Crimson Coast

5 days from £379pp.


Diksmuide

Visit: Diksmuide, Battlefields

Nieuport Memorial

Visit: Nieuport Memorial, Battlefields

Last Post Ceremony

Visit: Last Post Ceremony, Battlefields

The ‘Crimson Coast’ was a name given to the French and Flanders coastline during the Great War when it became a place of sacrifice with men dying in the hospitals along the French coast and the end of the Western Front seeing heavy fighting in Flanders: the fields here being covered in the crimson of poppy fields. This new tour looks at a range of often neglected subjects from women in WW1 to the use of foreign labour behind the lines, as well as what was going on in the trenches. We also visit the grave of John McCrae, who wrote the immortal ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem, as well as seeing where he wrote it.

    Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)

    Local departure by coach, then to Belgium for a four-night stay.

    We begin the tour at GHQ – General Headquarters in Montreuil sur Mer. The town housed the heart of the British Army on the Western Front and was where Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig directed much of the fighting. We see where GHQ was and visit the Haig statue. After lunch, in the seaside town of Etaples, we look at its role in WW1 as the main British Base Depot and see the huge Lutyens designed Etaples Military Cemetery, close to the site of the ‘Bull Ring’ where the Etaples Mutiny began in 1917. At Wimereux we see the grave of Colonel John McCrae, who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ and end the day at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery visiting the grave of WW1 poet Julien Grenfell who wrote ‘Into Battle’.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Returning to the Crimson Coast in France we look at the role of Dunkirk and De Panne in WW1 before seeing where the end of the Western Front was at Nieuport in Belgium. After lunch we visit the new Battle of Yser visitors centre with time to see the King Albert Memorial, as well as the British Nieuport Memorial. We then travel to Ostend to see the bow of HMS Vindictive used in ‘commando’ raids on the Belgian coast in 1918 and at Zeebrugge look at one such raid which took place here in April 1918.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    We start the day in Flanders at Poperinghe looking at life behind the lines with a visit to Talbot House. Opened by two army chaplains, the Toc H organisation started here and it is now a ‘living museum’. We also see the Death Cells in Poperinghe and look at the subject of military executions. After lunch we visit the Yser Tower Museum at Diksmuide and the nearby Trenches of Death, where the Belgian Army held the line for four years. Travelling down to Ypres we stop at Essex Farm where Colonel McCrae wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915 before staying for the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, held each evening at 8pm.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Return home.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    At a Glance

    Tour Overview

    • 4 nights' accommodation with continental breakfast
    • Specialist Battlefield Guide
    • Battlefield visits as described
    • Convenient local joining points
    • Travel by Silver Service coach

    Included Excursions

    Optional Excursions

    • Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)

    Notes


    Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
    Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
    We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
    You can check weather averages at here.

    Accommodation

    You will stay for four nights at the 3-star Ibis De Panne. The hotel is situated in the centre of the resort and close to the beach. The hotel has a bar. 

    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.

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    Travel in comfort and style

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    *Please note pickups are subject to availability.

      Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

      Front row seats can be reserved for £12pp (up to 6 days duration), £20pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £25pp (9 days duration and over) on all European tours. In addition to this seats on the second row can be reserved for £6pp (up to 6 days duration), £12pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £15pp (9 days duration and over). This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on transfer journeys to/from the U.K. port. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law.

      Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

      If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

      Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

      We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port are not allocated.
      Hot and cold drinks are served on the main tour coaches. Prices are approximately 90p or 1 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by the driver. Drinks may also be served on the transfer coaches but this is not guaranteed.

      Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure and will depend on where passengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.

      With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

      All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours (air or TGV holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
      All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours, compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
      We operate a passenger interchange at the Channel port. Transfer coaches, including taxis, minibuses, Megabus and National Express operate to and from the U.K. port. You will join your main tour coach at the port.
      One medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage can be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach.
      It could be either - This will be confirmed in your travel documents.

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