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History school trip to Ypres & WWI battlefields, Belgium

Bring a real life context to WW1 with a visit to the battlefields and memorials of Ypres and participate in the moving Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate to pay tribute to fallen soldiers with no known grave. 

  • Key stage 2 – 16+
  • Year round

Visit WWI battlefields on a school trip to Ypres & the Somme

One of our most popular history school trips is a tour of the historically significant WW1 battlefields and memorials around Ypres. Following the hundredth anniversary of the end of WW1, it is as important as ever for history students to understand the impact of significance of the Great War and there is no better way to bring the subject to life than a trip to Ypres. The highlight of this tour is to attend the Last Post Ceremony, a moving tribute to the missing soldiers who fell in Ypres and have no known grave. We can also arrange, in advance, for your school to lay a wreath as part of the Last Post ceremony – contact us for more details.

This bespoke tour can be organised as a short history trip, or combined with the Somme battlefields in France for a more in-depth exploration of the Western Front. Alternatively, you can include a day trip to Ypres from our French language centre on the Opal Coast.

Read about our travel team's research visit to Ypres in our blog.

We can tailor your itinerary to your unique learning requirements, please contact us for a bespoke quote.

 

 

Sample 4-day/3-night itinerary to Ypres and Somme

This is just an example of one of our history tours, please contact one of our specialists to create a bespoke itinerary for your learning objectives.

Day 1

Board your coach at school and depart to Folkestone/Dover Crossing to Calais

Stop off at Hypermarket/ City Europe/ Auchan to purchase essentials and refreshments for the journey!

Arrive Ypres in the evening and check in.

Own arrangements for an evening meal

Day 2 - Somme

Start your day early, have breakfast and collect packed lunches.

Morning visit to Arras and visit the Market in Grand Place - marvel at the stalls with colours and smells!

Wellington Quarry - a maze of underground tunnels that housed 24000 British soldiers preparing a surprise attack in 1917. The museum guides and films preserves the emotion and action and genius that took place here.

Next visit is to Vimy Ridge - Canada’s largest overseas National Memorial to remember more than 11000 Canadians who died in France and Belgium.

Evening meal at restaurant / or hotel

Day 3 - Ypres 

Breakfast and collect packed lunches.

Start the day from visiting Bayernwald German Trenches

Later on you’ll be go to Plugstreet (Ploegsteert) - a major site of interest includes the Memorial to the Missing commemorating 11,369 men with no known grave.

Sanctuary Wood Museum and Hill 62 Canadian Memorial - discover how casualties were tended to during the first battle of Ypres. Vist museum and walk through a series of well preserved trenches. 

Time permitting you may be able to visit the Tyne Cot Cemetery and Langemark German Cemetery.

At 8pm attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial to experience the moving tribute to the missing soldiers of the UK and Commonwealth Forces who fell in the Ypres Salient and have no known grave. You may take part in the ceremony with students laying a wreath (needs to be organised in advance).

Evening meal at restaurant / hotel

Day 4

Breakfast, collect packed lunches and check out. Stop at the Thiepval Memorial on your way back to school.

We recommend the Menin Gate school centres for our groups as they are well located in Ypres and are experienced in for looking after our school parties. We have a long-standing relationship with the hotels who will do their best to sort out all your particular requirements like special diets, disabled facilities or single rooms. Depending on your group’s requirements we recommend Menin Gate accommodation such as:

Old School Haringe is a former primary school can accommodate a single group of up to 45 which means you won’t have to share with anyone else. All student rooms have en-suite facilities and the centre includes a games room with a billiard table, football table, computers and board games plus a mini bar for the adults.

 

The Poppies centres are ideally located in the historic centre of Ypres. The historic Poppies 1 was rebuilt after WWI in 1925 and served as a pension for British soldiers in World War II to become a hotel restaurant in 1952. While the more modern Poppies 2 has been renovated to accommodate groups of up to 57 students in ensuite single or bunk rooms. The two properties can be connected to accommodate large groups.

 

Our Ypres WW1 battlefields school trips include:

  • Board and lodging as specified in your itinerary
  • A detailed itinerary with pre-booked excursions
  • Your choice of return travel; coach travel, with ferry crossing, applicable tolls and taxes included, or return flights and overseas transfers
  • Free teacher to student ratio approx 1:8 (coach trips) / approx 1:10 (air groups)
  • 24-hour emergency support
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Assistance with inspection visits

Extras to budget for:

  • School to airport transfers and meals en route (if required)
  • Supplements for small parties, single rooms and additional adults
  • Local tourist taxes which can only be paid in cash to the hotel
  • Entrances other than those specified in your itinerary
  • Hotel damage deposits

Ready-made resources to get your trip off the ground

These ready-made trip resources are designed to reduce your admin and help speed up the process of planning, promoting and getting approval for your Paris trip:

If you need any further assistance, just let us know or visit our COVID-19 Travel Hub for full details of our Peace of Mind Promise, COVID-19 travel insurance cover and enhanced health and safety measures.

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