By: Lorraine Waddell
Camping holidays in France are the ideal time to visit some of the country s war museums and memorials. Learn more about the major sights from both World Wars.
War Memorials and Museums to See When Camping in France
If you like to experience some local history whilst on your camping holidays, France is the ideal destination for you to visit. Not only is it populated with top quality campsites, it is home to some of the world s most moving war memorials and museums. The two World Wars were defining events of the 20th century and, in both cases, France was at the centre of the conflict. The wars have left their scars behind them in France, but they have also left some fascinating historical sights as well.
Here are a few of the highlights for you to see if you are a history buff who is camping in France…
World War I
From 1914 to 1918, the French, German and British forces were locked in a bloody stalemate on the battlefields of France, and during your camping holidays in France you can often visit numerous sights nearby that are reminiscent of that time.
Of the numerous cemeteries, Lorette and the Etaples British Memorial stand out. Lorette is the largest cemetery in France, and contains 40,000 graves. The Etaples British Memorial, as the name suggests, is one of the major cemeteries for British soldiers. Both are very important places for those who wish to pay their respects.
The underground caves near Arras were used for the British Army HQ, and have been preserved in impressive fashion. The major battlefields, such as Flanders Field and Passchendale, both have major museums nearby which recreate the experience of the trenches and feature many historical artefacts. Finally, one of the most dramatic sights is the Vimy Ridge Memorial. Dedicated to the Canadian soldiers who fought and died to secure Vimy Ridge, this towering monument is one of the most spectacular First World War memorials in existence.
There are just as many fascinating and moving World War II sights to see whilst on a camping holiday in France.
The Normandy Beaches are perhaps the most significant of these, the place where the Allies invaded France and began the liberation of Europe. Over 100,000 soldiers died in the fierce fighting at Normandy, and today you can take guided tours of the beaches where the battles were fought, visit the outstanding D Day Museum at Arromanches, or go to the converted German bunker near Audinghen that has now become the Musée du Mur de l’Atlantique.
There are also excellent museums to see at Dunkirk (in memorial of the evacuation that took place there) and Calais (where the German Navy was based). For a further insight into the Nazi war machine, you can also head over to Le Blockhaus d’Eperlecques, the largest bunker built during the war and which was used as launch point for the fearsome V2 rockets that rained down on London. Today, it is largely unchanged, and is a fascinating slice of World War II history. Another former V2 base can also be found in St Omer, called La Coupole.
If you go camping in the north of France, you are bound to be near some of these fascinating historical sights, all of which make for excellent day trips.
Author Resource:-> Lorraine Waddell is the brand and advertising manager of Canvas Holidays, a leading European camping operator that provides the best selection of sites for camping holidays France (https://www.canvasholidays.co.uk/) With over 40 years of experience, Canvas offer superb camping holidays to France, Spain and a total of 9 European countries.