The CWGC Experience

An extraordinary organisation, an extraordinary experience

Early closure of The CWGC Experience

Owing to the recent changes to the restrictions surrounding Covid-19 in France, we have taken the decision to close The CWGC Experience slightly earlier this year.

As usual, it will remain closed over the winter months and we aim to reopen as expected at the beginning of February next year, provided it is safe and permitted to do so.

What is the CWGC Experience?

The CWGC Experience is a unique new visitor attraction that shines a light on the work of the remarkable organisation at the heart of remembrance of the war dead. For the first time, visitors will be able to take a look behind-the-scenes at the work that is needed to commemorate the 1.7 million Commonwealth casualties from the First and Second World Wars.

Our free audio guide will walk you through each aspect of the work we do: from the story of how we still recover and rebury the dead today, to the skilled artisan craftsmen at work maintaining the world's most impressive and recognisable monuments and memorials, a trip to the battlefields of the Western Front is not complete without a visit to the CWGC Experience.

The CWGC Experience was awarded the Best Tourism Project in Europe at the 2019 British Guild of Travel Writers’ International Tourism Awards. The BGTW is a community of accredited writers, photographers and broadcasters and the trusted body for independent editorial comment and expert content on worldwide travel.

WHAT WILL I SEE AT THE CWGC EXPERIENCE?

UPCOMING EVENTS

Due to the evolution of the sanitary situation in Northern France, we have decided to cancel the Heritage Days 2020 and postpone this event until next year.  We hope to be able to organise new open days where our teams and craftsmen will be able to talk to visitors in the best conditions possible. The centre remains open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, with guided tours available upon booking.

Download our events programme:

Our events programme is available to download in English and French:

Download in English   Download in French

RECOVERY AND REBURIAL
There are, on average, 40 discoveries of World War remains every year. This is one of the most vital areas of our work, and one of the most interesting. Our staff in France play an integral role in the recovery process, now you can see how it happens.
MAINTENANCE TEAMS
Managing 23,000 sites worldwide requires a large, dedicated maintenance team. You’ll see some of the work our teams do on a daily basis and learn about some of the challenges they face day-to-day.
MASONS, CARPENTERS AND BLACKSMITHS
Between headstones, monuments, and memorials, the CWGC relies on a highly skilled team to produce the iconic sights you see at our cemeteries. Now you can get a first-hand look at some of our master craftsmen at work.

Explore nearby

Located in the heart of the battlefields of the First World War, The CWGC Experience is an easy drive away from some of the most recognisable locations on the Western Front.

Download our map and visit some of the key cemeteries and memorials in France.

View our map

Caberet-Rouge British Cemetery

Situated between two war cemeteries, Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery lies south of Souchez, France.

Find out more
Thiepval Memorial

It commemorates over 72,000 men of British and South African forces who died in the Somme sector.

Find out more

Visitor Information

Opening times and facilities

We're open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

The CWGC Experience is closed at weekends, on French public holidays (13 and 14 July; 14 August), on Friday 30 October (All Saints Day) and during December and January for maintenance - the final day of operations will be Monday 30 November 2020.

Facilities

Toilets, a gift shop and vending machines are available at the centre

Accessibility

We are committed to providing an accessible attraction, and we strive to ensure that visitors with disabilities can enjoy as much of our centre as possible.

If you have any questions, or to arrange any additional support for your visit please contact us at cwgcexperience@cwgc.org or call us on +33 (0)3 21 21 52 75.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

Parking

Entry to the CWGC Experience is free and free parking is provided for all vehicles with fewer than 12 seats.

We have limited parking for larger vehicles and 12 seaters and above must book in advance of their visit. Please click here for more information.

A parking fee applies for larger vehicles.

Are you planning to visit as part of a group? All coach bookings must be made in advance of your visit.

Book here

Find The CWGC Experience

If travelling by car, please note

Due to roadworks on the D917 in Beaurains, we wish to inform visitors to the CWGC Experience that the visitor centre remains accessible.

For visitors coming through Arras: take the rue Jean Jaurès at the traffic lights, turn right onto Rue Pasteur and straight across onto Rue Angèle Richard.

For visitors coming from Bapaume on the D917: turn left at the roundabout in the direction of Agny on the D60 and right at the next roundabout onto Rue Angèle Richard.

We are sorry for the inconvenience and we look forward to seeing you.

Getting here and coach bookings

The CWGC Experience is located just south of Arras in the heart of the First World War battlefields. The centre is only an hour from the channel ports and is easily reached by car (public parking is available on site). There are good rail links to Arras. Our address is: 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

5-7 rue Angele Richard

62217 Beaurains

France

You can get to us:

By car

From Lille or Paris: direct access from the A1 motorway (exit 15) on to the D939.

From Calais: take the A26 to Saint-Quentin. Exit 7 to Arras-Centre on to the D917.

By train

Eurostar from London to Lille with good connections from Lille to Arras. TGV from Paris to Arras.

By ferry/channel tunnel

Ferry services to Calais, Le Shuttle service to Calais.

By air

Lille airport in Lesquin or Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.

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