11 World War One guided walks in the UK

Date Posted: 04/11/2014

Discover more about the people and events connected with World War One on one of these walking and bus tours, led by professional Blue Badge guides.

1.    Birmingham ‘Battle Bus’ history tour

Starting at the Town Hall you will hear about Neville Chamberlain’s inspirational speech and the massive recruiting parade in Victoria Square.

On the route you will also learn about Quakers and conscientious objectors, the war hospitals and the Hall of Memory (built to commemorate the 12,320 Birmingham citizens who died and the 35,000 who were wounded).

You'll also learn about the massive involvement of the Jewellery Quarter and Cadbury factory plus hear about the plight of the Belgian refugees.

2.    The Great War walk - London

Billed as the essential London ‘Great War’ guided walk, this route takes you right to the heart of the matter - Whitehall.

Your Blue Badge guide will outline the causes behind the ‘war-to-end-all-wars’ and take you to some of the buildings that played an historic role, while describing some of the key characters involved.

This tour, which starts at Embankment station, blends history, story-telling and sightseeing in one of London’s most beautiful districts.

3.    Zeppelin terror over London

Follow the path of destruction inflicted by the German Imperial Navy Zeppelin L13 piloted by Ace Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Mathy from Holborn to Liverpool Street Station on the night of 8th September 1915 - the first effective air raid on London.

4.    The last journey of the unknown warrior - London

On 11th November 1920 a gun carriage carrying the coffin of an unknown British soldier was conveyed from Victoria Station to Westminster Abbey. This walking tour, 94 years later, follows the same route in reverse, starting at Westminster Abbey and finishing at Victoria Station.

The walk represents the last journey of one of the 300,000 WWI British soldiers who have no known grave.

5.    Finchley goes to war - London

In many ways, the north London suburb of Finchley is typical of many communities - men were recruited to serve, letters were sent home, hospital staff nursed them when they were injured and their families tried to keep going in their absence on duty.

Yet on this route you’ll also explore lots more about life during the Great War that you may not have expected to find in an ordinary suburb including the street where the very first British soldier to die in the war grew up.

6.    Ireland’s Agony; Michael Collins and the Great War - London

Meeting outside Olympia tube station, this tour explores World War One’s impact on Ireland.

In 1906, Cork farm boy Mick Collins – who went on to be an Irish revolutionary leader - arrived in Hammersmith. Groups will walk the commute that he and his older sister Hannie took each day to the PO Savings Bank in Blythe Road.

London honed the formidable array of talents that would make Collins into one of the most effective enemies of the British Empire.

7.     Thames, trade, jack tars & torpedoes - London

On this guided walk along the river Thames, you’ll explore the port and maritime history of the First World War.

Led by Blue Badge guide, Mark King, the tour explains how our island nation prepared for war and the crucial role expected to be played by the ‘Senior Service’ (Royal Navy).

Groups will look at how London’s trade routes were dramatically affected and you’ll hear about the contribution of sailors in the merchant marine army.

Tours will start at Embankment Tube station and end near Blackfriars station.

8.    World War One coach tour - London

During this three hour bus tour you will see the sites and monuments closely linked to World War One and hear the story of the events that led to a conflict that changed the world forever.

Pictured: Manchester Dock Number Nine.

The itinerary also focuses on the role of the royal family, the government, the lives of civilians and parallel events such as the Suffragette movement.

The tour finishes in central London and then makes a second stop at the Imperial War Museum for those who wish to visit (admission is free to the museum).

9.    War at the docks - Salford

Departing from the Lowry Theatre, this walk explores the history of Manchester and Salford’s shipping and docks system during both world wars.

The guide will tell the stories of the women crane drivers; sacrifices of the ships and crews of Manchester liners and the Merchant Navy as well as the Luftwaffe bombs of World War Two.

10.    Deeds not words: women in the First World War - London

Join a Blue Badge guide on a tour through central London to hear about women’s roles during WWI, taking on almost every job to keep the home front running.

Women emerged from their homes to work as nurses, munitionettes, police patrols, farm-hands and, in one extraordinary case, as a soldier on the front line.

This two-hour walk, from Temple Underground Station to Trafalgar Square, takes in hidden memorials to the women whose inspiring actions changed women’s lives forever.

11.    Windsor at war

This 90-minute guided walk starting at Windsor and Eton Riverside station will explore how the Great War affected people living in Windsor, from the ordinary people to the royal family in the castle.

Hear personal stories, as well as accounts of terrifying Zeppelin raids and Victoria Crosses bravely won.

Led by Windsor-based Blue Badge guide, Mike Armitage, this walk is suitable for children and adults.

The guided walks can be booked for private groups via the website booking form.

For full details and to book private tours, visit www.worldwaronewalks.com.

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