The Somme: Once more into the breach…

Battlefield Tours

The Somme: Once more into the Breach…

First and Second Battles of the Somme

(Four day battlefield tour of the Somme)

 

 

The Somme, the name resonates through World War One military history. It was here on 1st July 1916 that the British Army suffered possibly its worst day receiving almost 55,000 casualties. But many people forget that a second battle took place in 1918 which led to the beginning of the end of the Great War with the Advance to Victory.

This four day battlefield tour looks at both great battles of 1916 and 1918 and covers all the key sites and memorials including Thiepval, Villers-Bretonneux and Arras memorials. We look at and consider the actions involved and the various characters including the famous World War One poets who bravely fought in this region of France.

 

Itinerary

World War I Group ToursDay One: From your UK collection point we will travel to Dover and upon crossing the channel make our way from Calais to Arras where we will where we will book into our three star hotel just a short stroll from the centre of town.

Day Two: Starting at the extreme right of the British line, we tour across the battlefield to Delville Wood, ground that was hard fought over by the South African Brigade. We then travel along the Longueval Ridge to Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, past High Wood and on to the smallest wood on the Somme; Mametz Wood, contested by the 38th Welsh Division, visiting the spectacular Welsh Dragon Memorial which faces the wood. We then move on to Devonshire Trench, a place that is forever England. Lunch is taken at a local tea room (lunch included in price).

The Somme ToursThe afternoon takes us to the northern sector of the battlefield where we can stand in the Sunken Lane where the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers waited to advance on the morning of the 1st July 1916. A walk around Newfoundland Park with its preserved trenches brings the futility of the battle to one’s senses. After stopping at Ulster Tower we shall pay our respects to the missing of the Somme at Thiepval Memorial and spend some time at their visitor centre. Finally we view the largest British mine crater on the Western Front; Lochnagar. As well as the above sites there will be a number of impromptu stops along the way where the guide will bring the battle so vividly to life.

Day Three: Today we look at the actions that took place on the southern section of the Somme including the Battles of Amiens, Villers-Bretonneux, Le Hamel and Albert as well as following the general Commonwealth advance in this region through to Mont St Quentin. We visit many of the cemeteries and memorials that mark these events including the Sir John Monash Centre set in the grounds of Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, due to open in April 2018.

Battlefield Tours

Day Four: Before our return homeward journey to Calais we will visit Fromelles and look at the two battles that were fought in this area in 1915 and 1916. We’ll visit Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, VC Corner, the Australian Memorial Park with the famous ‘Cobbers’ statue and Pheasant Wood Cemetery containing the graves of Australian soldiers discovered in four large burial pits at the rear of the wood.

WW1 Battlefield Tours

 

Included In Your Tour

Battlefield visits as described in itinerary

Battlefield Guide and tour manager

Central Accommodation with continental breakfast

Lunch on tour days where specified

Entrance to all museums and places of interests visited

Return ferry crossing

Information pack

Executive coach or minibus travel including complimentary hot and cold drinks, bottled water and light snacks during the tour

Dates

17 – 20 July 2018 

Cost

£495* per person

*Price is based on two people sharing

Total single supplement – £120

Major credit cards accepted

We pick up passengers from:

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Toddington Services, M1 Motorway

South Mimms Services, M25

Ashford, Kent

Port of Dover

Click here for full details

Hotel Accommodation

You will be staying at the 3 star Holiday Inn Express Arras. This wonderful central location allows you to walk to the best restaurants and most historic landmarks of Arras town centre.

Arras is justifiably famous for its two stunning town squares. These opulent spaces speak of its history as a major trading centre: the town hall is a fine example of 16th century Flemish gothic architecture.

The hotel features a bar/lounge and rooms are equipped with a television, complimentary Wi-Fi, hairdryer and coffee and tea making facilities.

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For many people a trip to the battlefields is a personal pilgrimage and the chance to visit a long lost relative’s grave or see their name on a memorial. If you would like to stop at a memorial or specific cemetery to pay your respects we will do everything we can to include this in the tour.