WWI tour to Ypres by coach: 3 days, 2 nights

With its historical significance during WWI on the battlefields of Ypres, this tour is a perfect choice to aid students’ understanding of this period in history. Visits to the war museums, memorials, amongst other sites, will give the students first-hand experience of the living conditions and destructiveness of war. New educational workshops available – see our ‘In Flanders Fields Museum’ information under excursions.

Suggested itinerary

Day one
Depart from school by coach
Connect with channel crossing
Yorkshire Trench and Dug Out
Arrive at accommodation

Day two
In Flanders Field Museum
Sanctuary Wood
Hill 60
Tyne Cot Cemetery
Passchendaele
Langemark Cemetery
Menin Gate

Day three
Depart accommodation
Essex Farm
Poperinge
Return back to the UK on coach

Tour gallery

Excursion locator map

Excursion Ideas

  • Town Trail

    Subject range: Cultural, Language

    What you’ll experience: ‘Hunt Fun’ treasure hunts are a great fun way to get your students out and about and exploring a town whilst on your tour, learning so much along the way. The treasure hunts will guide you past historical buildings, statues and monuments encouraging problem solving, team work, navigation skills and much more. Your treasure hunt packs contains treasure hunt booklets to complete.
    Select says: A treasure hunt will normally last about 2 hours but could be made longer by incorporating a lunch stop or another local visit. Available for selected towns within Belgium and France – speak to one of our travel advisors for further details.
  • Journey's End - WWI theatre production

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: An opportunity for your students to experience ‘live trench theatre’ on the Battlefields of WWI. The play is described as, ‘1918, somewhere on the Western Front, six men in a bunker anticipate a massive attack.’ The production is performed in English and runs from 10th October-12th November 2018 only.
    Select says: Reviews for this production have been outstanding: “Theatre at its most powerful … perfect complement to a visit to the Battlefields.” – Alison Rose, British Ambassador to Belgium.“Extremely moving – invoked what it was really like to be in a trench.” – Mike Dawson, Scout Leader.“One of the greatest theatrical experiences of my life” – Debbie Bristow, WW1 Battlefields Guide.“Spellbound from minute #1 to the heart-breaking and heart-stopping finale.” – Chris Spriet, Author and War Historian.“Moving, captivating, amazing … put everything we saw in perspective. Thank you.” – Head of English, UK Secondary school.
  • Yorkshire Trench and Dugout

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: The Yorkshire trench was discovered when developing an industrial site. A memorial site was constructed with the trench restored along its original route, including a deep dug-out from 1917. A series of information panels give the visitor graphic representation of trench warfare.
    Select says: Students can gain real understanding of the tight spaces the soldiers occupied in the trenches.
  • In Flanders Fields Museum

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: A superb museum with hundreds of authentic objects and images from WWI which are presented in a modern, experience-orientated layout. Multimedia interactive installations and lifelike characters give the visitor an authentic experience of life on the front, emphasising the personal stories as well as the larger conflict. Visitors will find no glorification of war; rather the museum suggests the futility of war especially as seen in Flanders during WWI. Following closure for refurbishments, the museum reopened in June 2012 – it is well worth a return visit if you haven’t been back since.
    Select says:There are educational workshops available in conjuction with the museum: 10-12 years workshop – Andrew’s Dream Museum. The theme of the package is the book ‘Andrew’s Dream Museum’. 10-15 years workshop – Coming World Remember me. A unique opportunity for students to create a statue as part of the land art installation which will be set up in a part of former no-man’s land in 2018 commemorating 600,000 soldiers and civilians who died or became fatally wounded in and around Ypres between 1914 and 1918. 13-15 years worshop – Home by Christmas…or how ‘the big picnic’ evolved into the world’s first industrial war. Downloadable education packs also available via the website.
  • Sanctuary Wood Museum

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: One of the few places in the area where students can see a trench layout and gain understanding of the landscape and terrain soldiers fought on during the Great War. The museum contains a large number of relics and artefacts, including Stereoviews which bring photographic imaging into 3-D (although please note that some images are highly graphic and may be potentially upsetting).
    Select says: Nearby, Sanctuary Wood CWGC Cemetery contains over 2,000 burials. Close to Sanctuary Wood Museum is the Canadian Memorial at Hill 62. There is also a café here.
  • Hill 60

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: Hill 60 is a memorial site that was an invaluable vantage point much fought over by both sides during WWI. The hill is shaped by small craters and hillocks formed during the desperate fighting. The memorial site is the final resting place for many soldiers who remain buried somewhere beneath. Hill 60 was so called on British military maps because the ground was 60 metres above sea level, man-made in the 1850s, having been created by the spoil from the cutting for a railway line.
    Select says: The Memorial Site also has the remains of several concrete bunkers and craters from the 1915, 1916 and 1917 battles.
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: The largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world and resting place of nearly 12,000 soldiers. Many of those who died in 1917 fighting to capture the village are buried here. The long stone wall of the Tyne Cot Memorial carries the names of servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died between 15 August 1917 and the end of the war with no known grave.
    Select says: This visit is excellent for giving students some sense of the sheer scale of loss during WWI as the Memorial Wall carries nearly 35,000 names.
  • Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: The museum gives an overview of WWI in the region and the Battle of Passchendaele where, in 1917, half a million casualties fell in one hundred days for a gain of only 8km of ground. Over five floors there is much to see including a museum, replica dugouts and trenches, and the Hall of Reflection.
    Select says: There are some realistic experiences for your students, including trying on a claustrophobic gas mask and lifting the lid of small boxes to sniff inside and get an idea of how disgusting the different gas weapons could be. The German and British trenches are an excellent opportunity for compare and contrast of technology and the attitudes that determined the technology of trench warfare.
  • Menin Gate

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: The Menin Gate memorial bears the names of over 54,000 officers and men from United Kingdom and Commonwealth Forces (except New Zealand and Newfoundland) who fell in the Ypres Salient before 16th August 1917 and have no known grave. Each night at 8 pm the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate while members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial’s arches.
    Select says: Have a look at the nearby Indian Memorial honouring the 130,000 Indian soldiers who fought during WWI in the Ypres Salient and Northern France. Also consider the value of the model of the Gate with Braille to consider how we all need a means of remembrance.
  • Essex Farm Cemetery

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: The cemetery was used by several British divisions holding this sector from 1915 to August 1917. 1,200 servicemen from several divisions are buried or commemorated here. At the rear of the cemetery there is a concrete bunker – the site of a British Army Advanced Dressing Station (A.D.S.). The location is believed to be the place where the Canadian army doctor, Major John McCrae, composed the famous poem In Flanders Fields. The cemetery is the final resting place of Rifleman Valentine Joe Strudwick – aged only 15 he is one of the youngest British casualties of the Great War to die in action.
    Select says: Link your visit with Rebecca Steven’s novel Valentine Joe and John McCrae’s famous poem In Flanders Fields.
  • Poperinge -Talbot House

    Subject range: History WW1

    What you’ll experience: Visitors can view a permanent exhibition of life behind the lines in the old hop barn, discover what a WWI concert party looked like in the concert hall, and experience where soldiers came to rest in the beautiful gardens. During WWI, Poperinge was part of unoccupied Belgium. Talbot House provided rest and recreation to all soldiers, regardless of their rank, away from the dreadful conditions of the Western Front. During your visit to Poperinge you could also visit the ‘execution cells’ where some of the British soldiers condemned to execution during the Great War were kept awating their fate. These are located close to Talbot House in the town hall in the main square.
    Select says: Close to Poperinge is Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery where there is a modern visitor centre with displays and features, such as an audio wall where visitors can listen to extracts from war diaries, letters and witness accounts. Importantly, the cemetery is full of fascinating stories, an England Rugby Union Captain, a nurse, a General and several Americans are buried here.

WWI trip to Ypres by coach: 3 days, 2 nights Accommodation

Menin Gate Youth Hostel

Our rating:

Location: Ypres

Capacity: 55

This youth group hotel is in a great location right by the Menin Gate itself! Sole occupancy is possible if the group has more than 35 people.

There is a bowling alley 15 minutes’ walk away and a sports centre only 5 minutes away (football, tennis, jogging, swimming).

Rooms: All rooms have en-suite facilities. 55 beds in 11 bedrooms on 3 floors.

Facilities: Breakfast room, free Wi-Fi throughout the building, games room with a pool billiards table and vending machine, free internet suite: 5 computers free of charge with broadband internet access, cable television in the staff room.

Salient Youth Hostel

Our rating:

Location: Ypres

Capacity: 102

This youth group specific hotel is situated just off the main square of Ypres. Sole occupancy is possible for groups with a minimum of 70 people.

Select says: There is a bowling alley 15 minutes' walk away.

Rooms: All rooms have en-suite facilities.

Facilities: Breakfast room, Wi-Fi available, games room, computer room.

Ieper Lodge

Our rating:

Location: Close to Ypres

Capacity: 365

This hotel is great for school groups - the location is just outside Ypres but is still within walkable distance (approximately 15-20mins).

Rooms: All rooms have en-suite facilities.

Facilities: Restaurant, meeting rooms, common room.