Memorial Page
Our Self-Drive Tours
Hotel options
How to Book
Terms & Conditions
The Battlefields
Archive Material
Tour Photos
Photo Service
About Us
Contact Us
Site Map

22858575 22852950 (`@````````` 266 263 5 110183775 110178150  

What clients have said
 about our tours. . .

(click here to go to all)

“ …It was a profoundly moving and fascinating trip, which, thanks to your stunningly detailed and thorough organisation went without a hitch…
 Everything about the experience was absolutely perfect . . . the incredibly detailed route instructions and the fascinating and equally detailed historical accompanying packs. Your attention to detail is astonishing . . .you really did bring every location to life in the most fantastic way. . .it was so marvellous to be able to do everything at our own pace and spend however long, or short, a time as we chose at the places we stopped.
Thank you so much for everything - for your help in the early stages sorting out what the best itinerary and approach would be, for organising all the bookings and for the brilliant support packs. I have raved about your company to everyone I've spoken to since my return (and will definitely write about it in the magazine). . .I hope you get inundated with bookings!
 All the best and thank you again (and again)

Diane Kenwood
Editor Womans' Weekly
May 2014

"If you're fiercely independent, you could do no better than to sign up for the highly acclaimed self-guided tours provided by James Power. . .His painstakingly researched itineraries are the work of a master logistician"

Country Life Magazine 2013

Recent testimonials

Delville Wood, Somme 1916
'Then and Now'

Could those soldiers who experienced the horrors of this wood ever have imagined that little children would one day skip through the trenches of yester-year, seemingly unaware of the legacy beneath their feet...


The 'harvest of iron'. Shells are still recovered today and piled up ready for collection (Somme 2001).

Remnants of the Great War still to be found today (Warning - do not touch unexploded shells, grenades etc. If in any doubt leave well alone)

Fricourt German cemetery

The Basilica at Albert 
'then and now'
(click to enlarge)

Click the above image for our small tribute to all those who served in the Great War (may take a few minutes to download)
 Copyright© SBT Ltd 2012



Ypres Events 2014-2015

Click here for a downloadable list of all events planned in and around Ypres for 2014-15.


1914 - 2014


The battlefields remain pretty much the same year on year so our self-drive tours remain the best way to explore Ypres/Flanders and the Somme whether 2014 or
any other year. 

I personally find exploring the battlefields when it is quiet most rewarding, so if you are of the same mind then may be consider avoiding the big commemorative events planned for 2014.

 It's possibly better to have visited the battlefields ahead of planned programs etc so that when you watch commemorative programs on TV you will recall having already 'been there' !!

Please click the below logo for the Imperial War Museum's news page for events and much, much more...

Please also have a look at this excellent website
"Centenary News"
for i
ndependent, impartial and international coverage of the First World War Centenary
and Centennial

Click above logo (or here) to go to the BBC's informative WW1 commemorative website


Lt Col John McCrae
'In Flanders Fields'
Spoken by Michael Haynes
(click link)
(Superbly produced by





Telephone +44 (0) 1202 880211 or +44 (0) 7776 195773  or email

Welcome to
Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd

A fully registered UK company established 1995
The specialists in Self-Drive tours to the

battlefields of the


Great War

Please visit our new website - click here

'Best Guided Tour'
The only battlefield tour company ever to have been selected!



The only Self-Drive tour company to be awarded 'Best Battlefield Tours' November 2013

(See below for more national recommendations)

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

As you may already have found, there are many companies offering battlefield tours, especially at the centenary of the Great War 2014-2018.  Our tours however are quite different.  Our tours allow you to reveal the hidden history of the battlefields at your own pace, at a time of your choosing, and for you and just you.  We are also one of the very few fully registered UK battlefield tour companies who have been established for over 17 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 and  as recently featured in the prestigious 'Country Life' magazine - see below for more!


Our Self-Drive tour 'package' is just that.  It includes your hotel accommodation and Channel crossing (for UK travellers) 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 left - or click here for all). Unlike some companies, we don’t just cherry-pick the letters we want you to read. The testimonials you see on our website are exactly as we received them.

German soldiers rescuing a French soldier during the Verdun battle.

The pock-marked terrain of one of the bloodiest battlefields today.

Our acclaimed Self-Drive Tours
Click here to jump straight to our Self-Drive tours page
or click for a quick look at our guide to exploring the Somme and Ypres battlefields, including the self-drive tour itineraries.

People who wish to visit the battlefields of the Great War quite often think first of a conducted tour.  However, 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.

If you intend visiting the battlefield you need to be well briefed. Many visitors just turn up thinking that all will be clear, which will certainly not be the case.  This is where our Self-Drive guide expertise comes in to play, expertise based on having personally conducted over 250 small-group battlefield tours. Our written guides are not just any old collection of briefing notes, copied books or cobbled together maps as offered by some companies.   Our self-drive battlefield guides are professionally produced comprising two parts, so separating navigation from the main guide. The navigation section even includes a photo of every junction you'll encounter with clear overlaid pointers.  It's written as if we are in the car with you.


Our guides are regularly updated fully bound A4 colour guides which have been carefully designed to take you on a journey of exploration, so you know exactly where to drive, where to stop, where to walk and, most importantly of all, what to look for. Our guides are only available to those booking a tour with us and so not available from shops. It is this  essential combination of comparative 'then and now' maps, photos and narratives that have made our Self-Drive guides so appealing, especially to the independent traveller seeking to explore the past in greater detail.

If you have in mind to book one of our tours then please do so ASAP
as our hotels only have limited accommodation

Self-Drive Tour - with the option of including a personal guided tour!

In addition to our Self-Drive tours, we can easily arrange for an English speaking guide to pick you up at the hotel we book for you and take you on a one or two day personal tour of the battlefield. This is a truly personal service and as such you will  be just in the company of our experienced guide and not other members of the public. This service is particularly popular with visitors from Australia, New Zealand and Canada who may already be in France and who wish to focus on specific battlefields where their fellow countrymen served.

To find out more about our Self-Drive tours please click here.

We would like to extend a special welcome to our website to visitors from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland (Eire), the Indian sub continent, South Africa and China in recognition of those soldiers and workers who came from so far away to serve in the Great War. 

We are a small but caring company run by myself, James Power, and my wife Annette. We thank you for visiting our website, which we built ourselves - and we update every few days!

We accept payment by credit and debit card and are fully compliant with the strict security requirements imposed by all leading credit card companies.

See 'Contact Us' for more about us
(we are based in Wimborne, Dorset, England)

   James Power 
about me.
A  member of the

Guild of Battlefield Guides


Western Front Association


last updated

28 July 2015

(we are new to Facebook so any 'likes' very much appreciated - thank you)


Click the above image for our small tribute to
all those who served in the Great War
(may take a few minutes to download)


Please note that the nature of what we do takes us away from our office from time to time. Email is best, but if you phone and we're not in then please leave a message and we'll try and get back to you the same day as we pick up emails and messages all the time whilst away. Thank you for your understanding.

Click to send an email or type

01202 880211  or  07776 195773
(+44 from outside the UK and exclude first '0')

Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd
19 Old Road, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1EJ  England
Company Registration 03326835

"My family and I want you to know at this 'Remembrance-time' how much we appreciated all your work for
us in connection with our recent visit to the
Western Front.
....Your guides were excellent.  
We would not have survived without them..."

The Bishop of Cork.

What the national quality press
have said about our tours

December 2013
"If you're fiercely independent, you could do no better than to sign up for the highly acclaimed self-guided tours provided by James Power. . .His painstakingly researched itineraries are the work of a master logistician"

'Best Guided Tour'
We are proud to be the only battlefield tour company to have been selected for Vanity Fair's prestigious
 'Best Guided Tour 2009' Award 2009
(the only company 2009-2014)

'Best Battlefield Tours'  

10 November 2013

The only WW1 Self-Drive tour company
to be selected!

As featured in the Sunday Telegraph

11 November 2012

The only specialist WWI company
to appear in

Top Ten Battlefield Tours
(Daily Telegraph 16 April 2008)

The only specialist WWI company to be recommended in the Sunday Times

"52 Great Weekends"

"Mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the first world war with a self-drive tour of the Somme. Somme Battlefield Tours (01202 880211) provides excellent guide packs, with trench maps and superb commentaries."

also. . .

"In Search of Wilfred Owen"

Somme Battlefield Tours . . .which offers self-drive tours of the front. . . including accommodation and meticulously researched notes"

The only battlefield guide to be a finalist and 'Highly Commended' in this year's
'Paul Morrison World's Best Tour Guide'
competition organised by Wanderlust
travel magazine in association with the
Daily Telegraph


The Independent

The only specialist Self-Drive WWI company

to be recommended in the Independent's

"Complete Guide to Great War Travel'



Copyright © James Power 2015