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“Stunning and utterly humbling memorial”
Review of Vimy Memorial

Vimy Memorial
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Small-Group Day Trip to Arras and Vimy Ridge WW1 Battlefields from Paris
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9 Hour Canadian WW1 Somme Battlefield Tour departing from Arras or Lille
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Vimy
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Stunning and utterly humbling memorial”
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Initially visited in Help for Heroes Bike rides when time was tight but realised now important this memorial is for Canadians when listening to impassioned speech from their leader. This time we visited on a foggy December afternoon with low light and then the sun broke through. The stunning memorial lit up and we were treated to a period of examining and responding to its impact in our own ways - but this place has an atmosphere that sends shivers down the spine. We sang or at least tried to sing the Canadian anthem in tribute to the fallen and then we stood back and watched as a group of kids arrived en masse. Such an experience.

Visited December 2013
Thank Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Remembrance Day”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We made a point of being at Vimy Ridge for the Remembrance Day service. It was cold but memorable. This monument is very impressive. It takes over the landscape and clearly honours the dead from WWI. The visitors centre is a simple building with a limited display and a video. The tour of the tunnels and trenches was well worth it. All the guides are young Canadian students. The area has been preserved and you can see all the craters from the bombing. This is a must to see.

Visited November 2013
Thank Travelerforever2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2013

Very well preserved site, and the monument itself is breathtaking.

With the site left as it was at the end of the war, you can start to put into perspective how bad things must have been for all who fought on both sides.

The trip into the tunnels was a real eye opener, and the Canadian guide very knowledgable.

Visited November 2013
Thank DorsetBert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Breathtaking in every sense of the word...”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I had seen pictures of this World War One memorial in books and I've always wanted to visit it just for it's sheer beauty and design. So when my wife took advantage of a cheap day return on the Channel Tunnel Train we drove over there to see it and to take in other WW1 battlefields and sites as we are history buffs and have an interest in this sort of thing. It's about a 1.5 hour drive from the Channel Tunnel most of which is on motorway or major roads. It's a very big site with cemeteries, a welcome centre, the memorial and the rebuilt remains of trenches (both Allied and German) and tunnels which you can get guided tours through. We arrived on a Tuesday late morning and were lucky that we were there at a time when it quite quiet despite the wonderful (if very cold) weather. Deciding to start at the welcome centre I was approached very quickly by a Canadian guide (from what I gather, all the guides there are Canadian and work there for 4 months at a time) who asked me if we would like a tour and minutes later we were descending into the tunnels under Vimy Ridge and the trenches. There was only the wife and I so it almost felt like a personally guided tour! Our guide, Elyse, was very good and after exiting the tunnels and coming back up to the surface she took us through the Allied and German trenches. Afterwards we visited the mini museum in the Welcome Centre before making our way to the Memorial on the ridge. As mentioned, it's a very big site so you can either walk between the various places or park the car at each one.

The memorial itself is one of the finest works of sculpture and memorial design I have ever seen. It's easy to use statements like 'Breathtaking' but it actually was. Sited on the ridge overlooking the valley and the countryside below you can see for miles, even to Lille on a clear day. The coal slag heaps that dot the area and in the distance stand like Pyramids in the landscape. It had been a very foggy day as we drove there and by the time we arrived at the memorial the low lying mist in the valley was still burning off making it an unforgettable sight. Overlooking this view is a standing statue of a woman in mourning (I think she's called 'Mother Canada') and behind her the twin stone white towers of the memorial with what look like angels engraved into them look like the gates of heaven. The names of the dead are etched into the stonework around the base of the memorial. Having just missed a coach party we were there by ourselves which made the experience even more moving and poignant. After this we visited Canadian Cemetery No.2 situated behind the ridge through the trees. In the distance from here can be seen the basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette at Artois where 40,000 unamed and named soldiers are buried. All in all it is an amazing and very moving place.

Visited December 2013
Thank Justin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantwich, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A place to remember”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

An experience to remind us of the tragedy of war.
When walking around this memorial site it makes you realise how terrible the conditions that these brave men lived and died in !

Visited October 2013
Thank DrifterD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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