The Old Contemptibles at War

5 days from £469pp.


Menin Gate

Visit: Menin Gate, Battlefields

St Symphorien Cemetery

Visit: St Symphorien Cemetery, Battlefields

More than a century after some of the first shots of the Great War were fired, join us as we travel through Belgium and France following the Old Contemptibles – the regular army who fought some of the first battles of the war at Mons, Le Cateau and Ypres.

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

    Local departure by coach, then to Belgium and the Novotel Ypres for a four-night stay.

    We start with the Battle of Mons and travel to Casteau to see where the first shots were fired in August 1914. At Nimy Bridge we look at the first Victoria Crosses awarded to British troops and then see the excellent new Mons War Museum. After lunchtime in central Mons we visit the unique St. Symphorien Cemetery where British and German dead rest side by side, and where some of the first and last casualties of WWI are buried. At nearby Audregnies we examine the largest use of cavalry in 1914; when two regiments of war horses charged the Germans in August 1914.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    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

    The remnants of the Old Contemptibles fought their largest battle in 1914 at Ypres, a battle which cost them more than 56,000 casualties. We start just outside the Menin Gate and take a walk through Ypres Town Cemetery, seeing the 1914 burials. We then see the In Flanders Fields Museum, one of the most important WW1 museums in Europe. After lunch at Hooge we travel to Zillebeke Churchyard and see the ‘Aristocrats Cemetery’ where many officers who fell in 1914 are buried. In Messines we see the new WWI visitors centre 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

    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


    Single Room Supplement from £129.00 (5 days).

    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 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.
     

    Belgium

    Novotel Ypres Centrum

    Novotel Ypres Centrum

    Novotel Ypres Centrum


    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    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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