Battlefield Tours with Specialist Guides

Embark on a journey of remembrance and discovery on one of our Leger Battlefield Tours, visiting the WW1 battlefields, WW2 battlefields and sites from other significant wars, including Waterloo, The American Civil War and the Boer and Zulu Wars of South Africa. Each coach or air tour is accompanied by a Specialist Battlefield Guide, whose knowledge and passion will inspire and enhance your experience and truly bring history to life. They will help you to decipher the legacy left behind, and understand the military history that touched us all; whether it relates to Flanders Fields, the Somme battlefields, front line of the Ypres Salient, the sandy beaches of Normandy in France or the concrete walls that once surrounded Berlin. And, with an ever-expanding range of itineraries, specially selected by our Head Battlefield Guide, Paul Reed, and his team of guides, we aim to ensure you get the most from this memorable experience. So join us as we ‘remember them’, maybe even at the emotive Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, and ensure that the legacy is never forgotten.

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Stories from our extended family

As a National Service Malayan Veteran, I really appreciated the work that has gone into covering WW1. Well done to all the staff at Leger.

Mr Boughton

Understanding WW1 & WW2

The First World War raged on many fronts for four years from August 1914 to November 1918. Some of the biggest and most costly battles in our military history were fought during this period, largely along the 450 miles of the Western Front. More than a million British and Commonwealth soldiers died in the war; one in three of them just in Flanders Fields, Belgium.

The Second World War was the largest, longest and most extensive conflict the British and Commonwealth forces took part in during the twentieth century. It was a war that raged on many fronts and in many different theatres of war and conditions from desert sand to mountain snow to the beaches of Normandy, France, the canals of Holland and across the rivers of Germany. For Britain, it was a fight against Nazi Tyranny and Japanese aggression, which would bring in Allies like the United States of America and the Soviet Union to enable ultimate victory. More than 60 million died in WW2, with over six million victims of the Holocaust. It was a period when the World was truly at war; and everyone was on the front line, from soldier to civilians.

Recommended Battlefield Tours

With so many battlefield experiences to choose from, covering many different conflicts including WW1, WW2 and other significant wars, it can be difficult to know where to start. As the leading provider of Battlefield Tours, finding the right tour for you is our number one priority. So, whether you’re looking to visit battlefields for the very first time, or you’re wanting to learn more about a certain campaign, we can most certainly recommend the following experiences.

Key Events and Guides

All of Leger’s Battlefield Tours are accompanied by a Specialist Guide. The passion they share and their in-depth knowledge of warfare and key events will without doubt, enhance your overall experience and help bring history to life. Learn more about our guides as individuals, plus the key events in which they specialise, including the Somme and Flanders from WW1, the Battle of Normandy and Operation Market Garden from WW2 and other significant events.

Learn more about the key Events from WW1

Flanders Fields

Flanders is located in western Belgium and was the main area of conflict of British and Commonwealth forces in WW1. More than 250,000 of our forces died here, and there were four major battles.

Centred around the Belgian city of Ypres (now Ieper, but always known as Wipers to the troops) some of the most iconic battles of WW1 were fought – among them the Battle of Passchendaele. Here in 1917 the battlefield was turned into a lunar landscape of shell holes full of mud, muck and slime: and it was a place where everything from men to horses to tanks disappeared into the mud.

Flanders was also the place where poison gas was used for the first time: at Second Ypres on the evening of 22nd April 1915. This deadly weapon became commonplace, used daily, as the war progressed.

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Somme

The Battle of the Somme, which began on a summer’s day – the 1st July 1916 – has become one of the great symbols of sacrifice in WW1. On that first day alone – the Blackest Day in British Military History – more than 57,000 soldiers became casualties: the majority in the first 30 minutes.

Many ‘Pals’ Battalions fought here: men raised from the same community, who all served together. Young men from Accrington, Barnsley, Bradford, Hull and Sheffield fell in the droves at villages like Serre on the first day of the Somme.

But the Somme was a battle of contrasts: terrible losses at the start gave way to new approaches in fighting at battles like Bazentin Ridge on 14th July 1916, to the first use of tanks at Flers-Courcelette on 15th September 1916 and the successful Battle of the Ancre ending the battle between 13th-18th November 1916.

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Arras

Along with the Somme and Ypres, Arras was one of the key British battlefields of the First World War. Every regiment of the British Army has it as a Battle Honour and there are more than 100 cemeteries in the region.

After the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917, the fighting at Arras began on 9th April 1917 when the Canadians took Vimy Ridge in the north and British troops attacked in the centre, while Australians advanced near Bullecourt some days later. On average more than 4,000 British soldiers became casualties each day at Arras: making it one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

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Cambrai

Tanks had been first used on the Somme in 1916, but the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917 was the first time a massed tank attack took place, when more than 400 British Mark IV tanks went into battle.

The battle showed what tanks were capable of doing, but there was heavy fighting at places like Bourlon Wood and Welsh Ridge. The Germans counter-attacked at the end of the battle, retaking ground and capturing immobilised tanks, later re-using them against the Allies in 1918.

Gallipoli

On 25th April 1915, British and Commonwealth forces landed on the Gallipoli coastline in a bid to reach Constantinople (now Istanbul) and knock the Ottoman Empire, allied to Germany, out of the war.

Australian and New Zealand, so-called ANZAC troops, landed to the north (on a day which for them would become ANZAC Day and remembered every year), and British units landed to the south at Cape Helles. The campaign soon got bogged down like the Western Front, with heavy fighting at Krithia and Lone Pine, and despite landings at Suvla Bay in August 1915, Gallipoli ended in failure and a withdrawal in January 1916.

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Learn more about the key events from WW2

Battle of Normandy

Normandy is located in north-west France and is a coastal region famous for its apples and cheese. It became one of the most pivotal battlefields when the Allies landed here on 6th June 1944: D-Day.

Centred around the key cities of Bayeux and Caen, for Britain and the western Allies this was a turning point in the war when an airborne and seaborne landing successfully got across more than 150,000 troops ashore on D-Day and in the two and half months of heavy fighting that followed the German Army was defeated, leading to the closing of the Falaise Pocket and allowing the advance in Belgium and Holland.

The Airborne story in Normandy is one of the most iconic: from Major Howard’s force landing by glider at Pegasus Bridge in the early hours of D-Day as well as the famous ‘Band of Brothers’ in Easy Company 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment who silenced the Brecourt Manor guns.

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Operation Market Garden

Following the end of the fighting in Normandy at Falaise, the Allies liberated Paris in August 1944 and advanced across Northern France into Belgium up to the border of the Netherlands.

Operation Market Garden in September 1944 was General Bernard Montgomery’s bold plan to land American and British Airborne forces deep into Holland, and then send ground troops from XXX Corps to advance more than 60 miles up a narrow road to link up with them.

At the far end of the operation the British 1st Airborne Division dropped near to Arnhem and advanced on the city to take the bridge and await the arrival of ground troops. However, few got to the bridge and most fought in the Oosterbeek Perimeter. Arnhem has often been called ‘A Bridge Too Far’ as it ended in the destruction of the British Airborne force in September 1944.

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Battle of The Bulge

In December 1944, the Nazis launched the last offensive in the West with Operation Wacht Am Rein, the assault in the Ardennes forest in eastern Belgium.

The aim was to break through the American positions in the Ardennes forest close to the Siegfried Line, split the Allied forces and retake Antwerp which was now the main base of supplies for the fighting in Europe. Hugely ambitious, it ended in failure in January 1945 with heavy losses in men and equipment. British troops were also involved, rushed in to help their American buddies.

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Europe Occupied & The Holocaust

From 1940 to 1944 most of the European mainland was occupied by the German War Machine and was subjected to Nazi tyranny. This lead to the rise of resistance in places like Belgium and France, but also the wholesale deportation of people during the Holocaust; many sent to death camps in German occupied Poland.

The Holocaust resulted in the death of more than six million civilians, the majority of them Jewish, in what the Nazis called ‘The Final Solution’. Concentration camps were established across Europe with infamous death camps like Auschwitz in German occupied Poland being among the most notorious. Many Jewish Ghettos, such as one in Krakow, were established, and people persecuted in every country in Europe.

Occupied Europe was attacked by the Allies from the air using men from Bomber Command and the American Eight Airforce, and along the coast by Commando and Ranger forces, most notable at Dieppe and in the ‘Greatest Raid of All’ at St Nazaire in March 1942.

Meanwhile the Germans built the Atlantic Wall from Scandinavia right down to the coast of southern France. Huge concrete bunkers and gun sites were mean to keep the Allies out of occupied Europe. Meanwhile at Peenemunde the Germans developed V-weapons such as The Doodlebug and V2 to bombard Britain, with many launch bases built in Northern France.

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Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The Nazis came to power in 1933 and Adolf Hitler proclaimed the start of a ‘Thousand Year Reich’. A dozen years later Nazi Germany was in ruins and millions had died.

Germany under Hitler saw a nation transformed with huge rally sites in places like Nuremberg, autobahns – motorways – across the country, the construction of the Berlin Olympic Stadium for the 1936 Olympics, and bunkers and Flak towers to defend against the Allies.

Starting in the streets of Bavarian towns and cities, the Third Reich ended in carnage among Berlin’s most significant landmarks which had dominated European history for centuries. Hitler committed suicide in a bunker near the Reich Chancellery while the Allies brought the war to the heart of Nazi Germany.

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See more on tour with our Specialist Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides.

Paul Reed

Paul Reed


Our Head Battlefields Guide with a life-long interest in militarty history, Paul has worked on numerous T.V. documentaries.

Mark Allen

Mark Allen


A keen interest in both First and Second World Wars since childhood. Special interest in the Royal Sussex Regiment.

Gary Ashley

Gary Ashley


Lifelong collector with an interest in military history from Roman times to modern day. Lives in Northern France.

Jonathan Ball

Jonathan Ball


Lifelong interest in WW1/WW2 and specialises in Arnhem and Operation Market Garden as well as Dunkirk.

Scott Brand

Scott Brand


Interest in WW1 and WW2, especially Arnhem as his father fought there. Served in Australian Army, also guides Vietnam tours.

Tony Carr

Tony Carr


Lifelong enthusiast and collector, he has a remarkable knowledge of WW1 and WW2 battlefields.

Niall Cherry

Niall Cherry


Former Airborne Medic, he is an Arnhem specialist and author, and guides both WW1 and WW2 tours.

Charlotte Czyzyk

Charlotte Czyzyk


Works at IWM North and first visited battlefields with her grandfather, a D-Day veteran. Specialises in the Holocaust.

Paul Errington

Paul Errington


Former Gunner and Police Officer, he has an impressive knowledge of the German Army in WW2 and Tank Warfare.

Fred Greenhow

Fred GreenhowMBE


Retired from the Royal Artillery having served in the Falklands. Specialises in WW2 including Normandy and the Holocaust.

Bob Hilton

Bob Hilton


Former soldier who served in the Falklands, he has written his first book on Arnhem and guides WW2 tours.

Ian Hodkinson

Ian Hodkinson


Former RAF serviceman, with interest in WW1 and WW2. Currently specialising in WW1 and Italian Campaign for WW2.

Marc Hope

Marc Hope


Former soldier with a passion for WW1 and WW2, has been visiting battlefields for over 20 years and been guiding with Leger since 2006.

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch


Tim served in the Falklands, and has a life-long interest in military history. He has written many books and specialises in WW1 and WW2.

David McCormack

David McCormack


Historian and author, specialising in the history of the Holocaust and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

Ben Mayne

Ben Mayne


Ben is a former police officer whose interests are in the Second World Wae. He specialises in Normandy and Commando Operations.

Bill McQuade

Bill McQuade


Served in Berlin with Royal Scots Greys and guides a wide variety of battlefield tours from Waterloo to Cold War.

Vic Piuk

Vic Piuk


Former journalist, he lives on the Somme and specialises in WW1, especially war poetry. Author of several books.

Keith Quibell

Keith Quibell


Served as a Police Officer and used to take WW1 veterans across to the battlefields. He has guided WW1 tours for over 15 years.

Norman Sibbald

Norman Sibbald


Retired Engineer, he guides WW2 tours with a passion for Commando Operations and the Air War over Europe.

Peter Smith

Peter Smith


Former RAF and Police Officer, he has been visiting battlefields for over 30 years with specialism in WW1 and WW2.

Tim Thurlow

Tim Thurlow


Former Police Officer with lifelong interest in WW1, especially the Somme battlefields which he has visited for over 30 years.

David Warren

David Warren


Authority in many fields of military history and specialist in the Peninsular War, Waterloo and Dunkirk and Maginot Line.

Peter Williams

Peter Williams


After working in adult education, Peter has been guiding for Leger for over 15 years. Specialises in WW1 and Maginot Line.

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We have found 76 Holidays available from £349pp

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D-Day Landings in Normandy

Join our specialist guides on an awe-inspiring journey learning about the Normandy landings, a turning point in WW2, on this impressive tour.

Tour Includes

  • 3 or 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 - 5 days from only £349pp £698 for 2 people

All Quiet on the Western Front

Witness the major WW1 battlefields of Flanders and France on this ideal introductory battlefield tour visiting Ypres, The Somme and Menin Gate.

Tour Includes

  • 3 or 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 - 5 days from only £359pp £718 for 2 people

Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Stirling & the Trossachs

Combine one of the greatest shows on earth with an exploration of wonderful Scottish scenery on this great-value short break by coach.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with Scottish breakfast
  • 3 evening meals
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £629pp £1258 for 2 people

Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

Join our tour focusing on the air war of WW2, where the RAF Bomber Command took the conflict to the heart of the enemy above Europe.

Tour Includes

  • 8 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
9 days from only £999pp £1998 for 2 people

Walking the Waterloo Battlefields

Explore the historic battlefields of Waterloo, learning about the end of the Napoleonic Wars on one of our most popular walking tours in Belgium.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £569pp £1138 for 2 people

Battle of the Bulge

Travel with us to understand Hitler's last gamble in the West: the Battle of the Bulge. Today, the largest WW2 battlefield in Western Europe.

Tour Includes

  • 3 or 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 - 5 days from only £349pp £698 for 2 people

Dunkirk & Fortress Europe

Join us as we learn about the Retreat to Dunkirk, evacuation from the beaches, and construction of the Atlantic Wall bunkers and V-Weapons.

Tour Includes

  • 3 or 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 - 5 days from only £359pp £718 for 2 people
new Defence of Britain – Kent in Two World Wars

Defence of Britain – Kent in Two World Wars

On this new tour we look at the key role of Kent during both World Wars, that corner of Britain directly facing occupied Europe and often referred to as ‘Hell Fire Corner’.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with English breakfast
  • 3 evening meals
  • 1 lunch
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
5 days from only £539pp £1078 for 2 people

Arnhem & the Rhine Crossings

Take a look at the iconic WW2 battle for Arnhem Bridge as we focus on the strategy following the failure of Operation Market Garden.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £539pp £1078 for 2 people

Operation Market Garden

Follow the ill-fated Operation Market Garden as we head to the key areas of the WW2 offensive in Belgium.

Tour Includes

  • 3 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 days from only £399pp £798 for 2 people

Forgotten Battlefields of WW1

This tour takes us off the beaten track as we discover the forgotten battlefields of WW1, covering the 1915 battles, Arras and Cambrai in 1917.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £499pp £998 for 2 people

Waterloo Re-Enactment Weekend

Join this fascinating anniversary tour of the Battle of Waterloo to attend the annual re-enactment of the battle.

Tour Includes

  • 3 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Historical Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
4 days from only £379pp £758 for 2 people

Christmas Markets in Ypres & Lille and Battlefields of the Western Front

Combine a tour of the Battlefields of the Great War, with time at some of France and Belgium’s fantastic Christmas markets.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £419pp £838 for 2 people

Beer & Battlefields

Join us on a fascinating tour of some WW1 and WW2 battlefield sites of Belgium, tied in with visits to a selection of the best local breweries.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
5 days from only £649pp £1298 for 2 people

The U-Boat War: The Real Das Boot

Take an in-depth look at WW2’s Das Boot as we head to Germany to look at the story of the U-Boats, visiting Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and Bremen.

Tour Includes

  • 6 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
7 days from only £799pp £1598 for 2 people

Anne Frank in Amsterdam

We look at the story of the Holocaust in the Netherlands and how it affected the Jewish population of Amsterdam, among them, Anne Frank.

Tour Includes

  • 3 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Historical Guide
  • Convenient local joining point
4 days from only £449pp £898 for 2 people
new Vimy Ridge & Arras
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