Tour Code: S106
Follow the German invasion across Wallonia and into Flanders
The First World War did not begin on the Western Front at Mons. For three weeks, the Belgian army had fought off invasion from a vastly superior army. The story of Belgium in 1914 is a multi-national one, and this tour examines the opening months of the conflict from everyone's point of view.
Tour Type: Standard
Price: From £1199pp
Tour Code: S106
2024 Dates: 22-27th July
Day 1: After an early departure we head out of Flanders and into Wallonia to investigate the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914. Today we look at some of the very first clashes on the Western Front and explore some of Belgium’s martyr towns, taking stock of the catastrophic impact of the first days of the war on Belgium’s civilians.
Day 2: Belgium’s army played a significant role in scuppering Germany’s pre-war plans to bring the war in the west to a quick conclusion. We will visit Liege, and look at the story of pre-war fortifications and how they managed to slow the advance of a massive number of troops, but at a huge cost. Then it’s on to stunning Dinant to pay a visit to the Leffe museum.
Day 3: Starting our day in Dinant, where a total of 674 locals were killed in frenzied attacks at the end of August, we talk more about the civilian cost as German troops continued to march through Belgium. By now, allies were also fighting on Belgian soil. In the vicinity of Charleroi we will examine the clash of the French and German armies during the Battle of the Frontiers.
Day 4: Today we look at how the fledgling British Expeditionary Force fit into all this by examining the Battle of Mons in detail. We’ll visit key sites such as St. Symphorien and Nimy Bridge.
Day 5: Moving into the autumn we will spend today at Ypres talking about how the British front came to rest in front of this iconic town. We’ll look at crucial clashes on the Menin Road, at Messines and Nonne Boschen.
Day 6: We talk about Ypres, but rarely look at the fighting going on in the Battle of the Yser. Today we head north and finish our tour examining how the Belgian Army finished the year clinging fiercely to retain a small piece of their homeland, with French help.
This itinerary is also available as a bespoke/private tour for groups. It can also be adjusted to cater for more specific interests. Please enquire for availability.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
Travel to and from Belgium from the UK
Air conditioned transport
4* hotel accommodation with breakfast
Entry to museums and sites
YOUR TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Lunches and evening meals
Meet the Team
Alex is on a mission to get people to see beyond the British sectors on the Western Front. She has designed this tour to help people understand the opening weeks of the war and take into account German, French and of course Belgian experiences in 1914.