Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Arnhem/Ypres Battlefields Visit starting from the North East


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Simon Ross

Simon Ross

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 311 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

I am working in a school in Newcastle and I'm keen to set up a long weekend visit to mainland Europe to visit either First or Second World War battlefields. I am reluctant to use package companies as I am dubious about the value for money. My initial thought was to go on the ferry to Amsterdam but beyond that I am a bit stuck! The main aim is to expose the students to the realities of some of the Twentieth Century history we have been studying. I have always found visiting the area around Ypres very powerful, but could a visit to Arnhem have a similar impact? Is it similarly well set up for visits e.g. In Flander's Field museum?Does anyone else run a visit from the North East? Is the travel time/cost prohibitive?

Thanks in advance for any help people can give,

Simon

#2 Mark H.

Mark H.

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 943 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

In my view Arnhem is a fantastic area for a battlefields tour. Personally I prefer it to Normandy. The aim of the operation is fairly easy to grasp and the reasons for the failure of 'Market Garden' can be effectively studied on the ground and explained to pupils. For a starter show the excellent briefing sequence by General Brian Horrocks (Edward Fox) in 'A Bridge Too Far'. I have run two Arnhem school battlefields tours in the last ten years from the Manchester area, as changes from my Great War tours. From Newcastle you would probably take the overnight Hull-Rotterdam ferry. This arrives early in the morning and you can then travel part of the 'Hell's Highway' route to Arnhem on the first day. I would particularly recommend the US airborne museum at Groesbeek near Nijmegen and the area around the Nijmegen bridge, scene of heroic attacks by the US 82nd Airborne Division and the British Guards Armoured Division. Nijmegen is also a good lunch/afternoon stop. We stay at the excellent StayOK hostel just north of Arnhem city centre. You should visit the British landing zones (8 miles from the Bridge!) and I would walk them up to the atmospheric Recce Jeep ambush site at Wolfheze where the speed and effectiveness of the German reaction to the landings can be appreciated. The beautiful village of Oosterbeek has the marvellous Hartenstein Museum, based in British 1st Airborne Division HQ , far superior to 'In Flanders Fields' in my opinion and with amazing recreated battle scenes in the basement. By the river you can see the 'Lonsdale Church' (reputedly the oldest in the Netherlands) also a British HQ , next to the famous Ter Horst house, used as a hospital in the battle and featured in the film 'A Bridge Too Far' where Liv Ullman portrays the 'Angel of Arnhem', Kate Ter Horst. Depending on the time of year you can also travel across the Rhine by ferry and appreciate something of the difficulties of the perilous evacuation of the remnants of 1st Airborne from the Oosterbeek pocket, aka 'The Cauldron'. The John Frost Bridge area in Arnhem itself has a few memorials and now its own excellent little museum with a large scale interactive map of the battle. No visit to Arnhem can be made without visiting the beautiful and poignant Arnhem (Oosterbeek) Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.
There is much to see and do at Arnhem and the surrounding area. The people are incredibly friendly and many of them speak superb English. I would strongly urge you to go. Get hold of the Holts Guide to Operation 'Market Garden' and accompanying map. I actually think that the old Pen and Sword Arnhem guide, by battle veteran Colonel John Waddy is better, particularly if you can also get hold of his map, but it's more for military headbangers.

Edited by Mark H., 07 July 2012 - 06:07 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#3 Tony Fox

Tony Fox

    Super Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,294 posts

Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:13 PM

In my view Arnhem is a fantastic area for a battlefields tour.


May I suggest you contact my friend Mark Jackson, who lives in Newcastle http://pockettours.w...com/contact-us/ as he has excellent contacts for Arnhem (see his iphone app http://itunes.apple....d455634961?mt=8) he may be able to help in some way, before, during or after the trip.
Just say Tony sent you
"A parent can bring a child into this world, but a child can bring a parent into the world to come." - from the Talmud

"Had Churchill been a stable and equable man, he could never have inspired the nation. In 1940, when all the odds were against Britain, a leader of sober judgement might well have concluded we were finished. - Anthony Storr

#4 Geoff Thomas

Geoff Thomas

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:58 AM

Simon:

Are you sure you want to do all the organising yourself?

There's a lot involved in booking coach, ferry, accommodation, guides, visits, etc., all on top of your daily workload.

I do some work (mainly on Berlin and Central Europe) with a specialist school history tours business whom I am happy to recommend, should you decide to go down that route.

http://www.culturetr...study-tours.htm will give you an idea of their tours.

#5 BarbaraH

BarbaraH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:09 PM

Use Hull Zeebrugge ferry for Ypres. And do thinkk about getting someone else to do the organising - this is what you are paying a tour company for! There are several smaller companies which are very reasonable. Try Galina for one example.

#6 Simon Ross

Simon Ross

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 311 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for the excellent advice. We History teachers are so lucky to have this resource! I will have a think and start plotting over the summer!

Simon

#7 Mark H.

Mark H.

    Long-term Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 943 posts

Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:38 PM

I use a travel company for the accomodation and transport but I do all the itinerary planning and guiding myself. To be honest we could do all the arranging in-house and have done for a couple of smaller-scale tours over the years but I prefer the back-up of a proper travel company in case of difficulties. It is still a big effort each year as every tour is different but a labour of love. I normally arrange for local expert guides to conduct parts of the tour on site. We are now on Battlefields Tour number 19. I wouldn't do it any other way, but have heard good reports of guided tours run particularly by Anglia and Galina. The Royal British Legion also arrange school tours via their Poppy Travel arm. I've tried to book through them in the past but they only do fully-guided tours.

Edited by Mark H., 07 July 2012 - 06:10 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users