The Old Contemptibles at War
5 days from £469pp
- Campaign: The Great War (WW1)
- Campaign Dates Covered: Aug 1914 - Dec 1914 (What's this?)
This tour will cover the following key events
- Battle of Mons - 23 August 1914The Battle of Mons saw the British army attempt to stop the German 1st Army advancing, by holding the line at the Mons Canal. To say it was their first major action in WW1, the British Expeditionary Force faught hard, but they were forced to call a retreat, which took them two weeks to make.
- Battle of Le Cateau - 26 August 1914During the British attempt to retreat from Mons, they were caught up by the Germans at Le Cateau. The Germans arrived and attacked the British, attempting to outflank them as they retreated. However, despite many casualties the British were able to withdraw to Saint-Quentin, due to the arrival of the Calvary Corps.
- First Battle of Ypres - 31 October 1914One 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.
- Christmas Truce in Flanders - 25 December 1914Facing death in an evil war, soldiers of the Allied and German forces formed a truce on Christmas Eve 1914 and joined together in song, a game off football, exchanged beer and cigarettes, and gave humanity to a truly inhumane event.
Join us on this battlefield tour as we journey through Belgium and France, more than a century after some of the first shots of WW1 were fired. We follow in the footsteps of the Old Contemptibles through Mons, Le Cateau and Ypres, seeing battlefield sites, war museums, memorials and cemeteries.
Early Booking Special Offer!
Book today and save up to £30pp on selected departure dates.
- 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
- Specialist Battlefield Guide
- Convenient local joining points
- Travel by Silver Service coach
(Deposits from £100pp)
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 -
Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.
For customers living outside of the UK, if you want to make a booking you will need to provide a UK postcode on our online booking system. If you are not able to provide a relevant UK postcode then you can enter the postcode for London Victoria Coach Station – SW1W 9TP. You should then be able to proceed to complete your booking.
If you do encounter a problem then you can speak to one of our friendly advisors who will be happy to help.
Please Note : After completing your booking, a member of our Customer Service team will be in touch to make sure everything is okay.
Either e-mail our Reservations Department or call on 01709 830 333 and they will check to see whether you can visit a particular cemetery on any of our Battlefield Tours, if we are not able to fit it into our itinerary then you could take some time out of the tour and do this independently by taxi or public transport.
We make our way to the port of departure and coach interchange where you will join your tour coach for the crossing to the Continent. Upon arrival in France we continue to Belgium and our hotel for a four-night stay.
Day 2 - Mons: First Shots – War Horses at Audregnies
This morning we start with the Battle of Mons and travel to Casteau to see were the first shots were fired in August 1914. Following on to Nimy Bridge looking at the story of the first Victoria Crosses awarded to British troops and see the excellent new Mons War Museum. Following lunch in Mons we then travel to St Symphorien Cemetery where some of the first and last casualties of WW1 are buried. We end the day at Audregnies examining the largest use of cavalry; when two regiments of war horses charged the Germans in 1914.
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 3 - Retreat From Mons – Battle of Le Cateau
Following Mons the British Army split and at Le Cateau General Smith-Dorrien’s men fought a substantial battle to hold their ground. We start following the retreat south from the Belgian border and drive down near the Mormal Forest to the Le Cateau area. We look at the Guards at Landrecies, seeing their memorial, and then see where the Suffolk Regiment fought in August 1914, seeing their battlefield memorial site. After lunch we visit the Le Cateau Cemetery and follow the positions held on 26th August to the left flank at Esnes where General Snow’s men held the vital left flank.
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 4 - Ypres: Death of an Army – In Flanders Fields Museum
The remnants of the Old Contemptibles fought their largest battle in 1914 at Ypres. We start just outside the Menin Gate and walk through Ypres town cemetery, seeing the 1914 burials. We then visit the In Flanders Fields Museum, one of the most important WWI museums in Europe. Following lunch at Hooge we travel to Zillebeke Churchyard seeing the Aristocrats Cemetery, where many officers who fell in 1914 are buried. In Messines we see the new WWI museum and visit the church crypt where Adolf Hitler sheltered from British Shells in 1914. We end with the story of the Christmas Truce at St Yvon, seeing the new Christmas Truce memorial at Prowse Point.
Included meals: Breakfast
We leave the hotel after breakfast and travel to the Channel port. You will leave your tour coach behind as you join your transfer vehicle for your return journey to your original departure point.
Included meals: Breakfast
If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.
No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.
All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333
Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
Your hotels will supply towels in your room.
We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.
We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.
You will stay for four nights at the 3-star Novotel in the centre of
Ypres, just a few minutes walk to the Menin Gate, Market Square and In Flanders
Fields Museum. The hotel has a lift, bar and restaurant. The hotel is ideally placed for this tour
and has become a firm favourite within Leger's Battlefields programme, due to
its excellent location and standards of service.
Novotel Ypres Centrum+ View more
About the hotel
This excellent hotel is located in the heart of historic town of Ypres, only a couple of minutes' walk from the Menin Gate Memorial, where the 'Last Post' is sounded every evening. The hotel is a firm favourite within Leger’s Battlefields programme and makes the ideal base for exploring the rich military heritage of the area. All the comfortably furnished bedrooms are en-suite with T.V., telephone and air-conditioning. The hotel has a small bar area and restaurant.
- English Speaking Staff
- Guest Lounge
- WiFi Available
- Bath and/or Shower
- Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
Silver Service Coach+ View more
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+ Find out more
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+ Find out more
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.
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.
On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.