There are a select number of battlefield tours that every military history enthusiast should experience. Here we list eleven of the finest, most reasonably priced, worldwide tours available.
WAR RESEARCH SOCIETY BATTLEFIELD TOURS
For more than 30 years our family run tours have taken many thousands of veterans, families, and interested parties to the battlefields, memorials, and cemeteries all over the world, in a relaxed and compassionate way. Our pre-tour research enables us to fulfil your wishes in visiting a particular place wherever it may be.
Our courtesy car that accompanies the tour will take you to out-of-the-way places to stand in the footsteps of your ancestors and have the events of the day explained to you.
Our guides are all very experienced in the tours they are leading and we are one of the oldest established tour leaders in this profession.
Why not come and join one of our highly acclaimed tours; we are sure that you will find it extremely rewarding. Ian and Jeannie Alexander look forward to welcoming you.
TEL: 0121 430 5348
WEB: www.battlefieldtours.co.ukAVAILABLE TOURS:
Europe: First and Second World War, South Africa, Zulu, and Boer Wars
Russia: Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk
Asia: Singapore, Thailand
GALINA INTERNATIONAL BATTLEFIELD TOURS
Galina began organising tours to the battlefields of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 1989. In those days, 20 or 30 people attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres was regarded as a crowd. Times change, but we remain an independent, family-owned company, offering the same high quality of personal service today as we did then.
Our tours are guided throughout, and our guides have an academic or military background, great experience of leading battlefield tours, and an enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge. They are selected and trained by us.
Galina is a member of ABTA. We have also been the Official Tour Operators to the Normandy Veterans’ Association since 1992. The coach companies and accommodation we use are inspected by us to ensure high standards of safety and comfort. Finally, we can offer all our clients financial security when booking with us.
TEL: 01244 340 777
Mons 100th Anniversary: 22-25 August 2014
Arnhem 70th Anniversary: 18-22 September 2014
GUIDED BATTLEFIELD TOURS
Our greatest recommendation is the number of returning guests on each tour. We pride ourselves on providing a quality, personal experience at a reasonable price, with limited group sizes. You will be accompanied by a specialist guide and a tour manager who will ensure your comfort and the smooth running of the tour. We know that many people travel on our tours for remembrance of a family member and we are happy to talk with you about the service of a relative. Your guide will be aware of any special interests you may have so that your tour is a memorable experience. We offer a wide range of WWI and WWII tours, and we are marking this year’s centenary with a number of special tours. The cost of each tour includes all travel from your pick up point, bed and breakfast accommodation, refreshment each day, and entry to all museums. There are no hidden costs.
TEL: 01633 258207
The Retreat from Mons Centenary Tour: 30 August–2 September 2014
Ypres One Hundred Years On: 9-12 November 2014
First Day of the Somme Special: 29 June-2 July 2014
The Battle of Arnhem 70th Anniversary Commemoration: 20-23 September 2014
Normandy and the D Day Landings 70 years on: 2-5 August 2014
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
• Leige Forts
• Crimean Battles
• Somme Walks
• Medieval Venice
• Leipzig Colditz and Berlin
• Richard III
Indus Experiences is an established tour company specialising in small group and individually tailor-made holidays. Battlefield Tours are primarily to India and Burma and each tour is led by an acclaimed expert in the field, who brings the past to life with their intimate knowledge and passion.
Indus has a reputation for attention to detail, exceptional value for money, and for listening to their guests. Hence all travellers have their own dedicated consultant, who will work with them to design the journey – to see the battlefields of India and Burma for Remembrance or for pure interest.
Please call us to discuss your ideas and we will work together to craft a journey of a lifetime.
Indus is based in Harrow, London. The company is fully bonded with ABTA and ATOL and is the winner of British Travel Awards 2013.
TEL: 020 8901 7320
Whether your interest lies in the early years of the then Arthur Wellesley, the Indian Mutiny, decisive Battles of Imphal and Kohima during WWII, or the poignant battles of Burma, Indus will craft a tour to your specific requirements.
MILITARY HISTORY TOURS
At Military History Tours (MHT) we take great pride in what we do. We are experts in each of our chosen fields and we wish to share this knowledge with you. At MHT we 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. 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. MHT takes guests on trips as diverse as The Christmas Truce to Colditz Castle, from Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest to the location
of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo. MHT has a comprehensive range of 19th and 20th century trips to enable an experience of a lifetime for anyone and everyone.
TEL: 0845 8350644
BIRD BATTLEFIELD TOURS
Bird Battlefield Tours is run and guided by military historians and authors Antony and Nicholas Bird. Nicholas, a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides, was at the V&A for many years, and also guides art historical tours. Antony has written on the Battle of Le Cateau, 1914. They specialise in tours of WWI and WWII battlefields in small groups, believing that much can be learned from conversation with like-minded enthusiasts over lunch and dinner – that war may be hell but battlefield touring should be both instructive and convivial. They try not to bang on, but do not always succeed. There are no lectures after dinner, and no compulsory video on a coach. Both Birds are interested in the experience of battle, how soldiers at the sharp end fought and lived, as well as the tactics and strategy that got them there. They welcome requests for bespoke tours, from families wishing to see where their grandfather fought or from groups of friends who simply want to travel together without the risk of joining a tour that may contain a bore.
TEL: 0208 7520956
Monsand Le Cateau: 13-16 April 2015
D-Day and theBattleofNormandy: 10-14 March 2015, 12-16 September 2015
The Somme andYpres:8-11 May 2015,15-18 July 2015,20-23 September 2015
Art tour of Palladian villas of theVeneto: 2-6 June 2015
Waterloo: 14-17 October
HERTS AT WAR
Herts at War in association with Battle Honours Ltd are thrilled to announce our latest tour in a series spanning the centenary of the Great War, which aims to bring the story of Hertfordshire’s residents in The First World War to life.
Our upcoming tour from 11-13 July will follow in the footsteps of Hertfordshire’s Victoria Cross recipients on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918. With published authors and renowned guides Clive Harris and Kevin Brazier leading the tour, it promises to be an evocative and memorable experience.
‘Herts for Valour’ is a three day two night tour with pickups from Ebbsfleet and Dover and two overnight stops in the historic city of Amiens. Throughout the tour we will visit the infamous battlefields of Cuinchy, High Wood, Aichet le Grande, Bouzincourt, and Haverincourt.
TEL: 01438 791020 (telephone Battle Honours Ltd for bookings)
Herts for Valour; 11-13 July
Valor Tours, Ltd has been leading authoritative tours to destinations of military historic interest for over 30 years. As well as going to key European battle sites in the company of WWII veterans, we have visited every significant island battle site in the Pacific. Now, as age catches up with the veterans, our traveling companions are drawn from a younger generation of history buffs and family members of veterans anxious to see the places their fathers and grandfathers made famous. Many of the relics of battle – the beached hulks of landing craft, the concrete gun emplacements, the bullet-pitted strong points – are still visible, and more importantly the memories and the memorials remain. On these tours we rekindle and honour the courageous exploits of America’s fighting men and women who went off to war 70 years ago.
2014 Tours: Return to Guadalcanal, WWI Centennial series, WWII Poland, 70th Anniversary return to Peleliu, El Alamein to Tunis Battlefield Tour, Military History Tour – Papua New Guinea, 70th Anniversary Leyte Landings – Liberation of the Philippines
WESTMINSTER CLASSIC TOURS
Standing on the Gallipoli peninsula, undeveloped for very nearly a century in respect of the fallen of 1915, and looking out at Asia and the plain of Troy, and on the line of commercial shipping that streams through the
Dardanelles, the strategic importance of this place throughout history becomes remarkably clear. In November, Westminster Classic Tours will be organising an eight-day land tour that starts in Istanbul and includes visits to the site of Troy itself; the island of Bozcaada (Tenedos) where the Greeks prepared their final assault on Troy and where the Persian Xerxes prepared his invasion of Greece; the battlefield where Alexander the Great triumphed over the Persians, as well as other little-visited and spectacular classical sites; and ends with a full day exploring the battlefields and memorials of the Gallipoli campaign.
The tour will feature stimulating and detailed commentary and discussion, and the same standards of comfort guests have come to expect from WCT’s long-running tours in the Mediterranean by Gulet.
TEL: 0208 785 3191
The Gallipoli Centenary: From Bosphorus to the Dardanelles: 1-8 November 2014 with James McKay
Follow the footsteps of heroes on a Leger Holidays Battlefield Tour with Specialist Guides. If you want to understand our nation’s and your family’s history, there is no better way than to actually visit the battlefield sites and the places where history was made.
Leger is the UK leader in escorted Battlefield tours with the widest range of tours, departure dates, and choice of over 510 local coach joining points, plus top-rated specialist guides making it easy for you to get the full battlefield tour experience.
Choose from more than 35 WWI and WWII, Napoleonic, and American Civil War battlefield tours including D-Day Landings in Normandy and All Quiet on the Western Front as the perfect introductory tours, plus special anniversary tours which mark 70 years since D-Day and 100 years since the start of WWI.
Leger’s Battlefield tours are truly inspirational journeys of remembrance and discovery.
TEL: 0844 846 7919
We offer a choice of WWI, WWII, Napoleonic, and American Civil War battlefield tours as well as walking and special anniversary tours with many departure dates throughout the year.
To see this feature as it appeared in issue 46 of Military History Monthly, click here.