Spend ANZAC Day 2020 on the western Front in FRANCE & BELGIUM, 22– 25 APRIL 2020
4 Day Coach & Hotel Tour: only £425 per person – Start & Finish at our central Lille Hotel which is located within a short walking distance from Lille domestic and international train stations.
We also have a tour which starts and finishes in London, England. Please click here to see details of our London to London tour.
*** Please Note, this is an Australian specific tour and that we no longer stop at the “Do Not Forget Australia” sign, preferring instead to spend more time visiting the memorial sites***
If you are planning to be in Europe in late April, spend your 2020 ANZAC Day on the Western Front in France and Belgium. After a traumatic Gallipoli campaign, more than 310,000 ANZAC soldiers sign up and fight on the Western Front, with over 53,000 making the ultimate sacrifice.
This emotional 4 day Australian tour visits all the major ANZAC battlefields and memorials in France and Belgium. The tour will be led by a fully qualified, professional World War One guide who will pass on their knowledge and experience so you will get the most your of your visit to the Western Front. You will stay in a great quality hotel in central Lille which is located next to Lille train station and a few minute’s walk from the Eurostar terminal. The hotel is surrounded by shops and restaurants.
Be Present at the Australian ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux
The Australian ANZAC Day dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux is recognised as the largest dawn service outside of Australia and Turkey. As part of the tour, you will attend this moving and emotional service at the Australian memorial, which is located on the spot where Australian soldiers fought heroically to stop a German advance, and then counter attacked which started the long German retreat of 1918 which eventually ended the war. Over 5000 people attend this lovely dawn service, and you will also visit Adelaide cemetery which has the grave of the Unknown Soldier.
You will visit the infamous Fromelles battlefield, where the Australian 5th Division suffered over 5,500 casualties in just 24 hours (considered the worst day in Australian military history. You will walk on the battlefield, visit the “Don’t Forget Me Cobber” memorial and also see where the mass graves were discovered in 2007. You will also visit the new military cemetery and the new museum (cost not included in the tour price).
Visit the “Battle of the Somme” area & see Pozieres and Bullecourt
You will explore in depth the Battle of the Somme, which in just 5 months in 1916 claimed the lives of over one and a half million men (including 57,000 British casualties in 24 hours). Within this huge battle, we will visit a number of Australian Specific battle sites and many other general areas of interest. At Pozieres we will visit the site of the Windmill, we will see Mouquet Farm, Gibraltar Bunker and the memorial to the Australian 1st Division. At Bullecourt we will take a in depth look at the battle where 10,000 Aussies were killed or wounded in 1917, and we will visit the stunning digger memorial.
Visit the “Battle of Passchendaele” area & see Hill 60 and Polygon Wood
You will have plenty of time to visit the Battle of Passchendaele area of Belgium, where over 500,000 men were killed fighting over a few square miles of farmland. You will visit Hill 60 for a fascinating insight to the underground war and how Aussie miners played their part in tunnelling under German trenches. You will visit Polygon Wood and see the butte captured by the Australian 5th division where their memorial now stands. You will also visit Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world, and the location where two Australian VC winners are buried. There is much more to see in this fascinating but shocking area where so many men lost their lives.
Attend the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate
You will visit the stunning Menin Gate, a working memorial which has the names of 57,000 men who have no known grave. Each night at 8pm there is a simple but moving ceremony where the last post is played. You will attend this memorable ceremony.
Good Quality Hotel Close to Train Station & Eurostar
During the tour, you will stay in a great quality hotel in central Lille, next to the large, central domestic train station and a short walk from the Eurostar terminals. The hotel has free WIFI, bar and restaurant, and is surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants meaning you have lots of choices and options of how to enjoy your free time and evenings. If you want to book extra nights before or after the tour, that’s no problem at all, you can book yourself or we can do it for you.
Professional, Full Time, Local WW1 Historians
The very best WW1 guides and historians will guide you around the battlefields and will make sure you get the very best out of your visit to the Western Front. Our WW1 guides live and work in France and Belgium 365 days a year, and we have worked with them since our first ANZAC Day tour in 2009. One of our guides Vic Piuk is author of two books about WW1, “Famous” and “Trapped behind Enemy Lines”.
This is a respectful, remembrance tour suitable for all ages
This tour is a respectful remembrance tour and is suitable for all ages. Each year we have a wide range of clients, ageing from 18 year old students to 70 year old veterans and everybody in between is welcome. At Pillow we operate a number of younger party tours and festivals, but our ANZAC Day tour is intended to be a respectful, remembrance tour. If you are looking for a younger, party type crowd, we have to be honest, this is not the tour for you. If you are looking for an informed, respectful experience, we would love you to join us.
Flexible start and finish locations
We also have a London to London tour, and we are flexible if you would like to join the tour in London and finish in Lille, or vice-versa. Also if you have to miss a day or two, its all possible so please contact us and let us know how we can help.
Experienced ANZAC Day Western Front tour operator
We conducted our first ANZAC Day in France and Belgium in 2009, and now over 1000 people have enjoyed taking this tour with us. We appreciate that many people who book this tour live in Australia and have never heard of us, but please rest assured. Pillow is a UK based company and is widely regarded and a leading festivals and events company with a large pre-pitched camping and glamping business. We know what we are doing, and ask you to read the testimonials and watch the testimonials video from our previous customers. If you are still worried, please contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions and even put you in touch with previous customers who live in Australia.
Luxury Bus Travel around France & Belgium, (Bus with toilet and DVD player).
Tours and transportation over 4 days to major Anzac memorials and battlefields, including Pozieres, Le Hamel, Menin Gate, Hill 60 and Fromelles . (4 Days with dedicated local WW1 expert tour guide.)
B&B Accommodation for 3 nights in a central Lille IBIS hotel, breakfast included (except on ANZAC Day when we leave before breakfast).
Sandwich lunch on 25 April is included.
Anzac Day Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux, Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate.
Services of an experienced Pillow Tour leader for duration of tour.
What’s NOT included
All food and drink which is not listed above.
Entry into any museum & visitor centres you may wish to visit.
Any souvenirs you wish to buy.
Your personal travel insurance suitable for a trip of this nature