Our Self-Drive Tours

As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, especially at the centenary of the Great War. Our tours allow you to reveal the hidden history of the battlefields at your own pace, at a time and at a pace 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 20 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 a few years back and the prestigious ' Country Life' magazine - see our ‘Testimonials’ (main menu left). 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 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. 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’ Where next? Have a look at our Somme and Ypres Self-Drive itineraries (links all bolow) then simply go to our ‘Get a Quotation’ page and email us (or phone) with the tour you have in mind (there’s some helpful advice on our quotation page) and we’ll send you a bespoke quotation based on how many people/nights/rooms etc.
Battlefield location map (click to enlarge)
Battlefield tours - Self-Drive tours to the Somme and Ypres battlefields of the Great War First World War 1914-1918
Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd Wimborne Dorset BH21 1EJ Tel: +44 (0) 7776 195773 or +44 (0) 1202 840520 info@battlefield-tours.com
For 2018-2019 we will be includin a copy of Trevor Yorke’s excellent book ‘The Trench’ with every Self-Drive guide tour we arrange.
Helpful Advice Helpful Advice Get a Quotation Get a Quotation Approx Cost Approx Cost Tour Itineraries Tour Itineraries Helpful Advice Helpful Advice Get a Quotation Get a Quotation Approx Cost Approx Cost Tour Itineraries Tour Itineraries Amazing account of exploring the battlefield in 1919! Amazing account of exploring the battlefield in 1919! The 1919 Michelin Guide published 1919 (copies of the original can be found on Amazon etc).
One of the very first self- discovery tour guides, produced by the Michelin Tyre company in 1919! (click images book and pages to enlarge) The picture below is one of the very first Self-Drive tours driving around the raw Ypres battlefield still littered with the debris of war in 1919!
terms & Conditions terms & Conditions terms & Conditions terms & Conditions
A quick reminder of what’s included with our Self-Drive tours: Channel crossing Dover-Calais by ferry or Tunnel En-suite selected hotel accommodation including breakfast Our acclaimed guide material, directions, maps etc - without doubt the most important component! Us being here pretty much all the time to help you in any way possible (we don’t close like other travel agents…)
Below - example pages from our Self-Drive guide. Each guide comprises a separate navigational section with lots of extra ‘must sees’ as you travel along the itinerary routes, as well as the bulkier main section which describes in much greater detail the key sections shown on our Tour Itineraries page.
Example page from Part I (navigational) Ypres guide.  You turn to Part II of our guide to learn more about each of the main sections shown on our 'Tour Itineraries' page Example page from Part I (navigational) Somme guide.  You turn to Part II of our guide to learn more about each of the main sections shown on our 'Tour Itineraries' page
Above - example ‘Part I’ navigational pages
Above - example ‘Part I’ navigational pages
Above - example ‘Part II’ main guide pages as outlined on our Somme and Ypres Itinerarries page
Battlefield tours - Self-Drive tours to the Somme and Ypres battlefields of the Great War First World War 1914-1918
Please click the poppy to hear one of the most moving readings of Col John McCrae’s 1915 poem ‘In Flanders Fields’
We recommend Eurotunnel Channel crossing (included with our Self-Drive tours). YouTube If this is your first time using Eurotunnel then just click the above YouTube link to see a helpful 9-minute dash-cam video showing the procedure for arriving at the Eurotunnel complex near Folkstone. Also, checkout YouTube for a mixed bag of other short videos uploaded by travellers . EUROTUNNEL API Click here for our guide to completing your Eurotunnel Advanced Passenger Information (API)
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The picture at the top of this page is one of the very first Self-Drive tours driving around the raw Ypres battlefield still littered with the debris of war in 1919! As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, especially at the centenary of the Great War. Our tours allow you to reveal the hidden history of the battlefields at your own pace, at a time and at a pace 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 20 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 r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , including Vanity Fair's much coveted ‘Best Guided Tour' award a few years back and the prestigious ' Country Life' magazine - see our ‘Testimonials’ (main menu left). 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 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. 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. Where next? Have a look at our Somme and Ypres Self- Drive itineraries then simply go to our ‘Get a Quotation’ page and email us (or phone) with the tour you have in mind (there’s some helpful advice on our quotation page) and we’ll send you a bespoke quotation based on how many people/nights/rooms etc.
Battlefield location map (click to enlarge)
One of the very first self- discover tour guides, produced by the Michelin Tyre company in 1919! (click images book and pages to enlarge)
A quick reminder of what’s included with our Self-Drive tours: Channel crossing Dover-Calais by ferry or Tunnel En-suite selected hotel accommodation including breakfast Our acclaimed guide material/directions/maps etc - without doubt the most important component! Us being here pretty much all the time to help you in any way possible (we don’t close like other travel agents…)
For 2018-2019 we will be includin a copy of Trevor Yorke’s excellent book ‘The Trench’ with every Self-Drive guide tour we arrange.
Below - example pages from our Self-Drive guide. Each guide comprises a separate navigational section with lots of extra ‘must sees’ as you travel along the itinerary routes, as well as the bulkier main section which describes in much greater detail the key sections shown on our Tour Itineraries page.
Example page from Part I (navigational) Ypres guide.  You turn to Part II of our guide to learn more about each of the main sections shown on our 'Tour Itineraries' page Example page from Part I (navigational) Somme guide.  You turn to Part II of our guide to learn more about each of the main sections shown on our 'Tour Itineraries' page
Above - example ‘Part I’ navigational pages
Above - example ‘Part II’ main guide pages as outlined on our Itinerarries page

Our Self-Drive

Tours

Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd Wimborne Dorset BH21 1EJ +44 (0) 7776 195773 or +44 (0) 1202 840520 info@battlefield-tours.com
We recommend Eurotunnel Channel crossing (included with our Self-Drive tours). YouTube If this is your first time using Eurotunnel then just click the above YouTube link to see a helpful 9-minute dash-cam video showing the procedure for arriving at the Eurotunnel complex near Folkstone. My special thanks to Craig Rogers for creating this most helpful video. Also, checkout for a mixed bag of other short videos uploaded by travellers.
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Clients who have booked a Eurotunnel Channel crossing: Please click here for our guide to completing your Eurotunnel Advanced Passenger Information (API)