Northern France

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


By 1941, the Germans were anticipating a second front to be launched against them by the allies from the west and accordingly Hitler decreed that the ‘Atlantic Wall’ should be created. These defences, made from reinforced concrete, steel and forced labour, stretched from Norway to Spain and consisted of thousands of bunkers and gun emplacements. As the tide turned against the Third Reich, so Hitler turned to technology for salvation. Owing to its proximity to Britain, northern France was selected as the launch pad for Germany’s secret ‘V’ weapons.

Atlantic Wall
Atlantic Wall

Eperlecques

The Blockhouse of Eperlecques is the largest bunker in northern France and is classified as a historical building. Built within four months, this monumental factory was designed to manufacture 84.8 tons of liquid oxygen per day and to launch a maximum of 36 rockets a day. With a range of 4,500 km, the A10 rocket would have been able to target America.

Blockhouse
Blockhouse of Eperlecques
Atlantic Wall Museum
Atlantic Wall Museum

La Coupole

After Allied bombing raids had crippled the Blockhous at Epelecques, the Germans turned their attentions to La Coupole. The menacing concrete dome that emerges from the trees hides not only a rocket-launching base, but also an underground slave labour camp, which was ‘home’ to thousands of Russian and Polish prisoners.

During your visit to La Coupole, you might wish to include one or two of the other major exhibitions held within its complex such as the Holocaust, the German occupation and the development of the rocket after the Second World War.

V2 Rocket
V2 Rocket

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.

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