2022 Dates now available
From $1,445 per person twin share, fully escorted
Single supplements from $350
This tour operates from Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday
Due to popular demand, a 3 day Western Front tour package is now available! Combining the Villers-Bretonneux & the Somme, the Fromelles & Menin Gate, Ypres and the Arras-Bullecourt battlefield day tours, 2 nights’ accommodation in Arras and return rail tickets from Paris, the package will give participants an excellent overview of the main areas where Australian forces operated on the Western Front during the First World War. Spend three comprehensive days covering the main actions of 1916 with visits to Pozieres and Fromelles and of 1917 in The Ypres Salient and touching on the events of the first half of 1918 with visits to Villers-Bretonneux, Le Hamel, and the newly opened Sir John Monash Centre, completing the experience by attending the moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate.
The Western Front 3 day package tour is operated by our local battlefield experts who have an excellent knowledge of all battles and sites on the Western Front. The significance of each battlefield location is fully revealed and brought back to life for you, through the eyes of a soldier. You’ll also learn key insights into French culture and experience the very welcoming nature of the locals, especially to Australian visitors.
Please note: The 3 day package is subject to availability and pricing will be confirmed once booking is in place. This tour is only available from Monday to Wednesday and Thursday to Saturday.
- Fully escorted tour with an English speaking guide.
- All battlefield excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary.
- Two nights twin share accommodation in the heart of Arras at either Mercure or Express by Holiday Inn (subject to availability)
- Ground transport in air-conditioned mini-vans
- All entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Return 2nd class rail ticket from Paris
$300 per person non-refundable deposit required within 7 days of confirmation. Balance will be due 60 Days prior to departure. For bookings made within 60 days of departure full payment will be required 7 days after confirmation.
- More than 60 days prior to departure – loss of deposit
- Between 59 & 30 days prior to departure – 50% of tour cost
- Less than 29 days prior to departure – 100% of tour cost
Depart Paris Nord on the 7.52am TGV to Arras, and upon arrival at 9.00am be met by your expert battlefield guide to join the full day Fromelles/Ypres Battlefield Tour. Travel north to visit the village of Fromelles, the site of the first major action involving Australian troops on the Western Front during World War One. During the course of the morning visit the important local sites such as the ‘Cobbers’ memorial, built on top of ruined German bunkers, and VC Corner cemetery as you learn about this disastrous battle. You will also visit the new Pheasant Wood Cemetery specifically established to house the remains of those disinterred from the nearby mass grave discovered in recent years.
Later cross the border into Belgium where you will stop for lunch (own arrangements), after which the focus will be on the main battlefields of the Ypres Salient. This can include visits to Ploegsteert and the Christmas truce site, Messines Ridge, Hill 60, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele and Tyne Cot. The actual visits will be decided on the day dependant on time and particular requirements of tour participants. Arrive in Ypres late afternoon, enjoy some free time exploring this magnificent town and take a seat at one of the many cafes before attending the very moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. Upon completion of the service, return to your Arras Accommodation.
After breakfast today we explore the outlying areas of Arras and the main battlefields of 1917 surrounding Bullecourt. Begin at Vimy Ridge, the spectacular Canadian Memorial and see the preserved trenches then move onto the Ring of Remembrance, inaugurated on 11 November 2014 the impressive memorial honors over 576,000 soldiers of forty different nationalities in alphabetical order irrelevant of rank.
Return to Arras for lunch (own arrangements) and then pay a visit to the Wellington Tunnels, 350 m of tunnels 22 m below Arras, they were used to protect troops from the incessant bombings. Then travel via Hindenburg outpost line villages to Bullecourt. Tour the battlefield, where the AIF suffered 10,000 casualties in capturing part of the notorious Hindenburg Line defences in April/May. Visit the local memorials, including the Bullecourt “Digger” and Le Taille Museum, which contains many battlefield artefacts from this area. This evening we return to your Arras Accommodation.
Overnight: Arras (Breakfast)
Following Breakfast we make our way to the Somme for an in depth day exploring The Battle of the Somme which belongs to the “brutal learning period of 1916″ where much had to be learned about modern warfare, the allied losses in the first day of this Battle alone were staggering. Travel southwest from Arras through the scenic and rolling hills paying particular attention to the area around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm. Visit sites such as Newfoundland Park for a walk through weathered and authentic trenches, the killing fields of Mouquet Farm, Australian 1st Division Memorial, Windmill and Tank Corps Memorials and the Thiepval Somme Visitor Centre.
We make our way to the newly opened Sir John Monash Centre where you will have time to take the guided audio tour (please download the Sir John Monash Centre app to your phone prior to arrival) you will have a break for lunch here (own arrangements). We travel through Villers-Bretonneux, a village displaying many signs of the people’s appreciation of Australian efforts. Explore the Franco-Australian museum located inside the school grounds and the Australian National Memorial and Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery. Conclude the day in the tiny village of Le Hamel, where General John Monash planned and executed the brilliant operation which set the scene for the Allie’s final offensive of the war. Return to Arras railway station 5pm to board your train back to Paris.
Mercure Arras Centre Gare
Mercure Arras Centre Gare is an old-world style hotel, located just 9 minutes from Theatre d’Arras, 11 minutes from Abbey of St. Vaast and 14 minutes from Arras Cathedral. The modern rooms come with free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs. Upgraded rooms also feature Nespresso machines, designer linens and iPad docking stations. Amenities include a bright, modern restaurant/bar serving French cuisine.
Express by Holiday Inn
An 11-minute walk from the baroque-style houses of the Old Town, this modest hotel is bright, with simple stylish rooms which all have free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as coffeemakers and desks; some have balconies. Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast, a low-key lounge bar with snacks and drinks, plus a fitness room and business center.Enquire Now
“We had a wonderful few days & everything more than met our expectations. The accommodation in Amiens & Ypres was very good, especially Ypres as it was on the main square & only a short walk to the Mennin Gate. The tour itself was very informative & we had more than enough time to spend at the memorials etc. We were able to find my Great Uncle’s headstone at Tyne Cot cemetery which was quite an emotional moment for me. A really good, but very sobering day. Such loss of so many young lives. We have told many people of our experiences & have no hesitation in recommending your company to any one who might be considering visiting that area of France & Belgium.”
“Our 1 day private Western Front Tour with Rod Bedford from The Battlefields Experience was just fantastic. I’m so glad I went for that option and I would highly recommend it for anyone in a similar situation i.e. wanting to ‘follow in the footsteps’ of a grandfather and more. Rod was just great. I had a bundle of my grandfather’s details from the Australian War Memorial & National Archives and a book on the 14th battalion. Rod had huge amounts of general, specific and local knowledge.
He managed to pass on big picture info and explain all sorts of where/what/why stuff about particular battles and how events moved and changed and right down to all sorts of interesting and funny tidbits. And he seemed genuinely interested in granddad’s stuff and trying to piece together all sorts of stuff and to give me specific insights and suggestions on how to research some things further. And he was just such good company, chatting about all sorts of random stuff with both me and my 13 yo daughter.
So it really was a memorable experience for us both. I just wish it had been longer and I would love to go back some time and spend another day or two with Rod as my guide.
Our customers depend on us to provide a once in a lifetime battlefield experience combined with exceptional customer service. Visit our page full of client testimonials.
Spend more time on holiday by choosing from one of our extensive add-on accommodation packages or ask about our great airfares which can be combined with one of our battlefield tours.
For more information about our Western Front Day Tours and the experience of a lifetime, please contact us today or call 1800 035 350.Enquire Now