Bespoke Classic Western Front Tour

Bespoke Classic Western Front Tour

Tour Introduction

‘The War to end all War’s’ was fought bitterly for four years across a frontline that stretched from the English channel down to the Swiss border. The landscape of this vast stretch of Europe still bears the scars of the long war of attrition and offers up some fascinating battlefield explorations. Choosing to do this on tailor made basis means that you can either explore a wide range of battlefields spanning the whole war, or you can focus on a particular battle, campaign, nation or even regiment. One of the best opportunities exploring the Western front offers is the chance to track down the grave or memorial site of a relative, something that can be easily researched and included in your desired itinerary, making it a more personal pilgrimage. Many of the battlefields can be covered with relative ease and clearly followed. Dedicated museums and what seems to be endless Commonwealth War Grave sites offer good start and end points when exploring particular battlefields, and make following the stories of your particular interests easier. This is the perfect introduction to battlefield touring, or can serve as an ‘aide memoire’ to those more seasoned tourers and First World War experts. Pick any battlefields or aspects of the First World War you desire to design your perfect itinerary.

Our Tailor-made Tours

Our tailor-made tours aim to offer a high quality experience that suits you. Visit historic and cultural sites of your choice in as much luxury as you desire, and we’ll pay impeccable attention to detail at every step of the way. Whether it’s a short city break complete with museums and galleries or exploring the world’s most famous battlefields, we will do everything in our power to ensure you have the immersive experience you are looking for.

Accommodation

Accommodation can be provided in a range of hotels, from the small and traditional 2* to large 4* hotels or even in bed & breakfast accommodation. Whatever suits your budget. 

Transport

You may wish to make this a self drive tour or depending on the size of the group, transport will be provided in a people carrier or small minibus. For larger groups an executive coach will be provided.

Guide

An expert, local, english speaking guide can accompany you throughout or for part of your tour. 

The itinerary below encompasses most of the major battlefields on the western front and cover the whole war, but it can be amended to suit your specific requirements. If you would wish to add other 'off topic' visits to the itinerary for example a stay in Paris or picturesque Belgian town please let us know.

 

Background

Selected Bibliography 

 

Itinerary

This is merely a suggested itinerary and can be tailor made to your interests and needs;

Day 1 - Mons 1914. The first and last shots of the war were coincidently fired just outside Mons. Follow the course of that battle including Nimy railway bridge and the skirmish at Casteau. Overnight in Mons.

Day 2 - Le Cateau 1914. Visit the newly opened Mons museum and Obourg station. Thence to the last ‘one-day' battle at Le Cateau. Continue to Lille and check-in to your hotel for the next three nights.

Day 3 – Ypres 1914 - 1917. A full day spent examining the establishment of the Salient in 1914, its subsequent defence against the gas attacks of 1915 and the bloody assault at Passchendaele. We visit the recently updated ‘In Flanders Fields’ museum and attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Day 4 – Neuve Chapelle 1915. To Messines to examine the most successful allied offensive of the war: that of June 1917. Thence to the ‘blooding’ of the first empire troops at Neuve Chapelle in 1915.

Day 5 – The Somme 1916. A full day spent on the battlefield of the Somme including Serre, Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval, Pozieres, La Boiselle and Delville Wood. Check-in to your hotel in Arras for the next two nights.

Day 6 - Arras and Cambrai 1917. The battle of Arras, in particular Vimy Ridge including the Canadian Memorial, the Grange tunnels and trenches. In the afternoon we look at the tank battle of Cambrai at Louverval and Flesquieres

Day 7 – Kaiser’s Offensive 1918. We follow the German spring advance to Villers Brettonneux, Le Hamel and the tank battle at Cachy. Check in to your centrally located hotel in Amiens.

Day 8 – Advance to Victory 1918. Drive back over the ‘old’ Somme battlefield following the final offensive of the war, and consider the recapture of Albert, the crossing of St Quentin Canal and complete our tour besides Wilfred Owen’s grave at Ors. 

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