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. We see battle sites, cemeteries and memorials connected with the soldiers of 1914 who served with the BEF.

    We make our way to the port of departure and coach interchange where you will join your tour coach for the crossing to the Continent. Upon arrival in France we continue to Belgium and our hotel for a four-night stay.

    St. Symphorien Cemetery

    St. Symphorien Cemetery

    This morning we start with the Battle of Mons and travel to Casteau to see were the first shots were fired in August 1914. Following on to Nimy Bridge looking at the story of the first Victoria Crosses awarded to British troops and see the excellent new Mons War Museum. Following lunch in Mons we then travel to St Symphorien Cemetery where some of the first and last casualties of WWI are buried. We end the day at Audregnies examining the largest use of cavalry; when two regiments of war horses charged the Germans in 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
    Messines

    Messines

    The remnants of the Old Contemptibles fought their largest battle in 1914 at Ypres. We start just outside the Menin Gate and walk through Ypres town cemetery, seeing the 1914 burials. We then visit the In Flanders Fields Museum, one of the most important WWI museums in Europe. Following lunch at Hooge we travel to Zillebeke Churchyard seeing the Aristocrats Cemetery, where many officers who fell in 1914 are buried. In Messines we see the new WWI museum 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

    We leave the hotel after breakfast and travel to the Channel port. You will leave your tour coach behind as you join your transfer vehicle for your return journey to your original departure point.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    At a Glance

    Tour Includes

    • 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)

    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


    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 T.V., telephone and air-conditioning. The hotel has a small bar area and restaurant.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • WiFi Available
    • 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 Information

    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 £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.

    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 £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.
    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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