Present day Northern France may conjure up images of picture perfect vineyards and bright green hills, but history tells a darker story. Countless lives were lost on this land when WWI and WWII raged on the now-picturesque countryside and the narratives of a turbulent past were penned on these sweeping fields.
Guests travelling with Back-Roads Touring can learn more about these tumultuous times and pay their respects to the fallen on a Back-Roads Battlefields Tour. With twenty years’ experience leading tours of the Western Front and Normandy, Back-Roads’ Battlefield Tours have become some of their most popular trips. With the opportunity to share in an expert-led journey of recognition, remembrance and respect with a small group of no more than 18 travellers, it is easy to see why.
A Back-Roads Battlefield Tour is perfect for history enthusiasts looking for a truly experiential journey. The 5 day WWI Battlefields tour takes you beyond the Western Front to delve deeper into the history of war as you travel through Somme, Vimy Ridge and Yrpes in a moving, educational and personalised tour. Traverse a peaceful countryside which was once devastated in battle, visiting memorials dedicated to the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives. This tour highlights the major areas of British and Commonwealth involvement across the Western Front and gives guests the chance to learn, discover, and pay their respects.
Back-Roads also offers guests the opportunity to personalise their tour around their unique family history. Do you have a family member who fought here? Your Back-Roads tour leader will make every effort to help you locate and commemorate your ancestors, piecing together their movements on the battlefield with the help of battalion records. Visiting the exact place where your relative fought and fell is a moving and personal experience often arranged by Back-Roads’ experienced guides.
Alternatively, simply follow in the footsteps of your country’s soldiers with the flexibility to focus on your country of origin. Back-Roads is sensitive to their travellers' needs and will ensure visitors from all countries will be able to pay their respects to their country’s fallen.
For a truly one-off experience, Back-Roads also offers travellers the chance to witness the ANZAC Day Dawn service on tour at the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux. On select April departures, join fellow Australians and New Zealanders as well as locals paying tribute to the brave ANZAC soldiers who fought for the town.
These special moments will stay with you forever and coupled with the authentic experiences that Back-Roads pride themselves on, your journey will be one to remember.