Back in October of 2011, we took a trip to Somme and stayed at the Avril Williams Guest House, situated perfectly in the heart of Somme. This basement of this house survived the battles, so it is a very interesting an emotive place to stay.
All places of interest are accessible on foot or just a short drive away, and there are also some attention-grabbing historical features within the Guest House itself.
There is an original Great War trench at the back of Avril Williams’ property that has been carefully restored and maintained. Artifacts from the site are also on display in the Tea Rooms. That added something really special to our stay and was a poignant visit.
Also situated under the Guest House is a basement, which is the only surviving basement in Somme. Upon its restoration, it was found to contain artifacts that pieced together the history of the area.
Among the various historical places of interest we visited were:
- Sunken Road – An area that was in No Man’s Land on July 1st 1916
- Ulster Tower – A memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division, opened on November 19th 1921
- Newfoundland Park – A memorial to commemorate the Dominion of Newfoundland forces members killed during World War I.
- Thiepval Monument – A memorial for the Missing of the Somme, commemorating over 72,000 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme between 1915 and 1918
- The Tommy Café – A bar and cafe with a lot First World War artifacts on display, and a life-size trench.
- Guillemont – The village that became a battle ground in September 1918
If you are planning a visit to Somme, then please do be careful. Walking around battlegrounds can be dangerous. Do not pick up any shells or debris, as there could be live hand grenades lying around.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Avril Williams and our trip was a live learning experience. You can’t beat visiting a place like this for an educational tour that will capture your interest.
For images from our trip to Somme, head over to our Facebook page.