War Poets

To plan and arrange your tour, call us on: 01709 385500


Alternatively, if you’re interested in booking a tour for a smaller group, take a look at what our sister site offers: legerbattlefields.co.uk


It could be said that the War Poetry genre was spawned on the battlefields of the First World War, where young men from diverse social backgrounds and religions were universally moved to express the horror, sense of futility and revulsion at what they saw and experienced. The lines they wrote nearly a hundred years ago are no less poignant today.

Poppy Field
Poppy field

Poetry spawned on the Battlefields

In Flanders Fields was written by Lt-Col John McCrae at the height of the second battle of Ypres on May 3, 1915, when he was Brigade-Surgeon, 1st Canadian Field Artillery.

Poem
Poem

The Somme & Ypres Salient tours

We can arrange tours that cover the experience and work of the main War Poets in both the Somme and Ypres Salient. The tours can be tailor-made to suit your requirements and can be from one to three days in length.

The Somme
The Somme

Typical one-day War Poets tour in the Somme

The Somme & Newfoundland Park

After an early start, arrive in the Somme area at Serre No 2 Cemetery near where Wilfred Owen’s platoon held a dug-out in No Man’s Land as described in his poem The Sentry.

From here, travel the short distance to Newfoundland Park where, in January 1917, Wilfred Owen was in the front line.

Newfoundland Park

Thiepval & Fricourt area

Carry on to Thiepval, the memorial to the missing, a very emotional place.

From here, drive to the Fricourt area, where Robert Graves wrote several poems including Two Fusiliers and David & Goliath. Siegfried Sassoon also served in this area during the spring of 1916 prior to the Battle of the Somme.

Thiepval

Delville Wood & Agny

Drive to Delville Wood, where the savage fighting inspired Sassoon’s poem The Road and Graves’ poem The Dead Boche.

En-route back to Calais, stop south of Arras at Agny to visit the grave of Edward Thomas and travel into Arras to the Arras Memorial.

Delville Wood

An extended tour would take in the area round Saint Quentin, where both Wilfred Owen and Sassoon fought. Owen also wrote The Show and Spring Offensive here. We then travel on to the Joncourt area where Owen saw action in the last months of the war and make our way to Cambrin to visit the sites of Robert Graves’ war experience and the Lavantie area, where Sassoon, Graves and Blunden all saw action.

Suggested Itineraries

All tours can be tailor-made to suit your needs. Some groups have specific sites that they wish to visit including graves, where they may wish to lay a wreath. Others like to combine a history tour with some leisure time, such as a day visit to Bruges, a visit to Bellewaerde Theme Park outside Ypres or add on a visit to Disneyland® Paris.

Download and print brochure page

All our tours include:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at your school or chosen pick-up point
  • Executive class coach travel (subject to availability)
  • Return travel on Eurotunnel (or P&O Ferries, if you prefer)
  • Entrance to all museums throughout the tour
  • Full board accommodation for tours lasting two days or more
  • Exclusive Teachers’ Information Booklet and Pupil Worksheets
  • Personal Battlefields Tours Executive to assist with tour planning
Jacqui Shaw - Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours

Expert guidance and planning

Here at Holts, we believe that Battlefield Tours are an important part of how a student learns about history, and perhaps even themselves. We have passion, experience and the knowledge to help make the most of your Battlefield Tour and make it an experience for your students to remember for a lifetime.

Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours, Jacqui Shaw, was educated at Reading and Cambridge, and has worked as a teacher for over 20 years. Inspired to learn more after visiting the Battlefields herself on a school tour, she has been returning ever since and is excited to be able to bring the experience to new generations of students. With Holts, we seek to bring history to life, understand the past, and ensure a memorable and rewarding Battlefield Tour for your students.

To arrange and plan your tour, call us on 01709 385500