WALKING PLAQUE TO PLAQUE
“when peace comes, our government might combine with the French government to make one long avenue between the lines from the Vosges to the sea….I would make a fine broad road in the ‘No-Mans Land’ between the lines, with paths for pilgrims on foot and plant trees for shade and fruit trees, so that the soil should not altogether be waste. Then I would like to send every man, woman and child in Western Europe on a pilgrimage along that Via Sacra so that they might think and learn what war means from the silent witnesses on either side.”
AD Gillespie, 19th June 1915.
Click on map for details
The Western Front Way is a new long-distance walking and cycling route from the French Alps in the South to the Belgian coast in the North. The Western Front Way offers walkers a special environment, a beautiful landscape shaped by compelling human stories.
The way traces the rough line of the Western Front. We invite you to walk or cycle from plaque to plaque (there are over 200 of them) visiting the key sites along the route.
Thanks to the support of Westtoer and the Belgian tourist offices of Ypres, Nieuwpoort and Dixsmuide the entire pathway is mapped, plaqued and marked with over 450 of our logo symbols to follow. Gillespie’s vision is complete in Belgium, at a distance of 100km or 160km if you include the Tyne Cot Loop. Plaques are up along the entire route to the furthest southern point at Pfetterhouse.
There remain some sections still to complete but with approvals and interest coming from Conseil and Regional level, our aim is to move quickly towards completion in 2020 and 2021.An outline of the Western Front Way route is available here.
By choosing the details of your own route you can personalise your adventure along the Western Front Way. To contribute to the WFW community of walkers and cyclists, please do share your recommendations, routes and ideas on social media by using our hashtags #WFWRoute and share your reflections on walking with #WhyIWalk.
All the routes are free to download and share as widely as you would like. We invite all walking groups, cycling groups, charities, fundraising or other organisations to download and share our route. Ours is a free path for peace and this is just the beginning of the story – how you journey, with whom and for how long is the next chapter. Good luck!
In September 2021 Tom Heap, trustee and relation of Alexander Douglas Gillespie sets off on a 1920’s bicycle from south to north, tackling the 1000km to raise awareness, pay homage, and fundraise.
The Western Front Way is a small UK charity established to realise the idea of a young British soldier who was killed in action in 1915, at the battle of Loos during the First World War. We took that vision and with support and help in the UK, France and Belgium we have worked together to map and mark a new long-distance walking route. To discover more about our journey from a soldier’s letter home to the creation of this new route for peace read our story.
We couldn’t have done it without the help of countless individuals, organisations and donors. Click here to see those who have made this possible.