Arnhem - The True Story with Sir Antony Beevor

All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.

  • Talk by Sir Antony Beevor, bestselling author of “ Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944.”

  • Visit the Hartenstein Airborne Museum

  • Visit Arnhem Bridge and the Arnhem-Oosterbeek British Cemetery

  • Led by acclaimed military historian, Julian Humphrys

One of Britain’s most renowned historians, Sir Antony Beevor has turned his attention to the epic airborne invasion of the Netherlands for his latest work, Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944 (Penguin, May 2018). We are proud to announce that Sir Antony will join our group in Arnhem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, for an exclusive lecture, which will be among the highlights of a special tour exploring the true story behind the battle. Sir Antony writes: “I hope you can join me in the city itself to hear about researching this dramatic episode in Second World War history - and the terrible reality behind it.”

ITINERARY

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras direct to Rotterdam and transfer by coach to Arnhem for three-night stay. En route visit to the lovely town of Utrecht, laid out on a network of canals with a lovely town square. Welcome reception, introductory lecture from your military tour guide, Julian Humphrys and dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: We start with the excellent Hartenstein Airborne Museum in the hotel building used as the British Headquarters, which offers an excellent overview of Operation Market Garden. Today, we will also focus on the evacuation of the 1st Airborne Division across the Rhine. Of over 10,600 men in the Division, 2071 were eventually evacuated. We stop at the Lonsdale Church where many of those evacuated took shelter while awaiting the evacuation. Nearby is the famous house of Kate ter Horst, used as a Regimental Aid Post to treat the wounded and featuring in the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’. We complete the day with a visit across the Rhine to Driel. Polish airborne troops landed here in a valiant attempt to reinforce the defenders of Oosterbeek and it was from here that the evacuation was organised. Return to the hotel in good time to freshen up before an evening talk from acclaimed and number one bestselling historian, Sir Antony Beevor, whose latest book, “Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944”, was published last year. All bookings will include a copy of the book. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: The day begins with a visit to Arnhem Bridge where men of the Parachute Regiment held out for four days while awaiting the arrival of the British 30 Corps. The tour then moves on to the Arnhem-Oosterbeek British Cemetery. This afternoon, we will also visit the bridge over the Waal at Nijmegan. The defence of this bridge by SS Engineers is, in the opinion of some, the major reason for the failure of Market Garden. We then drive to Grave Bridge where we see the preserved bunkers and learn the story of how the bridge was taken intact by men of the American 82nd Airborne Division. The day’s tour is completed by crossing the German border, to visit the atmospheric Reichswald Forest. British and Canadian forces took this area as part of Operation Veritable during early 1945 and we see the British cemetery here which is the largest in Germany. Many of the men killed in the final stages of the war are buried here, together with large numbers of airmen killed in the Allied bombing campaign. The final evening is free either to dine at the hotel or head into the town centre of Arnhem to eat at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Rotterdam. This is the anniversary of the beginning of the attack on Arnhem. This morning you will head to the Netherlands’ economic powerhouse, Rotterdam, for a brief visit – a great way to see the striking skyline of bold modern architecture. Don’t miss the impressive indoor food market or the amazing ‘cube’ houses. Afterwards, you will board the local train to Brussels, before catching the Eurostar back to London.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 47 passengers.

 

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar from St Pancras direct to Rotterdam, returning via Brussels
  • Three nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem, based on shared occupancy of a twin room
  • Two welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel
  • Welcome introductory lecture from your military tour guide, Julian Humphreys
  • Talk from acclaimed historian and author, Sir Antony Beevor
  • Copy of “Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944”, one per booking
  • Full coach touring itinerary including entrance fees and transfers as detailed
  • Military tour guide and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement 
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/local train. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities.

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras and Brussels, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

Hotel Van Der Valk, Arnhem
Modern four-star hotel, located on the edge of Arnhem, well situated to visit the sites featured in the itinerary. Facilities at this well-run hotel include Hubertus basement bar, restaurant and comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Ven Der Valk website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Your Lecturer - Sir Antony Beevor
Britain’s top-selling and most widely respected military historian, Sir Antony Beevor launched his latest book, Arnhem The Battle for the Bridges, 1944, in May last year. His previous books include Stalingrad, Berlin – The Downfall, D-Day – The Battle for Normandy and The Second World War, which were all international bestsellers. His books have appeared in 32 languages and have sold more than seven and a half million copies.

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Overall Impression

Serge was very helpful with a dry sense of humour and proved to be an ideal guide for the trip.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-September-2019


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My son, husband and I could not fault this tour. The Tour Manager, Serge Bertini, was excellent ensuring we were informed of coach, train and meeting schedules throughout. Julian Humphreys was both informative and interesting when visiting the various battle sites plus the addition of a talk and Q & A's with Sir Antony Beevor over dinner a great addition. A truly memorable tour.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-September-2019


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This was my first history trip since school and venture into the unknown as I came alone. It was a terrific experience, with a superb historian in Julian Humphrey and the gentlemanly and diligent Serge de Toulouse. I have two observations which may be helpful for the future: 1) The hotel we stayed at was excellent, spacious rooms and friendly staff. It was also well situated for our tour ie right next to Oosterbeek. I wonder though whether it may be have been more exciting to stay in Arnhem itself and get to know that town we only had a glimpse of, a little better - also offering more frequent visits to the 'the bridge' the one we had all come to see and its surrounds? Still, if we had done that, I would not have been able to jog there on the Sunday, which was fun! 2) On the Monday of the tour - 'go home day' we had a leisurely start (10 am on the bus), however we then stayed on the bus for well over 3 1/2 hours before taking the train to Brussels. Effectively we had at least a 1/2 day there, which with an earlier start, we could have used to do some more touring - either more time in Arnhem (as point 1) or another point of military interest eg the railway embankment. I think the slower pace was aimed at the older (walking sticks) members of the group which is fair enough, however there perhaps could be more flexibility in what we do. Either way, having had such a great weekend it was a shame to have to spend the last morning and early part of the afternoon looking out of the bus window (we drove past windmills and a steam ship, none of which we came to see - we were all military history nuts1). Perhaps the threat of rain prevented anything more expansive, but we are hardy souls. ...one final thing, it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to dismount from the bus at the DZs and get a feel for it, we slowed down, but didn't stop. Thanks again to Julian and Serge for all their efforts and knowledge. Cheers, Matt Thomas

Review by Thomas who travelled 13-September-2019


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We joined the tour at the hotel so can't comment on travel arrangements. However the hotel was excellent as was the food. Serge's arrangements were sometimes rather vague and he needed to be more positive. The tours always took much longer than scheduled but this showed how flexible Julian was, when everyone agreed. He was excellent. Great trip.

Review by Moss who travelled 13-September-2019


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Admin was excellent apart from not receiving the promised book. Transportation marked down for the unnecessarily long return journey. Arnhem to Brussels is only 2 hours by road which would have been much better than what was organised. The food in the hotel was plentiful but the preponderance of meat and lack of vegetables at dinner has lowered our score. The bedrooms were spacious and comfortable. Serge and Julian were both excellent and made the tour very enjoyable. Sir Anthony Beevor was the icing on the cake.

Review by Barton who travelled 13-September-2019


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We thoroughly enjoyed this trip. All the arrangements worked well apart from Sir Anthony’s book not arriving, but hearing him talk was a real privilege. The programme was excellent and Julian was a superb guide, giving us enough information to allow us to explore the various sites on our own, which we appreciated. He and Serge were excellent hosts and Serge managed the group with a light and skilful hand! We gelled really well and that made quite a difference, turning the trip from merely interesting to both interesting and fun. The hotel was excellent though the Dutch diet was somewhat heavy on meat. Perhaps specific requests for vegetables or salads could be made for future trips. Our only quibble was the couple of hours we spent on the last morning hunting lavatories in Rotterdam, a tedious and somewhat frustrating exercise. But that was a very small problem in comparison with how much we enjoyed the tour overall.

Review by Boddy who travelled 13-September-2019


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Enjoyable tour, good guest lecturer, Julian Humphreys, and excellent lecture by Sir Antony Beevor. Overall an excellent trip marred occasionally by timings and missed pick up points. Hotel steps were somewhat challenging for many of the group (young and old).

Review by Chamberlain who travelled 13-September-2019


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Excellent tour Julian & Serge were both great company & there were some interesting people on the tour Highly recommended

Review by Abraham who travelled 13-September-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-September-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-September-2019


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An excellent tour greatly enhanced by our guide historian Julian Humphreys who was knowledgeable, helpful and always audible with great voice projection. The tours were well planned with some flexibility built into the schedule to allow for special individual needs and wishes. Overall highly recommended. One minor comment for future reference was echoed by many in the party. The return journey was lengthy, involving changes and stops that frankly did not add a great deal to the overall purpose of the visit to the military sites. A more efficient itinerary on the last day would be beneficial eg a later start from the hotel and direct transfer to Eurostar in Brussels or Amsterdam if Rotterdam is not possible.

Review by Cresser-Brown who travelled 13-September-2019


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I very much enjoyed the trip. The hotel was good but the service and quality of food could have been better. The starters were fine but the main course was cold by the time we got to eat it on both evenings. I was disappointed with the food in the restaurant on the last evening of our stay. Bearing in mind the age of your participants and the size of the hotel we could have done with porters to assist with luggage. I really struggled with my luggage which is why I do not like travelling on the Eurostar.

Review by Collins who travelled 13-September-2019


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All very positive except the return journey. I appreciate lack of return Eurostar direct from Rotterdam (what an absurd bureaucratic nonsense!), but we had long waits at Rotterdam and Brussels and a slow train between the two. Result - 11 hours from Arnhem to St Pancras, although that did include 2 hours in Dordrecht. Julian was an outstanding military guide.

Review by Allen who travelled 14-September-2018


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Brilliant tour . Julian was an excellent guide an Helen an excellent tour manager . Small point . A list of the names of the people on the tour would have been helpful as with a big group it was dificult to remember everyone's names !

Review by who travelled 14-September-2018


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Review by who travelled 14-September-2018


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Overall Impression

Given the age profile of the group and the extra cost in money and time to many of starting and finishing at St Pancras there was an awful lot of time wasted in Dordrecht after a too early 9am start on the last day. I would have preferred a later start then a straight through coach trip to Rotterdam for an earlier train .

Review by Awford who travelled 14-September-2018


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