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Tour Two ...  Three days in the trenches

This is our introductory visit to the Western Front - incorporating a full day on the Somme and a further full day in the ‘Salient’. Hotel accommodation is split between Arras and Ypres, allowing us ample time to  explore the perimeter of the latter town - particularly with regard to the fighting of 1914/15 and 1917, which culminated in the bloody assault on Passchendaele Ridge. The outline is as follows:

Leave Edinburgh for Hull late morning. Pick-ups en route. Check-in around five. Sail at seven. Video, audio and hamper on bus.

Zeebrugge. Leave ferry at 8.30. Same itinerary as Tour One - the awesome spectacle of Vimy Ridge, followed by Roeux Cemetery and the city of Arras, where we will check into our hotel and have lunch. Free time in the evening.

Saturday (Somme day)
Early start. Arrive Albert. Morning coffee at the Royale, followed by tour of underground museum. Then off to Beaumont Hamel and Newfoundland Park - start and finish of the Battle of the Somme. Lunch at Pozières. Later we’ll visit Lochnagar Crater, Gordon Dump Cemetery, Contalmaison and the South African Memorial at Longueval.  A pint with Thierry, proprietor of the 3 Pigeons in Albert, then it’s back up to Arras for dinner and a free evening.

Sunday (Salient day)
Check-out of hotel and set off early for Ypres, stopping at Kemmel, the newly excavated German trenches at Bayernwald and the vintage trench network at Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62) en route.  Lunch in Ypres, followed by check-in at city centre hotel. In the afternoon we’ll visit Essex Farm (of John McCrae fame), Solferino Farm Cemetery, Yorkshire Trench, Poelcapelle, St Julien and Tyne Cot.  Then back into Ypres in time for dinner and one of the high points of your trip - the nightly sounding of the Last Post at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. Free evening thereafter.

Check-out at nine, then drive to the rearward town of Poperinghe, home of Talbot House (’Toc H’). Returning to Ypres, we’ll visit the spectacular ‘In Flanders  Fields’ museum in the Cloth Hall.  Lunch at Le Miroir, then time for shopping. We leave for Zeebrugge just after four and  sail at seven.

Arrive Hull at eight in the morning. Leisurely drive north - dropping folk off along the way. Back in Edinburgh shortly after one.



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