Your Holiday Essentials
During this six day tour to Turkey we will visit and examine the main aspects of the Gallipoli campaign: the naval assault, the problems of landing against defended beaches at Cape Helles, the command, control and communication issues, the miracle that was ANZAC, the Turkish perspective, the conditions at Gallipoli, the Suvla Bay fiasco and discuss whether it was all worthwhile. All this is set against the exotic backdrop of Turkish history, culture, scenic beauty and cuisine - all of which we will have ample opportunity to explore. There are further opportunities to soak up the culture with our optional two-day extension to Istanbul including a guided tour of this beguiling and bustling city at the cross roads of Europe and Asia. As our flights depart London early morning, please let us know if you would like us to book you an overnight stay at the airport the night before the tour
Gallipoli was the scene of one of the great Allied failures of the First World War. In attempting to take Turkey out of the war, the assault on the Dardanelles ended in disastrous failure following a campaign that lasted from April 1915 to January 1916. The campaign saw some thirteen British and Empire divisions involved in a struggle against twenty Turkish divisions, with a total cost of 500,000 casualties.
- With WW1 expert Bruce Cherry
- The Dardanelles by boat and Suvla Bay
- British & ANZAC landings, at Cape Helles & Sulva Bay
- Extend your stay and explore the history and heritage of Istanbul
"Bruce Cherry is an exceptional guide & tries to personalise the tour for everyone. I also appreciated the excellent hotels and food on the tour"
Day 1 - Arrival
An early-morning flight from London sees us arrive in Istanbul early-afternoon. (Please let us know if you would like us to arrange an airport hotel for you). We take the long journey to the town of Gallipoli where we spend the first night of our tour. Pre-dinner drinks and introductory talk.
Day 2 - Naval and Amphibious Operations
This morning, following a detailed examination of the Turkish coastal defences from Kilitbahir to the hugely impressive national Turkish memorial, we visit the French-held sector before moving onto the 25th April landing beaches – S, V, W, X and Y Beaches; each with its own poignant story, including the ill-fated SS Clyde landings at V Beach, and the “six VCs before breakfast” won at W beach by the Lancashire Fusiliers. We’ll also spend some quiet time at the Helles Memorial for the Missing. We cross over the Dardenelles and to Çanakkale where we check in to our hotel for the remainder of the tour.
Day 3 - ANZAC
Following a fairly early start, we follow the coast road before turning off to ANZAC. The day’s highlights include the museum at Gaba Tepe and Anzac Cove, a climb up to Plugge’s Plateau, scene of fierce fighting, with its overview of ANZAC Cove and key features such as Razor Back and Shrapnel Valley and Lone Pine Ridge, where seven VCs were won. We also tour one of the many front-line ANZAC positions, such as Johnstone’s Jolly and Quinn’s Post. We visit the important sites of the August offensive such Sari Bair, Walker’s Ridge, the Gurkhas battle for Hill ‘Q’ and end our day at the Nek, the site of the ill-fated attack of the Australian Light Horse, immortalised in the film ‘Gallipoli’.
Day 4 - Helles Peninsular
We will walk a section of Gully Ravine, perhaps the most atmospheric yet least visited part of the battlefield. Our day will also see us studying the battles around the ‘Vineyard’. We’ll shift our focus to the Turkish perspective visiting some amazing memorials and the small village of Bigali where we find a museum dedicated to Ataturk. Returning to Çanakkale, we complete our day with a visit to the extraordinary naval museum and the Turkish gun positions at Ephez. This is followed again by dinner on the quayside.
Day 5 - Suvla Bay
Drive to beautiful Suvla Bay and examine the landings of August 6th 1915 at Nibrunesi Point and the baptism of fire for the Kitchener battalions such as the 6th Green Howards and the King’s Sandringham Company. Depending on weather conditions, we will take a short but telling walk to Lala Baba, or along a stretch of Kiretch Tepe; follow the failed attempt to break out at Hill 10, Chocolate Hill and Green Hill and the subsequent struggle for Scimitar Hill and Hill 60. We’ll also visit a small private museum at the village of Büyükanafarta. Finally we shall examine one of the most successful phases of the operation, the evacuation at Suvla Bay. Return to hotel and a final farewell dinner on the harbour-side.
Day 6 - Home
Drive to Istanbul to catch our flight to London.
Optional 2 day extension (bed and breakfast only).
Day 6 - Istanbul
Drive to Istanbul and check in to our centrally located hotel for two nights. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Day 7 - Sultanahmet
A full day guided exploration of the imperial quarter of Istanbul including the extraordinary Haghia Sophia, the imperial Topkapi Palace, the graceful Blue Mosque and the enchanting Grand Bazaar.
Day 8 - Home
A morning visit to the Turkish Military museum before a return flight from Istanbul to London.
Recommended Reading List
- Gallipoli (Wordsworth Military Library)
- Gallipoli: A Soldier’s Story
- The Spirit of Gallipoli
Your Holiday Essentials
Take a look at some of the images taken on our most recent tour
Take a look at some independent reviews of this tour by previous participants here