Day One (Outward):Local pick-up & travel to Dover. Ferry to Calais. Onward travel to your accommodation in/near Ypres (B&B for two nights). Check-in & evening free. (Note: This itinerary can be adapted for groups wishing to travel via P&O North Sea Ferries sailing overnight from Hull. Please ask our staff for details).
Day Two (Ypres & Passchendaele):
Follow the war in Flanders from the end of mobility to the creation of the Salient, the trench stalemate & the attrition of Passchendaele. Visits to:
Hooge: Importance of the high ground & the advantages this offered to the Germans.
Gheluvelt: Significance of the First Battle of Ypres & the formation of the Ypres Salient.
Langemark German Cemetery: The BEF in 1914 & decimation of the student battalions.
Pilckem Ridge: The first gas attack in April, 1915; an attempt to break the deadlock.
Lunch-time in Ypres: Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Grote Markt.
Essex Farm Cemetery & Dug-outs: The role of medics in WWI; casualty evacuation.
The Menin Road & Hellfire Corner: A major route to the Front Line; logistics & supplies.
Passchendaele Museum: Dug-out experience & recreated British & German trenches.
Tyne Cot Cemetery: The largest British War Cemetery with almost 12,000 casualties.
Free time in Ypres in the early evening before attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate at 8.00 pm to remember the fallen. Return to accommodation.
Day 3 (The Somme):
The Somme divides opinion to this day. For many, the British troops were "lions led by donkeys" whereas, across No Man's Land, the battle was regarded as "the muddy grave of the German army." Travel to the Somme to visit:
Ulster Tower: Site of the Schwaben Redoubt; attacked by the 36th Ulster Division.
Lunch-time in Albert (or include a packed lunch provided by your accommodation).
Thiepval Memorial to the Missing: Records the names of more than 72,000 men
Mash Valley: The 2nd Middlesex perished here as they advanced across No Man's Land.
Lochnagar Crater: Scene of the disastrous attack by the Tyneside brigades on 1st July.
Pozieres Ridge & Mouquet Farm: The German second line; captured by the Australians.
Travel to accommodation in Arras (B&B for one night). Check-in & evening free.
Day 4 (Vimy Ridge): Air power, artillery, mining operations & meticulous planning paved the way for the Canadian Corps' spectacular success in capturing a position the Germans believed to be impregnable.
Notre Dame de Lorette: High ground; fiercely contested by the French & Germans.
Vimy Ridge Canadian Memorial: Built on the site of the German strong-point on Hill 145.
Reconstructed Trenches: The trenches of both sides, now separated by mine craters.
Interpretive Centre: An audio-visual display explains the battle & Canada’s role in WWI.