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“Very informative and well worthwhile”
Review of Salient Tours

Salient Tours
Ranked #2 of 14 Tours in Ieper (Ypres)
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We can be found in the British Grenadier Bookshop on the Menenstraat which is the short road between the main square and the Menin Gate Memorial.
Reviewed June 13, 2014

We had an excellent day with Roger our tour guide. His knowledge and passion for the area and it's history was palpable. The tour was comprehensive and well paced. We were moved by the experience. Their office is just down from the Menin gate.

1  Thank Tigerphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 - 143 of 216 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2014

We were a large family group 18 strong age range from 8 years to 75 years. Steve Douglas kept us all enthralled with his knowledge of the area. We booked three mini busses and guides for our tour, all three were knowledgeable, friendly and eager to please. Steve helped and advised in planning the areas to visit, he kept our younger members involved and his interaction with members of our group was superb. He was very generous with his time. Our trip over ran because there was so much to see and do. We saw many sites of great interest to us, but probably the ones I will remember most were the Pool of Peace, near Hill 60. This is now recognised as a burial site for so many unrecovered soldiers. The pleasant flora and fauna of the area belies its tragic past. Also not to be forgotten was the dressing station at Essex Farm, where Major John Macrae wrote his famous poem In Flanders Fields. Steve Douglas and his team were wonderful in bringing all these experiences to us. A great many thanks to them. We can recommend their services unreservably.

2  Thank LindleyClan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2014

An excellent tour and an excellent guide. The tour was very informative and brought to vivid light the various battles around Ypres and the incredible suffering to men and animals, the death and destruction which was visited on both sides over four years plus. The tour is well worth the cost. The shop where you either book or pay is just down from the Menin Gate towards the Cloth Hall and is where the tour starts and finishes. Parking is easier on the far side of the gate.

If you are able I would suggest a little reading before and you could not do better than"Before Endeavours Fade" by Rose Coombes. This is the most comprehensive guide to all the WW1 battlefields you could hope to read, About £15 on ebay. This depends on the print date.

The Essex Farm location of the writing "In Flanders Field" and the grave of a 15 year old soldier is very sad, whilst Tyne Cot cemetery (12000 graves) is stunning and a memorial to the sacrifice and ultimate futility of that type of war. Perhaps I should add that I was a soldier for 32 years.

2  Thank SheridanNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

I can't say anything about any other tour guides associated with Salient tours, but I had never in my life been embarrassed to be part of a tour until this experience with Steve Douglas. I travelled with a group of people, most of whom held their degrees in either History or Tourism, and two among us were actually certified interpretive guides in different capacities. Perhaps he hadn't been informed of this by the tour operator (he did off-handedly remarked that he had been expecting 'kids' when he arrived on the bus) but we were consistently spoken down to, he shrugged off questions that he didn't find relevant, spoke over our questions (one of us hadn't even finished asking one before he interrupted, answered half of it, then kept on talking), and, worst of all, he was appallingly rude to passersby who were visiting the same public spaces we were. It was specifically for this aspect that I describe feeling embarrassed; we could hear people around us complaining and tsking when he had the group of us wall off a section of a cemetery so he could lecture for 25 minutes while other tourists piled up outside the gates.
His information was fine, he obviously knows his history, but the delivery and manner was off-putting enough that the knowledge improved the experience but little.

11  Thank ShanLanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2014

Since taking a keen interest in both World Wars in the last 15 years, I have been desperately keen to visit the WW1 battlefields. However, for one reason or another I haven't been able to do the tour. Ironically, with a 1 year old in tow, it was hardly the easiest of times and therefore only a half day tour was an option. Although I would have loved to have completed at least a full day tour, the half day tour does a fantastic job of showing the key sites and painting a picture of the key battles around Ypres. The tour guide (whose name was Roger) had an unbelievable breadth of knowledge, and he was able to answer all my questions convincingly. He was also extremely patient with us, as every stop took slightly longer because of the baby. I would suggest that people who want to get the most of the half day tour and perhaps haven't studies the Great War do a minimum level of reading up on Wikipedia of the Ypres battles beforehand, as this will really help put things in context. That's not to say you won't have resources to look at to help you get the feel of the events, but for me knowing that I was approaching sites that I had read about heightened the sense of anticipation.

2  Thank Dan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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