The Silent Cities: The CWGC Story
5 days from £489pp
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for the graves and memorials of 1.7 million men and women who died in the two World Wars. Founded in 1917, its dedicated staff now work at 23,000 different places across more than 150 countries and territories. This special tour, developed in association with the CWGC, provides a unique insight into the story of this remarkable organisation.
- 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast & 2 packed lunches
- Specialist Battlefield Guide
- Convenient local joining points
- Travel by executive coach or upgrade to Silver Service or Luxuria
- Battlefield visits as described
(Deposits from £50pp)
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 -
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.
Local departure by coach, then to our hotel in Belgium or northern France, where we stay for four nights.
Sep 1 - Arras
Our first day begins at the new CWGC Experience at Beaurains, where we gain a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the work of the Commission and its skilled artisans. We find out about the painstaking recovery of remains and see the fascinating headstone production machinery at work.
In nearby Arras, we visit Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery and the Arras Memorial for a special demonstration of renovation techniques.
This afternoon, we spend time on the battlefields east of Arras, looking at wartime cemeteries in some of the more isolated locations where the fighting took place in 1917, close to Heninel and Wancourt.
Included meals: Breakfast
Sep 2 - The Somme
Today we continue with the history of the CWGC. When the Imperial War Graves Commission was founded in 1917, its approach to commemoration was controversial and challenging. At Forceville Communal Cemetery we see the formation of its ground-breaking approach laid out in stone. This was one of the experimental cemeteries where the architects tested their ideas.
At the cemeteries of Serre Road we learn how to ‘read’ a cemetery, and how they came to be created from the chaos of the battlefield to concentration and construction.
After lunch we visit the Thiepval Memorial, where we are given a bespoke tour by the CWGC interns, and observe a major renovation project which will conserve this iconic memorial for future generations.
We later look at Behind The Lines cemeteries, close to where Somme medical units operated at Heilly Station and Warloy-Baillon.
After dinner, we return to Thiepval for a special event where the CWGC will arrange an evening ceremony during which the Thiepval Memorial will be lit up. Please note this will mean a late return to your hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sep 3 - Ypres
On our final day we travel to Flanders. After the end of the First World War, Ypres became home to those who would begin the monumental task of rebuilding.
At nearby Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, we set the scene by exploring the story of the city in the aftermath of war. We learn more about the first IWGC gardeners and the generations that followed, who used the CWGC’s remarkable archive to recreate the cemetery as it once looked. At Bedford House Cemetery, one of the Western Front’s most beautiful burial sites, we see a demonstration of the CWGC’s world-leading gardening and planting.
After lunch we travel to the iconic Menin Gate, where we learn about the history of the memorial and how it is cared for today. At Tyne Cot, the largest CWGC cemetery in the world, we meet with CWGC interns who carry the message of Remembrance to hundreds of visitors every year.
The day ends in Ypres where we attend the moving Last Post Ceremony.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Included meals: Breakfast
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.
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.
Executive Coach+ View more
Silver Service Coach+ View more
Luxuria 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.