They Called It Passchendaele

5 days from £479pp.

Messines Ridge Crater

Visit: Messines Ridge Crater, Battlefields

A century ago in Flanders the year 1917 was dominated by two great offensives: the Battle of Messines in June 1917 when nineteen mines were detonated under the Messines Ridge, and the Battle of Passchendaele where men fought in terrible battlefield conditions or mud and rain. Passchendaele has become one of the most iconic battles of the First World War and this new centenary tour allows us to look at the campaign in some depth.

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

    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, visiting 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

    Following Messines, the Third Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917 and we begin at Buffs Road Cemetery where the offensive began just outside Ypres. We then travel to the PIlkem Ridge to look at the story of war poets Francis Ledwidge and Hedd Wynn, 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 Third 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

    The Third Battle of Ypres ended with the capture of Passschendaele 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 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

    Return home.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Prices are per person, based on two sharing.

    Extras: optional excursions; entrance fees to museums and places of interest; single room supplement £139; travel insurance from £35.50.

    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.
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    You will stay for four nights at the 3-star Novotel Ypres. 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 television, telephone and air-conditioning. The hotel has a small bar area and restaurant.


    Novotel Ypres Centrum

    Novotel Ypres Centrum

    Novotel Ypres Centrum

    The family-run Hotel Seemoewe occupies a privileged location on the banks of the Obersee Lake in the attractive little village of Einruhr, a wonderful base for those seeking a relaxing holiday in the heart of traditional Germany. The hotel owners, Gunther and Irmgard are renowned for the warmth of welcome that they extend to each and every guest. The hotel boasts a delightful terrace overlooking the lake, a lounge, bar and 50 comfortably furnished en-suite bedrooms. Step into the stylish restaurant where the hotel staff actively take a personal interest in providing an enjoyable dining experience.

    • 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.

    Travel in comfort and style

    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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    Call our reservations team on:
    01709 787 463