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United Kingdom, France, Belgium, The Netherlands: 11 Day Battlefield Tour

France, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom

United Kingdom, France, Belgium, The Netherlands: 11 Day Battlefield Tour

France, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom

Tour Snapshot

Destination: France, Belgium, Netherlands, United KingdomType: EducationalSubject: History

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This educational tour of Europe takes in some of the most important sites of World Wars I and II. Tour London’s major highlights from the comfort of your motor coach, stopping off to visit the finest military museum in England, The Imperial War Museum. Step back in time exploring the underground cabinet rooms in which Winston Churchill led the allies to victory in World War II. Travel to Portsmouth for a fascinating, hands-on history lesson for your student group. Tour the D-Day Museum and Historic Dockyards. Cross the English Channel to visit Pegasus Bridge in Normandy, where the first British paratroopers landed. Normandy highlights include Canada's Juno Beach Centre, Omaha Beach, Longues-sur-Mer, Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, LaCambe, and Beny-sur-Mer. Add a touch of continental opulence to your stay in France with a few nights in the 18th century Chateau du Molay, near Bayeux. En route to Belgium, you’ll visit World War I sites; notably Beaumont Hamel, where the Newfoundland Regiment took colossal losses on July 1, 1916 during the Battle of the Somme; Vimy Ridge with its magnificent Memorial; Ypres and several other key military sites nearby. Enjoy a canal ride in the medieval Belgian town of Bruges, and a chance to purchase some famous Belgian chocolate and lace. The tour concludes in and around Amsterdam, including the Anne Frank House, and a places associated with Operation Market Garden (“A Bridge Too Far”) in World War II.

Highlights

  • See Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
  • Visit to Vimy Ridge
  • Visit to the Anne Frank House
  • Tour of the D-Day Beaches
  • SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1

Board your overnight flight to London

Day 2

Guided Tour of London

Experience a half day, guided tour of London which will include famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. 
 

Day 3

See Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Throw yourself into the pageantry of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, both the office and London residence of Her Majesty the Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today, patrolled by the famously regimented Queen's Guard.
 

Visit to the Imperial War Museum

Your tour of this vast and impressive museum includes the Trench and Blitz experience which places you in the perspective of a soldier fighting in the First World War. A political slant is also provided with an engaging look at the Cabinet War Rooms.
 

Visit to the Tate Modern Gallery

Travel down the river to this impressive gallery housed in the former Bankside Power Station. 
The gallery is a spectacular display of international modern art, dating back from the 1900’s to the present day.
 

Day 4

Visit to Canterbury

This historic English city lies on the River Stour in south east England. Take a visit to the Canterbury Cathedral where thousands of pilgrims and visitors have made their way since the Middle Ages. It is one of the most visited places in the country and is still very much a living community.
 

Transfer to Normandy

Day 5

Tour of the D-Day Beaches

This tour features the Sword, Juno and Gold Beaches, locations brimming with historical significance. You will also tour through Arromanches where you will see the guns at Longue-sur-Mer and visit the American Cemetery and Memorial. From here you can see a breathtaking view over Omaha beach and La Cambe.
 

Visit to the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery

This cemetery contains predominantly Canadian soldiers killed during the early stages of the Battle of Normandy in the Second World War. Bény-sur-Mer was created as a permanent resting place for Canadian soldiers who had been temporarily interred in smaller plots close to where they fell.
 

Visit to the Juno Beach Centre

This D-Day beach memorial site is highlighted by the 360 Arromanches cinema, where you will watch a film about WWII before touring the new Juno Beach Centre. The centre is the only significant place housing several exhibits that mark the efforts of Canadian soldiers during the war.
 

Day 6

Visit to Mont St. Michel and Sant Malo

Mont St. Michel is a rocky tidal island located approximately one kilometre off the country's north coast at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. Your next stop is Sant Malo, a walled English Channel port city in Brittany. Both areas are brimming with culture and history.
 

Day 7

Visit to Abbaye d’Ardenne, Mesnil Patry and Longues-sur-Mer

Visit the Abbaye which was used by the Germans as an observation post during WWII. Mesnil Patry is the site of the Canadian land forces’ last big operation in Normandy. As part of the strategy to take the city of Caen, the battle resulted in a German victory. Visit the guns at Longues-sur-mer, followed by a stop at the American Cemetery and Memorial with a beautiful view over Omaha beach. You will then continue on to a breathtaking visit to Pointe due Hoc Ranger Monument and La Cambe.
 

Day 8

Visit to the Somme Battlefield

The Battle of the Somme took place between July 1 and November 18, 1916, and consisted of a large British and French offensive against the German army. It was one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in recorded history, and resulted in more than 1.5 million casualties. The Allied gain was only a few miles, and is still very controversial.
 

Visit to Vimy Ridge

This historic site, situated just across the borders of Belgium and France, was the location of perhaps the most notable victory in Canada's military history. Your visit gives you a scenic view of the site, as well as a chance to learn about this significant area.
 

Visit to the Beaumont Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Park and the Thiepval Memorial

This site provides you with a tour of the infamous trenches that defined combat in WWI. You will have lunch at the Ocean Villas Tea Rooms before continuing to the Thiepval Memorial, the largest British war memorial in the world. 
 

Transfer to Ypres

Day 9

Visit to the Ypres Salient

This city was home to some of the most remarkable battles of the First World War. The highlight of your visit will be a stop at the Essex Farm Cemetery, the site that inspired Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae to write his famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” A stop at the Flanders Fields Museum showcases some of the most prevalent events of WWI.
 

Visit to the Tyne Cot British Cemetery

This cemetery was erected on top of the land that acted as a stage for one of the deadliest battles in history, a beautiful and momentous stop on your tour of Ypres. 
 

Day 10

Transfer to Amsterdam

Visit to the Rijks Museum

This museum, renowned for its amazing collection of 15th-17th century paintings, is a must-see location in Amsterdam. Explore the museum at your own pace, taking as much time as you like to experience its wonderful collections.
 

Visit to the Anne Frank House

For more than two years, Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding in the annex of this building at Prinsengracht 263. Anne's diary, a tale of hope which detailed her family's time in hiding, has gone on to become one of the widest read manuscripts of the period, and this interactive tour through the setting of the book provides a sense of perspective and gravity for all visitors.
 

Tour of Canals

Take a guided tour of the intricate canal system that winds through Amsterdam's streets. Many local residents still use these canals for transportation and relaxing weekend activities.
 

Day 11

Transfer to Airport for Return Flight

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