Belgium Trips - Europe School Tours

Visit Brussels, World War I battlefields and the Euro Space Centre on your school tour

A great getaway that's so close to home

Belgium has a wealth of historical, scientific, cultural and artistic excursions and you can get there by coach from Calais in one to two hours!  No wonder a school trip to Belgium is a favourite with schools from the UK.

Its relatively small size means you can see and do a great deal in a short space of time. The World War I Battlefields around Ypres and the Euro Space Centre (science museum) are a well-established destination for British schools, as is Brussels, capital of the EU and NATO. 

Could this be the perfect trip for your school? Contact us today to find out more.

  • Euro Space Centre, science museum and educational centre in Redu, Belgium.

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  • British World War I soldiers in Belgium

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  • Brussels is the capital city of Belgium

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  • Our Belgian school tour is a favourite with school children

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  • The flags of the European Union

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Sample excursions

History Excursions

Ypres Battlefields

World War I Ypres Battlefields

Known as 'Wipers' to the many British troops who saw action here, Ypres and the surrounding area were strategically important as the last defensible position between the German army and the Channel ports.


Flanders Field Museum

In Flanders Field Museum

The In Flanders Fields Museum presents the story of the First World War in the West Flanders front region. It is located in the renovated Cloth Halls of Ypres, an important symbol of wartime hardship and later recovery. The new permanent exhibition tells the story of the invasion of Belgium and the first months of the mobilisation, the four years of trench warfare in the Westhoek, the end of the war and the permanent remembrance ever since.

www.inflandersfields.be


Essex Farm Cemetery

Essex Farm Cemetery

The Essex Farm Cemetery was a medical station in World War I and cemetery located near where the soldier John McCrae wrote his famous poem, 'In Flanders Fields.' There are 1,200 World War I servicemen buried or commemorated here (sadly, 103 soldiers are not identified). A visit to the cemetery conveys to your students and pupils the extent of the tragedy of the war.


Yorkshire Trench and Dug Out

Yorkshire Trench and Dug Out

In 1992 a group of amateur archeologists named “The Diggers” first discovered the remains of an original British trench. Between 1998 and 2000 they spent many hours digging and examining the 'Yorkshire' trench, which also had tunnelled dugouts. They discovered the remains of 155 British, French and German soldiers, lost in battle and not recovered for seventy years.


Langemarck Cemetery

Langemarck Cemetery

At Langemarck you will find a German cemetery which provides a stark contrast to Allied cemeteries. Overshadowed by tall oaks, which were planted at the time because the 'Oak' is the national symbol of Germany, Langemark is located about four miles north-east of Ypres.  It was near here that the Germans first used poison gas on the 22nd of April 1915 (officially the Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge).


Tyne Cot cemetery

Tyne Cot cemetery

The name "Tyne Cot" is said to come from the Northumberland Fusiliers seeing a resemblance between the German concrete pill boxes, which still stand in the middle of the cemetery, and typical Tyneside workers' cottages – Tyne Cots


Hill 60

Hill 60

Hill 60 was a low rise on the southern flank of the Ypres Salient. It was not a natural highpoint, but was created as a result of the digging of the nearby railway cutting. It became a strategically significant area of high ground that was captured by the Germans on 10 December 1914, from the French army. One of the unique elements of the fighting at Hill 60 was an intense level of combat underground staged by the engineers and tunnelers on both sides. In the first operation of its kind by the British, the Corps of Royal Engineers specialist tunnelling companies laid six mines by 10 April 1915. These mines, (together with others which were unfinished), were filled with around 4.5 kg of explosives, which exploded and ripped the heart out of the hill within a mere 10 seconds. It flung debris 300 feet into the air and scattered it a further 300 yards in all directions. You will find, at the site, a small museum, from which you can find out more about the events at Hill 60. 


Sanctuary Wood

Sanctuary Wood

The fighting between the British and German Armies arrived in the peaceful countryside of Flanders east of the town of Ypres in the late autumn of 1914. It was during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914 that the British Army used the cover of a large wood south of the Ypres-Menin road near Hooge for tending to their casualties - Sanctuary Wood. The site contains a museum and cemetery.


The Menin Gate, Ypres

Menin Gate

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is one of four British and Commonwealth memorials to the missing in the battlefield area of the Ypres Salient in Belgian Flanders. The memorial bears the names of 54,389 officers and men from the UK and Commonwealth Forces who fell in the Ypres Salient before 16th August 1917 and who have no known grave. Every evening at 8pm, members of the local Fire Service play the Last Post in memory of those who lost their lives.


Spanbroekmolen Mine Crater

Messines and the Pool of Peace

There were 3 separate battles in Messines over WWI, but the 1917 action involved the use of mines, laid by the Royal Engineers. The joint explosion of the mines at Messines ranks among the largest non-nuclear explosions of all time. The evening before the attack, General Sir Charles Harington, remarked to the press, "Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography". The Battle of Messines marked the zenith of mine warfare.


Passchendaele

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

Passchendaele is a small village, not far from Ypres. During the British attack of 1917, there were 500,000 casualties in 100 days for a territory gain of only 5 miles. As a result, Passchendaele became an international symbol of senseless military violence. At the Memorial Museum, the memory of the battle is kept alive with images and movies, a large collection of historical artefacts and models.


Raversijde Domain

Oostende

At the Oostende Atlantic Wall open air Museum, over 60 bunkers, observation posts and artillery positions and the 2 km of open or subterranean corridors constitute one of the best preserved parts of the infamous German Atlantikwall. This defence line was built by the Germans during the second World war from the French-Spanish border to Norway. Thousands of bunkers were constructed to protect the ports and to prevent an allied assault. The museum also houses the only preserved German coastal battery from the first World War. All constructions on the site were restored to their original condition and furnished with authentic objects and furniture.


Cross Curriculum Excursions

Brussels

Brussels

Since the end of World War II, Brussels has been the political capital of Europe, the seat of the European Parliament, many other EU institutions and NATO. Brussels is unusual in that  two different languages are in everyday use: Flemish and French. Accordingly there are linguistic tensions between the two different languages and there is a considerable amount of controversy surrounding the laws of language in the region.

You can visit any one of the capital's 90 museums, the Manneken Pis statue, the Grande Place and the Atomium structure, and of course the many chocolate houses that populate Europe's chocolate capital. 

www.brussels.org


Bellewaerde Park

Bellewaerde Park

The park boasts the highest water chute in Europe and is an excellent break from the more serious excursions of the World War I Battlefields. 

www.walibi.com


Bruges

Bruges

Sometimes referred to as The Venice of the North, Bruges is a beautiful medieval city that is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. At one time it was the most important commercial city of the world and still has financial and economic significance thanks to its port. It provides an interesting contrast to Brussels and the World War historical sites.


Euro Space Centre

Euro Space Centre

Euro Space Centre is an educational tourist attraction devoted to space and astronautics. The centre includes simulators of space flight and micro-gravity and has the only full-scale mock-up of the US Space Shuttle existing in Europe. Experience simulated space travel and get practical training in the Space School classrooms.

www.eurospacecenter.be

Sample tour

Belgium school tour by coach - 3 days

Day 1

  • Depart School
  • Yorkshire Trench
  • Menin Gate

Day 2

  • Flanders Field Museum
  • Hill 60
  • Hill 62
  • Sanctuary Wood
  • Hooge Crater Museum

Day 3

  • Tyne Cot cemetery
  • Langemark cemetery
  • Depart

The above tour can easily be amended to include a day to the Somme.

Teacher Resources

Find a selection of useful resources related to your trip.

Teacher Resources

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Testimonials

I was amazed by animateur Francois' dedication to speaking solely French to the students who, although a little reluctant at times, gave it a good go and found out that they did not have a choice but to get stuck in! Party Leader of Leventhorpe School staying February 2016 at Voyager's Hotel du Moulin aux Draps

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