The Worshipful Company of Butchers and City Livery Events

Barbed Wire Tour to Ypres and the WW1 Battlefields

Barbed Wire Tour to Ypres and the WW1 battlefields

Join Mark Smith from the Antiques Roadshow (who is our tour guide, no less), and your fellow Liveryman and guests as we head to the famous World War One battlefields around the city of Ypres, Belgium on a special three-day tour.

Taking place between the 25th and 27th October, the visit will include the Menin Gate, which bears the names of 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers with no known grave, and Tyne Cot, which is the largest 'British' cemetery in the world with almost 12,000 graves. 

Every evening at 8pm by the Menin Gate, The Last Post is played during a moving ceremony in memory of the Allied fallen defending the city. 

Other notable sites we will visit include Langemark, Hill 60, Hill 63, Sanctuary Wood, Yorkshire Trench and the brilliant In Flanders Fields museum in Ypres itself.

Tyne Cot World War One Cemetery, the largest British War cemetery in the world in Passendale, Belgium.

Ypres was held by the Allies throughout 1914-18 despite tremendous efforts by the Germans to capture it. Over one million casualties were suffered on both sides during battle and the fallen are remembered on numerous memorials and cemeteries all over the Salient. 

The tour company we plan to use will also research any relatives or family of those travelling with us, who may have been involved around Ypres so we can visit their final resting place. 

The cost is £600 per person, sharing a room and £700 per person as a single occupancy room.

The price includes:

Two nights B&B at the Novotel Ypres. 

Coach travel.

Ferry Crossing.

Tour guide (Mike Smith of the Antiques Roadshow).

A £100 deposit per person will be required by the end of April to confirm places, and to secure the hotel, coach travel and the tour company. 

Coach pick-up is at Ebbsfleet station at 6:30am on 25th October with drop-off on the return expected to be approximately 7:00pm on 27th October.

Your tour guide: Mark Smith of the Antiques Roadshow.

Lunches and dinners are not included in the price, but the group will endeavour to book local restaurants for the Friday and Saturday evening for those who want to join in. Or you can choose to make your own arrangements. 

Note: the itinerary is subject to change in the event of unforeseen issues or weather. All travellers will need their own travel insurance and passports valid for at least three months beyond the travel date, and also less than ten years old.

Interested in joining the tour? Use the booking link below and send us your details.

Your tour guide, Mark Smith

Mark has been interested in military history all his life. He has been visiting the battlefields since 1986 and has led tours for over 20 years. For 14 years he was the curator of the Royal Artillery Museum in London and now directs the medals department of AH Baldwins and Sons Auctioneers located in the Strand, London.

He is one of the medals and militaria experts on the BBC’s long running programme the Antiques Roadshow and has appeared on many other programmes, such as Who Do You Think You Are, and Bargain Hunt.

He has written five books on WW1 and genealogical military research and appears in many associated magazines.

He has been a member for over 25 years of the Orders and Medals Research Society and the Western Front Association.

About Barb Wired Tours

Barbed Wire Tours was born out of a trip some 20 years ago. Founder, Peter Whapshott said: “I was asked if I would like to go on a battlefield tour with some friends from the Metropolitan Police. As a first timer I did not know what to expect so I read a book or two and went along. Our guide was a Policeman who had been doing the trips for a while.

“To go and see, touch the iconic places that I had grown up hearing about was incredible. When I came home I did not stop talking about the trip at which point my wife said I should go back. Armed with pictures and details of my Granddad, I went again and again. Then friends started to ask if I would take them over to the battlefields, which I have done over many years, learning something new every time I go.

 “The biggest honour is taking people over to find a relation. To stand and tell the story behind the person and why they were here, holding the last letter they wrote. We try to make that small part of history come to life. What started as a hobby soon became my passion and that has never left me.”

Find out more at:

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Events details

25 October 2024 - 27 October 2024
25 October 2024 - 27 October 2024
Most welcome
£600 - £700