World War I Battlefields: A Travel Guide to the Western Front
Sites, Museums, Memorialsby Emma Thomson and John Ruler
World War I Battlefields: A Travel Guide to the Western Front – expert tips, visitor information and itineraries for Great War sites in France and Belgium. Includes maps, routes, guided walks, battlefield tours, museums, child-friendly tours, Ypres, Poperinge, Nieuwpoort, Mons, Lille, Pas-de-Calais, Marne, The Somme, Verdun, Aisne and Champagne.
About this book
Thoroughly updated for this new third edition, Bradt’s World War I Battlefields remains the only compact practical travel guide to cover both French and Belgian battlefield sites involved in one of the deadliest conflicts in human history, which changed the face of foreign policy and European geography forever. The 2014-18 centenary of the First World War was a huge catalyst for battlefield tourism, leading to a proliferation of innovative new museums, memorials, commemorative trails, statues and more – which are comprehensively covered in this update.
Co-authored by two award-winning travel writers, this lightweight and pocket-friendly guidebook is perfect for visitors. It covers all the main sites, memorials and museums of the entire Western Front alongside practical information such as travelling there and getting around, and how to book the best guided tours.
In the Belgian section of the book, chapters cover Ypres and the Ypres Salient; Poperinge, Heuvelland and Messines (Mesen); Diksmuide, Veurne and Nieuwpoort; and Mons. In the French section, as well as the Somme, battlefields in Le Nord and Lille are featured, as are those in Pas-de-Calais; Aisne; and Marne, Champagne and Verdun. Visiting well-known Somme sights – such as Thiepval, the Somme 1916 Museum, Longueval, Le Hamel and Villers-Bretonneux – is a must for many visitors. But so, too, are Arras and the information centre dedicated to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Fromelles Museum, the Cambrai Tank 1917 museum, the Marne 14-18 Interpretation Centre, and the Sir John Monash Centre, which tells the story of Australian soldiers’ Western Front experiences in both countries.
This updated and expanded edition features new information on the valuable contribution made by Black, Indian and Caribbean soldiers. There is also refreshed, detailed advice on how to find the resting place of family members lost in battle.
For history buffs, those on battlefield tours, relatives of those who fought, school groups and students, there is no finer guidebook to visiting Great War sites in both countries than Bradt’s World War I Battlefields.
About the Author
Emma Thomson (www.ethomson.co.uk) is a multi-award-winning travel journalist who lived in Belgium for a decade and is the author of the award-winning Bradt guide to Northern Belgium and co-author of Bradt’s best-selling World War I Battlefields. A bona-fide country expert, she is consulted on all things Belgian: from where to find the best chips to booking the hippest hotels. Formerly a commissioning editor at Bradt, Thomson was named ‘Travel Writer of the Year’ in 2019 and 2022 by the British Guild of Travel Writers. Her travel writing has won six other awards, and features regularly in newspapers (e.g. The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Times, Sunday Times, The Independent) and consumer magazines (e.g. Wanderlust, National Geographic Traveller UK & USA), plus various in-flight magazines and websites. She is a regular panellist at travel shows and has appeared on both radio and TV.
John Ruler is a Life Member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. An award-winning travel writer, guidebook author and photographer, he lives in Kent and is a specialist in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, writing about his cross-Channel neighbour for magazines and newspapers. Formerly a chief reporter and feature writer in local newspapers, and assistant editor of a travel trade magazine, Ruler also writes extensively about local history, both sides of the Channel. As well as writing Bradt’s guidebook to Cross-Channel France, this expertise has led to him co-authoring all three editions of Bradt’s best-selling guidebook World War I Battlefields.
Additional InformationTable of Contents
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
World War I timeline
Chapter 2 Practical Information
Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Battlefield tours
PART TWO BELGIUM
Chapter 3 Ypres and the Ypres Salient
Ypres (Ieper), The Ypres Salient, Zonnebeke
Chapter 4 Poperinge, Heuvelland and Messines (Mesen)
Poperinge, Heuvelland, Messines (Mesen)
Chapter 5 Diksmuide, Veurne and Nieuwpoort
Diksmuide, Veurne, Nieuwpoort
Chapter 6 Mons
Getting there and away, Tourist information, What to see and do
PART THREE FRANCE
Chapter 7 Le Nord and Lille
Lille, Seclin, Armentières, Fromelles, Cambrai, Ors, Le Quesnoy, Maubeuge/Feignies
Chapter 8 Pas-de-Calais: Arras, Lens and the Ports
Arras, Around Arras, Around Lens, Escalles, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Étaples-sur-Mer, Montreuil-sur-Mer
Chapter 9 The Somme
Battlefield tours, Amiens, Péronne, Around Péronne, Albert, Around Albert, Doullens, Cantigny
Chapter 10 Aisne
Laon, Chemin des Dames, Soissons, Saint-Quentin, Château-Thierry
Chapter 11 Marne, Champagne and Verdun
Meaux, Reims, Verdun
Appendix Further Information
Further information, Glossary