Destination – WWI Battlefields in Northern France

Traveling-to-the-WWI-Battlefields-from-the-UK-Thiepval

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing – Somme

Traveling to the WWI Battlefied from the UK is pretty easy, as they are located in Northern France.

Northern France regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie, and Ypres Salient across the border in Belgium, were at the heart of the deadly offensives that took place of the Western front during WWI, then again during WWII.

The region has indeed many war memorials and Remembrance Sites, battlefields preserved in their war-state and English, French and German war cemeteries.

It has therefore developed an active tourism of memory.

It also boasts many popular seaside resorts along its superb Opal Coast and Baie de Somme.

Here are the links to the various official sites you’ll need to reach this region:

Traveling to the WWI Battlefields from the UK – Air travel information

There is no major airport in the area, but you can fly to Paris Aéroport Roissy Charles de Gaulle, then drive to Northern France (200km).

Paris’ two international airports are owned and managed by Aéroport de Paris.

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport is located 35km north-east of the city and has 3 Terminals – CDG Terminal 1, CDG Terminal 2, CDG Terminal 3

Orly airport  is located 24km south of Paris and has 2 Terminals: Orly Sud and Orly Ouest.

Traveling to the WWI Battlefields from the UK – Ferry travel information

P&O operates from Dover to Calais.

LD Lines – DFDS Seaways operates services from Newhaven to Dieppe and Dover to Calais or Dunkirk.

You can compare ferry prices on aferry.co.uk

Traveling to WWI Battlefields from the UK – Car travel information

– Calais  to Ypres (Belgium) (92km), Arras (109km), Verdun (390km)

– Dunkirk to Ypres (Belgium) (52km), Arras (117km), Verdun (399km)

– Dieppe (Normandy) to Ypres (Belgium) (279km), Arras (171km), Verdun (401km)

– Lille to Ypres (Belgium) (40km), Arras (52km), Verdun (323km)

Traveling to the WWI Battlefields from the UK – Car Rental travel information

Car Rental companies at Aéroport Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Aéroport Orly

Car rental via Eurostar Lille or Calais

Traveling to the WWI Battlefields from the UK – Rail travel information

Eurotunnel links Folkestone to Calais in 35 minutes.

Eurostar links London St Pancras to Calais in about 1hour, and Lille in less than 1h30; gates close 40mn prior to departure.

Once in Calais or Lille you’ll have to hire a car to tour the region.

Here are the official links to the WWI 100th Anniversary Commemorations:

Centenary of the Battle of the Somme, starting on July 1st 2016

Mission Centenaire

Map of Northern France