School Trips & Tours to Ypres and Somme
School Trips & Tours to Ypres and Somme
For students studying World War I, nothing brings home the scale of the epic conflict quite like visiting the battlefields where millions of soldiers lost their lives. Home to numerous captivating museums which provide context to the events leading up to the war, as well as the conditions soldiers would have endured living in the trenches, school trips to Ypres and Somme really bring to life the poignant events of the First World War. We offer the following fascinating school trips to Ypres and Somme:
Top Attractions in Ypres
Croonaert Wood (Bayernwald)
An unforgettable experience for pupils, Croonaert Wood is home to a series of trenches where students can retrace the footsteps of soldiers who fought in World War I. The trench system was originally constructed by German troops in 1914; however volunteers and military archaeologists later re-dug the trenches as they would have been in 1915. Now, students can explore the vast system, imagining what life would have been like in the trenches over 100 years ago.
In Flanders Fields Museum
Situated in the heart of Ypres, this interactive museum provides numerous brilliant learning opportunities for budding historians. Telling the story of the war through a variety of captivating exhibitions, moving personal testimonies, videos and imagery, the In Flanders Fields Museum helps students to understand how their past has shaped their present-day world. To further your students’ understanding, they can also take part in a number of fantastic workshops, including Home by Christmas and Coming World Remember Me.
Top Attractions in Somme
1916 Somme Museum
A fantastic learning opportunity for students studying the events of the First World War, the 1916 Somme Museum allows students to further grasp what life was like for the soldiers. Recreating the soldiers’ harsh living conditions in a series of tunnels, pupils will find it all too easy to imagine the intense fighting, poor hygiene and sleepless nights.
The location of one of the Battle of the Somme’s most ferocious conflicts, the encounter at Delville Wood was both successful and costly for the British campaign. The battle involved a significant amount of British allied South African troops, with the extreme fighting resulting in some of the worst casualties seen on the Western Front. Today, Delville Wood acts as a memorial to those that fell on its battlefield, with a special memorial to commemorate the South African soldiers, as well as being home to the third largest British cemetery in the Somme.
Ypres and Somme Accommodation
We offer a superb range of accommodation in family run hotels based either in the centre of Ypres or in nearby towns just a short drive away, so you can maximise your time in the area. During the centenary the area will be very busy in this area and we can’t stress enough how important it is to plan ahead to ensure you get availability for your approved dates!
Most visitors to Ypres also choose to spend a day in the Somme. To cut down on your travelling time and allow you to fit more visits into your itinerary, we’d recommend a two-centre visit between the two locations.
If you’re not staying in the centre of Ypres, we can arrange an evening meal in the town square before walking to the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony – which is a moving experience in itself. This makes the most of the time you have available without feeling you’ve had to compromise.
While in Ypres, why not take the opportunity to try out some of Belgium’s most famous delicacies? From chocolate and waffles to speculoos, Belgian spiced shortbread, Ypres is sure to please any student with a sweet tooth!
The largest surviving crater on the Western Front, the huge Lochnagar Crater is truly a unique sight. Created after a mine explosion on 1st July 1916, the mine was placed underneath the German lines by the British to assist with the start of the Battle of the Somme. The mine was triggered at 7:28am and left a massive crater 330 feet deep and 98 feet wide.
Thiepval Memorial and Visitor Centre
One of the largest and most poignant war memorials in the region, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing commemorates over 72,205 men who were declared missing in the Somme between July 1915 and March 1918. The majority of men recognised at the memorial are from the British and South African armies, with 90% of them lost during the Battle of the Somme.
Guided Tour of the Somme or Ypres Salient
If this area is new to you, then we highly recommend taking a guided tour with our local expert Simonne. She’s an experienced guide of the battlefields and will accompany you on a half day tour, or longer, to ensure you make the most of your time there, as well as bringing to life the events of 100 years ago.