Email from Deborah Lazarus following a self-drive tour of the Somme and Ypres battlefields May 2018
We are just home (we had a few extra days in Antwerp) after the most absorbing and interesting visit to the Somme and to Passchendaele.
Your itinerary and information contributed of course to a large degree and I’m writing to let you know on behalf of all three of us how much this was appreciated. We have learned so much on this trip- at times it was almost overwhelming!
In addition, the overall arrangements worked perfectly- the hotels were great, restaurant recommendations proved really helpful and the driving instructions were clear and informative. We had a good team - driver, navigator and educator, the latter reminding us of specific information at each stop (we had done a lot of preparatory reading but it was difficult to retain all the information form those extensive dossiers!). Our days were very full and it was excellent having slightly more than two days for each centre overall. It was interesting how the different museums/visitor centres each had sufficient information and display to merit some real time and we were fortunate to be able to linger as we wished. We thought the private museum at Hooge was very impressive (that at Hill 62 possibly rather less so)..
We located some family graves which was particularly special for us - at Bonnay, Peronne and Ieper, plus a name on the Menin Gate. We also visited the Australian cemetery and memorial at Villers-Brettoneux (between Amiens and Albert), and the trenches and wonderful memorial at Vimy Ridge. I know you could not possibly cover everything but it might be worth mentioning this for those doing both areas of the ‘tour’ - we went from Albert to Arras, explored the latter quite briefly and then went to Vimy en route to Ieper, which worked well.
I would be more than happy to add the gist of this to Trip Advisor or similar if that is helpful.
With thanks again and best wishes from us all
Email from Connie Madrid whilst half way through a self-drive tour of the Somme and Ypres battlefields April 2018
We are on our last night in Ypres and the entire trip has been FANTASTIC! Our only hiccup was being unable to reach the hotel due to several road closures. Our sat/nav was also stumped, but nothing that going the wrong way on a one way street couldn’t fix! We told the front receptionist that we had to go the wrong way on the street and her response was “Oh that’s ok, it’s Sunday”. This made me and Peter laugh so hard!
We followed your excellent guide to the letter and we even had enough time to visit Calais and Dunkirk before we began the Ypres part of the trip! Yes I know, we went back and forth, but that’s the beauty of having your own transportation! We noticed that there were no tour buses on the routes you gave us and very often, we were the only ones at the sites. The staff at Hotel Ariane were great and the breakfast was superb! We are looking forward to it again in the morning before we leave for France.
I’ll give you another update after the second part of the tour.
Thank you again for the incredible experience! I think I may have won the Wife of the Year Award for booking this :)
Email from Ben Penniston following a self-drive tour of the Somme and Ypres battlefields April 2018
I just wanted to convey our sincerest thanks for arranging a really wonderful Battlefields trip recently.
From the Euro-tunnel check-in through to the Hotels recommended by you, we were extremely impressed. Everything was just as you described and the food and service in both hotels exemplary.
Most of all Jacques made the sites visited come alive. He has a style of his own and captivated us for a full two days with stories and anecdotes. He really went the extra mile in making it a truly memorable experience. One which we will all remember for a long time to come.