, the traditional final salute to the Fallen, is still played in honour of the British and Empire soldiers who lost their lives. 

The Battle of the Somme saw one of the biggest battles of the Great War, it was not the decisive breakthrough it was intended to be and for many this is the battle that epitomizes the horrors of war, symbolising the futility of trench warfare.  

What’s included

Full services of an executive coach, departing from your chosen area
Return Channel Crossings with Eurotunnel or P&O Ferries
Full services of our Expert Battlefield Guide
Bed and Breakfast accommodation at a hotel in a suitable location
Entrance to two museums of your choice
Tailormade itinerary
Full administration and booking service
24 hours on call Duty Manager whilst tour is operating

Not included

Meals other than those shown
Items not clearly shown as included
Travel Insurance
Single supplement available on request

Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary for a 3 day tour, all tours are personalised and once your tour is booked your expert guide will get in touch to start working with you to produce an itinerary for your bespoke tour.
Day 1:
Ypres
Departing from your chosen pick up point, it is an early start, as we make our way to the coast for our crossing, en-route we will pick up our guide who will give a full introduction into the First World War. Starting our tour at Essex Farm, site of an advanced dressing station and now a CWGC Cemetery, this was the location where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” and amongst those buried here are Pte Strudwick, who died at only 15 years old and VC recipient Pte Barratt. Vancouver Corner is the site of the first ever large-scale gas attack and we will learn more about this type of warfare, under the watchful eye of ‘The Brooding Soldier”, the memorial is dedicated to the men of the Canadian First Division. One of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region, at Langemark German Cemetery, we compare the stark contrasts to our own cemeteries, including a mass grave containing 25,000 soldiers and hear some of the stories associated with this cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place of many unexperienced young students and also has the name of “Studentenfriedhof” (Student’s Cemetery). Next we make our way to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, an interactive exhibition giving a good overview of the Battles of Ypres, with emphasis on the horrific Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The Museum’s reconstructed dugouts and trenches bring the battlefield to life and allow you to experience first-hand the miserable conditions of underground warfare. Our final visit today is Tyne Cot CWGC Cemetery, hear more about the third battle of Ypres and the misery of the mud at the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world. Then we head to Ypres to check in at our hotel.
Day 2:
Ypres
Another full day today exploring the battlefields in Flanders Fields, starting with a visit to Messines where the battle started on the 7th June 1917 with the detonation of 19 mines under the German lines, the devastation they caused can still be seen in the preserved craters at St. Eloi and Spanbroekmoelen. A short drive then takes us to one of the few sites in the area where preserved trenches can still be found, in this case a section of restored German support trenches including four bunkers and two mine shafts, you will be told all about the Battle of Messines from the German perspective. Following the story of mining, we make a stop at Hill 60, a small area of elevated land in an otherwise flat landscape, still showing the battle scars from over a hundred years ago, with craters and bunkers. At Hooge Crater Museum, the war comes to life, with full scale reconstructions of war scenes, an extensive medical display, including an original Ford T Ambulance and reconstructed German and British trenches. Learn about how the trenches were built and gain a greater understanding of trench diseases and their treatment. Heading back to Ypres, we will visit the Menin Gate, to hear the story of this “Memorial to the Missing” and the Last Post Association. This evening you will attend the Last Post Ceremony.
Day 3:
The Somme
This morning we head for the Somme, en-route our guide will tell us about the first day of the Battle of the Somme and show us supporting videos. Our first stop sees us at Sheffield Memorial Park, where we learn about the Pals Battalions and the New Model Army. Then it is onto Newfoundland Park, which is on grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their attack on the 1st July 1916, resulting in them being all but wiped out. Ulster Tower stands proudly as a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division, who would go on to win nine Victoria Crosses during the Somme offensive and at the entrance to the Tower is a plaque commemorating their names. Overlooking the battlefields is Thiepval, the largest British Memorial in the world and here we will learn more about some of the names found amongst over 72,000 inscribed on this Memorial. Just a short drive on we will stop at Lochnager Crater, the result of a huge mine that was placed under the German lines and whose massive explosion signalled the start of the Battle of the Somme. Here we take time to discuss underground warfare and the reasons behind this type of fighting. Fricourt German Cemetery contains around 17,000 burials of which only 5,057 have an individual grave, communal graves contain the remainder of the dead. The famous German pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, who was shot down and died on 21st April 1918, was buried here for a time before his body was moved and taken back to Germany. Our final stop today before we start to make our way back to Calais sees us at Devonshire Cemetery where we learn more about the Devon’s on the first day of the Somme and in particular William Noel Hodgson the poet, who was killed on the first day of the battle and is buried in the Cemetery.

All our tours and itineraries are tailormade and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Pricing options

People

Days

Price per person

48
3
from £289 pp
48
4
from £379 pp
48
5
from £469 pp

Our sample prices are per person, based on the number of passengers shown (sharing twin/double rooms) and are provided to show you what a tour of this type could cost with our company. All prices are subject to availability and prices may vary depending on your bespoke package, what is included and the number of people travelling.

Prices start from:

£289

per person

All our tours and itineraries are bespoke and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Why travel with us
Got a question?

We would be happy to talk to you about your tour requirements, please get in touch to talk to an expert.

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