The ‘Crimson Coast’ was a name given to the French and Belgium coastline during the First World War when it became a place of sacrifice, with men dying in the hospitals along the French coast and the end of the Western Front seeing heavy fighting in Flanders: the fields here being covered in the crimson of poppy fields. This new tour looks at a range of often neglected subjects, from the Etaples Mutiny of 1917 to women in WWI and the use of foreign labour behind the lines; as well as what was going on in the trenches of Flanders. We also visit the grave of John McCrae, and see where he wrote the immortal ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem at Essex Farm near Ypres.
Local departure by coach, then to Belgium for a four-night stay.
We begin the tour at GHQ – General Headquarters in Montreuil-sur-Mer. The town housed the heart of the British Army on the Western Front and was where Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig directed much of the fighting. We see where GHQ was and visit the Haig Statue. After lunch, in the seaside town of Etaples, we look at its role in WW1 as the main British Base Depot and see the huge Lutyens designed Etaples Military Cemetery, close to the site of the ‘Bull Ring’ where the Etaples Mutiny began in 1917. At Wimereux we see the grave of Colonel John McCrae, who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ and end the day at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery visiting the grave of WW1 poet Julien Grenfell who wrote ‘Into Battle’.
Location: Belgian Coast
Returning to the Crimson Coast in France we look at the role of Dunkirk and De Panne in WW1 before seeing where the end of the Western Front was at Nieuport in Belgium. After lunch, we visit the new Battle of Yser visitors centre with time to see the King Albert Memorial, as well as the British Nieuport Memorial. We then travel to Ostend to see the bow of HMS Vindictive used in ‘commando’ raids on the Belgian coast in 1918 and at Zeebrugge look at one such raid which took place here in April 1918.
Location: Flanders & Ypres
We start the day in Flanders at Poperinghe looking at life behind the lines with a visit to Talbot House. Opened by two army chaplains, the Toc H organisation started here and it is now a ‘living museum’. We also see the Death Cells in Poperinghe and look at the subject of military executions. After lunch we visit the Yser Tower Museum at Diksmuide and the nearby Trenches of Death, where the Belgian Army held the line for four years. Travelling down to Ypres we stop at Essex Farm where John McCrae wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915 before attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, held each evening at 8pm.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Boasting over 35 years’ experience and an interesting and varied selection of planned itineraries, Leger Holidays has become the leading provider of escorted touring holidays across the UK, Europe and beyond. In addition to being able to take you to the most incredible destinations throughout the world, this award-winning company provides an excellent choice of experiences and great-value escorted tours to ensure you get the very most out of your holiday. With Ledger Holidays, you can relax in the knowledge that everything will be taken care of from the moment you book.
When it comes to selecting the perfect escorted holiday destination, Ledger Holidays spoils you for choice. Want to visit one of the best destinations in Europe this year? No problem. Ledger Holidays can take you to France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Croatia or even Switzerland. If you want to go further afield and discover a breathtaking bucket list destination, you can visit India, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Canada or the USA. But if you prefer the idea of a staying closer to home, Ledger Holidays has you covered with a range of fantastic touring holidays in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Then there’s the wide array of exciting experiences and to choose from. No matter which destination you pick, you can join fully escorted tours with trained drivers, expert local guides and highly experienced crews. Ledger Holidays offers more than 180 tours and excursions, which means you never have to waste precious time planning and organising your trips and experiences. Simply select the escorted tours that excite you the most, then sit back, relax and let Ledger Holidays take care of the rest. Enjoy a thrilling weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, go on a grand alpine adventure in Austria or explore the Baltic capitals and highlights of Scandinavia. Alternatively, discover the jewels of Croatia, see the very best of Jersey or tour the must-see sites in Israel’s old city of Jerusalem – your options are endless.
If you want to book a specific kind of escorted touring holiday, Ledger Holidays offers a huge variety of holiday and tour types, such as battlefield tours, motorsport weekend breaks, winter wonderland holidays, Grand Explorer tours, walking holidays and even short breaks to some of the world’s most famous Christmas markets. Ledger Holidays also offers Luxuria Signature Collection holidays, which combine state-of-the-are coach travel with some of Europe’s most unique luxury hotels in the most spectacular locations.
As a family-run company, Ledger Holidays is committed to providing amazing value for money and an impressive collection of ABTA and ATOL protected escorted holidays for families, groups, couples and solo travellers. From coach tours, holidays by air and train experiences to resort-based tours, relaxing river cruises and festive holidays, Ledger Holidays has something to suit each budget and every type of traveller.