The ‘Crimson Coast’ was a name given to the French and Belgium coastline during the First World 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 the Etaples Mutiny of 1917 to women in WWI and the use of foreign labour behind the lines; as well as what was going on in the trenches of Flanders. We also visit the grave of John McCrae, and see where he wrote the immortal ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem at Essex Farm near Ypres.
Local departure by coach, then to Belgium for a four-night stay.
Etaples Military Cemetery
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’.
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.
Flanders & Ypres
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.
At a Glance
4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
Specialist Battlefield Guide
Convenient local joining points
Travel by Silver Service coach
Included Excursions & Visits
Battlefield visits as described
Optional Excursions & Visits
Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)
Museum package available whilst on tour approx. €30
Entrance fees to museums and places of interest are at 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.
The Ibis De Panne hotel is located on the French borders and near to some local attractions such as Plopsaland amusement park in Belgium, museums for both World War I and World War II and the Coast Tram which leads you from De Panne beach to Knokke and back. The hotels facilities include Wi-Fi/Internet access, 24hr reception, a breakfast restaurant and bar. All bedrooms feature a desk, Wi-Fi/Internet access, LCD flat screen T.V with all major channels 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.