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A reminder of what our
Self-Drive tours comprise

    And remember. . .


Our Self-Drive tour 'package' is just that.  It includes your hotel accommodation and Channel crossing (for UK travellers) and, most importantly of all, our unique Self-Drive battlefield guides, maps, plans, directions etc all dovetailed together by us, so all you have to do is just pack and go - we make it as simple as that!  Please note that our Self-Drive guides are are only available as part of a 'package' comprising hotel accommodation, and that our private 1:1 guiding option is only possible when booking a Self-Drive tour.

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 (see menu top left) to see what people like you have said after they returned from a self-drive tour. 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.

As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, especially at the centenary of the Great War.  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 18 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 many national press awards and recommendations, including Vanity Fair's much coveted ‘Best Guided Tour' award and  as recently featured in the prestigious ' Country Life' magazine - see our ‘National Awards’ (main menu left).

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 what today sets our tours apart.

If 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 Self-Drive guide expertise comes in to play, expertise based on having personally conducted over 300 small-group battlefield tours over the past 18 years. 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. Have a look to the left here under ‘resources’ where you can watch a brief video showing you what our guides look like.

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.

And lastly. . .if you are thinking of booking a Self-Drive tour then please book as far in advance as possible as hotel rooms soon get booked and we can only offer those hotels we show on out ‘Hotel Options’ page.

Update:
2017 will see the commemoration of the Third Battle of Ypres 1917, or as often referred to as ‘Passchendaele’. Commemorative ceremonies will be taking place in Ypres town on 30 July and at Tyne Cot Cemetery (see our news section) the following day, so hotel space will be at a premium and the town will be very busy.

One option to consider is to avoid the crowds and to visit this most poignant battlefield before all the ceremonies take place, as watching events later on TV will be so much more meaningful.


Get a Quotation Hotel Options

Hellfire Corner (Ypres) 1917

Same spot 1935
and today!


Unlock the past with our

Travel when you want - just ‘pack and go’ - we’ll do the rest!
We provide hotel accommodation, Channel crossing (for UK travellers), all the maps, directions etc you’ll need, and of course, our all-important Self-Drive Somme and/or Ypres Battlefield Guide(s) - your ‘window to the past’.
No other guide has so much detail and is so easy to follow!

SELF-DRIVE TOURS
to the
SOMME AND YPRES
battlefields of the Great War 1914-1918

Helpful downloads

Western_Front Somme_plan

The Somme 1916
battlefield
(click to enlarge)

The Western Front

Ypres_plan

The Ypres
battlefield
(click to enlarge)

Battlefield locations
and driving times
(click to enlarge)
Click here for a PDF version

What our Self-Drive guides look like video

Self_Drive_Guide_video Battlefield_locations

Our tribute
to all who fell l in the
Great War 1914-1918


Memorial_video

Consider avoiding French and (Somme) and Belgian (Ypres) public holidays?

French Public Holidays
Belgian Public Holidays


The Schlieffen Plan
The appalling casualties of 1914 leading to stagnation of the Western Front as
shown below.  The final push by the Germans in 1918 is shown as a single yellow line.  The  hugely successful and costly British counter attack pushed the Germans back to their borders and brought the war to an end . .

Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd
19 Old Road, Wimborne, Dorset, UK BH21 1EJ
Tel: 07776 195773  (office) or 01202 840520 (home/out of office phone)
Email: jamespower@btinternet.com

Our helpful guide to planning your tour, including cost options and much more.
(click above file icon to open a PDF file in a new window)
(get free PDF reader here)

Tour guide (incl cost)

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Battle of the Somme and 1917 Third Battle of Ypres (aka ‘Passchendaele’), we will be including a free copy of Trevor Yorke’s book ‘The Trench’ and a copy of the popular newspaper ‘The Daily News & Reader’  dated the day following Britain's entry in to the war, with all 2017 Self-Drive tours (whether Ypres or Somme).

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Guide to SD tours 2017-2018.pdf