Best Billet on the Somme

Orchard Farm

Orchard Farm

Welcome to the orchardfarmsomme.com website. Orchard Farm is an English run bed and breakfast situated on the edge of the village of Combles that lays in the heart of the Western Front battlefields. We also offer self-catering accommodation within a converted stable block that comprises of two, two bedroom self-contained apartments. Orchard Farm’s location lends itself to visiting many First World War commemorative sites, and WW1 cemeteries if you are tracing ancestors who served during the Great War. Within a convenient radius of Combles are sites such as Newfoundland Park at Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval memorial to the missing, Mametz Wood, the Ulster Tower, Villers Bretonneaux, the Lochnagar crater at La Boiselle, and the site of Manfred von Richthofen’s (the Red Baron) fatal crash at Corbie.


Orchard Farm prides itself on being a biker friendly destination for many reasons. First of all our passion for motorcycling and motorcycle sport, our former careers as police motorcyclists, and a covered hard-standing that shelters visiting bikes complete with wash facilities if you require them, and securely locked gates at night. The security is bolstered by the presence of the Orchard Farm Dog who has his own twitter account!


We can also offer family friendly accommodation within the ‘Stable Cottage’ with a bedroom equipped with bunk beds and a bedroom with a very comfortable double bed. Above it is ‘The Hayloft’ another two twin-bedroom apartment with all its own facilities.


We serve continental breakfast to our B&B guests alongside as much coffee or Yorkshire tea as you wish to drink, and on arrival if you feel peckish we’ll serve an afternoon cup of tea, coffee.


Combles lies behind what was the German front line in 1916, and evidence of German occupation still quietly lies within hedgerows in the village, where various bunkers still remain. It is walking distance to sites such as Leuze Wood, the newly commissioned Dickens memorial, Combles CWGC and Falfemont Farm. We have the distinction of owning a medal group and ‘death penny’ for a soldier who is buried in Combles.


There are currently three rooms available for B&B. A double ensuite, and two twin rooms with a separate bathroom. At the end of the 2017 season, building works are set to commence to create bathrooms for every bedroom in the house.


We can offer an evening meal service by prior arrangement with notification of any dietary requirements. These are charged at €20 for a two course meal, and we include the costs of drinks served during/with dinner (soft drinks, wine or French beer). Any further drinks required after dinner will be charged only at cost.


There is strictly no smoking within any of the buildings at Orchard Farm, but outside you are welcome to smoke, but please ask us for ashtrays to dispose of your ash and butts.


Who we are

We are Bryan and Christine Lightbody. We bought Orchard Farm in March 2017 from Martin and Kate Pegler who had established a very successful B&B and battlefield-touring venue over more than a decade. No pressure there……..
We have both spent 30 years working for the police service in a variety of specialist roles with a significant focus on motorcycle-based duties. Christine spent much of her career around roads policing until an accident put pay to her professional riding days. Bryan spent 20 years as a police motorcyclist in roads policing, Hendon Driving School, the Special Escort Group and then performing some covert motorcycle duties in Specialist Protection.
Since 2006 Bryan has had a parallel career as an author with a trilogy of books that follow the service of Victorian/Edwardian policeman called Robert Ford, and his involvement in the Jack the Ripper murders, a political scandal in the early 1900s and his attempts to foil the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. He has also written on kindle under the pen name ‘Dan Yeager’. We share our home with our Jack Russell terriers, incurably British we know, but don’t worry you don’t have to!


Self-Catering in the Hayloft or Stable Cottage

Orchard Farm offers two self-catering facilities. These are open from March to November, but bookings may be considered outside of those months by special arrangement.
Both apartments are equipped with a modern central heating and hot water system, kitchen facilities with a microwave, electric hob, oven and grill, a fridge and freezer, kettle and filter coffee maker. They also have television, DVD player and a basic free view satellite package.
The Hayloft comprises a large open plan lounge-diner-kitchenette, original exposed beams, PLEASE MIND YOUR HEADS, a well appointment bathroom, two twin bedded bedrooms and two sofa beds in the lounge so it can accommodate at least six people.
Stable Cottage Exterior Stable Cottage comprises an open plan living area, a kitchen equipped in the same way as the Hayloft, a double bedroom, a bedroom with bunk beds, and a comfortable bathroom. The lounge also has a sofa bed.
In the main house we have a substantial DVD library from which discs may be loaned. All linens for bedrooms and bathrooms are provided. Generally hire of the self-catering facilities is for a minimum of three nights. Guests in the stable block are welcome to use the grounds of Orchard Farm with due consideration to other guests. The stable block does have its own terrace area. The self-catering apartments are stocked with milk, tea, coffee, sugar and an initial supply of bottled water. Additional food or drink can be supplied at cost by prior request.


orchardfarm.somme @ gmail.com (without the spaces)
Telephone: 033 (0)3 22 83 16 14