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Commemorate the Armistice Day Centenary in Belgium and the WW1 Battlefields

  • Thiepval Memorial, Somme

    Thiepval (NCN)
  • Thiepval and Visitor Centre, Somme

    Thiepval and Visitor Centre NCN)
  • Spanbroekmolen – The Pool of Peace - WW1 Battlefields

    Spanbroekmolen – The Pool of Peace - WW1 Battlefields
  • Memorial Museum Passchendaele

    Memorial Museum Passchendaele, WW1 Battlefields (AFR-NCN)
  • Commonwealth War Grave © In Flanders Fields Museum

    Belgium, Armistice, Commonwealth War Grave ©In Flanders Fields Museum
  • Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial

    Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial (AFR-NCN)
  • Menin Gate, Ypres

    Menin Gate, Ypres, WW1 Battlefields Armistice
4 day tour
From £122 per person

Best Seller – Tried, Tested and Improved

November 2018 observes the centenary of Armistice day, which marked the end of fighting in World War 1. During 2018, events will take place throughout the affected regions to commemorate this poignant moment in history. Ypres was the site of a series of battles which which were decisive in the outcome of this global conflict.

In June 2017, Greatdays staff undertook a familiarisation trip to the WW1 Battlefields and visited the hotels, museums and cemeteries featured in this tour.  Therefore, we have plenty of suggestions in order to add personal touches to your commemoration tour.

Although it is difficult to imagine the suffering and the sacrifice that took place, or the horrendous conditions in which men lived and fought, your informative Battlefields guide will bring the stories of these soldiers to life. Delve into this emotional time in history at the award winning ‘In Flanders Fields’ museum and the Wellington Quarries. These evocative attractions take you on an enlightening journey from the declaration of the First World War in Belgium and France through to the Armistice. Engage in sombre reflection at the cemeteries where Allied and German soldiers are laid to rest. Experience the emotion of visiting the remains of the trenches, where millions of young men fought and died.

There is no time more poignant to visit the WW1 Battlefields than the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, which ended ‘the War to end all Wars’.


Dates

2018 dates available on request


Suggested Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Flanders

Arrive in Flanders.  If time permits, begin exploring the area.

Day 2

In Flanders Fields

Visit the Flanders Battlefields around Ypres, the heartland of the WW1 military action. Ypres lies right in the centre and offers easy access to many of the  sites. The Ypres salient was the focal point of many major battles and offers an insight into history.

In Flanders Fields Museum

Why not begin the day at the ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ which has been renovated and improved in recent years. Located in the former Cloth Halls of Ypres, in the centre of the town, the museum presents the story of WW1 in the West Flanders front region. Using bracelets given to you on arrival, you can activate the exhibits and read accounts of people from the First World War, tailored to be personal to yourself. There are also several films showing clips of the battles and a retelling of life in a WW1 Hospital. (N.B. The museum is closed for most of January and on Mondays between November and March.)

The 14-18 Route – Battlefields and Memorials

Head out of Ypres on a guided coach excursion around the 14-18 route. The tour normally stops at Essex Farm where John McCrae wrote his famous ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem, Langemarck Cemetery which is one of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region and Tyne Cot Cemetery which is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. The contrast of the gleaming white headstones of Tyne Cot and the simple grey stones of Langemarck, surrounded by oak trees, both places of remembrance, but markedly different.

Other sites including Hill 62 Museum / Sanctuary Wood and the Irish Peace Tower in the Island of Ireland Peace Park can be visited but more time may be required.

Last Post at the Menin Gate

Finish your day at the Menin Gate to witness the emotional Last Post Ceremony. Held every evening at 20.00hrs, during the war this was the call for all soldiers fighting in the fields outside the gates to head back to the city for the evening. However, many did not return back through the gates. The tradition continues each evening to this day and is one of the most poignant elements to any battlefields tour. We recommend arriving early to be able to see the ceremony taking place and the wreaths being carried.

Day 3

The Somme Battlefields

The Somme Battlefields, site of much additional fighting lie just over the border in northern France and complement the tour to the battlefields of the Flanders region.

The Somme Battlefields and Memorials

Starting with a guided tour, there are several sites you can visit. Lochnagar Crater, the largest crater of its kind at 300ft, created from charges packed into a tunnel and yet only one of 17 mines that blew up on 1st July 1916.

Thiepval Memorial is a striking memorial to over  72,000 officers and men of the UK and South African forces who have no known grave. Their names are inscribed on the walls. There is also a small cemetery at the site where French and Commonwealth soldiers lie side by side, their gravestones marking the difference of armies. A visit to the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a focal point of this day and a sombre experience.

Visit Ulster Tower, Northern Ireland’s national war memorial and one of the first Memorials to be erected on the Western Front and commemorates the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division and all those from Ulster who served in WW1. We also recommend visits to Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, Delville Wood or simply one of the many small roadside cemeteries, as the haunting history of the area is hard to miss.

Arras and Wellington Quarries

End the day with a visit to  Arras and Wellington Quarries. Almost completely rebuilt after being destroyed during the Battle of Arras in WW1, perhaps discover the historic streets and Flemish-style architecture of the squares. However, the town’s history lies not only above ground – under the streets of Arras lie a warren of chalk quarries that proved a strategic base for numerous assaults in WW1. The evocative Wellington Quarries museum relates the story of some 24,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers stationed there, 20m underground in 1917.

Day 4

Depart

If time allows, take in some final sightseeing before departing from Flanders.


Suggested hotels – Both inspected by Greatdays Staff  in June 2017

Novotel Ieper Centrum ****

An old favourite with Greatdays customers, the Novotel Ieper Centrum is located in the centre of Ypres just a short stroll from the ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum and the Menin Gate. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, bath or shower and tea/coffee making facilities. Coach parking is at the train station.

Best Western Plus Alize, Mouscron ****

Located in Mouscron just over the border from France, the hotel is in the city centre and has 58 stylish and comfortable rooms with large flat-screen TV, free internet, tea/coffee facilities, hairdryer and en-suite bathrooms. There is free coaching parking in front of the hotel and an onsite bar, snack bar, fitness room and sauna.

Ibis Styles Lille Marcq en Baroeul ***

This 3-star hotel features stylish, spacious and fully-renovated rooms. Located less than 15 minutes from the city centre, it is a great base for exploring Lille and popping across into Belgium. Facilities include a 24-hour reception, a restaurant, bar with terrace and conference rooms. The hotel is also located a short walk from a tramway providing direct access into Lille and Roubaix in approx 20mins. Free onsite coach car parking is also available. A favourite with Greatdays groups this year!


Specialised Battlefield Tour

If you require a WW1 anniversary tour that is more specialised to a particular site or area then please let us know and we can tailor-make the tour to suit your requirements. There are numerous cemeteries, war graves and monuments dedicated to certain battalions, regions are division that can be included on tours.

Other areas including the Battle of Verdun and Mons, where the first and last shots of the war were fired, are possible along with tours specifically looking at The Somme or the Ypres Salient. We can also offer a selection of ideas for a tour to the WW2 Battlefields in Normandy.

If this tour is not quite right for you, please see below for a selection of other tours incorporating the WW1 and WW2 Battlefields.

WW1 Battlefields Mini-Cruise

The 3 B’s of Belgium – Blankenberge, Battlefields and Bruges

Picardy – Poignant and Picturesque

Mons Military Weekend – ‘Tanks in Town’ – NEW TOUR

Normandy, World War II and D-Day Landing Beaches

 


  3 nights commencing: Half Twin  Single Supplement
Ibis Styles Marcq en Baroeul 12th or 19th October 2018 From £122.00 per person From £48.00 per person
Best Western Plus Alize, Mouscron 16th November 2018 From £172.00 per person From £78.00 per person
Novotel Ieper Centrum 20th September or 16th October 2018 From £219.00 per person From £116.00 per person

Other dates and hotels are available.

Send an Enquiry


Price based on exchange rate of £1.00 = €1.124. All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with one free place in a single room. Both are based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Picture is for illustrative purposes only. Greatdays Holidays Limited are a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if unvalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at info@greatdays.co.uk

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