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: 2h30 - Distance: 4,1 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
Website
: www.tourisme-bethune-bruay.fr
Starting point: Grand’ Place, 62400 Béthune


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Béthune and the British

Situated about ten miles from the front, Béthune was very much a British town during the First World War thanks to the steady flow of Commonwealth soldiers passing through on leave and the regiments quartered there. Schools were requisitioned and turned into hospitals to treat the wounded evacuated from the front.

Throughout the war Béthune was exposed to  occasional shelling but on 9 April 1918, during the German offensive on the Lys, which ultimately failed, the town centre was methodically destroyed. Only the sixteenth century belfry survived the ‘storm of steel’. The reconstruction of the town in the 1920s was architecturally eclectic and no better example of this can be seen than in the magnificent gables that line the main square.

Route details