Ring of Remembrance

Top choice in Lille, Flanders & the Somme

It's hard not to be overwhelmed by the waste and folly of the Western Front as you walk past panel after panel engraved with 579,606 tiny names: WWI dead from both sides who are listed in strict alphabetical order, without reference to nationality, rank or religion. Across the road from the memorial is a vast French military cemetery, Notre-Dame de Lorette; 6000 unidentified French soldiers are interred in the base of the Lantern Tower (1921). It's 13km west of Lens.

The site is floodlit after dark.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lille, Flanders & the Somme attractions

1. Lens' 14-18 Museum

0.88 MILES

Housed in four black concrete cubes, this 2015-opened WWI museum provides an in-depth introduction to WWI on the Western Front. Over 300 extraordinary…

3. Louvre-Lens

4.32 MILES

The innovative Louvre-Lens, opened in 2012, showcases hundreds of treasures from Paris' venerable Musée du Louvre in state-of-the-art exhibition spaces…

4. Hôtel de Ville

7.95 MILES

Arras' Flemish Gothic city hall dates from the 16th century but was completely rebuilt after WWI. Four géants (giants) live in the lobby. For a panoramic…

5. Grand' Place & Place des Héros

7.97 MILES

Arras' two ancient market squares, the Grand' Place and the almost-adjacent, smaller place des Héros (also known as the Petite Place), are surrounded by…

6. Carrière Wellington

8.73 MILES

Staging ground for the spring 1917 offensive, Wellington Quarry is a 20m-deep network of old chalk quarries expanded during WWI by tunnellers from New…

7. Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial

12.36 MILES

The Mémorial Indien, 27km southwest of Lille, records the names of 4700 soldiers and labourers of the Indian Army who 'have no known grave'. The 15m-high…