About the tour: Tunnellers on the Western Front - The Underground War

The war beneath the Western Front in Belgium and France was the Underground War, fought by tunnellers deep beneath the surface where they blew charges to destroy each other or positions on the surface. This tour follows their story in WWI visiting mine craters, Royal Engineer memorials and a unique experience in the tunnels beneath Bouzincourt on the Somme.

Tour Includes


  • 3 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
  • Travel by executive coach or upgrade to Silver Service

Departure Dates

Once you have booked your tour either online, or by telephone ( 01709 787 463 ), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can:

  • Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  • Send payments via online banking.
  • Send payments via cheque.
  • Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

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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    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 head to Belgium and our hotel for a three-night stay.

    We begin our tour in Flanders where tunnelling began for the British Army in 1915. At Hill 60, one of the most mined sites near Ypres, we see evidence of the craters and learn the story of the Tunnellers, also visiting the mighty Caterpillar Crater. We then travel via the site of Vampire Farm- a massive British dugout built by the Tunnellers. Continuing on to Zonnebeke visiting the Passchendaele War Museum and their dugout experience. After lunch at Hooge, we look at the story of 177 Tunnelling Company and see the unique RE Grave. We then travel down the Messines Ridge, the scene of the ‘big bang’ in June 1917, when 19 mines were blown simultaneously, and see the Spanbroekmolen and Peckham craters. Later at Kemmel we look at the fate of trapped miners and then on the Ploegsteert Memorials to see the only Tunneller VC: Sapper William Hackett. We end the day in Ypres for the moving Last Post Ceremony.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Included highlights

    • Ypres, Last Post menin gate
    • Kemmel-Hill
    • Trenches, Zonnebeke
    • Messines Ridge, Ypres
    • Hill 60
    • Last Post Ceremony
    • Caterpillar Crater
    • V1 at Peenemunde
    • Spanbroekmolen Crater

    We travel to the Somme for our specially arranged visit to the medieval caves located under the village church at Bouzincourt, which are rarely opened to the public. Approximately 40 feet underground the caves were extended during WWI by British tunnellers and used for troop accommodation. You will see names, poems, regimental cap badges, other drawings and carvings made into the chalk walls by the soldiers. Access to the cave system is made through a 3 feet high hole in one of the interior walls of the church, the floor in the cave system is chalk and, if damp, can be slippery. You are able to stand upright, but there are places where the cave roof gets lower and you will have to crouch (the tunnels have no lighting so it is essential that you bring a torch). Following our cave visit we see the largest British mine crater on the Western Front at La Boisselle. We enjoy lunch at Thiepval and visit the Memorial to the Missing and the visitor centre. In the afternoon we visit tunnellers' graves at Becourt, look at the story of the Livens Flame Projector, and visit the scene of the Hawthorn Mine at Beaumont-Hamel; filmed and photographed, the explosion here has become an iconic image of the Great War.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Included highlights

    • Beaumont Hamel
    • Thiepval
    • Caves at Bouzencourt
    • Becourt
    • Hawthorn Mine

    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

    1 x museum package available whilst on tour approx. cost €35. Package includes entrance to the Passchendaele Museum and Hooge Crater Museum with a sandwich lunch (including drink) at Hooge Crater Café on day 2, entrance to Thiepval Visitor Centre and a baguette lunch (plus drink) to be eaten at a location on the battlefield on day 4. It also includes a 15 page tour booklet. Please note this is offered as a complete package only and must be paid in Euros (cash).

    Please note a degree of mobility is required to enter the caves.

    Tunnellers on the Western Front - The Underground War

    Book online OR call our friendly travel advisers on:
    01709 787 463

    Accommodation

    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.

    You will stay for three nights at the 4-star Hotel Alize in Mouscron. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but snacks are available from the bar and there is a good selection of restaurants and bars nearby in the town’s main square. 

    Alize Hotel Mouscron

    Passage St Pierre 34, B-7700 Mouscron,

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Find your nearest pickup point

    You can join your coach at your nearest joining point – we’ve hundreds to choose from throughout England, Scotland and Wales. To find your nearest pick up, search using your postcode below.

      *Please note pickups are subject to availability.

      Travel Extras

      Why not go the night before your tour for a relaxing start?

      You can park for FREE for up to seven days at the Holiday Inn Ashford North and enjoy an overnight stay with English breakfast from just £39.50 per person (Based on 2 sharing a twin/double room on a B&B basis, subject to availability. Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.) 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 seven days you can pay for additional days’ parking. Ask one of our friendly reservations team for more details when you book your holiday

      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 Ferries.

      Customer Reviews

      Travelled on this tour? You can submit your review to: feedback@leger.co.uk