An emotive trip across Europe's Battlefields
A short rail journey to Lille takes us close to the Battlefields of Ypres and the Somme, two of the most infamous and iconic sites of the First World War. We also explore the fascinating city of Lille on a guided tour which includes a traditional beer and waffle tasting.
Our tour begins at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras International, where you meet your group and Tour Manager, a specialist in battlefields history, and board the Eurostar to Lille. On arrival we transfer to the Novotel Lille Centre for a four-night stay.
Our excursion today takes us by coach to the Ypres area, the centre of intense fighting. During our time in the area we visit Poperinge - the most important town behind the lines. Here we visit Talbot House. Known as 'Toc H', Talbot House was somewhere for soldiers to use as a retreat - an 'everyman's club' - where rank had no relevance. We then visit Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery, and Langemark, the last resting place of 44,000 German soldiers.
We continue to Ypres, a city which was nearly destroyed by the four years of fighting but is now remarkably restored to its former glory. Here we visit the Cloth Hall to explore the insightful 'In Flanders Fields' Museum. After free time to explore Ypres, we meet up this evening to walk to the Menin Gate - the famous 'Memorial to the Missing' - and witness the moving Last Post ceremony.
This morning we are joined by a local guide for a walking tour of delightful Lille. During the tour we pass some of the city's main sights, including the 15th century Palais Rihour, the Grand Place and the Notre Dame Cathedral. We also enjoy a tasting of two of Lille's local specialities: beer and waffles. Your afternoon is at leisure.
We travel by coach to the immense Lochnagar Crater, formed by an exploding mine. We continue to Thiepval, a striking memorial dedicated to the missing of the Somme. Our next visit, on our return towards Lille, is to Vimy Ridge then we continue to the Australian cemetery and VC Corner in nearby Fromelles.
After breakfast this morning, we take the Eurostar back to London where you tour concludes.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 12 verified reviews
Well organised from start to finish
An excellent itinerary coupled with an experienced and very knowledgeable Tour Manager.
Very well organised, very informative
Wonderfully organised Superb guide John Elder. Excellent hotel in Lille. The trip was well paced with 2 long days of tours with a walking tour of Lille and free time between the two. Excellent guide on the Lille walking tour. Cannot fault the experience.
Enjoyed it, usual high standard from GRJ.
All down to the Tour Guide/Tour Manager - John Hamill was first class throughout. The hotel was well located and of a good standard.
The tour season was a true experience Everybody on the trip were social and the tour guide brought the scenery to life A trip that will remain with me for the rest of my life
The staff at St.Pancras were excellent. The Tour was planned with an excellent tour manager and coach driver who both went the extra mile to ensure that our visits were enjoyable. Piers, the guide, helped me to fulfill a promise made several years ago, and that was to lay a wreath on my uncles grave. Once again many thanks to the tour manager and driver.
The tour manager was excellent and made the trip very interesting
An excellent though very moving trip. Piers was superb, doing his best to find all the cemeteries and graves of interest to members of the party. The visit to Talbot house was wonderful and the larger graveyards very emotional. The use of poems provided by Piers at each stop added to the poignancy. First rate - thank you!
An emotive trip across Europe's Battlefields