Tour Dates: 9th - 13th July 2017

Price Per Person: £720:00 (£120:00 single supplement)

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Arras (B&B Basis)

Somme Strolls I

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday 9 July 2017

Picking up at Ebbsfleet International Rail Station and Dover Eastern Docks we take the Dover-Calais Ferry to France. On arrival we make our way to Arras with a stop at Mont St Eloi to consider the importance of air power during the battle, discover the story of the famous RNAS squadron 'Naval 8' and the nearby CWGC at Ecoivres. We then check in to our accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express in Arras.

Day 2 - Monday 10 July 2017

Walk 1: Grandcourt to Thiepval Wood. Starting just outside the village of Grandcourt we see the Somme from the far reaching views afforded to the German Army in the Summer of 1916, we visit Stump Road and Grandcourt Road CWGC Cemeteries and consider the attacks of the 36 Ulster Division in July, 49th West Riding Division in September and finally the 39th Division in October/November 1916. Crossing the Schwaben Redoubt we visit Mill Road before ending at the Ulster Tower.   
Amber Walk - 4/5KM - on roads and tracks but some climbs/descents into the Ancre Valley 

Walk 2:Thiepval Memorial to Pozieres. From the visitors centre and Lutyens masterpiece to the missing we pass the Leipzig Redoubt and visit Lonsdale CWGC to learn of the 32nd Division attack so vividly described by Charles Douie in the Weary Road. Crossing Blighty Valley we pass through Orvillers captured by the 12th Eastern Division before ending at the Pozieres Memorial to the Missing to study both the 1916 & 1918 actions in the area.       
Green Walk - 4/5KM - on roads and tracks over mainly flat ground 

Day 3 - Tuesday 11 July 2017

Walk 3:Peake Wood to Pozieres - starting on the outskirts of Contalmaison we pass a number of private memorials, through the village and onto the sunken lane, used by so many Canadians in the September of 1916. After passing the remote cemeteries that mark the old approach route we emerge into Pozieres and study the Australian battle over this ground in the late summer of 1916. We then visit the Tank Corps Memorial to study their introduction and impact on the battle before ending on the site of Pozieres Windmill and its impressive views to the north and east of the battlefield.       
Green Walk - 4/5KM - on roads, tracks and through some woodland, over mainly flat ground

Walk 4:Regina Trench to Boom Ravine - The afternoon shifts focus to the efforts of the Canadian Corps and the struggle for Courcellete and Regina Trench, starting at Courcelette British Cemetery we walk through the village and rise up to the site of Regina Trench, a major German supply system for Thiepval that by September had switched to become an imposing barrier to the Canadian Corps. We walk across this shell torn land to the seldom visited Regina Trench Cemetery, often inaccessible to vehicles except in the dryest of weather it contains over 2000 burials. We end the walk by traversing and discovering the story of Boom Ravine, a last operational effort on the Somme before the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. This impressive geographical feature was the scene for a bloody attack by the 18th Eastern Division in February 1917 as the Royal Naval Division advanced on Miramount, we end in Ancre Valley close to the entrance to the village.      
Green Walk  - 4/5KM - on roads, tracks and through some woodland, over mainly flat ground. 

Day 4 - Wednesday 12 July 2017

Walk 5:Mesnil Martinsart to Beaumont Hamel - First stop Mesnil Martinsart CWGC to discover the story of Olympic Rower and Composer/Pianist Frederick Kelly of the Royal Naval Division we then follow the aproach route of the 29th Division on the 1st July 1916 passing Mesnil Ridge and Knightsbridge CWGC Cemeteries. We spend time inside the Newfoundland Memorial Park and its visitor centre before exiting via Y Ravine and descend into the village of Beaumont Hamel ending by the church and memorial to the 51st Highland Division.    
Green Walk - 4/5KM - on roads and tracks, slight rise in the ground but over mainly flat country

Walk 6:Serre to New Munich Trench - From the Memorial to the 12th York and Lancs (Sheffield City Battalion) in the village of Serre we consider the 31st Division attacks on the village throughout the battle before walking on to Ten Tree Alley CWGC, using farm tracks and field boundaries we chart the last front line of  1916. With visits to its remote yet stunningly maintained cemeteries including Waggon Road and Frankfurt Trench we study the ground marking the assaults of the 32nd Division in late November. We end at New Munich Trench on the outskirts of Beaumont Hamel.        
Amber Walk - 5/6KM - on roads and tracks, through woodland, but graded amber as slightly longer distance

Day 5 - Thursday 13 July 2017 

Our final Day in France leaves us plenty of time to make a visit in the morning to Vimy Ridge, rightfully the centre for the centenary commemorations in April 2017, its important to remember that the majority of Canadian listed on its panels fell on the Somme and on ground we have recently walked over. Leaving Vimy we head back to the coast for the Calais-Dover return ferry to the UK.