Flanders Fields — Britain's Bastion on the Western Front

About the tour: Flanders Fields — Britain's Bastion on the Western Front

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

This tour will cover the following key events

  • First Battle of Ypres - 31 October 1914
    One of the first fights to breakout between the Germans and the Britians during WW1, the First Battle of Ypres was fought in 1914. It saw a battle that lasted for 34 days, as the Germans faught to get to the English Channel, and the beginning of trench warfare on the Western Front.
  • Second Battle of Ypres - 22 April 1915
    The second battle of Ypres involved four battles which were faught in the northern part of the Ypres Salient. The first battle saw the Germans launch an attack on the French on the Allied Front with poisonous gas, this battle was the first time that this weapon was used.
  • Battle of Messines - 7 June 1917
    Arguably one of the most successful operations of WW1 on the Western Front, the Battle of Messines saw nineteen mines being detonated underneath the German mines, in a bid to secure Messines Ridge.
  • Third Battle of Ypres - 31 July 1917
    Known as The Battle of Passchendaele, the Third Battle of Passchendaele began in July 1917 and was fought for four long months. The attack was Haig’s attempt to break through Flanders.
  • Battle of the Lys - 9 April 1918
    Also known as the Spring Offensive and the Fouth Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Lys was the Germans final attempt to break the Allied lines around Ypres. They did this as an attempt to defeat the Allies before the American troops arrived to aid th British and French soliders already fighting on the Western Front.
  • Fourth Battle of Ypres - 26 September 1918
    Also known as the Spring Offensive and the Battle of the Lys, the Fourth Battle of Ypres was the Germans final attempt to break the Allied lines around Ypres. They did this as an attempt to defeat the Allies before the American troops arrived to aid th British and French soliders already fighting on the Western Front.

Tour Introduction

Regarded as one of the most important British battlefields of World War One, Ypres saw more than 250,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers fall during the defence of Flanders Fields. On this tour we visit the key locations and sites around Ypres such as, Tyne Cot, Messines Ridge and Passchendaele. It is also in Flanders where the legend of the Flanders poppy was born. The poppies were said to symbolise the fallen, as they grew, blood red in colour, on the disturbed battlefield grounds.

Tour Includes

  • 3 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
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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 Ypres, where we stay for three nights.

Day 2 - In Flanders Fields

We start our tour at Essex Farm, where Canadian poet John McCrae wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915 seeing the concrete Dressing Station Bunkers and the nearby cemetery and memorials. At the Visitor’s Centre at the Zwanhof we look at the static front north of Ypres, visiting the preserved Yorkshire Trench. We then look at the mining operations on the Bellewaarde Ridge at Railway Wood, seeing the unique Royal Engineers Grave and the newly-accessible WW1 mine craters. After lunch at Hooge, with a visit to the trenches here, we travel down the Messines Ridge to Messines itself before seeing the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing. We end the day at Prowse Point where we look at the story of the Christmas Truce in 1914 seeing the memorials and discussing myth over reality.

Included meals: Breakfast

Ploegsteert Memorial

Ploegsteert Memorial (10)

Key Visits

  • Hooge Crater Café
  • Ploegsteert Memorial
  • Yorkshire Trench
  • Mine Crater at Bellewaarde
  • Essex Farm Bunkers
  • Prowse Point Cemetery
  • Messines Visitor's Centre
  • Zwanhof Visitor's Centre
  • Royal Engineer's Grave, Railway Wood

Day 3 - Tyne Cot

Today we start at Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British and Commonwealth Cemetery in the world. We then look at gas warfare in WW1, seeing the moving Brooding Soldier Memorial at Vancouver Corner. At Langemarck we look at the burial of the German dead and then travel to Hooge Crater Café for our lunch period. In the afternoon we visit Polygon Wood and Black Watch Corner, seeing one of the bunkers in the wood. We then see Zillebeke Churchyard, the so-called Aristocrat’s Cemetery where many regular soldiers from 1914 are buried, and end at Hill 60: a large area of preserved battlefield with bunkers and mine craters.

Included meals: Breakfast

Tyne Cot Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium

Tyne Cot Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium (9)

Key Visits

  • Tyne Cot Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium
  • Polygon Wood Cemetery
  • Hill 60
  • Langemarck German Cemetery
  • Zillebeke Churchyard
  • Vancouver Corner Canadian Memorial
  • Black Watch Corner Memorial
  • Scott's Bunker, Polygon Wood

Day 4

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Pre-Tour Reading

A selection of related books for pre or post tour reading.

  • Barton, Peter - Passchendaele 1917 (Constable 2007)
  • MacDonald, Lyn - They Called It Passchendaele (many editions)
  • Sheldon, Jack - The German Army At Ypres 1914 (Pen & Sword 2010)
  • Reed, Paul - Walking The Salient (Pen & Sword Ltd 1999, new edition 2015)

Passenger Information

The Tour

This tour will look at the Great War battlefields around Ypres which during the years 1914-1918 was the main British bastion on the Western Front. Almost every soldier who came to the Western Front fought at Ypres at some point and by the close of the war, more than 250,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers had died here.

Occasionally it is possible, depending on time, for us to visit a cemetery or memorial outside the main tour itinerary. However, clients will appreciate there are more than 170 British military cemeteries around Ypres and we are not in a position to visit them all. Such visits are at the discretion of your Specialist Guide/Drivers. It is advisable you speak them as soon as possible on the first day of your tour.

Foreign Currency

The ‘Flanders Fields’ tour takes place in Belgium and therefore you will only need the Euro. You are advised to get Euros – in cash – in advance of your tour, as many banks in Belgium do not provided currency exchange services and some cash machines do not accept UK credit/debit cards.

Lunch Stops

Although lunch is not included in your tour price, we now offer a very reasonable optional lunch package covering most of your needs - available to book on tour.

What to Bring

The weather in Belgium can be changeable, and it is advisable to bring sensible clothes and always pack a jumper and waterproofs. Good, stout shoes are essential – remember this was once a battlefield and most of the time we are in rural Belgium! Walking boots or stout trainers are ideal but not essential. In warm weather always bring a hat and sun cream, and it is advisable to have a supply of water.

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 three nights at the 3-star Novotel in the centre of Ypres, near the Menin Gate and the market place.

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.

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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