Ypres Salient

To plan and arrange your tour, call Tracey on: 01306 873 571


Alternatively, if you’re interested in booking a tour for a smaller group, take a look at what our sister site offers: legerbattlefields.co.uk


Following the First Battle of Ypres in the late autumn of 1914, the area became the centre of a bitter struggle. Decimated by the war, its citizens worked together to rebuild both the city and their lives. When visiting Ypres it is hard to appreciate the devastation of the area at that time, though period photographs shown in many of the museums help to bring the text to life.

Ypres
Ypres

Ypres’ grandest buildings

The Cloth Hall is one of Ypres’ grandest buildings. When the Ypres canal was still navigable, ships could sail through its gate and load and unload cargo, with 48 doors providing access from the street to the selling halls. Originally built in 1304, the building could be seen by the Germans from every vantage point in World War I, was thus regularly used for target practice, and was completely destroyed. The hall and belfry were rebuilt in their original form between 1928 and 1967.

St Martin’s Cathedral was destroyed during World War I and subsequently rebuilt as a bishop’s church constructed in the gothic style. It is now open to visitors except during services.

St George’s Memorial Church was built between 1928 – 1929. Its entire contents, including the furniture, has been donated over the years in order to commemorate units or individuals who fought in Ypres during World War I.

Cloth Hall
Cloth Hall

Menin Gate

The Menin Gate is a ‘Hall of Memory’, a memorial to the British and Commonwealth servicemen who lost their lives at Ypres and have no known grave. Over 54,000 names are carved into Portland stone panels. The memorial, located on the eastern side of the town was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and unveiled in 1927 by Field Marshall Plumer. It is only five minutes’ walk from the main square in Ypres and an essential part of any battlefield tour of Belgium.

Every evening since 1928, a dedicated team of local buglers has sounded the Last Post at 20:00 hours. The ceremony is extremely moving and is the perfect opportunity for any visiting group to pay their respects and lay a wreath to those who gave their lives.

Menin Gate
Menin Gate

Interactive museum

In Flanders Fields’ Museum – an interactive museum providing a chronologically sequenced series of exhibitions that take visitors through the experiences of both soldiers and civilians in the First World War. Pupils are given an ‘interactive Poppy Bracelet’ which is used at different stages of the journey through the Museum, which allow the pupil to follow the fortunes of a character involved in World War I. Weapons, letters, medals and other memorabilia are displayed alongside models, documentary films and other interactive audio-visual media in this narrative of war.

Flanders Field Museum
Flanders Field Museum
Tyne Cot
Tyne Cot

Passchendaele Ridge

At the top of the Passchendaele ridge, Tyne Cot is the largest British military cemetery in the world with 11,871 graves. Students find this a very emotive place, which generates a strong feeling of respect and pride. The cemetery is perfectly maintained and very peaceful.

Langemarck German Cemetery

Langemarck German Cemetery is the only German cemetery in the Ypres Salient and is a stark contrast to Tyne Cot. It is an eerie place, predominantly black in colour with a sombre atmosphere. There are about 25,000 remains buried in mass graves with names recorded on metal slabs. Some of the soldiers buried here were student soldiers killed in the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914.

Langemarck
Langemarck

Hill 60

Hill 60 is at the northern end of the Messines Ridge. Although just 60 metres above sea level, it was a crucial, strategic vantage point from where the Germans could look down onto Ypres. It was captured and recaptured many times by the opposing sides. As you ascend the hill, you will be aware of certain remnants of the war such as the pillbox, mines and machine gun posts, providing the group with the opportunity to explore.

Two opposing trench systems can be clearly seen. At least an hour is required to enable the groups to spend time at the interesting visitor centre, walk the battlefield and visit the cemeteries.

Hill 60
Newfoundland Park

Essex Farm

Essex Farm is a peaceful cemetery on the site of the dressing station where John MacCrae, author of the poem ‘In Flanders Field’, operated as a surgeon. The youngest soldier to die in the Ypres Salient, 15-year-old Joe Strudwick from Dorking in Surrey, is buried here.

Hill 62

Hill 62 is so called because it is 62 metres above sea level. A small part of the original wood here has been preserved as it was at the end of the war. Of all the sites, Hill 62 gives the best impression of conditions in the trenches. There is a network of trenches and underground tunnels that can be explored if you are in possession of the appropriate footwear and a torch, but be prepared, as it can be very muddy. Preserved by the Schier family since 1918, the site also houses a small museum containing an excellent collection of wartime photographs and relics.

Hill 62
Hill 62
Passchendaele
Passchendaele

The Memorial Museum

The Memorial Museum – Passchendaele 1917 is set up in the historical castle of Zonnebeke, just outside of Ypres. The museum has a large collection of historical artefacts, images, movies and life-size dioramas, as well as underground dugout tunnels. This museum shows how the British had to live underground in the tunnels with communication and dressing posts, headquarters, work places and dormitories.

Bellewaerde Park

Bellewaerde Park is a theme park close to Ypres with a great mix of attractions – Screaming Eagle, Boomerang, Pirate boat – as well as animals and nature. Between April and November groups can visit the park for a relaxing day at the end of their history tour, or use the day for an educational programme outside of the classroom.

Suggested Itineraries


Ypres tours

Walk in the footsteps of heroes® with your Specialist Battlefield Guide and discover the stories, tragedy and bravery of the First World War battlefields. Taking in a combination of battlefields, memorials, museums and war cemeteries, our guide will make sure you get the most out of your visit.

1 day tour
from £63 per person*

Our suggested itinerary to Ypres includes:

  • Coach travel from your school to Ypres
  • Channel crossing
  • Visit to the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres
  • Visit to Sanctuary Wood Museum (Hill 62)
  • Battlefield Tour Guide
  • Exclusive teachers information booklet and worksheets (compiled in co-operation with a Chief Examiner in GCSE History at EDEXCEL)
  • Tour Manager to assist throughout with your tour planning
  • Small back packs for each student
  • Bag for Tour Leader

You could also look at visiting:

  • The Menin Gate
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Memorial Museum - Passchendaele 1917

Plus much more...

All they have to do is let us know their requirements and we can build them into the itinerary.

2 day tour
from £151 per person*

Our suggested itinerary to Ypres includes:

  • Coach travel from your school to Ypres
  • Channel crossing
  • One night’s full board hostel accommodation in Ypres
  • Dinner on day one, breakfast and a packed lunch on day two
  • Visit to the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres
  • Visit to Sanctuary Wood Museum in Ypres
  • Battlefield Tour Guide
  • Exclusive teachers information booklet and worksheets (compiled in co-operation with a Chief Examiner in GCSE History at EDEXCEL)
  • Tour Manager to assist throughout with your tour planning
  • Small back packs for each student
  • Bag for Tour Leader

You could also look at visiting:

  • The Menin Gate
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Memorial Museum - Passchendaele 1917

Plus much more...

All they have to do is let us know their requirements and we can build them into the itinerary.

Ypres & The Somme tours

Thanks to our expert Specialist Guides, who accompany every tour, you’ll embark on a fascinating journey of remembrance and discovery. Taking in a combination of battlefields, memorials and war cemeteries you’ll learn why battles were fought at particular locations and your guide will help you interpret the landscape and look for signs of the battle evident today.

2 day tour
from £151 per person

Our suggested itinerary to Ypres and The Somme includes:

  • Coach travel from your school to Ypres and the Somme
  • Channel crossing
  • One nights full board school hotel accommodation in Ypres or Albert
  • Dinner on day 1, breakfast and a packed lunch on day 2
  • Visit to the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres
  • Visit to Sanctuary Wood Museum in Ypres
  • Guided tour of the Ypres & Somme Battlefield
  • Visit to the Musee Somme
  • Battlefield Tour Guide
  • Exclusive teachers information booklet and worksheets (compiled in co-operation with a Chief Examiner in GCSE History at EDEXCEL)
  • Tour Manager to assist throughout with your tour planning
  • Small back packs for each student
  • Bag for Tour Leader

You could also look at visiting:

  • The Menin Gate
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Memorial Museum - Passchendaele 1917
  • Delville Woods
  • Lochnagar Crater
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Vimy Ridge

Plus much more...

All they have to do is let us know their requirements and we can build them into the itinerary.

3 day tour
from £220 per person

Our suggested itinerary to Ypres and The Somme includes:

  • Coach travel from your school to Ypres and the Somme
  • Channel crossing
  • One nights full board school hotel accommodation in Ypres
  • One nights full board school hotel accommodation in Albert
  • Dinner on day 1 and 2, breakfast and a packed lunch on day 2 and 3
  • Visit to the Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres
  • Visit to Sanctuary Wood Museum in Ypres
  • Visit to the Musee Somme
  • Guided tour of the Ypres & Somme Battlefield
  • Battlefield Tour Guide
  • Exclusive teachers information booklet and worksheets (compiled in co-operation with a Chief Examiner in GCSE History at EDEXCEL)
  • Tour Manager to assist throughout with your tour planning
  • Small back packs for each student
  • Bag for Tour Leader

You could also look at visiting:

  • The Menin Gate
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Memorial Museum - Passchendaele 1917
  • Delville Woods
  • Lochnagar Crater
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Vimy Ridge

Plus much more...

All they have to do is let us know their requirements and we can build them into the itinerary.

School Children

Tracey Morgan - School Tours Executive

Tracey Morgan has direct knowledge of the trials, tribulations and joys of school trip planning, having arranged and experienced familiarisation trips, as well as organising inbound and outbound tours around the world. This wisdom ensures that each tour you travel on with Holts Tours will cover every eventuality and explore every opportunity.


To arrange and plan your tour, call Tracey on 01306 873 571