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Somme Battlefields - Off the Beaten Track

The Belvedere of the Mountain of Frise
With the help of hiking, biking and nature trails through its beautiful valley, the Somme Departmental Council invites you to discover an often unexplored part of the Somme Battlefields!
 
In order to develop new nature activities in the valley, the Departmental Council is undertaking the Grand Projet Vallée de Somme project. The principal aim of this project is to create a 120-kilometre long cycle route alongside the river and canal, and develop walking and nature trails throughout the whole area.
 
The Remembrance Trail will take you to the main sites of remembrance of the Somme, including places such as the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and the Lochnagar Crater.
The whole of the Somme was, however, affected by war and the Somme Canal was even used for transporting wounded soldiers to hospitals farther behind the lines. As a sad consequence, military cemeteries can often be found in villages bordering the river and traces of the First World War remain throughout the Somme and its valley.

 


Meander Through the Somme Valley!

The Departmental Council has developed new hiking and biking itineraries entitled “Meandering through the Somme Valley”, which each provide an itinerary of around 20km enabling you to discover the stunning landscapes and remarkable heritage of the area.
 
At present, two of these leaflets are available in English:
- Corbie to Méricourt-sur-Somme, a 12-kilometre long itinerary through the countryside which saw fighting during 1918 and was used at other times as rest and training areas. Visit the Cerisy-Gailly Cemetery, final resting place of 745 Commonwealth soldiers, and the poignant memorial to the 58th (London) Division Memorial at Chipilly, which portrays a soldier comforting his dying horse.
- Amiens to Corbie, a 19-kilometre long itinerary which takes you through the Amiens floating gardens, and on toDaours Communal Cemetery Extension and the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
 

frise
Belvedere of Frise - Credit - Simon Leroy - Cd80
You can also visit the many Belvederes of the Somme - interpretation tables installed at various viewpoints overlooking the Somme Valley. The Belvedere of the Mountain of Frise, for example, is situated upon a former battlefield and traces the history of Blaise Cendrars, a soldier of the Great War who wrote about his experiences in La Main Coupée (Lice) and J’ai Tué.
 
Other itineraries will take you farther along the valley to Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and the magnificent Somme coastline. Along the way the Commonwealth cemeteries of Picquigny, Crouy Saint Pierre and Pont Rémy can be visited. The German Second World War cemetery at Bourdon is also particularly haunting.

 


More Walking and Cycling Ideas

The Somme is excellent for walking! Please click here to download more walks and cycling trails through the whole of the Somme Department. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the walks translated into English).
They can also be found at the Maison de la Somme in Amiens, and in tourist offices throughout the Department.
 


The New Remembrance Cycle Route

veloroute memoire
The Remembrance Cycle Trail links the cities of Arras and Amiens and has also been incorporated into the National Itinerary 32, which links Paris to Lille. Over 90 kilometres, it invites cyclists to discover the sites of remembrance of the Great War in the Somme. Sites such as the Lochnagar Crater at La Boisselle, the memorials at Pozières, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and dozens of First World War cemeteries.

The Remembrance Cycle Trail, which alternates between cycle paths and minor roads, joins the Somme Valley Cycle Path along the stretch from Amiens to Corbie.

In order to link some of the major sites of remembrance of the Department, the Somme Departmental Council has created, with the Australian Government, cycle paths between Fouilloy and the Remembrance Cycle Route to the Australian National Memorial and Franco-Australian Museum at Villers-Bretonneux.
 
 


On the Trail of the Great War - A new Topoguide to the Battlefields

On the Trail of the Great War
For the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme the 'Comité Picarde de la FFRandonée' has released a new walking guide to the Somme Battlefields in English.
It describes 48 different walking trails in Picardy and notably the Somme in the vicinity of emblematic sites such as Thiepval, Beaumont Hamel, Frise, La Boisselle, Bouchavesnes-Bergen, Péronne, Doullens, Villers Bretonneux, Albert and Cantigny.

Available from June 2016

Collection PR, Ref RE23 - 176 pages –

15,70€

 

Latest news

Somme Battlefields - Off the Beaten Track

On Monday 25th April 2016, the 101st anniversary of ANZAC Day was commemorated at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. Take a look at  some of the photos of this very moving event.

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Inspired by the national flowers of remembrance - the poppy for the British and Commonwealth countries, the cornflower for the French and the forget-me-not for the Germans - the 'Association Picarde des Parcs et Jardins' created the "Rose Somme 2016" for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. In celebration of its first anniversary, the Rose Somme 2016 is now in full bloom at the Elysée Palace.

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