Nordic Walk Across The Somme – 3rd October – 6th October 2017 – £499 pp with a £99 deposit.
Mercian Nordic Walking and the charity Socks & Chocs bring you a Nordic walking battlefield tour – bringing fun, fitness and history together for an amazing four days walking across the Somme battlefields. You will be taking in some of the must see sites that you will never forget. A large percentage of the money made from the tour sales are being directly donated to Socks & Chocs charity so you will also be helping an amazing charity with its valuable work! There are also options for non walkers so if your partners, friends or family prefer to leave the walking to you, they will also be able to visit the same sites, and a few more via our motorised transport!
Collection points will start in the Bromsgrove area at 05:00am (you will be notified of the collection point in Bromsgrove nearer to the time of departure) We will then have various pick ups along the M40, M25 and M20 motorway service stations according to the areas bookings are taken. Arrival in Dover will be around 09:00am followed by our ferry crossing around 10:00am.
Day 1 – After a pleasant journey across the channel our first stop will be the stunning Vimy ridge memorial. Here we will take in the Canadian story of WW1 but also take in the trenches, tunnels and visitors centre. (This is suitable for all walkers)
From Vimy we will head down to our base in Albert. Once checked in to our hotel we will head out as a group for a meal in Albert or the hotel (Not included in tour price) to relax and recharge for the following day.
Day 2 – Fully recharged we head out at 09:00am sharp where the walkers will be dropped of at the Blighty tea rooms ready for a 15km walk. From here you will be taken by Nordic walking expert Ian, and Rob who has earned his great war PHD taking in the Lochnagar crater, Fricourt and Devonshire CWGC cemetery, plus many other various cemeteries and points of interest. There are no facilities on this walk so water must be carried by all walkers. (This is not suitable for non walkers)
For the non walkers you will be guided around the following sites by one of our guides, learning about the facts, fiction but most of all the personal stories at the Lochnagar crater, Gordon Dump cemetery (Victoria Cross recipient) Fricourt German cemetery, plus Devonshire and Carnoy cemeteries which will include the stories of Wilfred Nevill and two shot at dawn casualties.
Around 14:00 walkers and non walkers will all reconvene for lunch at the blighty tea rooms.(Not included in tour price)
After lunch we take a drive to Mametz wood where we will walk across the front lines down to Flat Iron Copse cemtetery and hear the stories of the brutal fighting that took place here, we will also take in the stunning Welsh memorial. (Suitable for any level of walkers)
Our next stop will be a short drive (some stronger walkers may want to walk this ) to Contalmaison for some short walks around the town visiting various sites including, Contalmaison Chateau cemetery, the memorial to McCraes football battalion and the Bell redoubt. (Victoria Cross recipient) These are short walks and everyone should be able to participate, however if anyone needs a break the same sites will be visited via our transport.
After a good days walking we head back to our hotel base in Albert where we will eat as a group or if you prefer some time to yourself, separately in a restaurant in Albert. (Not included in tour price)
Day 3 – Leave hotel 09:00 sharp. We will then take a drive to the Thiepval memorial and visitors centre. Once here time will be spent taking in the stunning memorial, hearing about its history, and once again some of the personal stories amongst the 72000 names remembered here. There is a charge to enter the visitors centre but this is included in your tour price. Walkers will then walk the Thiepval area taking in the many cemeteries and sites around, including the Leipzig and Schwaben redoubts, followed by a walk up to the Ulster Tower. Non walkers will take in the same sites with our guide but will exclude the Leipzig redoubt.
Around 12:30 walkers and non walkers will reconvene for lunch (Not included in tour price) and a guided tour of the Thiepval wood trenches with Teddy from the Ulster Tower. (Suitable for any level of walker)
After this we head off for the short drive to Avrils tea room in Auchouvillers, where walkers will be dropped off for the long walk along the old Beaumont road, taking in among other sites, the Hawthorn crater, White City, and the sunken lane, then back to Avrils to visit the trench and museum. (Not suitable for non walkers)
Non walkers will be taken with one of our guides to hear some fascinating stories at sites including, Authuille and Ancre cemeteries, the sunken lane, 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders memorial, Beaumont Hamel cemetery and the Hawthorn crater before meeting up with the walkers back at Avrils.
After a long day we will head back to Albert for a final group meal on what will be our last night together (Not included in tour price)
Day 4 – Leave hotel 09:00 sharp. We finish our tour with an easier day which is suitable for all level walkers. Firstly we will visit the beautiful and very well laid out Albert museum (there is a charge for this but it is included in the tour price)
We then take a drive onto the brilliant Newfoundland memorial park. While here you will hear the stories of the Newfoundland regiment, the Highland division, Y ravine, the danger tree, and many more. You will also be able to walk among the original trenches and take in some of the devastation of the area in the great war.
This is where our tour ends and from here we head back to Calais.
Ferry crossing will be around 15:00 – 16:00 and our final drop off in Bromsgrove will be around 20:00 – 21:00
For more information, availability and booking, please use the contact form below.