Recommended World War One sites in NE France/Belgium?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by magicsurfbus, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    At the end of our next trip abroad we'd like to spend a couple of days visiting WWI sites in NE France and Belgium before heading back to Calais.

    The Menin Gate at Ypres is on the list, but I was wondering if anyone out there has any particular recommendations for historic sites and/or nearby stopovers, especially aires?

    Do any of them have trench reconstructions, or especially unique and informative museums? We're on the lookout for places that have a strong visual impact, or would be otherwise useful from an educational point of view.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    The Somme is fantastic. There is a preserved Canadian trench system north of Albert, itself well worth a visit. Also, driving out of Albert towards Possiaire (not sure of the spelling), you pass through the Allied trench lines that moved back and forwards over four years. Thiepville ridge, and the massive memorial, is exact the position of the German lines, plus a mile or so away one of the massive mine explosion sites from the opening of the 1916 Somme offensive. Fantastic place, loads to see. Stop off in the cafe in Possiaire, trench musee in the back, the owner speaks English, and will show you around. All this just an hour and a bit from the coast.:thumb:
     
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  3. Mel

    Mel Funster

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  4. jb0371

    jb0371 Read Only Funster

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  5. Red Sonja

    Red Sonja Funster

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    Hi

    I would recommend the Museum In Flanders Field located in Ypres in the old Cloth Hall.

    You can stay at the campsite situated in Ypes (Book online before you go http://www.jeugdstadion.be) The campsite is also only a 10 minute walk from the Menin Gate.

    Also recommend a visit the newly updated Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, located in the Zonnebeke Chateau It has trenches and again is very visual. Well worth it. It has a newly opened wing (opened July 2013) Motohome Parking available.

    After this a visit to Tyne Cot Cemetery is a must.

    We have just come back from visiting the above in August.

    Sonja
     
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  6. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    Don't miss http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_National_Vimy_Memorial.

    Took son and grandchildren on a Somme tour last year and we were really impressed by this place.

    You can be taken round the preserved trenches and the underground tunnels by Canadian students who really do know their stuff!

    Mike
     
  7. grumps147

    grumps147 Funster

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    Peronne, somme - museum.
    Compiegne forest, armistice signing carriage point.
     
  8. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Vimy Ridge just south of Lens is a superb Canadian Memorial, well worth a visit. There is a Visitor centre with a preserved trench system nearby, and the memorial itself with the original trenches and craters left intact
    Allan
     
  9. Curtisden

    Curtisden Read Only Funster

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    WW1 sites

    I would suggest to anyone wanting to visit any of the WW1 sites to get a copy of "Before endeavours fail" by Rose E Coombs. Or one of the Holt Battlefield guides. This way you can chose the places that interest you before visiting. This saves a lot of wasted times.
    The normal Ypres/Somme is a must if you have not been before. But I would recommend also the French Verdun area with its underground forts and extensive untouched trench lines.
    Also the Maginot Line is north and east of this area with its extensive fortifications, many of its underground huge forts are now open to visits.
    I also recommend the Alsace on the SE border with Germany running along the ridge line of the Grand Balloons and up to Metz. Totaly different to the UK areas and in many locations untouched by development.
    Peter
     
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  10. mapa

    mapa Read Only Funster

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    I also went to Vimy Ridge a couple of years ago (my grandad was canadian and was badly wounded there). Its very impressive and the slopes of the ridge show the enormity of their task and the bomb crater at the top is a sight to behold.
     
  11. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Have to agree with Sonya, excellent museum. Models of trenches underneath trenches, horrific.
     
  12. escapee

    escapee Funster

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    hi weve recently returned from a tour of france and while in the north visited Verdun lots to see from the famous battle museum monuments etc-hope this helps:thumb:
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    Its strange as I wasnt all that impressed with that museum.

    I dont really like looking at models( well not of trenches anyway) but the real thing.

    This is a good thread though because I am planning a return to that area.:thumb:
     
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