Travel by Eurostar on this the perfect introduction to the First World War battlefields looking at the key battlefield sites of the Great War on the Western Front in Belgium and France. We take trips to the battlefield areas of Ypres and the Somme, and to Arras and Vimy Ridge on the 5-Day tour. We see the trenches in Sanctuary Wood, see the long lists names on the Menin Gate and Thiepval Memorial, and discover what the fighting in WW1 was all about. A memorable trip to understand the First World War and a perfect way to begin your battlefield journey.
You will stay for three nights at the 4-star Hotel Alize in Mouscron. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but snacks are available from the bar. There are also a number of restaurants and bars nearby. The hotel has a lift.
Lunchtime departure by Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Lille then transfer to our hotel in Belgium for a three-night stay.
Day 2 Ypres & Passchendaele
The tour starts in Flanders around the Belgian city of Ypres. Here, one in three of Britain’s Western Front dead fell by 1918 and it has been a place of pilgrimage ever since. We begin by looking at the commemoration of Britain’s dead at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British war cemetery in the world, taking time to also see the visitors’ centre. At Vancouver Corner we examine the use of gas in the trenches and see the moving ‘Brooding Soldier’ memorial to the Canadians who defended Ypres in 1915 and at Langemarck German Cemetery we see how Germany commemorated her dead and look at the story of ‘Fritz’ on the other side of No Man’s Land. After lunch at Hooge, we visit the preserved trenches at Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum, some of the last original WW1 trenches still surviving in Flanders together with an amazing collection of relics and stereoscopic photos. We then travel down the Messines Ridge to Ploegsteert to see the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing. Our day ends in Ypres where we attend the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial, held at 8pm each evening
Day 3 The Somme
The Battle of the Somme began on a summer’s day in July 1916 and ended in a snowstorm four and a half months later. It was a battle of contrasts from the blackest day when 57,000 became casualties to the first use of tanks and the change in approach to fighting on the Western Front.
We look at all these stories and start our tour at Peronne where we visit the excellent Historial de la Grande Guerre museum which helps to put into context not just our Somme day, but the whole tour.
We then see the Lochnagar Mine Crater at La Boisselle, the largest British mine crater surviving on the battlefields. After lunch we see the trenches in the Newfoundland Park and then take time to visit the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing which commemorates more than 72,000 missing soldiers on the Somme and see the new Somme Museum here.
Return to the U.K. by Eurostar this afternoon.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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