Please read this bit
first - it will only take a minute or so but worth the time. . .
that our award-winning Self-Drive Somme and Ypres battlefield
guides are available when combined with hotel accommodation
(with or without Channel crossing) whenever you wish to travel
and for as many nights as you wish to be away. We arrange
As you may already
have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours,
especially as we approach the centenary of the Great War in 2014. Our tours
however are quite different. Our tours allow you to reveal the
hidden history of the battlefields at your own pace, at a
time of your choosing, and for you and just you.
We are also one of the very few fully registered UK battlefield tour
companies who have been established for over 16 years and who
specialise in the Great War (Western Front) and nothing else.
We are also the only self-drive tour company to have received so
national press awards and recommendations,
including Vanity Fair's much coveted ‘Best Guided Tour' award. See below for more!
You may be unsure as to whether a self-drive tour is for you. Our
best advice is to have a closer look at our many testimonials to see
what people like you have said after they returned from a self-drive
tour (see right - or click
here for all). Unlike
some companies, we don’t just cherry-pick the letters we want you to
read. The testimonials you see on our website are exactly as we
received them - all of them. None have been excluded.
to jump straight to our Self-Drive tours page - or read on and then
look in more detail. Click below for a quick look at our Somme and
Ypres guides and itineraries:
Somme and Ypres guide itineraries
People who wish to
visit the battlefields of the Great War quite often think first of a
conducted tour. However, for those truly seeking to reveal the
legacy of the Great War, nothing can beat the freedom of exploring
the battlefields without the rigid timetable of a coach/minibus
group dictating the pace. How frustrating must it be to see the
battlefields passing before your very own eyes without being able to
stop wherever you want to stop, for however long you want to spend,
exploring what you want to explore. The freedom to explore the
battlefields at your own pace is what I always wanted, and today sets our tours apart.
specialist WWI tour company
to be listed in the
Top Ten Battlefield Tours
"Some of the best tours of the region are provided by
battlefield-tours.com, whose guide to the Somme, James
Power, has been nominated by Telegraph Travel and
Wanderlust Magazine readers for the Paul Morrison Guide
of the Year Award"
you intend visiting the battlefield you need to be well briefed.
Many visitors just turn up thinking that all will be clear, which
will certainly not be the case. This is where our
guide expertise comes in to play, expertise based on having
personally conducted over 250 small-group battlefield tours.
Our written guides are not just any old
collection of briefing notes, copied books or cobbled together maps as offered
by some companies. Our self-drive battlefield guides are professionally
produced comprising two parts, so separating navigation from the
main guide. The navigation section even includes a photo of
every junction you'll encounter with clear overlaid pointers.
It's written as if we are in the car with you.
Our guides are regularly updated fully bound A4 colour guides
which have been carefully designed to take you on a journey of
exploration, so you know exactly where to drive, where to stop, where to walk
and, most importantly of all, what to look for. Our guides are
only available to those booking a tour with us and so not
available from shops.
It is this essential combination of comparative 'then and
now' maps, photos and narratives that have made our Self-Drive
guides so appealing, especially to the independent traveller
seeking to explore the past in greater detail.
If you have in mind
to book one of our tours for 2014 then please do so ASAP as our hotels
only have limited accommodation and demand will be high
Self-Drive tour 'package'
also includes your hotel accommodation and Channel crossing (for UK
travellers) all dovetailed together so all you have to do is just
pack and go - we make it as simple as that!
Tour - with the option of including a personal guided tour!
In addition to
tours, we can easily
arrange for an English speaking guide to pick you up at the hotel we
book for you and take you on a one or two day personal tour of the
battlefield. This is a truly personal service and as such you will be
just in the
company of our experienced guide and not other members of the
public. This service is
particularly popular with visitors from Australia, New Zealand and
Canada who may already be in France and who wish to focus on
specific battlefields where their fellow countrymen served.
find out more about our Self-Drive tours please click
We would like
to extend a special welcome to our website to visitors
from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland (Eire), the
Indian sub continent, South Africa and China in recognition of those soldiers and
workers who came from so far away to serve in the Great War.
We are a small
but caring company run by myself, James Power, and my wife Annette.
We thank you for visiting our website, which we built ourselves -
and we update every few days!
We accept payment by credit and debit card and are fully compliant
with the strict security requirements imposed by all leading credit
card companies (click below certificate)
See 'Contact Us' for more about
(we are based in Wimborne, Dorset, England)
Western Front Association
29 November 2013
01202 880211 or 07776 195773
Outside UK phone:
+44 1202 880211 or +44 7776 195773
Click the above image for our small tribute to
all those who served in the
(may take a few minutes to download)
Please note that the nature of what we do takes us away from our
office from time to time. Email is best, but if you phone and
we're not in then please leave a
message and we'll try and get back to you the same day as we pick up
emails and messages all the time whilst away. Thank you
for your understanding.
Click to send an email or type
(from outside the UK)
family and I want you to know at this 'Remembrance-time' how
much we appreciated all your work for us in connection with our
recent visit to the Western Front.....Your
guides were excellent. We would not have survived without
The Bishop of Cork.
What the national
have said about our tours
As featured in the Sunday Telegraph
11 November 2012
only specialist WWI company
to appear in
Top Ten Battlefield Tours
(Daily Telegraph 16 April 2008)
We are proud to be
the only battlefield tour company to have been selected
Vanity Fair's prestigious
'Best Guided Tour 2009' Award 2009
(the only company 2009-2013)
only specialist WWI company to be recommended in the
"Mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the first
world war with a self-drive tour of the Somme. Somme
Battlefield Tours (01202 880211) provides excellent
guide packs, with trench maps and superb commentaries."
also. . .
"In Search of
Battlefield Tours . . .which offers self-drive tours of the
front. . . including accommodation and meticulously researched
only battlefield guide to be a finalist
in this year's
'Paul Morrison World's Best Tour Guide'
competition organised by Wanderlust
travel magazine in
association with the
only specialist Self-Drive WWI company
recommended in the Independent's
"Complete Guide to Great War Travel'
© James Power 2013
What people have said
about our Self-Drive tours...
(scroll down or click
to see all letters)
group and I returned last Friday from our four days visiting the
Somme Battlefield. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks largely to
your fantastic and detailed information pack. The instructions on
getting to the various locations were such that there was no way we
could get lost. The ability to compare present day maps with maps of
1916, and of course with the trench maps, was absolutely superb. . .
. I spoke to Phoebe, Teddy's wife at the Ulster Tower. She said your
tours are the best, and I can't disagree with her! I'll probably
come back to you in a couple of years re the Ypres Tour."
Dr Tim Redmond
from Trudi Belcher & family
Click to enlarge!
Front Line revealed
after ploughing (Thiepval, Somme)
Click to enlarge
The battlefields then
and now. . .
Delville Wood, Somme
'Then and Now'
Could those soldiers
who experienced the horrors of this wood ever have imagined that little
children would one day skip through the trenches of yester-year, seemingly
unaware of the legacy beneath their feet...
Remnants of the Great
War still to be found today (Warning - do not touch unexploded shells,
grenades etc. If in any doubt leave well alone)
The Basilica at
'then and now'
(click to enlarge)
11 November 1918
The end of the Great War?
YouTube link to
excellent recent BBC documentary
"The Somme -
From defeat to Victory"