Remembrance Day in Flanders 2014
Bruges, Ypres and the moving Last Post ceremony
We experience the poignant Remembrance Day commemoration in Ypres including a wonderful concert, a special Last Post ceremony, and the Poppy Parade, during this moving tour.
Day 1 - To Roubaix
We leave St Pancras International by Eurostar bound for Lille. From here, we continue our journey by coach to Roubaix, a charming Flemish city on the Belgian border. We spend three nights here at the ideally located 4* Mercure Lille Roubaix Grand Hôtel. Tonight we enjoy dinner together in the hotel.
Day 2 - The Battlefields of Flanders
On today's excursion we take a coach to the Ypres Salient - which saw some of the bitterest and most intense fighting of the First World War. Our first stop is at Hill 62, where we visit the Canadian Memorial commemorating the vital efforts of Canadian forces in defending the region from a major German advantage. We then continue to Essex Farm Cemetery. During the conflict this was the Advanced Dressing Station, where Colonel John McCrae was stationed. It was here, in 1915, that McCrae was moved to write his poem 'In Flanders Fields', not only one of the 20th century's most famous poems but also the inspiration for the Poppy Parade every Remembrance Day. Our next stop is at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium's largest commonwealth cemetery and the final resting place of many Allied soldiers. Our final visit today is to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, which details the events of the Third Battle of Ypres - one of the war's bloodiest battles. The museum provides a detailed impression of life on the front line, with full-scale replica dugouts, trenches and chambers in the museum's basement. Later we return to Roubaix, where this evening you are free to dine in a restaurant of your choice.
Day 3 - Remembrance Day in Ypres
We travel by coach to Ypres to experience the city's Remembrance Day commemorations. On arrival, we watch the Poppy Parade, where former servicemen, local forces and volunteer bands march through the streets of Ypres, making their way from the Vandenpeereboomplein to the famous Menin Gate. You even have the option of joining the parade. Following the parade, a special Last Post Ceremony is held at the Menin Gate, which is broadcast for us to watch on a big screen in the Market Square. This afternoon we visit the fascinating "In Flanders Fields" Museum, which is housed in the famous Cloth Hall, before attending a Commemoration Concert in St Martin's Cathedral, featuring choirs, singers and bands from Belgium and other allied nations. We return to Roubaix by coach for dinner together at the hotel.
Day 4 - Lille and homeward bound
Today we depart Roubaix, travelling by coach to Lille, where we board the Eurostar service to St Pancras International in London.
These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday.
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Experience Bruges and Remembrance Day in Flanders
Our tour visit the beautiful Belgian locations of Bruges and Ypres, both major locations of historical interest and military significance. Several battles took place at the small, medieval town of Ypres, and our tour experiences poignant tributes to the war heroes of the early 20th century. A friendly, relaxed town with fantastic places to dine, Ypres is a must-see destination on your Remembrance Day tour to the historic battlefields of Belgium.