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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

GREAT WAR

1914-1918


What our Self-Drive guides
 look like video

Self_Drive_Guide_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!

EUROTUNNEL
(ongoing disruption)
Please click ‘News, Links & Help’ from menu above

Memorial_video

Our most recent unedited letter from the front. . . from clients who explored the battlefields using our self-drive guided tours
Please see main menu for all testimonials


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, 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 (see National Awards left).

Our Self-Drive tour 'package' is just that, and our carefully written guides which have taken years to perfect 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 so if you like our website please click our link below
Thank you!

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

Battlefield_locations Western_Front battlefield_tours_somme_and_ypres_banner

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Battle of the Somme, we will be including a free copy of Trevor Yorke’s book ‘The Trench’ with all 2016 Self-Drive tours (whether Ypres or Somme) booked from 15 June 2016

Received from Christine Ottaway 3 August following a Somme and Ypres self-drive tour:

Dear James


I am just writing to thank you for a memorable tour of the battlefields of Ypres and Somme.  Everything went very well from the arrangements of Le Shuttle to the hotels. 


The self drive books are incredible and contain everything necessary to take yourself around the battlefields.  In fact there is so much information that we quickly got battlefield overload but we were easily able to pick out the places we particularly wanted to see and maybe visit some of the others another time.  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. We even had to retrace our steps because one of us left a camera behind but that also was no problem.  


When we got to a site all the information necessary to understand and make the most of our visit was available.  It really brought home to us the terrible carnage of the First World War, the shocking waste of young life and the incredible bravery and sacrifice of those young soldiers. 


Highlights have to include the Menin Gate where we were so fortunate that a British girls’ school choir sang whilst wreaths were laid during The Last Post ceremony.  Another highlight was Newfoundland Park in the Somme area where a young Canadian girl showed us around. Finally visiting the Thiepval Memorial so soon after it featured in 100 years commemoration of the battle of the Somme and  the Welsh monument at Mametz were moving experiences. 


Finally this self drive tour enabled us to visit our Great Uncle’s grave at Abbeville Communal Cemetery almost 100 years to the day after he died from his wounds received at the Battle of the Somme.  It made a fitting and emotional conclusion to this tour.  


Once again thank you very much.  If you would like to use any of the above for a testimonial or review, please do so.


Kind regards


Christine Ottaway




Our helpful guide to planning your tour, including cost options and 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