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Welcome to Somme and Ypres Battlefield Tours Ltd
the specialists in ‘then & now’ Self-Drive tours to the

Somme and Ypres battlefields

of the



What our Self-Drive guides
 look like video


Our  small  tribute
to all who fell l in the
Great War 1914-1918
(click here to buy the music)

Battlefield locations
and driving times
(click to enlarge)
Click here for a PDF version
(get free PDF reader here)

The Western Front

Airship video

Take a flight over
Ypres in 1919!


Is a self-drive tour for you?
Here’s up-to-date feedback from people like you who have recently returned form exploring the battlefields with our self-drive guides.

See main menu for all testimonials and full emails

Please read this bit first - it will only take a minute or so but worth the time. . .

Firstly, if you are thinking of booking a self-drive tour then it is advisable to book as far ahead as possible as the centenary years 2014-2018 are understandably attracting more visitors than usual and that consequently the few hotels we work with (because they are amongst the best) are filling many months ahead (hotels may get fully booked but the battlefields still largely remain peaceful and easy to explore using our written guides).

As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, especially at the centenary of the Great War spanning 2014-2018. Our tours however are quite different.  Our tours allow you to reveal the hidden history of the battlefields at your own pace, for as long or as short as you like, at a time of your choosing, and for you and just you.  

Unlike many other tour operators, we are one of the very few fully registered UK battlefield tour companies who have been established for over 20 years and who specialise in the Great War (Western Front) and nothing else.  We are also the only self-drive tour company to have received so many national press awards and recommendations, including Vanity Fair's much coveted ‘Best Guided Tour' award (see National Awards left).

Our Self-Drive tour 'package' is just that; carefully written guides which have taken years to perfect and to keep up to date, which are quite unlike other ‘Self-Drive’ tours offered by other tour companies.  Our Self-Drive tours include your hotel accommodation and Channel crossing (for UK travellers - not necessary for those heading direct to France or Belgium) and, most importantly of all, our unique Self-Drive battlefield guides, maps, plans, directions etc all dovetailed together by us, so all you have to do is just pack and go - we make it as simple as that!  Please note that our Self-Drive guides are are only available as part of a 'package' comprising hotel accommodation, and that our private 1:1 guiding option is only possible when booking a Self-Drive tour.

You may be unsure as to whether a self-drive tour is for you. Our best advice is to have a closer look at our many testimonials to see what people like you have said after they returned from a self-drive tour (see panel right - or click here for all).

For those truly seeking to reveal the legacy of the Great War, nothing can beat the freedom of exploring the battlefields without the rigid timetable of a coach/minibus group dictating the pace.  How frustrating must it be to see the battlefields passing before your very own eyes without being able to stop wherever you want to stop, for however long you want to spend, exploring what you want to explore.  The freedom to explore the battlefields at your own pace is what I always wanted, and what today sets our tours apart.

As you go through our website you’ll find helpful downloads, photos, documents and maps under the ‘Helpful Downloads’ tab beneath the main menu, such as the example to the left here. Just click any of the items to bring them to life.

So. . .rather than me waffle on any more, have a look around our website (which we made ourselves), especially the Introduction Page and our Self-Drive Tours Page. And lastly, there’s a ‘like’ link to the right here if we’ve helped you in any way.

Thank you for visiting our website

James Power is an Associate Member
of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and
Western Front Association

We are a Google verified website and business

We’ve only recently joined Facebook & Twitter so if you like our website please click our links below
Thank you!

IMPORTANT - Please note out Terms and Conditions
(see link below)

.Helpful downloads

Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd
19 Old Road, Wimborne, Dorset, UK BH21 1EJ
Tel: 07776 195773  (office) or 01202 840520 (home/out of office phone)
Email: jamespower@btinternet.com

Site map

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To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Battle of the Somme and 1917 Third Battle of Ypres (aka ‘Passchendaele’), we will be including a free copy of Trevor Yorke’s book ‘The Trench’ and a copy of the popular newspaper ‘The Daily News & Reader’  dated the day following Britain's entry in to the war, with all 2017 Self-Drive tours (whether Ypres or Somme).

Good afternoon James

I just wanted to say what a fabulous weekend Mum & I had. Ypres was beautiful, it’s hard to imagine that 100 years ago it was hell on earth…..It was a very special weekend, one which both of us will remember forever.

Many thanks for organising it for us.


Suzanne Bevington August 2017



Just got back to the UK after a fantastic week in France.  My sincere thanks for all your organisation - the whole trip worked like clockwork……Many thanks again and I will certainly be recommending you to anyone who enquires about our trip.

Kind regards

Brett Wooldridge

Brett Wooldridge July 2017


Hi James,

Got back Sunday night from our tour.

We were both very impressed with the whole 6 day excursion. Incredibly well organised, highly detailed notes, directions and info.  Even my wife couldn't help but successfully  direct me to our next stop!  . . . .Definite trip of a lifetime - thank you.  

My wife who was at first slightly cautious of the trip thoroughly enjoyed it and was at times very moved. . . .Definite advantage of self-drive over coach.


Gordon & Enez Tompsett.

Gordon Tompsett (UK) July 2017


“Your itinerary was first rate and created the right balance between the big set piece such as a Tyne Cot or Thiepval and the more unusual corners of the battlefields, many of which were new to me despite having visited both areas a dozen times or more. . . The whole experience was superb and I want to thank you on behalf of the family for a truly memorable holiday. It was all the more poignant as we managed to visit the resting places of several former pupils in both Ypres and the Somme.” 
David Burnett (UK) July 2017

“Just to let you know - the trip was excellent. We crammed so much in it was quite tiring, but extremely worthwhile - sometimes poignant, sometimes overwhelming in the scale of the casualties, but always interesting. . .The tour literature was impressively comprehensive, so much so that we could cope with splitting the routes in each battlefield over 2 days.”

Robert Pringle (UK) June 2017


“We enjoyed the trip enormously and  we came back on a high, despite the awful news of Grenfell Tower!

I am continuing to read your books and can still picture the battlefields in my mind.

Thank you very much.”

Ann Korta (UK) June 2017


“We wanted to let you know we had a fantastic time recently staying at the lovely Ariane hotel and Ypres. Your attention to detail is amazing , however we did manage to get lost a few times , nothing to do with your instructions , just us going off piste !”

Tracy Leone (UK) May 2017


“We have returned from our pilgrimage to the Somme and thought we should write to you and say that we had a great time with all the details that you furnished for us.  Very detailed (sometimes a bit too much info for us fledglings) but none the less very thorough and we gleaned a lot out of it all.”

Kathryn Sargent (Australia) May 2017


“The directions and information provided were excellent and made efficient use of our limited time.  In addition to the cemeteries detailed in your guides we stopped at others we encountered whilst driving and without exception found the experience powerful and very moving.  We all thoroughly enjoyed the entire time and of course were able to pay our respects to long past family members.” 

David Bryant (UK) April 2017


“James - We are safely back home. Many, many thanks from all of us for arranging such an excellent tour - we have had an amazing 5 days in Ypres and The Somme. We found your tour guides so helpful and informative…There were so many locations and 'things to see’ which otherwise we would have missed so easily without your guides.”

Tim Bennett May 2017

“The self drive books are incredible and contain everything necessary to take yourself around the battlefields.  The maps both modern and pertinent to the First World War were comprehensive and the touring booklet of the actual battlefields was so easy to follow with all the directions and photos necessary.”

Christine Ottawaay (UK) July 2016

Terms & Conditions

Our helpful guide to planning your tour including cost options and much, much more.
(click above file icon to open a PDF file in a
new window)
(get free PDF reader here)

Guide to SD tours 2016-2017..pdf

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Then and Now. . .