Crimson Coast

5 days from £569pp

About the tour: Crimson Coast

  • Campaign: The Great War (WW1)
  • Campaign Dates Covered: Oct 1914 - May 1918

This tour will cover the following key events

  • Battle of the Yser - 16 October 1914
    The Battle of the Yser spanned the whole four years of the war and miraculously the Belgian Army managed to hold the lines along the Yser river for the whole of WW1. However, in 1914 the German Army almost pushed the Belgians back and it was only due to the flooding of the land, and a newly built defence system, that the Germans were stopped from reaching the Channel ports.
  • Zeebrugge Raid - 23 April 1918
    In an attempt to prevent German Navy vessels from leaving the port in Zebrugges, the British Allies proposed to sink the unused ships in the canal. Although on whole the raid failed, the viaduct was destroyed and the raid was promoted as a huge victory.
  • Ostend Raid - 9 May 1918
    After an initial failed attempt to block the ports at Ostend, so that they Germans had to retreat further back to dock their U-boats, the British tried once again to prevent the Germans from entering the port. However, the plan failed yet again due to the strong German resistance.

Tour Introduction

During World War 1 the Belgium and French coastlines became a place of great sacrifice and as a result inherited the name, The ‘Crimson Coast’. The Western front was seeing heavy fighting in Flanders, resulting in the hospitals along the French coast to the crimson poppy fields being crowded with casualties. As we explore the history of the area, we take a look at some of the often neglected subjects of the Great War. We visit Trenches of Flanders and discuss topics such as the women of WW1 and the Etaples Mutiny of 1917. We also visit the grave of John McCrae, and see where he wrote the immortal ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem at Essex Farm near Ypres.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
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(Deposits from £50pp)

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 Belgium for a four-night stay.

Day 2 - Etaples

We begin the tour at GHQ – General Headquarters in Montreuil-sur-Mer. The town housed the heart of the British Army on the Western Front and was where Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig directed much of the fighting. We see where GHQ was and visit the Haig Statue. After lunch, in the seaside town of Etaples, we look at its role in WW1 as the main British Base Depot and see the huge Lutyens designed Etaples Military Cemetery, close to the site of the ‘Bull Ring’ where the Etaples Mutiny began in 1917. At Wimereux we see the grave of Colonel John McCrae, who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ and end the day at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery visiting the grave of WW1 poet Julien Grenfell who wrote ‘Into Battle’.

Included meals: Breakfast

General Haig Memorial, Montreuil

General Haig Memorial, Montreuil (5)

Key Visits

  • General Haig Memorial, Montreuil
  • Etaples Military Cemetery
  • Wimereux
  • Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

Day 3 - Belgian Coast

Returning to the Crimson Coast in France we look at the role of Dunkirk and De Panne in WW1 before seeing where the end of the Western Front was at Nieuport in Belgium. After lunch, we visit the new Battle of Yser visitors centre with time to see the King Albert Memorial, as well as the British Nieuport Memorial. We then travel to Ostend to see the bow of HMS Vindictive used in ‘commando’ raids on the Belgian coast in 1918 and at Zeebrugge look at one such raid which took place here in April 1918.

Included meals: Breakfast

Yser Museum, Nieuport

Yser Museum, Nieuport (6)

Key Visits

  • Nieuport Memorial
  • De Panne
  • King Albert Memorial, Nieuport
  • Zeebrugge
  • Yser Museum, Nieuport
  • HMS Vindictive Memorial, Ostend

Day 4 - Flanders & Ypres

We start the day in Flanders at Poperinghe looking at life behind the lines with a visit to Talbot House. Opened by two army chaplains, the Toc H organisation started here and it is now a ‘living museum’. We also see the Death Cells in Poperinghe and look at the subject of military executions. After lunch we visit the Yser Tower Museum at Diksmuide and the nearby Trenches of Death, where the Belgian Army held the line for four years. Travelling down to Ypres we stop at Essex Farm where John McCrae wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915 before attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, held each evening at 8pm.

Included meals: Breakfast

Last Post Ceremony

Last Post Ceremony (8)

Key Visits

  • Last Post Ceremony
  • Yser Musuem
  • Poperinghe
  • Talbot House
  • Trenches of Death
  • Essex Farm Bunkers
  • Shot At Dawn Memorial, Poperinghe

Day 5

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Museum package available whilst on tour approx. €35

Entrance fees to museums, places of interest and optional excursions are at extra cost.

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 3-star Ibis De Panne.

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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