History School Trip to Ypres and Somme - WW1

Ypres & The Somme are easily accessible from the UK, making them ideal destinations that fire your students’ imagination and to inspire them to learn more about key events and personal stories of WWI. 

During your GCSE or A level history school trip to Ypres & Somme, these WWI and International Relations excursions are a surefire way to inspire students when it comes to their examinations.


3 day trip

Tour Day 1

Depart school to arrive in Ypres early afternoon
Visit to In Flanders Fields Exhibition, Menin Gate and St Georges Church. Check in at your accommodation followed by an evening meal
Free time in the evening for local orientation.

Tour Day 2

Lochnagar Crater and Delville Wood
Thiepval Memorial and Visitor Centre, Ulster Tower and Newfoundland Park
Return to Ypres for an evening meal in a central restaurant before the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate

Tour Day 3

Hooge Crater Museum and Sanctuary Wood
Tyne Cot Cemetery and Langemark Cemetery before departing for your journey back to school

4 day trip

Tour Day 1

Depart school to arrive in Ypres early afternoon. En-route visit to Vimy Ridge
Check in at your accommodation followed by an evening meal
Free time in the evening for local orientation

Tour Day 2

In Flanders Fields Exhibition, Menin Gate and St Georges Church
Hooge Crater Museum, Sanctuary Wood & Hill 62, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Langemark German Cemetery
Return to Ypres for an evening meal in a central restaurant before the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate

Tour Day 3

Musée Somme Albert, Lochnagar Crater and Delville Wood
Thiepval Memorial and Visitor Centre, Ulster Tower and Newfoundland Park.
Return to hotel for evening meal

Tour Day 4

Depart for your return journey to school

Ypres Day Trip

Tour Day 1

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

Curricular Links

A WST tour to the World War One battlefields can support the study of elements of the following exam board specifications.

National curriculum in England

History programmes of study: Key Stage 3

  • Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day - the First World War and the Peace Settlement



Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

  • Section B - Wider world depth studies - Conflict and tension: The First World War, 1894–1918



  • Paper 1: Thematic Study: Warfare and British society, c1250–present
  • Paper 1: Historic Environment, The British sector of the Western Front 1914-1918 injuries, treatment and the trenches

A level

  • Paper 3, Option 35.2: The British experience of warfare, c1790–1918



  • British thematic study: War and British Society c.790 to c.2010

A level

  • Thematic Study: The Changing Nature of Warfare 1792–1945
  • Non British Period Study: International Relations 1890–1941



  • Component 2:
  • Thematic study: The Development of Warfare in Britain, c.500 to the present day
  • Historic Environment, The British sector of the Western Front 1914-1918 and the treatment and care of the wounded

Study Visits


Bayernwald Trenches

Bayernwald is a unique reconstructed site, consisting of two German mine tunnels, a mineshaft, and a system of trenches with five bunkers. The site can be reached through a pathway through the restored trenches. Information panels tell about events in the war and life at 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

This excellent museum includes: an exhibition of period equipment, archive images and maps; a whole section dedicated to the treatment of the wounded and the casualty evacuation process; and a recreated trench system.

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. These workshops include:

Home by Christmas

How ‘the big picnic’ evolved into the world’s First industrial war. Using posters, photographs, original artefacts and personal testimonies, the students will get a clear picture of what war is really about, both then and now. Workshops last around an hour.

Coming World Remember Me

This unique and emotive workshop allows students to create a statue for one of the soldiers who died in The First World War. Approximately 600,000 soldiers and civilians died or were fatally wounded in and around Ieper between 1914 and 1918. Each will be given its own small statue as part of the land art installation ComingWorldRememberMe. Each student who makes a statue, receives a personalized certificate and a stamped CWRM dog tag. Workshops last around 1.5 hours. 

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.


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.

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