There are a select number of battlefield tours that every military history enthusiast should experience. Here we list seven of the finest, most reasonably priced, worldwide tours available.

Guided Battlefield Tours

We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a quality, personal experience at a reasonable price. We believe that our greatest recommendation is the number of returning guests present on each tour. We limit group sizes on each scheduled tour.

You will be accompanied by a specialist guide who will be aware of any special interest that you have discussed with us. Our guides will place sites in a proper historical context, in addition to bringing each site to life in terms of the experiences of men who served there. Each tour has a tour manager who will ensure your comfort and the smooth running of the tour. We are happy to talk to you about the service of a relative and can give you advice on how to undertake your own research or offer the services of our researcher.

Our tours are inspired by a passion for history and the commemoration of the sacrifice of past generations. Because of this, we are marking next year’s centenary with a number of special tours. The cost of the tours include all travel from the pickup point, bed and breakfast accommodation in three-star hotels, refreshments each day, and entry to all museums. There are no hidden costs. Our tours are protected for you through ABTOT.

TEL: 01633 258207

AVAILABLE TOURS: Retreat from Mons and Armistice Day in Ypres. We also offer a wide range of WWI and WWII tours in France, Belgium, and Holland.

Kirker Holidays

Kirker Holidays provides a wide range of carefully crafted tailor-made holidays to destinations across Europe, as well as escorted cultural tours and music holidays in the company of expert lecturers. Our cultural tours consist of small groups of 12 – 20 people and appeal to travellers with an interest in history, archaeology, art, architecture, and gardens.

In 2014, we are marking the Centenary of the Great War with three exclusive tours: visits to Turkey and the Western Front, as well as a very special weekend at Wolfson College, Oxford.

Dr Neil Faulkner, editor of Military History Monthly, will lead our June tour to Gallipoli, where the Allies suffered a catastrophic defeat during which they lost 56,000 men. The poet Rupert Brooke died on his way to the Dardanelles and his life and work will be one subject of discussion.

In July, we will host a study weekend at Wolfson College with military historian Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan, Dr Neil Faulkner, and the writer and biographer Peter Parker. This will focus on how the arts responded to the tragedy of those terrible years.

Finally, our Autumn tour to Ypres, Arras, and Amiens on the Western Front will explain how the battles were planned and executed, and examine the consequences.

TEL: 020 7593 1899

Bird Battlefield Tours

Somme, Ypres, Normandy, Waterloo, Gallopoli, Le Cateau. You tell us where you want to go and we will guide you!

Touring the battlefields of the 1914-1918 War began in 1919. The Michelin Company actually produced guides the same year. Families came to look for their loved one’s grace or see the ground where he would have fought. Bird Battlefield Tours follow that tradition. Many of our clients want to see their grandfather’s headstone or his name engraved on the Menin Gate. We will be conducting 1914-1918 Centenary Tours with the emphasis on remembrance. We specialise in tailor made tours.

A good guide should both inform and know when to shut up. There must be a balance. ‘War is Hell’, Sherman wrote. But it is not the complete picture. War is also thrilling, boring, and ridiculous. For every Owen traumatised by his ordeal, there is the old soldier we met in Ypres 40 Years ago who told us the war years were his best, that the war brought out the finest qualities in men. He remembered that, interestingly, the natural order of things for his mates when relieved from the front line duty was ‘wash, eat, sleep, drink, make love, punch an Australian…’ Perhaps these priorities say something about the human condition. Our priorities omit the Australian.
Tony and Nicky Bird.


Holts Battlefields and History Tours

Although much has changed in the world of travel since the first Holts Tour more than 30 years ago, visiting places of historic interest remains a most rewarding experience.

Our 2014 programme is packed with the usual wide variety of tours. As always, popular regular tours such as It’s A Long Way To Tipperary, Zulu War, D-Day and Salerno, Casino, and Anzio are featured, as well as anniversary tours The Retreat from Mons, Napoleon in France 1814, Vercors & the French Resistance 1944, Arnhem 1944, and the Christmas Truce 1914.

These days it is often not clear what you are getting for your money; we have always thought it important that there are no hidden costs, and so much is included in the price that each tour represents excellent value for money. We are fully bonded with ABTA and ATOL for your protection. If you would like to receive our 2014 Battlefields and History brochure, please telephone our office or request a brochure via our website.

TEL: 01293 865000

Franco Prussian War; Trench Warfare; Normandy Breakout Battles; Irish Rebellions; Hadrian’s Wall; Women On the Western Front; Northumberland Battles; Stuarts in the West Country; Dambusters; Leige Forts; Crimean Battles; Somme Walks; Medieval Venice; Leipzig Colditz and Berlin; Richard III

Battlefield Tours / War Research Society

The War Research Society Battlefield Tours, was founded over 30 years ago. Ian Alexander and his trained team of guides has led tours to the battlefields all over the world, bringing history alive as you traverse the terrain.

We specialise in organising the tours around the requests of our clients. If you have a particular action or grave memorial to visit, we will guarantee to take you there. Our tours have an international reputation for quality and choice.

From Waterloo through the Crimea, Zulu and Boer Wars, First and Second World Wars, we have taken thousands of interested parties, relatives, and next of kin on these pilgrimages to pay their respects.

The tours are run in a family orientated way, with many clients returning time and time again. One couple has taken 110 tours with us over the years!

Our guides have a tremendous amount of knowledge, and run the tours in a friendly and sympathetic way to ensure that you get the most from the experience. Come with us and experience the best.

TEL: 0121 430 5348

Military History Tours

Here at Military History Tours we take great pride in what we do. We are experts in each of our chosen fields and we wish to share this ‘on the ground’ knowledge with you. At MHT we would encourage everyone to read and view as much as possible. But only by walking in the footsteps of those who were there can one get a real insight into what went on. You have to live the history, and MHT it is all about the experience. Naturally we take care of all local accommodation, transport, and entrances, but what sets us aside is our on-the-ground knowledge and contacts, established over many years, that enable you to really get under the surface of your chosen subject matter. MHT believes this experience is enhanced by only taking low group numbers, typically 8-12. Importantly we do not penalise the lone traveller and MHT has very low single room supplements. MHT takes guests on trips as diverse as The Christmas Truce to Colditz Castle, from Hitler’s Eagles Nest to the location of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo. MHT has a diverse and comprehensive range of 19th and 20th century trips to enable an experience of a lifetime for anyone and everyone.

TEL: 0845 8350644

African Battlefields

South African Battlefields tours study the classical Victorian Military expeditions of the Anglo Zulu war and Anglo Boer Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal of 19th Century British colonial Africa. Walk the iconic battlefields from when the British first crossed the Buffalo River, and follow the trail of the biggest military reverse ever inflicted on the British army at the spears of the native Zulu force at the battle of Isandhlwana.

These tours will also take you around the Anglo-Boer battlefields, stopping at the siege towns of Ladysmith, the killing fields of Spionkop, the site where a young Winston Churchill witnessed the train ambush, and the British HQ of Melrose House in Pretoria where the peace accord was signed on 31 May 1902.

TEL: +27 83 448 6898

Anglo Zulu Battlefields, Anglo Boer Zulu Battlefields, Anglo Boer Zulu Battlefields and Kruger Park Safari
Please refer to website for combined tour options.

To view this feature as it appeared in issue 38 of Military History Monthly, click here.