History School Trip to Ypres and Somme - WW1

In one day, your group can cover a number of key visits in Ypres or the Somme. 

A day trip is a surefire way to inspire as many students as possible and well help them understand key study topics for WWI and International Relations, whilst developing a unique empathy with those involved that will develop their passion to learn more.  

 

Itinerary

Tour Day 1

Morning
Early morning departure from school to visit Essex Farm Dressing Station, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Langemark Cemetery.
Afternoon
Travel to Ypres centre to visit In Flanders Fields Museum and free time to view the Menin Gate and St George's Church
Evening
Rejoin your coach for your journey home. Late arrival back at school.

Day Trip

Based on min 40, travel from South East England, Eurotunnel, May, June, July 2022 - excluding Fridays & Saturdays. Eurotunnel yellow day. Subject to availability. Entrance to In Flanders Fields Museum included.

£95

Study Visits

YPRES SALIENT VISITS

Croonaert Wood (Bayernwald)

Taken by German troops in 1914 a system of trenches was constructed. A group of volunteers and military archaeologists later re-dug the trench system as it had been in 1915. You can now visit these preserved German trenches and follow the information panels describing life on the front.

Essex Farm Cemetery & Dressing Station

The area that was once used as an advanced dressing station is now the final resting place for 1200 men who lost their lives in the First World War. Whist stationed at Essex Farm in May 1915 John McCrae wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields.'

Hill 60 & the Caterpillar Crater

Hill 60 suffered an extremely turbulent history throughout the war, changing hands several times. Today you can see the preserved battlefield and the remains of two of the mines blown at the beginning of the Battle of Messines. This is also the final resting place for countless soldiers buried somewhere beneath its grassy foundations. 

Hooge Crater Museum

The museum houses full scale reconstructions of war scenes, collection of weapons, war equipment & photographs. 

In Flanders Fields Museum

Located in the centre of Ypres this interactive museum allows visitors to follow the story of the war through personal testimony, exhibitions, videos & imagery.

In Flanders Fields Museum, the main aim is for students to know and understand their past but also their present-day world. Because remembering the war, even though it happened 100 years ago, is still relevant today. With this in mind they have developed some workshops for school children aged between 13 & 15 which we highly recommend for History study groups. 

Langemark Cemetery

The final resting place of over 40,000 German soldiers.

Lettenberg Bunkers

These restored British dugouts near Kemmel give a fascinating insight into the scale of the war underground.

Menin Gate Ceremony

The largest memorial to the British and Commonwealth soldiers, whose graves are unknown. Every day at 8pm, the Last Post Ceremony takes place at the Menin Gate. This is an incredibly moving experience. 

Passchendaele Memorial Museum - with uniform try-on

The memory of this battle is kept alive through interactive exhibitions, images and movies, which allow you to follow the story of a soldier in the 40th Australian Battalion. WST groups on history trips to Ypres and Somme are also able to try on uniform and armour of a British and a German soldier. 

Poperinge Death Cells and Execution Pole

Some British soldiers were mentally unstable because of harsh life in the trenches and refused to go back or simply deserted. Once caught and trialled before court martial they spent their last night in the jail of the town hall before being shot at dawn. You can still visit the restored cell block with audiotape and the execution pole as a symbol of the insanity of war.

Sanctuary Wood & Hill 62

One of the few places on the Ypres Salient Battlefields where an original trench layout can be seen in some semblance of what it might have originally looked like. Original equipment from the battlefield site and photographs can be viewed in the museum.

Spanbroekmolen Mine Crater

The Spanbroekmolen Mine Crater, also known as Lone Tree Crater, is the site of the largest of 19 mines blown by the British Army in the early hours of the morning of 7th June 1917. This signalled the launch of the Battle of Messines.

St Georges Church

This memorial church houses commemorations to many fallen soldiers in the form of plaques adorning the furnishings and commemorative stained glass windows. 

Tyne Cot Cemetery

The largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world with 11,956 soldiers buried here, many unnamed. There also panels naming 34,888 missing soldiers.

Yorkshire Trench

This recently renovated series of trenches and dug-outs is located near the village of Boezinghe.

SOMME VISITS

1916 Somme Museum

This museum follows the soldiers into the trenches of the 1916 offensive. Visitors can experience the harsh daily life of the troops via a series of tunnels.

Accrington Pals Memorial, Serre

A memorial commemorating the soldiers of the 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment who lost their lives in 1916. The memorial, erected in 1980 is made of Accrington brink & symbolises the ruined village of Serre. 

Delville Wood

Commemorating the 1st South African Infantry Brigade’s feat in the 1916 battle of the Delville Wood, where over 700 men lost their lives. The visit comprises of the Delville Wood, memorial, museum and cemetery.

Lochnagar Crater

Created after a mine explosion on 1st July 1916, his is the largest surviving crater on the Western Front.

Newfoundland Memorial/ Beaumont Hamel

Located near Beaumont Hamel, this is one of only a few sites on the Western Front where the ground remains largely untouched since the end of the First World War. The site is also a memorial to all the Newfoundlanders who fought in the First World War, most particularly those who have no known grave.

Thiepval Memorial & Visitor Centre

The largest and one of the most emotive memorials to the missing from any war in which British soldiers died. There are over 72,000 names on the stone piers. The visitor centre has an excellent exhibition charting all the key events of WW1.

Ulster Tower

The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the men of the 36th Ulster Division and is close to the site they attached on 1st July 1916.

Vimy Ridge

This Canadian National Memorial site gives daily guided tours through the network of tunnels and trenches that were the scene of fighting in 1917.

Wellington Quarry - Arras

After descending 20 metres in a glass elevator, you enter this strategic network of tunnels that were key in the Battle of Arras. This site was recently renovated and offers a superb audio guided tour.

WST ‘bend over backwards' to help and are patient when things are not going to plan (e.g. students dropping out of the trip). Their professionalism always puts my mind at rest!
Royal Masonic School for Girls, WW1 Battlefields


Louise's Expert Tip

As well as our longer duration trips, many schools choose to take a day trip to Ypres as it is just 90 minutes from Calais. It’s ideal for first time travellers or if groups on a smaller budget.

Top tip from Louise, our Specialist History Expert