They Called It Passchendaele

5 days from £679pp

About the tour: They Called It Passchendaele

  • Campaign: The Great War (WW1)
  • Campaign Dates Covered: June - Nov 1917

This tour will cover the following key events

  • 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.
  • Opening of the 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.
  • Fighting at Langemarck - 16 August 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.
  • End of the Battle of Passchendaele - 10 November 1917
    After months of bloody combat, the battle came to an end in the villge of Passchendaele and saw victory for the British and Canadian troops.

Tour Introduction

In the year 1917, Flanders was dominated by the great offensives of the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Passchendaele. During the battle of Messines mines were detonated under the Messines Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele saw men fight in terrible conditions in the mud and the rain. The battle of Passchendaele has become one of the most iconic battles of WW1.

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 Ypres for a four-night stay.

Day 2 - Messines & Ploegsteert

Today we look at the Battle of Messines in June 1917 when British and Commonwealth tunnellers exploded nineteen mines under positions along the Messines Ridge. We start at Hill 60 where the two northernmost mines were blown, seeing the impressive Caterpillar Crater. At St. Eloi we visit the crater formed by the largest mine blown in June 1917 and at Wytschaete visit the Tunnellers Memorial. At Spanbroekmolen mine crater we examine the story of the Ulster troops who attacked here, visit the Lone Tree Crater Cemetery. After lunch at Hooge Crater we travel along the Messines Ridge to Messines itself, seeing the visitors centre, and visiting the New Zealand Memorial seeing German front line bunkers. We remember the contribution of Irish soldiers at the Irish Peace Tower and visit the southern area of the battlefield around Ploegsteert ('Plugstreet') including the Ploegsteert Memorial.

Included meals: Breakfast

Irish Peace Tower

Irish Peace Tower (5)

Key Visits

  • Ploegsteert Memorial
  • Hill 60
  • Hooge Crater
  • St. Eloi Crater
  • Spanbroekmoelen Crater
  • New Zealand Memorial Park
  • Irish Peace Tower

Day 3 - Pilkem Ridge & Tyne Cot

Following Messines, the Third Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917 and we start at Buffs Road Cemetery where the battle began just outside Ypres. We then travel to Pilkem Ridge to look at the story of war poets Francis Ledwidge and Hedd Wyn, also seeing the Welsh Memorial. At Langemarck we see the memorial to Harry Patch, the ‘Last Fighting Tommy’ and at Poelcapelle examine the use of tanks during the Third Battle of Ypres, seeing the tank memorial. After lunch we visit the superb Passchendaele Memorial Museum at Zonnebeke, exploring their reconstructed trench system. At Tyne Cot we visit the largest British military cemetery in the world and end on the Frezenberg Ridge to see the memorial to Scottish troops.

Included meals: Breakfast

Tyne Cot

Tyne Cot Cemetery (6)

Key Visits

  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Passchendaele War Museum
  • Harry Patch Memorial
  • Buffs Road Cemetery
  • Pilkem Ridge Welsh Memorial
  • Poelcapelle
  • Frezenberg Ridge

Day 4 - Passchendaele & Poperinghe

The Third Battle of Ypres ended with the capture of Passchendaele and today we start at the Canadian Memorial at Crest Farm before going into the village itself to see the memorial in the church. We then take time to visit the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres and after lunch look at life behind the lines at Ypres in 1917, see Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and its visitors' centre, before going to Talbot House in Poperinghe and its museum. We then look at the story of men ‘Shot at Dawn’ at the Death Cells, and at Brandhoek visit the grave of medical officer Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, also seeing his memorial. We end the day in Ypres for the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Included meals: Breakfast

Menin Gate

Menin Gate (6)

Key Visits

  • Menin Gate
  • Passchendaele
  • Ypres
  • In Flanders Fields Museum
  • Poperinghe
  • Talbot House
  • Crest Farm
  • Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

Day 5

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Pre-Tour Reading

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

  • Barton, Peter - Passchendaele (Constable 2007)
  • Coombes, Rose - Before Endeavours Fade (After The Battle – many editions)
  • Lloyd, Nick - Passchendaele: A New History (2017)
  • MacDonald, Lyn - They Called It Passchendaele (many editions)
  • Reed, Paul - Walking Ypres (Pen & Sword new edition 2017)
  • Van Emden, Richard - The Road to Passchendaele (Pen & Sword 2017)

Passenger Information

The Tour

This tour will look at the famous Great War battlefields of Messines and Passchendaele, where the great battles of 1917 – a century ago – were fought.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 in Flanders 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 ‘They Called It Passchendaele’ 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 all banks in Belgium do not provide currency exchange services.

Lunch Stops

Although lunch is not included in your tour price, we now offer a very reasonable optional lunch covering most of your needs that can be booked while 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 are ideal. 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 four nights at the 3-star Novotel Ypres Centrum, in the heart of Ypres. The hotel is located only a couple of minutes' walk from the Menin Gate Memorial where the 'Last Post' is sounded every evening. The hotel has a lift, bar and restaurant.

Novotel Ypres Centrum

Novotel Ypres Centrum
Novotel Ypres Centrum
Novotel Ypres Centrum

About the hotel

The Novotel Ypres Centrum is located in the heart of historic town of Ypres, just a short walk from the Menin Gate. The hotel makes the ideal base for exploring the rich military heritage of the area.

Hotel Features

  • Bar
  • English Speaking Staff
  • Guest Lounge
  • Lift
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Telephone
  • TV

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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