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Anselm is looking for hotels and restaurants near Ieper, Arras, Cambrai, or St Quentin

Anselm is looking for hotels and restaurants near Ieper, Arras, Cambrai, or St Quentin

Mar 12th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,149
I could probably type the book by August but, yes, I hope to be at the GTG and you can borrow it.

SallyCanuck is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,863
Hello Anselm.

In April 2007 we stayed at this fabulous b and b in Duisans, just outside of Arras:


We took the 9 a.m or so TGV out of Paris to Arras, picked up the car, spent most of the afternoon at Vimy, and checked in. You could of course TGV right out of CDG and pick up the car, but this is what worked best for us. The restaurants available weren't extensive, but sufficed.

Be sure to contact Vimy to see if the tunnels are open when you are visiting. They weren't when we visited, but the site is still impressive.

We saw Ypres/leper as a day-trip out of Duisans. In other words, we spent 2 nights in Arras - you could certainly as well, spend extra nights to tour the part of the Somme lying to the west of the autoroute. As it was, we took in a tour of Beaumont Hamel, and spent some time at Thiepval - where the British run a visitor centre - en route to Les Andelys.

Best of luck, and maybe I'll finally get a trip report out myself (if only the dog would stop eating the copies I've prepared so far.....)

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 07:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,498
Thanks, SallyCanuck!

Sue_xx_yy, I was hoping you'd see this, as I remember your saying that you had been in that area. That's a good looking B and B. Did you notice that one of the pictures on their web site has snow on the ground?

It's funny how dogs like trip reports. That may explain why we haven't posted anything on our Christmas trip to Paris, but we don't have a dog.

I think we've now got a good selection of hotels now, so I thank all for responding.

AnselmAdorne is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 94
Interesting discussion. Son (history teacher and WW1 "enthusiast") and I (more interested in WW2) are thinking of a battle site tour this summer. I'm just beginning research. My preference in Europe is to travel by train whenever and wherever possible. Do those of you with experience visiting key (esp. Cdn) sites in France and Belgium think that a reasonable tour can be mounted by rail (with perhaps a brief car rental) or is a car a necessity for the duration?
geebee14 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,498
Hi GeeBee. My instinctive reaction was to say that you'd need a car, but on second thought, I think you could see a great deal without one.

As you probably know, you can take a train from Paris to Amiens or Arras. I assume you can also get to Ieper by rail, but I haven't looked that up. Once there, I'm sure you'd find that there are local organizations that conduct battlefield tours. An alternative would be to hire a taxi. You could probably search out this kind of thing in advance. The Canadian Veterans Affairs web site, for example, provides directions to the Newfoundland memorial at Beaumont Hamel and mentions the cost of a taxi from Amiens or Arras. (They also note that you can cycle to the memorial.)

I would think that the same approach would work in Normandy: train to a major city and then a local tour operator or taxi.

Renting a car would provide the greatest flexibility and freedom of movement, of course, but I do think you could see a great deal without. And as expensive as local taxis or tours might seem, I suspect they'd still work out to be less expensive than renting a car.

By the way, if your son's interest in the First World War extends to Verdun, it would be a similar methodology: take the train to Verdun and then join a local battlefield tour or hire a taxi.

AnselmAdorne is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,863
Anselm, HRM library has copies of books by Terry Copp.

There are also the "Major and Mrs. Holt's Guides" (both WW1 and WW2 versions. They are extremely well organized and with meticulous and accurate directions to many sites, and with brief, but insightful, details of what happened at the various places. So much so that I strongly suspect that the day-tour company we used whilst in Normandy borrowed heavily from the WW2 book for their 'spiel' to their clientele. (At the very least, I know that these books are available locally, e.g. the giftshop of the "In Flanders Fields" museum in leper/Ypres.)And sometimes BandBs have copies for their guests to borrow (as was the case for our BandB in Normandy.)

Geebee, the connection by rail to leper/Ypres from Paris is a bit of a PITA as it has at least 2 connections. But it is doable (we went by car, but friends of ours did the rail route.) The In Flanders Fields museum (they have a website) in Ypres might be able to direct you to companies offering half day tours of the area. The entire town, of course, is a WW1 site - it had to be entirely (and as you will see from old photographs, that does mean, entirely) rebuilt from scratch after WW1.

WW2 sites in Normandy (especially the landing beaches) have lots - lots! of companies offering tours of them. Do a search on here or google for feedback on them.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Mar 13th, 2008, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 94
Thanks for the helpful tips!
geebee14 is offline  

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