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Remembered Today:

Western Front


Ritchie Wood
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My wife and I would like to start visiting the battlefields starting in the New Year. With no experience and so many guided visits offered we are unsure just where to start. Could someone advise us on a suitable 'novices' visit and we could take it from there. Thanking you Ritchie Wood

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Ritchie.

Which 'bit' of the battlefield are you thinking of going to first? Will you be driving around or wanting to walk?

There are plenty of good guidebooks around. I started with Major & Mrs Holt's 'Battlefield Guide to the Ypres Salient' which includes several itineraries depending on the amount of time you have.

Paul Reed's 'Walking the Somme' is also highly recommended - especially by Paul :) (and thousands of others as well may I add).

Then there are companies/people offering doing group battlefield tours. Leger Holidays do some specific WW1 trips, have excellent guides and are good value - although their travel arrangements can be somewhat frustrating. Clive Harris is now organising occasional trips to the battlefields and the one I went on earlier this year was terrific. Going on one of these group tours can be very sociable as well.

Then there are people doing guided trips for small groups of people. Obviously, these can be specifically tailored to a particular area of interest to you. Iain McHenry is based in Ypres and has been recommended by many although I have not personally used his services.

Good luck.

Neil

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Ritchie.

I also meant to say that most people start in Ypres or the Somme area. Personally I would start with Ypres as the city itself is so nice. Do you have a relative who served in the war - this often determines the starting point for many people (well it did for me anyway).

Neil

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Ritchie,

Leger do an excellent long weekend with one day in the Ypres area and one on the Somme first trip I did quite a few years ago but it is a very good introduction to the battlefields.

Bob.

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Might I suggets that you don't try to cram too much into your first visit and that you keep it quite short (no more than three nights) otherwise the various elements quickly roll into another. I agree that the Salient makes a good place to start as (in the winter) the various elements are close enough to warmth if the weather deteriorates.

As for guides, there are a number of local companies that offer minibus journeys from the town. If you want to "do it yourself" I agree that the Holt's book makes a useful overall introduction - other may suggest one of the battlegrounds series but I believe that it is better to have a gendral feel for the place, and the events, before going too deep.

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Might I suggets that you don't try to cram too much into your first visit and that you keep it quite short (no more than three nights) otherwise the various elements quickly roll into another.  I agree that the Salient makes a good place to start as (in the winter) the various elements are close enough to warmth if the weather deteriorates.

As for guides, there are a number of local companies that offer minibus journeys from the town. If you want to "do it yourself" I agree that the Holt's book makes a useful overall introduction - other may suggest one of the battlegrounds series but I believe that it is better to have a gendral feel for the place, and the events, before going too deep.

Thanks everyone Ritchie

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Several years ago, my wife gave me 3/2nights days of our 14 in GB ... these three days were spent with guide Tom Morgan ... we spent them in Ypres and Vimy ... My wife is not a WWI person ... but the mix of time spent and enough sight seeing of a real city (Ieper) with real exhibits (there are more there now) was great. Vimy was great as well.

All of this is an easy jaunt ... inexpensive and Tom as a guide is tremendous ... Frankly, it has been one of the highlights of Lauren and My marriage ... you can see what we saw at Ieper and Vimy trip

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try getting your hands on "Before Endevours Fade" by the late Rose Coombs. I was bought a copy for my 12th birthday and have never looked back since!!!

Dave.

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Before Endeavours Fade is highly recommended, the original and still the best overall guide to the Western Front. Still available frpm After The Battle publications it sets out many suggested routes and itinaries as well as a basic explanation of what is there. Agree that Ypres would be an excellent base wherby you could explore and get the feel of battlefield exploration. however going in aguided group is also recommended as one has the company of like minded people. SG

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All of this is an easy jaunt ... inexpensive and Tom as a guide is tremendous ... Frankly, it has been one of the highlights of Lauren and My marriage ...

But for the fact you are a taste deprived Texan another highlight would have been when she took you to Cincinatti and fed you White Castles! :P World's finest health food! :ph34r:

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