Day 1 - Sunday 1 July 2018
Pick up from Ebbsfleet International Rail Terminal and Dover Eastern Docks for our journey across to France via Dover - Calais ferry. Once on the continent we make our way towards Belgium, stopping at Lijssenthoek Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, the second largest in the world. Here we set the scene on the formation of the Ypres salient in 1914 through to 1917 and the strategic importance of the region. From here we make travel on to our accommodation in the Park Hotel, Izegem
Day 2 - Monday 2 July 2018
Transport Farm to Sanctuary Wood - Starting at Transport Farm CWGC, a major dressing station during 3rd Ypres we walk alongside Zillebeke Lake, home to numerous artillery batteries during the period. We the climb Observatory Ridge and continue into Maple Copse in the shadow of Hill 62. From here we climb onto Hill 62 and across the ground assaulted by the Germans during the battle for Mount Sorrel a year earlier. After studying the Canadian defence and counter attack of this sector, we continue through Sanctuary Wood to the cemetery where the fallen from all four years of fighting are buried.
Hellfire Corner to Hooge - Commencing our walk Hellfire Corner we walk to Perth China Wall Cemetery and then across to Burr Crossroads, crossing over the Menin Road, we continue to Railway Wood, charting the old 1917 startline before visiting Hooge Cemetery and ending at the Kings Royal Rifle Corps Memorial positioned on newly captured ground.
Day 3 - Tuesday 3 July 2018
Clapham Junction to Polygon Wood - Starting at the memorial to the 18th Eastern Division we walk past Cryer Farm, a German bunker that became an aid post for the 56th London Division on 1917. We continue around the wood Nonne Boschen and follow in the footsteps of Clement Robertson awarded a VC for the Tank Corps as they advanced towards Polygon Wood. We enter the wood at Black Watch Corner as the Australians did so successfully in September 1917 ending at the Buttes and with views onto the Passchendaele Ridge.
Gravenstafel Ridge to Passchendaele - Starting at the New Zealand Memorial on the Gravenstafel Ridge at Kansas Crossroads, we walk to Dochy Farm before ascending the Passchendaele Ridge where we follow the railway line that traces the advance of October 1917 to Tyne Cot Cemetery, we then continue in the footsteps of the Canadian advance up in to Passchendaele ending the day in the village and the impressive 66 Division Memorial stain glass window in the church.
Evening attendance at the Menin Gate and free time in Ypres will end our day.
Day 4 - Wednesday 4 July 2018
Today we head to the coast to study the joint Naval and Army Operations planned for 1917 and undertaken in the Spring on 1918. Beginning at Nieuwpoort we look at the ground assaulted by German Marine forces in their Operation Strandfest. We then head to Middlekerke where we discuss the British 'Hush Hush' Scheme to land 1st British Division in an amphibious operation in 1917. After lunch in Ostend and a visit to the HMS Vindictive Memorial on the sea front we end with an in depth study of the St George's Day Raid, 23 April 1918 before returning to Dixsmuide
Day 5 - Thursday 5 August 2018
Our final morning in the salient provides an opportunity to enjoy the city of Ypres itself, with plenty of free time factored in and the chance to make personal cemetery visits. Leaving the city we head back to the coast for our return Calais - Dover Ferry.