Leger Holidays Battlefield Tours

The UK's Leading Battlefield Tour Operator

Loading

All Quiet on the Western Front

4 & 5 Day Tours from £299.00

This is the perfect introduction to the First World War battlefields looking at the key battlefield sites of the Great War on the Western Front in Belgium and France. We take trips to the battlefield areas of Ypres and the Somme, and to Arras and Vimy Ridg

Customer reviews

Mave Turner wrote...

As my family history had been so affected by World War One, I had always intended visiting the Western Front. I could not have made a better choice than deciding to do so on a Leger tour.

From our hotel in Belgium we set off each day on our sombre quest to visit the battlefields where so many had died, to stand in trenches from which waves of young men had gone ‘over the top’, to face slaughter on an industrial scale.
We visited beautifully maintained cemeteries and memorials recording the names of thousands with no known resting place and stood in front of graves where the occupant was ‘known only unto God’. We went underground in the Wellington Quarries to see where Tommies had lived before battles. The projections on the walls showing smiling and cheerful young men preparing to face death, reading copies of the ‘Daily Mail’ and sharing their rations with their German prisoners.

Travelling in our comfortable coach, we watched films en route to our destinations, as we rolled along the motorways. Several of our party of kindred spirits had lost relatives in battles, and, for me, some of the most memorable moments – where people were moved to tears – were when Paul could pinpoint the exact locations, and thanks to the skills of our drivers, we navigated seemingly impassable country lanes to isolated sites and cemeteries.

At the Menin Gate evening ceremony, we met World War Two veterans on the Leger Normandy tour, who had just walked the beaches of Dunkirk, from which they had been evacuated all those years ago. Standing alongside them were young soldiers who would undoubtably serve in Afghanistan one day. What a debt my generation owes to them all.

It was profoundly moving to see a sailor who had served in the Falklands War, with his son, plant a cross in a muddy ploughed field where his grandfather had died, and to see my friend, Margaret, weep as she placed flowers on the grave of her grandfather in a small cemetery.
We were so fortunate in having Paul Reed as our guide. He undoubtedly is the most knowledgeable guide – caring intensely about his subject – I have had on holiday, and I have been on many. In his quiet and thoughtful way, Paul imprinted on everyone’s mind the unimaginable horrors of the Somme and Passchendaele and the death of a generation.
I can honestly say that, thanks to Leger’s superb organisation, the wonderful people met and Paul’s guiding, the tour was one of the most amazing and awe-inspiring holidays I have ever been on. Eating out and sharing a drink with new found friends meant there was fun – it most certainly was not doom and gloom.

Mave Turner

LEG CUST 000100


 



Margaret Triggs wrote...

 

I cannot praise this trip too highly. The weather was perfect – beautiful, spring sunshine, blossom on the trees and birdsong. There were no traffic sounds and it was very difficult to imagine it as it would have been at the time of the Great War.



Anne Hathaway wrote...

My paternal Grandad was a private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was killed on 14th July 1916 at the battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and so his named is carved in the memorial at Thiepval.

On the 90th anniversary (1st July 2006), my husband, adult son and daughter and mys...



Elaine Calvert wrote...

On the journey to our hotel, our Battlefields Guide, Marc introduced himself and the drivers (both named Alan) and gave us information and very informative print-outs of the places we would be visiting. Our hotel was The Best Western Ambassador Hotel in Menen, which was clean, very comfortable and t...



ALAN MANSER wrote...

My situation now is that I am a single traveller, aged between 65 and 70, having lost my wife less than a year ago. I find that I now need to get away as often as possible due to 'empty house syndrome' and I like to be able to get away at least twice a month; once or twice a month in the UK and also...



Mrs Karen Everett wrote...

We have just experienced our first Leger holiday and want to thank you for a truly memorable and amazing experience which was way beyond all our expectations. In fact, I would refer to our trip as an amazing and unforgettable experience rather than just a holiday.



Chris Blackmore wrote...

Following a mutual friend’s trip to the battlefields and cemeteries, my mate John and I were interested in doing something similar. Having read through Leger’s brochure and discussed the options we decided that All Quiet On The Western Front was the tour for us.


Some months later we found ourselves waiting in my local town to be picked up by the feeder coach. It arrived on schedule and after a few more pickups we were whisked down to the Eurotunnel Park at Folkestone.


After a swift changeover to our main coach and a sprint through the tunnel we were on our way through Northern France to Belgium.


We arrived late afternoon at our 4-star hotel in Menen. Our rooms were excellent and very comfortable and after a hot shower we had a walk to a nearby restaurant for a hearty spit roast chicken and chips and a few beers. Satisfied with our meal we ambled back to our hotel for a nightcap.


With lots to pack in we were up for an early breakfast then onto the coach. We stopped at a number of key points and cemeteries where Tony, our guide, explained their significance and the actions that had taken place. By late morning we arrived at Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial where over 12,000 men are buried. A truly moving sight, row upon row of headstones and a huge memorial wall to the missing.


Following lunch at the Hooge Crater restaurant and museum we made a few stops before arriving at Ypres. After finding a suitable restaurant for our evening meal we made our way to the Menin Gate for the remembrance ceremony. It was a very emotional affair, culminating in the local fire service sounding the Last Post.


Wednesday and another early start. We were off to the Wellington Quarries in Arras. This newly opened exhibit is a series of tunnels and caverns originally mined for limestone and re-opened and extended in the Great War by New Zealand troops to be used as billets. This fascinating place had a small museum, a film show and an extensive tour of the underground system. Then on to the Arras Memorial; Monchy Le Preux and finally the Vimy Ridge Battlefield Park with its magnificent huge limestone pylons reaching high into the sky.


The coach headed back to our hotel. Later, after a hot shower we went out for our evening meal at a local ‘frittery’ (chip shop) followed by for a pint or two with our fellow passengers back at the hotel.


Thursday, another early start – we had a long drive down into France. First visit, the excellent museum in Peronne. As we left we stopped at the nearby memorial to the World War II resistance fighters to pay our respects. It was a very quiet, beautiful place that had seen so much suffering.


On our way to Thiepval, we stopped briefly at the Lochnager mine crater at Boisselle, hearing the story of General Plumer and his attempt to smash the German line.


Nothing really prepares you for the sheer size of the monument at Thiepval which commemorates the missing of the Somme. We strolled out to it and wandered around it taking in the breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside from the high ridge it sits on. Returning from the monument we visited the excellent visitor centre with its friendly multi-lingual guides.


Next stop, the Newfoundland Park with its monument of a bronze caribou. Here we visited the preserved trench lines and walked around its shell-holed grounds.


Another full day over, it was a long drive back to our hotel but we were kept entertained by our guide. Once back it was a hot shower and out to our favourite restaurant – the Guynemar – for a well earned meal and a few beers.


Friday, our return home, we had an early breakfast and drove to Ypres for coffee and some last-minute sightseeing and shopping. At Calais, we had a short delay as we passed through immigration then boarded the shuttle, through the tunnel and back in Folkestone en route to home.


My overall memories of the tour are of the huge memorials at Vimy Ridge and Thiepval and the seemingly endless rows of graves at Tyne Cot. Also, the expertise and helpfulness of our crew – Tony the guide and Chris and Alan the drivers. The camaraderie of my fellow passengers, one of whom we discovered had given everyone nicknames; John and I were Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show.


Next year Champagne, the Marne and Verdun.


Chris Blackmore



wrote...

As the lift took our party down to the amazing tunnels under Arras, preserved exactly as they were when 25,000 British troops waited patiently for 7 days in 1917 before charging up into the streets and inferno that was the Battle of Arras, my mind went back to the conversation I had with my brother-...



Rev. Collins & Rev. Deacon wrote...

The particular tour I decided on was 'All Quiet on the Western Front’ . This tour was the climax to a long-held desire to visit Ypres, and more importantly to see the Menin Gate, this was my highlight, the rest was cream on the cake!

My mother's brother was Reginald John Barnett...



Mrs Stoner wrote...

I hope that my few words will inspire others to make a journey of Remembrance.

My husband John and I set off to France/Belgium for a journey of Remembrance to the Battlefields of World War One. Having never taken a holiday by coach, I did wonder how it would compare to my usual airport experience. Well, it far exceeded any expectations. A luxurious coach, an on time departure, bags that were taken care of as if by magic and not to be seen again until we reached our hotel room. We had two fabulous drivers who we called the dynamic duo who drive us through places I would not have dared drive a car, let alone a coach!



Mr and Mrs Richardson wrote...

We opted for this tour because like so many others, we had lost family members in World War One and we’d always promised ourselves a visit to France/ Belgium to see the battlefields. More particularly, we wanted  to visit the Arras memorial where we knew our grandfather’s name was inscribed.  So, having seen the itinerary and the reasonable price, we chose Leger’s and their ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ tour.After a smooth, well organised outward journey, with a trouble free interchange at Dover, we arrived at our hotel in Menin in the early evening. We were pleased with our accommodation, which had friendly staff and a relaxing atmosphere.



Mrs Dorothy Lake wrote...

I chose our first holiday ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ with Leger over the Easter weekend. It was a combined birthday/Christmas holiday for my husband, as I wanted something different from the usual type of present - what a brilliant choice. We both totally enjoyed the whole experience, which we will never forget. It's difficult to write why we enjoyed it so much - not what to say but what to leave out!



Mr and Mrs Blackstock wrote...

Just to let you know how much we enjoyed this tour. We both had family that served in both the first and second wars, and had been thinking of doing this tour for some time. We are just sorry we didn’t do it sooner. We didn’t go looking for graves of our relatives but just a feel of the times they lived through.



Mrs Jackson and Mrs Brown wrote...

I live in Toronto, Canada, and my sister, Lynda, still lives in our home town of Leeds, so every summer I fly home and we spend the month of August together travelling and having fun. This year we decided to do something a little different. We have both always had an interest in history, most likely inherited from our father, who under different circumstances would have made a wonderful history master. My passion is genealogy and I have worked extensively on our family tree. The idea of a tour of the WW1 Battlefields has always appealed to us and since Leger Tours had been recommended to Lynda by friends, we chose to go with them. We selected ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ because it was a 4 day tour and this year’s itinerary was already quite full.



Mr Walsh wrote...

I chose the tour because the battle sites of the Western Front have been places that I have wanted to visit for a long time.
 
We looked at the battlefields of Flanders and Ypres the trenches at Sanctuary Wood, Passchendaele, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Messines Ridge, Ploegsteert/Plugstreet, Arras, Lochnagar Crater, Devonshire Cemetery, Newfoundland Park, The Sunken Road, The Ulster Tower, The Irish Peace Tower, Hyde Park Corner, Hill 60, Hill 62, German Cemetery Neuville St Vaast, Vimy Ridge and Pheasant Wood and probably many more places as our guide was always trying to squeeze in as much as possible.
 
I think the Irish towers particularly resonated with me as I am Irish and because they were both built as replicas of similar towers in Ireland. I found being in the area of both of these buildings a very emotional experience. Similarly, at Menin Gate in Ypres, when the last post was being played. The gentleman who was standing in front of me was crying quite openly as were many other people around where I was standing - such was the feeling of deep sadness. Seeing both the trenches at Sanctuary Wood and at the Canadian memorial was also very moving.
 
The Menin Gate was undoubtedly the pinnacle experience of my tour. Standing there and listening to the Last Post being played while the crowd were totally silent and as I looked at all those thousands of names engraved on the walls, was a moving and unforgettable experience.
 
I thought the itinerary was perfect and well constructed. Our excellent guide Mr Peter Williams, was always able to add something else for us all to visit. Given the type of tour it was there were no excursions to anywhere else.
 
For anyone else embarking on the same tour as I did I would suggest bringing a good pair of walking boots and perhaps a little bit of reading up on WW1 beforehand. Once more, Peter Williams explained everything in full and gave us all plenty of suggestions for future reading.
 
My fellow passengers were a wonderful sociable group and everyone got on with each other really well and a very friendly and sociable atmosphere prevailed at all times. I think this was because they were both thoroughly pleasant people and we really had nothing to moan about at any time.
 
The tour meet all my expectations. Leger had been thoroughly recommended to me by colleagues in the travel industry and I was thoroughly grateful to them. I have travelled with several other coach companies so I was in a position to compare and contrast. The coach was really comfortable and the drivers were superb and always helpful and efficient.



Paul and Maureen Harker wrote...

We chose All Quiet on the Western Front as we are both interested in the First World War – my husband because he had relatives involved, and myself because I taught that period in history for a number of years.  We felt this particular tour would give us a good overview – which it did most successfully.



Enid Rees and Anne Giblin wrote...

 

 

 



Mr V Evans wrote...

 

I hadn't been on holiday since my late wife passed away nine years ago after a long illness, therefore some eleven years. For some years I have been a Volunteer Field Worker for the Imperial War Museum Archives in London covering a large area in South Wales. I had been interested in taking a tour of the Battlefields but somehow never got around to it. My daughter meanwhile became interested and then my grand-daughter. So now I was out voted, and so taking advice from a friend, who has taken several tours with Leger and my daughter viewing a tour coach on display in Sheffield we made reservations for the dates above.  Getting up very early we then went to meet our coach in Cardiff.  A superb welcome by Chris and Bryn that made us feel that we were long-time friends. So helpful with our luggage and to meet Chris knitting while she waited, gave me a reminder of my older female relatives who were always knitting. This always made me feel calm, and so it was with Chris. The whole journey to and from Dover was so interesting due of course to the thinking and attentions of Chris and Bryn, always so concerned about our welfare and comfort. To them must go my first complements and thanks.  The coach was everything I expected from the brochure, very clean and comfortable all the refreshments supplied were of first class standard and served, whenever any of us were inclined, with a smile and a chat about the journey each way.



Mr Boughton wrote...

 

Having recently returned from the above tour with my eldest son, I would like to let you know how we enjoyed the tour from the start to finish, the organisation of travel, sights to visit and the excellent selection of hotel. My son had developed a wish to visit the Somme after reading WW1 books, I had visited the area three times in the past, twice with Leger Holidays.



Mr Ridley wrote...

 

To the early morning pick up in Scunthorpe to evening arrival at our hotel in France, all went smoothly, coach journey, transfers and ferry, all no problem.



Mr M Reed wrote...

 

 

This was my first tour with Leger Holidays and my first trip, so I was a little anxious about what to expect.



Edward Slater wrote...

A century ago, in August 1914, Great Britain plummeted into war. Involved in the battle were millions of soldiers and by 1916, conscripts. More than ¾ million men were never to return home. Hundreds of thousands more wounded or damaged mentally by what they had witnessed on the battlefield. Having been a professional soldier, and experienced active service, I can only comprehend in a miniscule way what these brave men must have endured.



Mr Ritchie-Fagg wrote...

I and my mum had, for a long time, wanted to do the Battlefield Tours and we finally had the chance.  We chose Leger as they seemed to have the best itinerary for visiting the Battlefields of World War 1 and we weren’t disappointed.



<