In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields. - John McCrae
Friday 24 Sept - Mon 27 Sept 2021
This tour complements our existing Normandy Landings Tour. It is the ideal tour for novices and the experienced motorcyclist alike. It is also a very pillion friendly tour. Our tour guides have a keen interest in military history and we feel that the historic sites, motorcycling on the continent and fantastic food in the evening are a winning combination.
For this tour we will be based for three nights in one hotel, located close to Leper (Ypres or Wipers as it was known to the British Tommy). Ypres is now known as 'the city of peace' – it was one of the first places where chemical warfare was used – Mustard gas also known as Yperite – taken from the name of the city.
Ypres is a great place to stay with much to see and lots of restaurants. Highlights include the Cloth Hall, Menin Gate, medieval quarter.
What You Get and Costs.
The basic cost of the tour in 2021 is £475 for a single rider in a shared room; £625 for a single rider in a single room and £825 for a rider and pillion. For these prices you will get the following:-
Return euro-tunnel crossing (Folkestone - Calais)
Three nights accommodation in good quality hotel
Breakfast each morning
Service throughout the trip of British Bike Tours guide
The following is not included:
Parking and Motorway tolls
Entrance fees for attractions
Repatriation back to the UK
Breakdown Cover Insurance
World War 1 Itinerary:
Day 1 - Folkestone to Ypres in Belgium
We will meet on the Friday morning at Folkestone Euro tunnel crossing to France. Our normal crossing time is between 0800hrs and 0830hrs. The crossing takes approximately 35 minutes.
Once in France we will travel across country on minor roads into Belgium. On the way, we will stop at Lijssenthoek Military CWGC Cemetery (over 10,000 graves). Your guide will give you a short presentation on the following:
How the war started and how the Western Front became established.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission history.
The medical/casualty chain.
In the evening we will visit historic Ypres
Visit Menin Gate Memorial to the missing and watch the Last Post Ceremony conducted every evening at 8pm by the Ypres Fire Brigade bugler’s.
Ypres Ramparts Walk (optional)
Day 2 – Visit Ypres Area
After a lovely continental breakfast we will jump on our bikes for a feature packed day exploring the World War 1 sites located around Ypres. In particular, today's programme will take a close look at the 4 Battles of Ypres.
We will visit the following places:
Essex Farm Cemetery where you will learn about John McCrae and the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, the history of the Poppy and Boy Soldiers.
Tyne Cott CWGC Cemetery ( the largest CWGC Cemetery in the world)
We will also visit the Passchendaele Memorial Museum where you can experience life in an underground dugout and also see what it was like being in the trenches.
Day 3 – Explore Somme area in France
Today we will venture a little further from Ypres riding on the beautiful minor roads of Northern France. We will visit some of the sites in relation to the infamous opening day of The Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916 when nearly 60,000 men were killed, wounded or missing.
Sites that we visit include:
The Lochnagar crater where a mine was exploded at 0728 hours on 1st July 1916.
Pozieres Memorials to the Tanks and Australian infantry.
Thiepval Memorial to the missing which contains some 72,000 names of those who have no known grave.
The Ulster Memorial Tower where today it is so peaceful and hard to believe the events that happened there over a hundred years ago.
Delville Wood where there is the South African Memorial and is also the actual site where the first tank went into action on 15th September 1916.
Newfoundland Memorial Park.
Day 4 – Ypres back to Eurotunnel - Calais
Before we head home we will visit the Langemarck German Cemetery where you will see how it differs to the Commonwealth cemeteries.
We will also stop at the town of Poperinge where soldiers were executed following court martials.
It is only a short ride to the Calais Euro-tunnel terminal for our mid afternoon train back to the UK