Remember the fallen on this unforgettable weekend break
The battlefields of the Ypres Salient in Belgium saw the most intensive fighting of the entire First World War, and the surrounding landscape has become a permanent record of the tragedy and bravery that became everyday occurrences in the course of the conflict. Join us here, to honour the fallen on the Centenary of the signing of the Armistice, to explore the historic sites of the Somme and Ypres Salient, and to take up an unmissable opportunity to see R.C. Sherriff's acclaimed WW1 play 'Journey's End' performed live in Ypres.
Leaving the local area in the early morning we travel to Dover or Folkestone for our Channel crossing to Calais. Once on the Continent, we'll continue to our hotel, arriving by early evening.
Day One: Join our coach and cross the Channel
We'll cross the border into Belgium, today, heading to Ypres to see the sights of the Ypres Salient, visit the largest war-grave cemetery in the world at Tyne Cot, and explore the fascinating permanent exhibitions of the In Flanders Field Museum.
Day Two: Visit the Ypres Salient and the Menin Gate
You'll also have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see R.C. Sherriff's 'Journey's End' performed, in English, in the intimate surroundings of the Kruitmagazijn (the Ypres gunpowder warehouse). The play, which follows the comings and goings in a British officers' dugout over four days in March 1918, offers a unique insight into the experiences of British infantrymen, and has received enthusiastic five-star reviews from the Daily Telegraph.
Alternatively, visit Poperinge, which was one of just two Belgian towns to escape Belgian occupation in during the war, and Essex Farm, where the survivors of the first gas attack of the war were treated and where John McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields".
After time for an early dinner in Ypres (payable locally), you'll head for the Menin Gate to hear the haunting sound of The Last Post, which has been played every evening since July 1928 under the arches of this memorial to the thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers whose bodies were never identified or never found at all.
Today's tour begins with a visit to the Historial de la Grande Guerre museum, which charts the origins, conflicts and consequences of the Great War. After stopping in Albert to see the town's resorted basilica with its golden tower-top statue of Mary, we'll cross the old front-line to Lochnagar Crater, which remains a powerful symbol of the violent first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Day Three: Explore the battlefields of the Somme
Other stops will include Thiepval, where you will see the Thiepval Memorial and Ulster Tower, and Beaumont-Hamel where the preserved trenches, memorials and cemeteries remain as memorials of the Newfoundland soldiers who died there.
We'll return to the hotel in the early evening.
You'll be heading home today, travelling first to Calais and then across the Channel to the UK. On the way to the coast we'll stop at Vimy Ridge, where you can see just how close and extensive the trenches and tunnels of the two front lines were.
Day Four: Call at Vimy Ridge en route home
You should arrive back at your original UK pick-up point by the mid-to-late evening.