Please sign in to post.

5 day trip to see WW1 Sites

Will be driving from UK in June and plan 5 days in France before returning. Would like to visit WW1 related locations. Obviously a rather short time but would appreciate any advice on locations, best way to do this (e.g. stay in one place and go out on day trips), and accommodation suggestions. Also assume Le Shuttle to Calais would be the best way to get to France but ready to be corrected. Thanks, Steve

Posted by
8293 posts

Is the car you will take to France right hand drive? if so, will that be problematic?

Posted by
3 posts

Yes, but I am from England originally and have driven a British car in Europe before.

Posted by
2898 posts

After researching my own upcoming trip next year I've pretty much settled on the village of Amiens for exploring the WWI sites in and around the Somme. Appears to be centrally located enough to permit easy day trips around the region - including across the border into Belgium (Ypres, etc.). Might give it a look.

Posted by
2021 posts

Have you already some ideas what you want to visit? Are you only interested in British/American sites or do you want paying a visit to other sites as well like the Canadian site of Vimy Ridge near Arras and much further east Verdun.

Ypres and surroundings is worth a visit anyway I guess, there is enough to see for a whole day. For the sites of the Somme staying in Amiens as already noticed is not a bad idea, but to my opinion the same for nearby Albert.

Meaux is an excellent museum, but the focus is very much on the French perspective, think good to know before planning a visit. On the way to Meaux not to miss is the Glade of the Armistice in the Forest of Compiègne. Driving around in this part of France will take a lot of your time and distances can easily be underestimated, so plan carefully.

Posted by
672 posts

I will be doing a shorter WW1 tour with a private guide in May, concentrating on Verdun (Day 1) and Meuse-Argonne (Day 2). Overnights in Reims and Verdun. Have you considered hiring a private guide who is familiar with the battlefields and the history of the areas you decide to visit?

Posted by
14580 posts

How far do you intend to drive to track down WW1 sites? Only in Northern France or into Belgium as well?

Any particular focus in mind when tracking down these places...those pertaining to the British, the US, the Germans, the French, etc ?

A good place to start is Arras. The Tourist Office is located in the Hotel de Ville, ground floor. The area around Arras was site of the horrific fighting in 1917 and 1918, also in 1940 when it was the operational objective again. The German and Canadian memorial sites are near Arras. Arras was the General HQ for the British,. The Hotel de Ville served also as an underground HQ, the museum shows it.

The war cemeteries dot the countryside between Arras and Ypres. If you go to Belgium, go to Mons, the site of the first military action for the British in Europe since Waterloo. The British memorial monument is in Mons. If you're focusing from Amiens to Arras, you'll see the German and British, Australian sites as well. Keep in mind that Amiens in 1918 was the turning point in that area of the Front.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks very much to all for the suggestions. They have been very helpful. We plan to get out the map and review the options. Thanks again, Steve.

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Do you plan on getting a rental car? Obviously, you can cover the most ground driving in the countryside and coming upon the sites.

I suggest looking at an operational map of the 1918 and that of the offensive of 1918, (in books on WW1) showing towns like Albert, Peronne, Meaux, Amiens, etc.

The German WW1 military cemetery is in Fricourt, close to Amiens. You need the car to get out there.