Wilfred Owen: From the Somme to the Sambre-Oise Canal (3 or 4 Days)

Follow in the footsteps of Wilfred Owen from his first experience of the front line in 1917 to his death at the Sambre-Oise Canal in the final week of the war.  Find out about the locations & events which inspired poems such as The Sentry  & Spring Offensive.  Visit the site where Owen won his Military Cross & his last resting place at Ors.  Maps & supporting notes, highlighting key features of the war, will provide an historical context to the tour.

Add a visit to a Christmas Market to your English WWI tour & save money when travelling in late November or December.   Click here for details




Day One:  Outward Journey

  Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
  • School pick-up (06.00 hours approx) & travel to Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
  • Full-board accommodation
  • First night: Arras / Albert

Day Two:  The Somme

  • Serre & Munich Trench (Owen on the Somme, 1917)
  • Newfoundland Park Preserved Battlefield
  • Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme
  • Blighty Valley
  • Crucifix Corner


  • Ovillers & Mash Valley
  • Dartmoor Cemetery
  • Second night: Arras / Albert 


Sambre Oise Canal Landscape



Day Three:  Hindenburg Line

  • Cerisy-Gailly Cemetery
  • Savy Wood
  • Maissemy German Cemetery
  • Riqueval Bridge
  • Joncourt
  • Third night: St Quentin

Day Four:  Sambre-Oise Canal

  • Swiss Cottage
  • Forester's Hut
  • Sambre-Oise Canal
  • Ors Cemetery (Owen's grave)
  • Return travel to school with evening drop-off

Itinerary Planning

  • A 3 day version of this tour is available for schools located in the south east
  • We are happy to tailor this study tour to meet with your particular requirements
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Relevant AS/A2 Specifications

  Queens Cemetery Serre
  • AQA:  English Literature A - Paper 2A: WWI and its aftermath (Regeneration, Birdsong, Oh! What a Lovely War, Journey's End, Up the Line to Death, Scars Upon My Heart etc, Stallworthy)
  • OCR: English Literature - Component 03: Literature post-1900
  • Eduqas / WJEC : English Language & Literature - Component 4: Critical & creative genre study - War/Conflict (Testament of Youth, Birdsong)
  • AO3: the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received


In the Footsteps fo Wilfred Owen

  • Wilfred Owen's background & early life
  • The Manchester Regiment
  • Owen on the Somme in 1917
  • Owen's letters referencing his poems
  • Craiglockhart
  • Owen's poetry before & after meeting Sassoon
  • The progress of the war
  • Changing face of the British Army from Regular & Territorials to volunteers & conscripts 
  • Attrition at Passchendaele & growing criticism about the conduct of the war
  • Owen's Military Cross
  • Final poems
  • Death at the Sambre-Oise Canal

Historical Background

  • The course of the war from early mobility to the stalemate of the trenches
  • 1916: Battle of the Somme
    Relationship of the Somme to Ypres & Verdun
  • 1917: German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line & the British pursuit to St Quentin
  • Battle of Savy Wood & Manchester Hill
  • Passchendaele
  • The Tanks at Cambrai
  • 1918: The Year of Victory
  • Ludendorff's Offensive
  • The March to Victory
  • Breaking the Hindenburg Line & Battle of the Sambre
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Study Materials Relevant to Your AS/A2 Specification
  Trench at Newfoundland Park

Our study materials are designed by teachers with examining experience.  When you book with us, you will receive a copy of both our student study packs & teachers' notes, free of charge. You can:

  • use our study materials exclusively
  • use your own study materials
  • use a combination of both your own & our materials
The Student Pack Includes  

The Teacher Pack Additionally Includes

  • Factual detail on each location visited as well as background information about the war 
  • Maps & a time line of main events
  • Discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited
  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
  • A curriculum matrix linking each location to assessments objectives

Integrate with Your Scheme of Work

  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
  • Study materials are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
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Our Guides


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We believe a study tour is an educational experience best delivered by people with a knowledge and understanding of the educational system & culture. You can discuss learning aims & objectives with your guide so that the tour meets your requirements.

  • Our guides are former teachers, excellent communicators & have examining experience.
  • They have organised tours themselves so understand the demands placed on accompanying staff.
  • They have an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge & ideas & engaging with young minds.


Dr David Nunn, BA (Hons), MA, MEd, PGCE, PhD


David Nunn


David has worked closely with Nottinghamshire County Council to research the impact of the Great War on the county & has given numerous presentations to Western Front Association branches & historical societies. His specialism is the literature of the Great War & the impact of war on Nottinghamshire. Since joining us in 2014, his guide experience includes Western Front tours for both History & English groups.

David has over 30 years' experience teaching History & English in secondary schools & lecturing to undergraduates at Derby & Nottingham Universities.

"Our tour guide was outstanding. What makes him outstanding includes his ability to communicate his passion and understanding of the conflict through stories. Simply the best!"  The Mount School, York


Selected & Trained by Galina 

  • We have our own training programme to ensure consistently high standards.
  • Our guides up-to-date with current examination specifications & amendments to Key Stage 3.
  • All guides are DBS-checked.
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The accommodation we use regularly is audited following guidelines laid down by the School Travel Forum and incorporated into our Safety Management System.


The Poppies, Albert


The Poppies Albert is situated 5 minutes' walk away from the Albert Basilica in the town centre.  Evening meals are taken in a restaurant also near the town centre. Each floor in the hotel can take a group.  An access code is required to open the main door to each floor from the outside so groups can be kept securely separate.  The hotel is ideally placed for schools visiting the Somme battlefield.



Poppies Albert Student Bedroom

Poppies Albert Dining Room Poppies Albert Games Room  

Hotel Factfile

  • Capacity for 186 students & staff in 48 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking
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  Somme Gallery
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  Hindenburg Line Gallery
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The Polesworth School

"Richard, our guide, is superb. His knowledge of the period and area is excellent, he is unfailingly enthusiastic and endlessly patient with students. Once again, we've had a fantastic trip with both staff and students gaining much."


Pershore High School, Worcestershire

"Excellent in every way. We were delighted with the 'extras' which were incorporated into the tour."


Worcester Sixth Form College



Bishop's Stortford College, Hertfordshire

"Matthew and Ivan were incredibly helpful and helped to create an excellent atmosphere for the tour."
  SRD Rum Jar Lewis Gun
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Galina Study Tours

GalinaTours Take your class to the #WWI Battlefields to learn about The War Poetry of Ypres, the Somme & Passchendaele -… https://t.co/xeXm8zktdT
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