Tour to France and Belgium

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An Eight-day bus tour from Skye to France and Belgium is being arranged for June 2018, visiting the cemeteries and memorials of the Western Front, particularly those where the Highland regiments suffered their most grievous losses including the Somme, Arras, Loos and Ypres.

The tour will be a journey of remembrance and discovery, bringing to life the tragic events that changed the course of 20th century history when Europe’s youth were sacrificed in the mud and misery of the trenches for four devastating years.

The itinerary is fairly flexible to allow short detours for anyone wishing to visit cemeteries where relatives are buried or commemorated and a free day is included for family visits to sites that cannot be catered for in the itinerary.

A half day visit to Brugge, the beautiful capital of Flanders, often referred to as ‘The Venice of the North’, is planned for the final day of the tour.

The trip will be led by Murdo Beaton who has visited the area many times, but specialist guides, whose expert knowledge and passion bring history to life, will be available to give detailed information at most of the sites and the group will be accompanied by a tour manager.

Travel will be by luxury coach with outside cabins on the ferry to and from Zeebrugge.

Accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis will be in good quality hotels and lunch at Varlet Farm on the Tuesday and Blighty Tea Rooms on the Thursday are included in the price.

The price for this specially arranged tour is £718.55 per person with a £150 supplement for single rooms and cabins.

ITINERARY

Day 1. Sunday 24th June 2018

Coach will leave Portree at 1.00pm. for Stirling with pick up points along the way. (Pick up from the Inverness area can be arranged)

(Bed and breakfast at the Premier Inn, Stirling).

Day 2. Monday 25th.

9.00am. Depart Stirling for ferry at Hull with pick up points along the way.

(Dinner, bed and breakfast on ferry).

Day 3. Tuesday 26th June.

10.00 am. Depart Zeebrugge for Ypres. Tour of the Ypres Salient including Essex Farm, Tyne Cot, The Brooding Soldier, Christmas Truce site, Hill 60, the Paschendale Ridge etc.

Lunch at Varlet Farm (Included).

Arrive Arras 6.00pm.

(Bed and breakfast Holiday Inn Express, Arras).

Day4. Wednesday 27th June.

Vimy Ridge Memorial, trenches and tunnels, Loos, Arras memorial to the missing, Fauberg d ‘Amiens cemetery.

Mid-day stop to allow for lunch in Arras.

(Bed and breakfast Holiday Inn Express, Arras).

Day 5. Thursday 28th June.

Tour of the Somme including Devonshire cemetery,the Thiepval Memorial to the missing, Lochnagar Crater, Beaumont Hamel, the sunken lane, the Heart of Midlothian memorial and, if time permits, Delville Wood and/or Dartmoor cemetery.

Lunch at Blighty Tea Rooms (Included).

(Bed and breakfast Albion Hotel, Ypres).

Day 6. Friday 29th June.

10.00 am Visit “In Flanders Fields Museum”, and Menin Gate,Ypres.

Rest of the day free for family visits in and around Ypres.

Bus available for further tour of the Salient from 12.00.

8.00pm. Attend Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate.

(Bed and breakfast Albion Hotel, Ypres).

Day 7. Saturday 30th June.

Morning free in Ypres.

11.00 am. Bus leaves for Brugges.

4.30pm. Depart Brugge for Zeebrugge.

(Dinner, bed and breakfast on ferry)

Day 8. Sunday 1st July.

Depart Hull for Portree with drop off points along the way.

(This itinerary is subject to possible change)

To book your place on the trip, or for more information, you can e-mail Murdo on mnb@ancairidh.co.uk or phone 01470 572300.

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.