4 days / 3 nights
Mistral European Holidays
This truly memorable commemorative tour has a very easy and relaxing itinerary. The holiday is based in the Lille area in France, which is ideally located for our programme of sightseeing excursions and commemorative visits, which take us into the heart of the Somme Valley, Ypres and the Battlefields of the First World War.
Accommodation for the weekend is reserved in comfortable hotels, with all bedrooms having en-suite private bathroom.
92 years ago, on 1st July 1916 at precisely 7.30am, British and French infantry advanced from their trenches in the Somme. At the end of one of the bloodiest days in British military history, 50,000 men fell, including 20,000 killed. Never before had Britain and her Empire suffered on such a great scale.
Vimy Ridge, with its splendid Canadian Memorial, stands on "Hill 145", the highest point of the 9 mile long Vimy Ridge. The battle for Vimy Ridge commenced at daybreak on 19th April 1917, when all four Divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, stormed the Ridge. Today's visitor will find the ground is still pock-marked with shell holes from the intense artillery bombardment. The trenches and subways have been preserved and you will see at first hand what it must have been like during the war, with the enemy positions literally just feet away.
Of all the battlefields of the Great War, the Ypres Salient is perhaps the most emotive. For four long years the armies of Britain, France and Germany fought for possession of the continuous system of trenches astride the low ridge which circles the town - it was a tragic stalemate - the front line hardly moved at all between 1914 and 1918 and 500,000 lost their lives.