We are pleased to announce this new Beer and battlefields Tour focusing on the centenary of the end of the Great War. We will be staying in the comfortable and centrally based Novotel In Flanders Fields in Ypres. We are planning a day around First World War sites in Mons connected to the opening and closing of the Great War and where the Allied armies ended up on 11 November 2018 when the armistice ended the war at 11.00hrs. We will have a look at the poignant First and Last Shots memorial on each side of the same road in Mons, the 1914 and 1918 burials at the beautiful St Symphorien Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and fit in a brewery or two in this great area for Belgian beer.
We will also be visiting the 600,000 statue art installation by Coming World Remember Me in the Palingbeek, south of Ypres and within the Great War Salient. Our Beer & Battlefields 2017 Passchenedale Tour included a session for our travellers to make on of the statues themselves which contributed towards this installation which commemorates deaths in the Ypres Salient in the First World War. Now you will get the chance to see the complete piece and the personalised dog-tags. This installation was completed in Spring 2018 and is on show until 11 November 2018.
One day of the Tour will be devoted to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in their first engagement in the great War, at Mons where they first met German fire. We will visit the memorials marking where the first shots were fired by the British army on the continent since Waterloo and the last shots memorial which happens to be on the opposite side of the road. Siobhan will guide us around some of the sites associated with the opening moves of the war when the small, professional BEF engaged with the might of the German invading armies. She will tell us the story of the action at Nimy Bridge, especially that leading up to the Victoria crosses won by Lieutenant Dease and Private Godley on the bridge over the canal. We’ll also hear about German soldier Musketier Oskar Niemeyer who opened the bridge allowing the Germans troops to cross the water in greater numbers, and what happened to him. We will also visit the moving memorial at Obourg Station and hear about the rearguard action fought there. We make our way the short distance just outside town to the beautiful Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at St Symphorien where Lt Dease is buried as well as the first and last BEF casualties of the war and German burials, including Oskar Niemeyer. We will have some time to explore Mons city centre and an opportunity to recreate the famous photograph on the square, if desired, see below.
In Mons we will have a chance to look around this attractive city and an opportunity to have a beer and something to eat armed with Podge’s Mons Bar Guide. On the same day we will break our journey to Mons with a visit to and refreshments at the old farm, now independent family Brewery Dubuisson in Pipaix, to sample some of their beers at the brewery including one of the strongest beers brewed in Belgium, the mighty Bush Ambrée at 12%abv. We will spend some of the evening on the way back to Ypres in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Tournai (Doornik in Flemish) which has some great beer cafes to be found using Podge’s Tournai Bar Guide.
For this Tour we will take the coach on the 09.20hr Eurotunnel crossing from Folklestone to Calais and return on the 19.50hr from Calais to Folkestone for the return leg. This Tour is still being built so keep an eye on this web page for updates. If you want to join us on this Tour to secure a place you will need to send a deposit of £140 per person. Please send Podge an email or call him on +44 (0)1245 354677 to find out how to pay the deposit or if you have any questions about this Tour.
If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller please contact Podge as we are regularly able to pair up travellers in twin rooms to avoid the need for payments of Single Supplements.
Hotel accommodation and breakfasts;
Hotel city taxes;
Luxury coach travel on a 49 seater coach with toilet;
All brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings;
Entrance fees to attractions, museums and historical sites;
All items marked with an asterisk above and on the individual detailed tour itinerary when issued;
Copies of Podge’s City Bar Guides and Maps for the town where we stay or spend some time;
Still and sparkling water on the coach;
Pick up from Ipswich (at bus shelter outside Crown House, Crown Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3HS (opposite NCP Car Park), Colchester (Southway Chapel St South Layby) or Chelmsford (The Woolpack, Mildmay Road). Arrangements can be made for different joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel.
Travellers are responsible for the costs of all food and drink apart from items marked with an asterisk on the detailed itinerary plus all passport and insurance costs.
All itinerary times are local and approximate.
Personal insurance is not included in the Tour price but is strongly advised, as is carrying the European Health Insurance Card available online, by phone or via the Post Ofﬁce.
If you have any questions or would like to be added to the interested list please send Podge an email or call him on +44 (0)1245 354677.
All Tours are subject to our Terms and Conditions.