Behind the Front Lines

5 days from £589pp

About the tour: Behind the Front Lines

Tour Introduction

Life behind the lines was an important part of a soldier’s experience in the First World War. On this new tour we look at three key areas to get an understanding of what medics, padres, nurses and soldiers did out of the trenches. We’ll explore a range of significant battlefield sites in the Somme and Flanders, and along the Crimson Coast, including Vimy Ridge, Bailleulmont and Bellewaarde Ridge, before attending the move Last Post Ceremony.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
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(Deposits from £150pp)

Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  2. Send payments via online banking.
  3. Send payments via cheque.
  4. Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Local departure by coach, then to our hotel in Northern France for a four-night stay.

Day 2 - Crimson Coast: Etaples to Vimy

Our tour begins along the coast belt of Northern France where the main military hospitals were located, often called the ‘Crimson Coast’. We visit Wimereux Communal Cemetery to hear the story of Canadian poet John McCrae who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’, and then travel to Etaples for the story of the ‘Bullring’ Training Camp, also seeing the vast Etaples Military Cemetery. After lunch we we head to Saint Pol for the story of the selection of the Unknown Warrior in 1919, and then follow a route to the front line via Mont St Eloi, where British and Canadian soldiers gathered for the Battle of Arras in April 1917. Our final visit of the day is the battlefield at Vimy Ridge, having followed a typical route of soldiers from the coast to the front during the war.

Included meals: Breakfast

Etaples Military Cemetery

Etaples Military Cemetery (6)

Key Visits

  • Vimy Trenches
  • Etaples Military Cemetery
  • Wimereux
  • Vimy Ridge Memorial
  • Saint Pol
  • Mont Saint Eloi

Day 3 - Behind the Lines on the Somme

Today we travel to the Somme battlefields and begin with a look at the story of men who were ‘Shot at Dawn’ for military crimes in WW1. At Bailleulmont we see the graves of the men executed, including Albert Ingham, whose father used the ‘Shot at Dawn’ phrase on his headstone. We uncover the details of the evacuation and treatment of the wounded at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, and then have lunchtime in Doullens with a visit to the Town Hall, which was used as a Headquarters in March 1918. In the afternoon we travel to Vignacourt, where a museum displays a unique collection of images of Great War soldiers taken by a local photographer. We then visit Puchevillers British Cemetery, before ending the day in Henencourt – a typical village where soldiers were billeted on the Somme and did their training.

Included meals: Breakfast

Doullens Town Hall

Doullens Town Hall (7)

Key Visits

  • Doullens Town Hall
  • Puchevillers British Cemetery
  • Bagneux British Cemetery
  • Vignacourt Museum
  • Shot At Dawn – Bailleulmont
  • Henencourt Chateau

Day 4 - Behind the Lines in Flanders

We start at Bailleul, one of the main towns used by the British Army in Flanders, and visit the Military Cemetery here, which is close to the site of Casualty Clearing Stations and the Royal Flying Corps aerodrome. We then look at Godewaersvelde – ‘God Wears Velvet’ to the soldiers – and pay our respects at the grave of a nurse killed in Flanders. After lunchtime in Poperinghe, we look at those Shot at Dawn with a visit to the ‘Death Cells’, afterwards heading to Talbot House, a Belgian townhouse opened by padres for the use of all soldiers as a place to escape the war. We then follow a route to the front line via the site of the army camps up to the battlefield at Bellewaarde Ridge. After free-time in Ypres for dinner, we attend the moving Last Post Ceremony.

Included meals: Breakfast

Talbot House

Talbot House (7)

Key Visits

  • Last Post Ceremony
  • Poperinghe
  • Talbot House
  • Mine Crater at Bellewaarde
  • Bailleul Communal Cemetery
  • Godewaersvelde British Cemetery

Day 5

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

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You will stay for four nights at the Ibis Styles Arras Centre.

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Silver Service Coach

Silver Service, refreshments
Silver Service, lounge
Silver Service, entertainment

Silver Service Features

  • Sit back and relax in specially-designed, deluxe reclining seats, with leather headrests, footrests and more legroom than standard coaches.
  • Enjoy the perfect temperature onboard with climate control.
  • Relax and have a chat in the spacious rear lounge.
  • Servery on board offering a range of refreshments.
  • Porterage* at most hotels, so you really don’t have to lift a finger.
  • Time flies with our onboard entertainment system.
  • With free personal headphones you can tune into the music channel, listen to the radio or watch DVDs.
  • Onboard toilet

Silver Service Seating Plan


Travel Extras

With an overnight stay or the option to meet us at the interchange, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Join coach at Interchange

Join your tour coach at the interchange.

On most tours if you’d prefer to join your tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your car in the car park which is accredited by the Park Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is made on arrival using the self-service machines.

Excludes tours to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany Ferries.

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