Marne & Chemin des Dames

About the tour: Marne & Chemin des Dames

Tour Introduction

The battlefields of the Marne and the Aisne saw heavy fighting during WW1, and in both 1914 and 1918 British soldiers were here, including the Old Contemptibles. On this fascinating tour, we follow their story and visit some lesser known battlefield sites of the Great War, including battlefields where the American ‘Doughboys’ fought in 1918.

Tour Includes

  • 4 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 (01709 385 624), 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 at Marne-la-Vallée for a four-night stay.

Day 2 - Old Contemptibles & Doughboys

We begin our tour with the Old Contemptibles, the British regular army of 1914, at the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial, which commemorates the missing of the 1914 campaign from Mons to the Marne and Aisne. We also look at the role of the Royal Engineers in bridging the Marne River, and see their memorial.

At Montreuil-aux-Lions British Cemetery, we visit the graves of men who fell here in September 1914, before then travelling to the battlefield at Priez.

After lunchtime in Château-Thierry, we visit the remarkable American Memorial which overlooks the town, commemorating the American Expeditionary Force battle here in July 1918.

We then see Belleau Wood where the US Marine Corps fought, and visit their memorial. We end the day at the nearby Belleau Wood American Cemetery.

Included meals: Breakfast

La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial

La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial (5)

Key Visits

  • Château-Thierry
  • La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial
  • RE Memorial, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre
  • Montreuil-aux-Lions British Cemetery
  • Belleau Wood

Day 3 - Meaux & Second Battle of the Marne

This morning we travel to Meaux to visit the Great War Museum. An outstanding and modern museum of WW1, it has one of the largest collections in Europe.

After lunchtime in Meaux, we continue to follow the story of the Old Contemptibles, seeing the Guards' Grave at Villers-Cotterêts and a private memorial to an officer killed here in 1914.

South of Soissons, we look at where the British Army fought in the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918, seeing Villemontoire British Cemetery and the battlefield area between Grand Rozoy and Oulchy. We end at the large and impressive ‘Phantoms’ Memorial which looks out across the Marne battlefields.

Included meals: Breakfast

Phantoms Memorial, Marne

Phantoms Memorial, Marne (4)

Key Visits

  • Meaux WW1 Museum
  • Phantoms Memorial, Marne
  • Guards' Grave, Villers-Cotterêts
  • Raperie Cemetery, Villemontoire

Day 4 - Chemin des Dames & Soissons

Today we visit the Chemin des Dames, the ridge where the French Army fought a number of battles throughout WW1.

We descend into the Caverne du Dragon, a system of caves where there was fighting underground, which is now a modern museum that re-opened in 2019.

After lunch in Soissons and a visit to the Soissons Memorial to the missing, we travel along the Aisne Valley, seeing where the Old Contemptibles were between Chivres and Bourg. We'll visit Vailly British Cemetery and Soupir Churchyard, seeing British graffiti from 1914, and then Vendresse Cemetery.

We end back on the high ground of the Chemin des Dames to see the memorial to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Included meals: Breakfast

Soissons Memorial

Soissons Memorial (2)

Key Visits

  • Caverne du Dragon
  • Soissons Memorial
  • Vailly British Cemetery
  • Soupir Churchyard
  • Vendresse 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 4-star Novotel Collegien Marne La Vallée Hotel.

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...

Stay overnight near Dover

Why not go the night before your tour for a relaxing start?

You can park for FREE for up to seven days at the Holiday Inn Ashford North and enjoy an overnight stay with English breakfast from just £38 per person (Based on 2 sharing a twin/double room on a B&B basis, subject to availability. Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.) We’ll then collect you from the hotel on the day of departure and return you there at the end of your holiday.

To book this package, please call the hotel on 01233 713333, quoting ‘Leger Holidays’ and your booking reference. If your holiday is longer than seven days you can pay for additional days’ parking. Ask one of our friendly reservations team for more details when you book your holiday

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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Call our friendly advisors on: 01709 385 624