Group & School Tours

With the inclusion of the First World War into the National Curriculum, many schools are now recognising the enormous benefits of a short trip to the battlefields where all the dry statistics of the classroom suddenly take form as the pupils experience the muddy reality of a wet trench or the stark tragedy of thousands of graves.

Click for larger image!Salient Tours have now taken many schools on such trips and we are proud of their success. We are able to organise our tours to make them especially relevant to pupils with, for example, a visit to the grave of the youngest British soldier killed in the war who was aged just fourteen. To assist the teaching staff we supply the pupils with worksheets and study packs that are specific to the different sites and we are uniquely aware that a tour for children has to be arranged in a totally different way to a tour for adults with among other things, many more toilet stops included! Our expertise in this field has also been recognised by some of the UK's leading educational tour operators who commission us to manage their trips.

Click for larger image!Our experience has shown us that most schools visit the Great War battlefields not to teach the pupils political and military history. Important as these things are, they can be taught in a classroom at home. Rather, we believe that schools take pupils to the battlefields to bring home to them the scale of the war and most importantly, the human cost.

Things that can only be truly understood by those who have visited Ypres and stood amongst 12,000 young men, men who died fighting for possession of a tiny village on a slender ripple of a ridge, 12,000 graves that are a mere 7% of one side's losses in only three months of fighting; or, as at Thiepval on the Somme, walking across the grass to the towering monument and then realising with shock that it is literally being held up with names across all faces of the sixteen enormous pillars. Names that are the tip of the iceburg, these being the 73,000 British soldiers missing from only four and a half months of bitter fighting.

Click for larger image!The effect of a trip to the battlefields has to be seen to be believed. Within half an hour, a group of normal boisterous teenagers can be transformed into a party of serious young people who are suddenly realising the importance of their heritage.

As a measure of the impact it can have we have seen teenage boys openly and unashamedly weeping at the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony in Ypres because of the emotion of the event.

Pupil safety is obviously our primary concern, we strongly believe in paying more to get the best coaches and hotels and these are frequently checked. All coaches are almost new and of course have seatbelts.

All aspects of the trips have full Public Liability Insurance and details are available upon request. We are very proud of the feedback from our schools tours and feel that our focus on the soldier's life and his motives is the most effective approach to the subject. We are pleased to provide contact details for schools that have taken our tours if you would like independent referees.

Group Tours / Coach Groups

Such has been the success of our minibus tours that we are now increasingly being asked not only to guide larger groups but also to organise compete coach trips from the UK.

Using a first class British coach company we pick up your group from your location in the UK and via ferry or Channel Tunnel take you to the battlefields. Staying at the best hotels and visiting sites of your choice means that it will be the trip of a lifetime, a chance at last to visit the places where grandfather fought.

Click for larger image!Our expertise in this area is being increasingly recognised and we now work with major names in the tourist industry as well as many schools and adult groups such as the British Legion. Many of these groups use us to guide their coaches because our British guides who live on the continent can combine their expert knowledge of the history with the innumerable small local details (roads, shop hours, toilet locations etc) that can make the difference between an average tour and an excellent one.

All our trips are fully bonded in accordance with European Law for your protection.

We would be delighted to guide your coach if you have already organised your own travel arrangements and only require our expertise on the history of the battlefields and our knowledge of the area.

For more information on any of our services please contact us via email on tours@salienttours.be or visit our contact page.