Western Front Trek

Trek along the Western Front with the Legion to remember the incredible sacrifices made by all those who fought in the First World War.

  • Blackheath, London N1C 4QP
  • Register for £199, then either a) Raise £1,400 in sponsorship or b) Pay £650 and raise £750 in sponsorship.
  • Treks, Challenge,

From London to France and Belgium

Pass through the battlefields and memorials of the First World War around the Somme and Ypres, tracing parts of the Western Front. You’ll walk an average of 13 miles per day over the four days of walking.

As we walk along the hill-ridges, through fields and woodland while looking at the beautiful views over the now tranquil countryside, it is all too easy to imagine the events of the past. This is a poignant experience as well as a physical challenge – a memorable and meaningful way to raise funds for the Armed Forces community.

Itinerary

Day 1: London – Amiens

We meet in Blackheath, London and board our coaches for Dover and across the Channel to Calais. We continue on to Amiens to check in to our hotel where there will be a trip briefing in the evening.

Day 2: Amiens – Bray-sur-Somme – Beaumont Hamel – Arras

After a short drive to Bray-sur-Somme, we set off through undulating farmland dotted with hamlets and small towns. It’s picturesque, peaceful countryside, but we are walking into the heart of the Somme battlefields, and there are many reminders. We pass Lochnagar Crater and continue on towards Thiepval’s Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, the main memorial to the lost British soldiers who gave their lives here. A short distance on small roads and tracks brings us to the preserved trenches at Beaumont Hamel; here we meet our coaches and transfer to Arras.

Trek approx. 12.5 miles

Day 3: Arras – Vimy Ridge – Ablain St-Nazaire – Lille

Walking north into open countryside. While much of the terrain is undulating farmland again, we have a gradual uphill climb onto Vimy Ridge, where part of this former strategic battleground is now site of the Canadian Memorial. From here, we drop downhill and walk steeply up a second ridge, where we have time to take in the vast international memorial at Musée Notre-Dame de Lorette. Here we meet our coaches and transfer to Lille.

Trek approx. 12.5 miles

Day 4: Lille – Ypres – Langemark – Ypres

An early drive takes us to Ypres, where we start with a pleasant walk alongside the Yser Canal.

We come shortly to the site of a 1915 Medical Station; Essex Farm Cemetery is nearby. It is commonly believed that this was where Major John McCrae wrote his poem In Flanders Fields. We continue north towards Pilkem Ridge, where the front line was at this time, and then on to Langemark and the German Cemetery. Looping around, we pass St Julien, where some of the Western Front’s first poison gas attacks took place, as we walk through fields and farmland back to Ypres.

Trek approx. 12.5 miles

Day 5: Ypres – Tyne Cot – Ypres

After a short transfer to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world, we walk back towards Ypres. We pass some of the many battle-sites of the Ypres Salient, including Hill 62-Sanctuary Wood, where there are preserved British trenches alongside a cemetery and Canadian memorial.

A few miles further, Hill 60 was strategically-important higher ground which changed hands several times. The land here has not been disturbed because of the extensive mining and tunnelling which took place, and is essentially a mass grave for both Allied and German soldiers. We cannot help but think back to events 100 years ago, and this will no doubt help us to cope with any aching legs or sore feet caused by our long days of walking.

We walk back to Ypres, finishing at the Menin Gate for the moving Last Post ceremony as a fitting end to this poignant trek. We round off the trek and celebrate our achievements this week with a slap-up dinner.

Trek approx. 13 miles

Day 6: Ypres – London

Early start for drive back to London via the ferry.

Cost

For this once in a lifetime experience we offer two fundraising options:

Register now for just £199, then:

  1. Raise £1,400 in sponsorship OR
  2. Pay the £650 tour cost yourself and raise £750 in sponsorship

We will need to have received £849 from you (£650 tour cost + £199 registration fee) by Friday 22 June 2018. You'll then have the rest of the year to raise the remaining sponsorship, due on 7 December 2018

We’re very happy to be working with experienced trek leaders from Discover Adventure so you’ll be supported every step of the way.

What's included?

This trip will be an amazing once in a lifetime experience and includes:

  • pre-trip briefing
  • transport – including ferry and coach transport from London to Amiens, Ypres to London, and coach transfers throughout the trip
  • five nights accommodation in hotels on a twin-share basis
  • meals for the duration of the trek: breakfast, snacks, lunch and evening meals, except breakfast on day one
  • experienced tour leaders from our event partners at Discover Adventure and support crew to support you every step of the way
  • entrance to museums and sites included in itinerary
  • historic information en route
  • event app
  • training and equipment advice
  • fundraising support from a dedicated point of contact at The Royal British Legion.

Why walk for us?

Your fundraising helps to fund vital services for the Armed Forces community, such as The Battle Back Centre - the first port of call for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. Take some time to read more about the centre and how it helps people recover from injury and illness.

Fancy a chat?

Do you have questions about the event? Give us a call or email us on 0333 011 4500 or email events@britishlegion.org.uk. We would love to hear from you!