Tours

 


poppies

 

Great War 5 day tour direct from Scotland by luxury coach

Flanders, Arras, Somme

Saturday 16th to Wednesday 20th September 2017

£465 per person (based on two sharing)

 

Fully guided tour

P&O overnight ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge
Twin bunk cabin (low berths on request at a small supplement)
Breakfast and Evening Meals on both journeys
Two nights Bed and Hot Breakfast, 3 Star Best Western Flanders Lodge, Ypres
Pack Lunch first day
Full resource pack - maps, itinerary, etc for every passenger

Sample Itinerary

Menin Gate - Last Post, Passchendaele 1917 Museum, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Langemark German Cemetery,
Essex Farm - John Macrae (In Flanders Fields), Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Lochnagar Crater, Arras Memorial to the Missing, Arras Flying Corps Memorial....

Personal requests to a particular cemetery or memorial will be considered if time allows.

Get in touch today to reserve your booking for only £50.

Group Tours our Speciality

We take the hassle out and put the history in!

 

Enjoy an exciting historical journey of discovery and remembrance.

 

Expert help is on hand to help plan every step of the way to make your tour a very special and memorable experience. Whether you are a school, a small club, organisation, or a large group don't hesitate to get in touch to ensure the very best of attention.

If you are a school planning a tour we will be more than happy to come and discuss your requirements directly where possible.

Ecosse Battlefield Tours will take you on an unforgettable journey into the fields of Flanders, into the underground tunnels of Arras, to the beautiful, rolling landscapes of the Somme and the picturesque towns of Ypres and Peronne, and also to the amazing forts of Verdun and its citadel. With quality accommodation assured and meaningful paced, itineraries, you can be assured that we will do everything we can to make your trip a truly memorable one.

SOMME

South African National Memorial and Museum and Delville Wood
At Longueval, the South African National Memorial and Museum honour the South African troops who underwent their baptism of fire in Delville Wood. Out of 3,200 men who took part in the attack of 15th July 1916, only 143 came out unharmed five days later. The South African soldiers, who took the wood on 15th July 1916, belonged to the 9th Scottish Division. The Division had entered the village the day before.

High Wood
Memorial cairn to the 9th Highland Light Infantry (Glasgow Highlanders). The cairn is constructed with 192 stones, each stone representing a soldier who was killed here. It stands 5 feet and 7 inches and was the minimum height for recruit into the battalion.

Macrae Memorial, Contalmaison
The Macrae memorial cairn commemorating the 16th Royal Scots who on the 1st July captured briefly the German strongpoint known as Scots Redoubt. Part of the 34th Division they achieved the deepest penetration of the German trench line anywhere on the morning of 1st July. Heart of Midlothian football players and other professionals joined the 16th Royal Scots, known as Macrae's Battalion after Lt. Col Sir George Macrae. Football players and supporters of 75 local clubs from rugby players to bowlers all joined up to raise the battalion in record time.

Lochnagar Crater
At La Boisselle, this is an impressive mine crater which is 100 metres in diameter and 30 metres in depth. This mine exploded at 7.28 am on 1st July 1916, marking the launch of the British offensive in the Battle of the Somme.

Devonshire Trench
The 8th and 9th Battalions of the Devonshire Regiment left their trench on 1st July 1916, sustaining heavy casualties from a German machine gun post that had not been disabled by the preliminary bombardment. Their objectives finally taken, they returned to bury their dead in the old front line trench. 160 soldiers of the Devonshire Regiment who died that day are buried here. A stone outside the cemetery gate bears the words, "The Devonshires held this trench, the Devonshires hold it still."

The "Somme 1916" Museum, Albert
This museum lies at the heart of the Battles of the Somme (1914 - 1916) and is located in what was the crypt beneath the basilica. It retraces the life of soldiers in the trenches of the offensive on 1st July 1916. It has over 15 alcoves and display cases showing scenes of trench life in a 230 metre long underground gallery which was used as an anti-air raid shelter during the Second World War. There are numerous quantities of weaponry, other war materials rescued after the war from the surrounding fields and old trenches.

Thiepval Visitor Centre and Memorial to the Missing
Thiepval was one of the main theatres of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 during which 1,300,000 soldiers lost their lives. The Thiepval Memorial was inaugurated in 1932 to commemorate the loss 73,367 Commonwealth soldiers who died on the Somme with no known grave. It was designed by Sir Edwin Luytens and at 45 metres high is visible for kilometres around.

Beaumont Cemetery

Newfoundland Park, Beaumont Hamel
Beaumont Hamel was the fortress village located just behind the German lines on the 1st of July 1916. This position commanded the valley over which the attacking troops had to cross. The British attack on this part of the line was undertaken on that day by the 29th Division, part of VIII Corps.
The Newfoundland Memorial park offers a genuine and moving vision of the Battle of the Somme, with well preserved networks of trenches and memorials plus a visitor centre which houses a permanent display.
Albert Basilica

Albert Basilica Albert was the main town behind the lines for the Allies nearest to the 1916 Somme battlefields. In its centre was the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Brebieres, built between 1885 and 1895 by Picard architect Edmond Duthoit. It was very seriously damaged during the Great War. The Golden Virgin on top of the Basilica became one of the most famous icons in the Great War. German artillery damaged the Basilica early on in the war in January 1915 and the statue was knocked over, hanging at an acute angle.

It was said that the war would only end when the statue finally fell over. When the German pushed their way into Albert during their Spring Offensive in 1918 and aware that the tower was an excellent observation point, it was the British artillery that ranged it guns and blew the statue over. Albert was retaken by the British four months later. The Basilica was rebuilt between 1927 and 1929 by the architect's son and grandson.

The Historial of the Great War
This wonderful museum opened in 1992 and is located in the beautiful town of Peronne. Built from scratch as a cost of over 14 millions, it incorporates the medieval architecture of the ruined castle into a bright, airy, spacious and contemporary creation.
The Historial brings together the objects, works of art history and the memory of the war so well with over 55,000 inventoried objects. Claude Levi-Strauss said, "It is not a matter of just collecting objects but above all of understanding them".

By the end of 1916 over half the soldiers who would die in this horrific war would be dead, and millions more wounded or taken prisoner. August to December 1914 would have the highest death toll of the whole war for the French Army.

During the Battle of the Somme over 4 million combatants engaged on a 40 kilometre front. By November 1916 at the end of the Battle of the Somme, the territorial gain was between 8 and 12 kilometres.

Other sites: Sheffield Memorial Park at Serre, the Sunken Road, Hawthorn Crater

Flanders Cemetery

FLANDERS

trenchMemorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 The museum is located in the historical castle of Zonnebeke which is en route to Tyne Cot Cemetery. Zonnebeke and Passchendaele are two small villages, just a stone's throw from Ypres. During the British attack of 1917, there were 500,000 casualties in 100 days for a gain territory of only 5 miles. There is an underground dugout tunnel with communications - and dressing post, headquarters, workplaces and dormitories. New reconstructed German and British trenches.

Essex Farm Cemetery
Located just north of Ypres where John McCrae wrote his famous poem, 'In Flanders Fields' when he was serving with the Canadian Army Medical Corp in May 1915. The concrete bunkers built on the same spot where the original dressing station was located are still there.

Scottish Monument at Frezenberg
A Celtic cross made from Corrennie Pink granite from Scotland and built on top of German bunker stones. It is dedicated to all the Scottish soldiers who fought in the Great War from the people of Passchendaele, Wytschaete and Messines. It is their permanent reminder in keeping alive the memory of the Scottish soldiers from the Great War and is a wonderful testament to the people of Flanders in showing their thanks for the sacrifice of the Scottish soldiers and also to those Scots whose final resting place is far away from home in "Flanders Fields".

Hill 60 Zillebeke
This hill changed hands many times and the remains of both Allied and German soldiers still lie here. It is in effect a cemetery. Much of the fighting was conducted underground and there were 5 VCs awarded during the long fight for this small hill.

Caterpiller Crater
This picturesque crater is all that remains following an explosion on 7 June 1917 when the British exploded a huge mine under the German front line trenches.

St George's Memorial Church, Ypres
This church was built as a memorial to the thousands of men who died in the three Battles of Ypres. 500,000 men had died and the 160 Commonwealth War Cemeteries around Ypres mark the areas on which they fell. Since the Second World War the Church has also been a memorial to the troops who passed through Ypres in the retreat to Dunkirk.

Tyne Cot Cemetery
The largest Commonwealth Grave Cemetery in the world with 11,954 soldiers. Nearly 70% of the burials are unidentified.

Artillery Wood Cemetery
Resting place of Hedd Wynn, Welsh National Poet and Francis Ledwidge, Irish National poet

Irish Peace Park and Peace Tower

A round tower in honour of Irish soldiers of all denominations who died in the Great War.

Yorkshire Trench
This is an excavated trench and dugout system which was undertaken by Belgian archaeologists, 'De Diggers.'

Brandhoek New Cemetery
Noel Chavasse VC and Bar, MC, only soldier who won the VC twice during the Great War. The Brooding

Soldier at Sint-Juliaan
The Canadian Forces memorial, remembering the 2,000 dead who were killed following the first German gas attack in April 1915.

Langemarck German Cemetery
Containing 44,292 burials some 4, 6 or 8 soldiers to a grave including the mass grave of the remains of 24,917 unidentified German soldiers who are interred in the Kameraden Grab - a 'Comrades Grave'. German blockhouses remain which formed part of the defensive line. There is an impressive new information Centre which is a black tunnel, and the same length as the 'Comrades Grave'. All the battles of Ypres can be viewed by video. A few years ago the remains of 11 German soldiers found at the Boezinge excavations were reburied with their comrades at Langemarck.

Arras

ARRAS

For more information on the Arras battlefield sites, click here to go the history section of our website.

ARNHEM AND OPERATION MARKET GARDEN

Airborne Plein
This is at the north end of the Arnhem Bridge (John Frost Bridge). It consists of a broken pillar from the nearby destroyed Palace of Justice with airborne insignia. This location was at the centre of the battles for the bridge between 2 PARA and German SS troops.

Eusebius Church
Eusebius ChurchEusebius Church was at the centre of the bridge battle zone and was destroyed but rebuilt between 1947 and 1964. The church contains many memorials and the descending paras were a gift from the Burgess of Arnhem in 1994. There is a lift to the top of the tower which provides extensive views of the battlefield.

Bridge at Arnhem
View south towards the Bridge at Arnhem. The original Polish dropping zone was here but it was later changed to Driel. The Germans always held the south end of the bridge.

Hartenstein
The Hartenstein was a pre-war luxury hotel which became, in turn, the headquarters of the German Field Marshall Model and then Major General Urquhart Commander of the British 1st AB Div. It was hard fought over and both sides held it and lost it several times. Ultimately it became a casualty clearing station for both armies. Now it is the airborne memorial museum and a centre of pilgrimage and remembrance.

Hartenstein

Schoonderlogt
This was the HQ of 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment. At this time Captain Dick Winters of "Band of Brothers" fame was the Executive Officer.

Schoonderlogt