The tour will start at Ebbsfleet International Station offering superb convenient links from London rail hubs and in addition provides secure parking at a reasonable rate. Transport via an executive standard coach and return channel crossing are also included throughout. The tour is limited to 20 spaces to ensure quality and make this tour feel like a personal pilgrimage as opposed to a large coach group. Personal visits to relatives or people of interest to you are positively encouraged.
Day 1 - Friday 7 April 2017
Departing from Ebbsfleet International around 100hrs we travel onwards to Dover for our ferry crossing to Calais. Upon arrival in France we travel down to Arras with a stop en-route at the impressive new International Memorial at Notre Dame De Lorette before proceeding onto our hotel in Cambrai
Day 2 - Saturday 8 April 2017
Walk 1 - Arras to Neuville Vitasse Following a seldom used soldiers path dating from 1917 we walk from the railway station in the heart of Arras, passing the town war memorial out to the battlefields of the Harp defensive line and onto Telegraph Hill, isolated bunkers and trenchlines hidden in small woods reveal themselves as we follow in the footsteps of the 47th London Division on the opening day. Individual acts of bravery are discovered before we reach London Cemetery so poetically described in the history of the 6th Londons. We then pass through the village where it was said by gunners during the battle 'if in doubt shell Neuville Vitasse' ending at the intimate Neuville Vittasse Road CWGC approaching the Hindenburg Line outposts.
Walk 2 - Tilloy Les Mofflaines to Wancourt Starting at Tilloy Les Mofflaines CWGC we follow the route of the 3rd Division with the 12th Eastern Division on their left as they advance towards Chapel Hill. As the ground slightly rises we pass through Tigris Lane, Hibers Trench and onto Wancourt village ending our day in this sector opposite the imposing Hindenburg Line outposts once more.
Day 3 - Sunday 9 April 2017
AM - This morning we will participate where possible at the official centenary events and make visits to the German, British & French cemeteries situated so closely together in Neuville St Vaast before freetime for lunch in Arras and then our afternoon walk in the Vimy sector
Walk 3 Thelus to Le Chaudiere - starting at Thelus cross-roads and its imposing Artillery Memorial placed by the Canadian's in 1918 prior to the Armistice we cut directly through the assault route taken by the 2nd Canadian Division towards Hill 135. We continue through the ground consolidated by the 12 April and onto the Douai Plain ending at Le Chaudiere CWGC in the shadow of the Vimy Ridge Memorial.
Day 4 - Monday 10 April 2017
Walk 4 - Browns Copse to Roeux
This walk crossing the Scarpe River visits some of the most intimate cemeteries and corners of the Arras battlefield, via Crump Trench we emerge into the haunting village of Roeux, infamous for its Chemical Works and the location for numerous attacks against this fortified position. We end close to the village of Pelves and its views of the imposing Monchy Le Preux
Walk 5 - Gavrelle to Oppy Wood
Starting at Chilly Trench we study the attack of the Royal Naval Division on Gavrelle, visiting their isolated burial ground and memorials new and old our walk takes us through the village and north towards Oppy, here we discover the bravery of Alfred Pollard VC MC DCM and Reginald Haine of the Honourable Artillery Company before ending at the Hull Memorial on the edge of Oppy Wood where we study the ill fated 31st Division attack.
Day 5 - Tuesday 11 April 2017
Our final morning offers a comprehensive study of the strategic hilltop village of Monchy-le-Preux, scene of bitter fighting involving British infantry, cavalry and armour, Newfoundland troops played a vital roll in its defence against a German counter attack. We then head back to Calais and our onward journey to the UK arriving at Ebbsfleet around 1600hrs