A speciality of ours, we have been delivering World War I tours since 1999.
Our tour offers range from a classic Somme to Ypres 3-day / 2-night tour, through specialist ANZACs on the Western Front and Canadians on the Western Front tours, to a 3-day Verdun & the Argonne tour in the Grand Est region that takes in some of the most striking preserved sites of the war.
We also do tours of 1-, 2- or 3-days and specialise on focussing on showing you where your relative served - including where a relative died in the War, and a visit to the burial site or the List of the Missing on which they can be found.
* We organise tours DIRECT with you – we have no public list of tours.
* We handle numbers from 2 to 10 – families, small groups of friends.
* We arrange itineraries, book hotels and site entries, can advise on transport (eg help find you a minibus company, if your group is larger than 4 people), and provide personal guiding.
* We step onboard your car / rental car *, or a minibus that we can arrange but you pay for direct (we had to stop making the payments for minibuses since the Package Travel Regulations 2018 increased the risk carried by the tour operator in situations such as the Covid 19 shutdown: client gets 100% refund, whilst the tour operator has to cover all the pre-paid up-front costs). Note that we do not organise travel to/from the tour start/finish point(s) - eg flights, trains.
* (happy to drive if you can add us as an Additional Driver)
The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres
Two-thirds of British and Empire casualties on the Western Front were incurred around Ypres or the Somme. At the north and south respectively of the British section of the Front, these infamous sites form the core of this classic World War I tour - which takes in a night in Arras on the way to see Vimy Ridge (with Canada’s World War I National Memorial, the boldest 1914-18 memorial of all) and the nearby Ring of Memory.
See the sample itinerary for more details.
ANZAC Day dawn service at Villiers Bretenneux
(Australian National World War I memorial)
From the first Australian Western Front action at Fromelles in July 1916 to the Hindenberg Line actions in October 1918, you can follow them all on our suggested 3-day (2 nights) itinerary. We can include - or give prime focus to - New Zealand’s story from the Somme in September 1916 to the storming of the walls in Le Quesnoy in November 1918. Naturally we can put together a family-specific tour, and tours of different durations (only got a day? we offer a Day Trip from Amiens or Lille)
For more see the ANZACS itinerary.
Canadian national World War I memorial, Vimy Ridge
From the first Canadian fighting at ‘Second Ypres’ in April 1915 to the breakthrough Canal du Nord crossing in September 1918, you can follow them all on our suggested 3-day (2 nights) Canadians on the Western Front itinerary.
Alternatively we can offer a Vimy Ridge 1917 / Normandy 1942/44 tour. Starting in Lille and ending in Caen, this 4-day / 3-night tour covers Vimy Ridge, the Somme, Dieppe 1942 and D-Day Juno Beach 1944. An extra day would allow the inclusion of the Passchendaele story too.
Barbed wire beside the French trenches in the Argonne
Staying in a village near Verdun, we explore the French battlefield of 1916 in detail, but also the sectors either side (from which the Americans launched their major attacks in September/October 1918): St Mihiel, and the Argonne Forest. These are amongst the least-visited Western Front sites, and include some of the most spectacular crater fields and preserved trench systems.
For more details see here for an itinerary.
All text, maps & photos © Dr Thomson’s Tours Ltd.
Website design by Joseph Thomson
Last updated April 2020
Bethany, 37 The Crescent
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7AW
Dr Thomson’s Tours