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.
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, 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.
Pilkem Ridge & Tyne Cot
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.
Passchendaele & Poperinghe
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.
At a Glance
4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
Specialist Battlefield Guide
Convenient local joining points
Travel by executive coach or upgrade to Silver Service
Battlefield visits as described
Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)
Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)
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 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 hotel is located in the old town which is a short walk from Menin Gate. Perfect for visiting the nearby cities of Ghent, Bruges and Lille. Within the area you can discover Ieper (Ypres), a fortified city boasting a rich history. The City has museums you can visit like the Hotel-Museum Merghelynck, the Belle Almshouse Museum or the School Museum or why not have a look around the town centre which is full of shops and things to see. The hotels facilities include Wi-Fi/Internet access, Fitness centre, Air conditioning, 24hr reception, a restaurant and bar. All bedrooms feature phone, T.V, Tea and Coffee making facilities and en-suite bathroom.
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.
Why not go the night before your
holiday for a relaxing start? You can park for FREE
for up to nine days at the Holiday Inn Ashford
North and enjoy an overnight stay with English
breakfast from just £38 per person. This offer is
subject to availability and based on two sharing a
twin/double room on a B&B basis. 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
nine days you can pay for additional days’ parking.
Ask one of our friendly reservations team for
more details when you book your holiday.
Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.
On most holidays 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 holidays to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany
Looking for your local joining point? Enter your post code below
You must have a space character in your postcode. E.G S60 2XR
Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days duration), £22pp (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 £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (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 feeder 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.
Hot and cold drinks are served on the main tour coaches. Prices are approximately £1 or 1.25 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.