The Circuit du Souvenir takes you from graveyard to mine crater, trench to memorial. There’s little to show the scale of the destruction nor do you get much sense of battle tactics. But you will find that, no matter what the level of your interest in the Great War, you have embarked on a sort of pilgrimage, as each successive step uncovers a more harrowing slice of history.

The cemeteries are deeply moving, with the grass perfectly mown and flowers by every gravestone. Tens of thousands of them stand in precise rows, all identical, with a man’s name – if it is known, as nearly half the British dead have never been found – along with his rank and regiment and, often, a personal message chosen by the bereaved family. In the lanes between Albert and Bapaume you’ll see cemeteries everywhere: at the angle of copses, halfway across a field, in the middle of a wood.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

There’s nowhere else quite like Paris. No other city can match the allure of its rooftop vistas, café-lined boulevards and striking monuments. Paris’s abil…

11 May 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to France

Video: a 1 minute guide to France

There's little wonder that the land of châteaux, Champagne and croissants regularly tops lists of the world's most visited countries. France beguiles travell…

28 Apr 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month