We visit the Somme battlefield to see the Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel, the Ulster Tower and the Pozieres battlefield. We also visit the National War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, before going to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Stay two nights at Hotel Kasteelhof’t Hooghe. (D)
Overnight: Hotel Kasteelhof’t Hooghe (or similar)
We spend today in the Ypres Salient to see some of the most important sites that remain: John McCrae’s Dressing Station at Essex Farm Cemetery, Messines Ridge, Hooge Crater, Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Military Cemetery. Walk the moonscape of the Hill 60 battlefield and see dozens of memorials to British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian regiments and units. This evening we attend the Last Post ceremony. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Kasteelhof’t Hooghe (or similar)
On the Fromelles battlefield, we visit the new Pheasant Wood Cemetery. We also see where Adolf Hitler served and the bunker he is reputed to have used as a billet. We cross the Loos battlefield on our way to the Canadian Memorial Park at Vimy Ridge, where we take a trench and tunnel tour (weather permitting) and spend time at the massive and imposing Vimy Memorial. Our tour ends in Lille. (B)
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from Lille Europe Station, The Meeting Point, Gare de Lille-Europe, 59800, Lille at 8.30am. Please ensure you are at the 'Meeting Point', which you'll find in Hall 2, at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
The tour finishes at 6.00pm at Lille Europe Station, The Meeting Point, Gare de Lille-Europe, 59800, Lille.
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.
“This was a tour with a specific purpose – to visit the battlefields where my grandfather fought. We did that and left feeling I had gained so much more knowledge and insight. Emotionally I felt quite drained. Our tour leaders, Tony and Simon, were brilliant. The trip more than met my expectations. I am so grateful you run this tour.”
“Tony was willing to go out of his way to see if he could find out more about my relative who died in WW1. He explained facts about his death and took us to the area in which he fought. I cannot thank him enough. He was excellent.”
“Wow! Wonderful tour. Our guide Tony was outstanding. We learned so much in a short time. The three day tour was just right for us. Felt very moved by our country’s contribution although at enormous cost in lives.”
“The tour leader/driver’s professionalism towards passengers as well as the family visits and the graves/memorials of the fallen has to be commended. Joe ensured that every person got the most out of every visit/stop. His knowledge and statistics is amazing. Thanks Joe, you made this trip memorable.”
“Tony’s knowledge of the WW1 battlefields is so thoroughly detailed and comprehensive, I couldn’t imagine having a better guide. He was able to assist tour member to find the relatives they sought, and permit then time and privacy to make their tributes without the rest of the group feeling abandoned. Brilliant.”
“Congratulations on being an excellent company. Our tour guide/driver, Andy Steel, kept us interested. This was a huge but most amazing experience. Thank you very much.”
Mark's knowledge added an extra dimension. The ability to connect individual stories to major events of WW1 was excellent. The highlight of my tour was visiting memorials.
|"Fantastic success! Really enjoyed the tour which was very informative, well planned and in great company- Mark was a brilliant host and could not have been more helpful."|
“I'd like to thank Matt for his obvious passion for what he does. He has brought to life things I have read about and seen on TV. He has presented a picture pf the reality of this awesome conflict and brought to life the horrible conditions these young men faced. His thorough knowledge of each destination is a credit to him and his personable nature is a great asset.”
"Our guide not only very effectively explained the different battlefields with their layout, the importance of terrain and the strategies involved he strongly evoked the horrors that the brave foot soldiers faced from the terrifying weaponry used. Not forgetting the appalling conditions they endured. It's hard looking at the green rolling hills of today to imagine the enormous devastation and the slaughter on a massive scale that occurred here a hundred years ago but our guide certainly managed to make us relive it with his impressive commentary and jaw dropping knowledge. No question fazed him. We on the tour all thought it was wonderful."
"There were things that made the tour - the first was Andy's enthusiasm and his genuine interest in making sure that personal places of interest were found. He was an excellent tour leader. The second was that Andy created an atmosphere which encouraged a group dynamic that was interesting, fun and empathetic. We had fun! My highlight of this tour was seeing places where my grandfather fought."
“We have just enjoyed a WW1 Battlefields Tour with Mark. His knowledge was extensive and his coach driving skills were extremely smooth. He supported all who needed assistance willingly whenever necessary. A truly valuable and worthwhile experience. Many thanks Mark!”
“On the 31st May this year we joined a WWI Battlefield Weekend bus tour. We would like to thank your company for a most enjoyable, informative and educational experience. A special thank you to our tour guide Tony Wade who was not only knowledgeable, but went out of his way so we could visit a family member's grave at Vignacourt. Not only could he answer all questions, he was able to think on his feet when a bus problem occurred. We feel that the entire group was very happy to be in the hands of this capable man. We certainly are recommending your company to others and hope to join you again in the near future.”
“The personalised, friendly service is what really makes this tour. Nothing is too much troube and the guide endeavours to include everyone's requests wherever possible. My highlight of this tour was being able to locate lost relatives and the knowledge of our tour guide Mark.”
“Mark's knowledge and enthusiasm for the tour greatly enhances the experience of all on board. He is able to be flexible and adapt the tour for those who have personal connections and relatives resting in the various cemeteries. Very enjoyable, I will be back!”