If you have limited time to visit the Somme Battlefields, perhaps just a single day, then this page lists the five must see sites that we reccomend you visit. These five represent some of the most visited sites on the Somme Battlefields, and will give a good overview for the battlefield visitor.
The area to cover is not large, and it's certainly possible to visit all these sites within a few hours. A map showing the sites, plus driving directions, can be found here.
Thiepval is the location to the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. This massive memorial was unveiled in 1932 as a focal point for those who died on the battlefields of the Somme, but who have no known grave. There are 72,338 names inscribed on the panels around the memorial, and behind the memorial is a twin AnglovFrench cemetery, to symbolise that the 1916 Somme offensive was a joint attack with the French. This is the largest of all the Memroials to the Missing, and includes the names of seven Vicotira Cross holders.
For more information see the Thiepval Memorial page.
Newfoundland Memorial Park
The Newfoundland Memorial Park is an area of ground which has been left undisturbed since the end of the War. Shell-holes and the trenches of both sides can still be clearly seen and you can even walk along some of the trenches.
It is the site where the Newfoundland Regiment attacked on the first day of the Somme - the 1st of July 1916 - and so there are memorials to those who died here, and the site is actually maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada, and they have guides and helpers on site who can tell you more about the battle and those who fought and died here.
For more information see the Newfoundland Memorial page.
The Ulster Tower
This tower is a copy of Helen’s Tower in County Down. It's located very close to the Thiepval Memorial, making visiting both sites easy. It's a a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division, and is near the German Schwaben Redoubt (Feste Schwaben) which that Division attacked on July 1st, 1916. There is a cafe and toilets here as well.
For more information see the Ulster Tower page.
Lochnagar Mine Crater
On the morning of the 1st of July 1916 just before the British attacked, 17 large mines were exploded under the German lines. The intention was to destroy their trenches and make the British attacks more straightforward. The Lochnagar crater near la Boiselle remains to this day, and the crater gives an indication of the size of the explosion here more than 100 years ago. There is a memorial cross, and this is one of the places where services are held every 1st of July to remember those who died.
For more information see the Lochnagar Crater page.
Delville Wood is strongly linked with South Africa, as their forces fought here to take the wood in 1916. The wood has been left largely untouched since the end of the war, and so this is another site where there are the remains of trenchlines still to be seen. There is also an excellent museum. and markers showing the names the troops gave to the "rides" through the wood.
For more information see the Delville Wood page.