Discover the hiking and cycling routes of the Remembrance Trails

These regions are home to the many sites that bear the scars of two world wars. The sites commemorate the selfless sacrifice of those who took part and now, thanks to the regional Remembrance Trails, you can discover them at your leisure along local cycling and hiking routes. Each route develops a specific theme and is accompanied by an illustrated guide. Consult the guide on your mobile (or download it) to discover the human side of these conflicts and learn about the region and its history in an original and compelling way.
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Duration: 3h30 - Distance: 41 km

Practical info

Contact: Office de tourisme de la région de Béthune-Bruay
Call: +33 (0)3 21 52 50 00
E-mail: accueil(at)tourisme-bethune-bruay(dot)fr
Starting point: Camper-van park on the Champs de mémoire du Bas-Pays in Richebourg

Download the route guideDownload the gpx fileWe greet you

14-18, The World at War

French Flanders, the region between Lille and Béthune,was a global theatre of the GreatWar, much like its Belgian namesake or even the Artois and the Somme. Between 1914 and 1918 the fighting never ceased in this flat and marshy landscape. There were the fierce clashes between the British, French and German cavalries during the ‘race to the sea’; the British offensives on Aubers Ridge
in 1915 which included many Indians and Canadians; the suicide attack of two inexperienced divisions, one British the other Australian, before Fromelles in July 1916; and the massive German assault in April 1918 that swept away the British and Portuguese units that stood in its path.

Today, except for the many German blockhouses that litter the region, the gentle persistence offarm labour has erased most of the scars left by the conflict. And yet the memory of the FirstWorld War remains powerfully present in a countryside criss-crossed by farmland hedges and a maze of roads that hug the windings of the drainage ditches. There are the many British and German military cemeteries, the Portuguese remembrance sites, and the magnificent memorials erected in honour of lost soldiers, whether they be of Indian (Neuve-Chapelle) or British (Le Touret) origin.

Route details