Behind The Front Lines

Behind The Front Lines


Behind The Front Lines

5 Days Starting and ending in Northern France

Visiting: France, Étaples, Vimy, Somme, Flanders

Tour operator:

Leger Holidays

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:


This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Life behind the lines was an important part of a soldier’s experience in the First World War. On this new tour we look at three key areas to get an understanding of what medics, padres, nurses and soldiers did out of the trenches. We’ll explore a range of significant battlefield sites in the Somme and Flanders, and along the Crimson Coast, including Vimy Ridge, Bailleulmont and Bellewaarde Ridge, before attending the move Last Post Ceremony


  • Explore a range of significant battlefield sites in the Somme and Flanders, and along the Crimson Coast, including Vimy Ridge, Bailleulmont and Bellewaarde Ridge, before attending the move Last Post Ceremony

  • Look at three key areas to get an understanding of what medics, padres, nurses and soldiers did out of the trenches

  • Travel to the Somme battlefields and begin with a look at the story of men who were ‘Shot at Dawn’ for military crimes in WW1


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Day 1 : Arrive In Northern France

Location: France

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mercure Arras Centre Gare or the Ibis Albert

Local departure by coach, then to our hotel in Northern France for a four-night stay.

Day 2 : Crimson Coast: Etaples To Vimy

Location: Étaples, Vimy

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mercure Arras Centre Gare or the Ibis Albert

Meals Included: Breakfast

Our tour begins along the coast belt of Northern France where the main military hospitals were located, often called the ‘Crimson Coast’. We visit Wimereux Communal Cemetery to hear the story of Canadian poet John McCrae who wrote ‘In Flanders Fields’, and then travel to Etaples for the story of the ‘Bullring’ Training Camp, also seeing the vast Etaples Military Cemetery. After lunch we we head to Saint Pol for the story of the selection of the Unknown Warrior in 1919, and then follow a route to the front line via Mont St Eloi, where British and Canadian soldiers gathered for the Battle of Arras in April 1917. Our final visit of the day is the battlefield at Vimy Ridge, having followed a typical route of soldiers from the coast to the front during the war.

Day 3 : Behind The Lines On The Somme

Location: Somme

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mercure Arras Centre Gare or the Ibis Albert

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we travel to the Somme battlefields and begin with a look at the story of men who were ‘Shot at Dawn’ for military crimes in WW1. At Bailleulmont we see the graves of the men executed, including Albert Ingham, whose father used the ‘Shot at Dawn’ phrase on his headstone. We uncover the details of the evacuation and treatment of the wounded at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, and then have lunchtime in Doullens with a visit to the Town Hall, which was used as a Headquarters in March 1918. In the afternoon we travel to Vignacourt, where a museum displays a unique collection of images of Great War soldiers taken by a local photographer. We then visit Puchevillers British Cemetery, before ending the day in Henencourt – a typical village where soldiers were billeted on the Somme and did their training.

Day 4 : Behind The Lines In Flanders

Location: Flanders

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mercure Arras Centre Gare or the Ibis Albert

Meals Included: Breakfast

We start at Bailleul, one of the main towns used by the British Army in Flanders, and visit the Military Cemetery here, which is close to the site of Casualty Clearing Stations and the Royal Flying Corps aerodrome. We then look at Godewaersvelde – ‘God Wears Velvet’ to the soldiers – and pay our respects at the grave of a nurse killed in Flanders. After lunchtime in Poperinghe, we look at those Shot at Dawn with a visit to the ‘Death Cells’, afterwards heading to Talbot House, a Belgian townhouse opened by padres for the use of all soldiers as a place to escape the war. We then follow a route to the front line via the site of the army camps up to the battlefield at Bellewaarde Ridge. After free-time in Ypres for dinner, we attend the moving Last Post Ceremony.

Day 5 : Return Home

Location: France

Meals Included: Breakfast

Return home.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Additional Services

    Travel from a wide range of convenient joining points across the UK is included within your coach holiday price; some carry a supplement. Please contact us for our full list of joining points.

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    This trip includes coach travel from/to a local UK joining point

  • Fully Guided

  • International Travel

  • Meals

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Transport

    Comfortable, air-conditioned motorcoach

What's Not Included


You will stay for four nights at the Mercure Arras Centre Gare or the Ibis Albert

Check out our Q&As

  • Is the tour coach air conditioned?


  • Is there a limit to luggage that can be brought on the tour?

    On Leger Coach Holidays, your allowance is one medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Some tours carry a supplement for solo travellers, please ask for details if the Single price is not shown

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?


  • What type of coach will be used?

    You will travel on either our Luxuria Coach or our Silver Service Coach

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?


  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Fully escorted by our experienced drivers/crews. And in most towns and cities we either include or offer optional sightseeing tours with expert local guides to help you get the most from your visits.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    40 years

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Sole use of your own room on all Single Traveller holidays: means you still get your privacy and time out from the group.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?


  • Battlefield Tours - Will it be possible to visit a particular cemetery whilst on the tour?

    Please contact us and we will check to see whether you can visit a particular cemetery on any of our Battlefield Tours, if we are not able to fit it into our itinerary then you could take some time out of the tour and do this independently by taxi or public transport.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest Covid-19 policies

Reviews of this operator

Gary White (Google Reviewer)  

Just got back from a...


Just got back from a holiday with leger holidays to callea spain which my wife done as a surprise for my 60th and wedding anniversary together my wife and i had a great time the coach journey there was excellent regular stops for toilet breaks and a stretch. Our two drivers Geoff and katrina were brilliant serving regular drinks and making the trip pleasant all the people on the coach were pleasant the hotel in spain was so nice the best we've stayed in lovely staff lovely bar the guy at the bar was great really friendly nice room. Overall our journey there and our return journey was brill the only thing that was not good at all was the ibis hotel on the return journey the room was horrible not a nice breakfast not polite French staff. Not really interested in trying to speak some english if i was leger should try and use a different hotel. Once again a big thank you to Geoff and katrina well done guys for making our holiday lovely. Hope to see you on another holiday soon

Will (Google Reviewer)  

I went on the 4...


I went on the 4 countries trip and swiss glacier express and overall it was a great trip. The coach I was on was silver service, it was tidy had nice seats and other accessories such as charging points and headsets which was very handy. The drivers Alex and Dave were fantastic, very kind, funny and respectful throughout the whole trip and a pleasure to talk to. The excursions were very pleasant and all ran very smoothly. The hotels were decent and offered a good service. I overall very much recommend leger holidays.

Sally Matson  

Excellent customer service


Booked our ‘Christmas in Austria & Scenic Trains of the Tyrol’ through George on the customer Helpline. Nothing was too much trouble, everything clearly & patiently explained. He even had permission to log in on his day off to finalise the sale! A charming and helpful young person and a credit to the company.

Euan Donald (Google Reviewer)  

Been on two tours now...


Been on two tours now the “D Day beaches” and “ All Quiet on the Western Front” tour of the Somme and Ypres. Both four days in total, two travelling and two on the site of the various battles. This is outstanding value for money, picked up from Carlisle , Cumbria and literally looked after all the way through the tours. The coaches are great and the accommodation spot on . The guides are very knowledgeable ( Mark Hope brilliant guy)and the bus drivers professional . Absolutely fantastic .

Sue Sinfield (Google Reviewer)  

Due to covid it was...


Due to covid it was 3rd time lucky for us to visit lake Garda, what a treat. One or two hiccups but no fault of Legers at all. Praise to Graham and Chris for their excellent driving and coffee service. Our visit to Verona, our guide was very informative but did walk at a pace sometimes had to hurry to keep up. A lovely holiday

Michael Stephen Shilleto   England

Four Countries New Year & the Swiss Glacier Express


Firstly we must thank Alex and Dave our tour guide / drivers who entertained us through out . The tour was fantastic so was the hotel’s food and entertainment. The tour was through the new year holidays as expected lots of shops closed and hotels were understaffed which was lost on some travelers. We travelled back from stop 24 on a luxuria coach I would recommend paying the extra for the comfort alone

Hilary Jackson (Google Reviewer)  

I recently went on a...


I recently went on a 4 night tour to Scarborough. Driver was great hotel superb. My criticism is too many destinations crammed into day excursion. Example visit to Flamborough head stop for 1 hour it was teeming nobody got off coach but even if fine pointless. Then on to Bridlington coach Park 1.5 ml from centre. Most people are hard pressed to get to center & back in 1.5 hours pointless. Incidentally if Leger paid a permit they could alight us in the resort. Very bad logistics. On to Whitby with a decent stop should have taken us there & bypassed the other stops. I will not go with them again. I will source a better holiday with excursions to one place only.

aled blackshaw (Google Reviewer)  

just returned from a solos...


just returned from a solos break to valkenburg and rhine valley i enjoyed the break overall although both journeys were considerably longer than expected due to several picks ups. I could have done without the 3 countries meeting point excursion to be honest and the lunch on rhine cruise was very basic. The drivers/couriers were efficient and good humoured and provided free lunch vouchers on the ferry which were much appreciated. I probably would book another break with leger but to somewhere a lot closer to home.

Mary Elmhirst (Google Reviewer)  

I was told by a...


I was told by a customer service advisor (Michael) , our hotel overlooked the River Seine, which was totally untrue. It was nowhere in sight and a good walk to get to it. My view from the hotel room was a wall and a window, There was no porterage available and although our drivers offered, after a 15 hour journey to France, we all opted to take our own luggage. To get into the shower there was a step to it and the floor of the shower was like an ice rink when wet, with nothing to hold onto. ( I showered wearing my slippers to avoid slipping). The plunger to the sink was unusable; (the lever to retrieve it was broken). The staff were pleasant and helpful, the bed was comfortable and clean abd the breakfast was worthy of the 3 stars given. Otherwise, I have stayed in a better 2* hotel in France. The driver and travel rep, Paul were both very friendly and pleasant but it was the first time Paul had been on this trip and therefore had little knowledge of the places we visited! There was no commentary and the history of Monet and Versailles was read out from a book! All in all, nothing would persuade me to take part in another Leger tour.


Many thanks to Molly.


I have recently booked a trip to Le Mans and had the good fortune to speak to Molly. She was very helpful and a pleasure to talk to. She was able to answer all but one of my queries with clarity and promised to ring me with the answer to the un-answered question as it required further investigation. This she duly did. An unusually pleasant experience when making a booking over the phone, if only it could be this easy every the time.

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Leger Holidays requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of leger holidays charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 75% of booking price.

    At 21 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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