History School Trips to the Somme & Ypres
Inspect artefacts, walk among the many graves and trenches and observe the reminders of war that still scar the landscape. Gain a new, thought provoking perspective of the Lost Generation that will influence your teaching of the subject to ensure a lasting legacy. Expose your students to the realities of this sobering topic as they come to see for themselves the realities that soldiers had to face.
Our bespoke school trip offers history students the ability to trace the footsteps of the soldiers who bravely and selflessly gave their lives for a better future. As the provider of the Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme for the government, we have a unique insight into your needs when creating a battlefields school trip. We have taken the itinerary we built with the Institute of Education and are now offering it, along with curriculum variations, to all UK teachers. Choose the package that is right for you, then choose the focus of your tour and we will help you build an itinerary that will challenge students’ thinking and evoke a deeper understanding of the First World War.
Take your students to see where the ‘doomed youth’ immortalised by Wilfred Owen’s poem met their end. While at the sobering site, encourage your group to experience life in the trenches under a barrage of artillery shells and gas warfare. On your trip explore Thiepval Memorial with the names of 72,191 missing British and South African soldiers etched onto the surface and Newfoundland Memorial Park which gives a fascinating insight into the network of trenches on the front line.
Take your group to In Flanders Field Museum to learn more about the site where British forces fended off the progression of German troops towards the French territories. Encourage them to learn about the battles that raged in the town and the destruction of the thirteenth century Cloth Hall. Pay respects to the fallen at the Menin Gate during the moving Last Post ceremony and Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.
For all itineraries you have the choice of three bundles to get the most out of your tour...
|3 Day / 2 Night tour* - tailor-made and regionally focused|
|Curriculum based workbook|
|Pack of poppy seeds|
|Guild of Battlefield Guide involvement|
View Suggested Itineraries:
* 3 Day 2 Night tour applies to itineraries departing from certain regions in England and Wales. For itineraries departing from Scotland, north Wales and northern Ireland, the tour length is 4 Days / 3 Nights
Groups planning a trip to Ypres will be pleased to know we have an allocation of beds available for the following two hotels over selected periods in 2015. We can offer this accommodation at a fantastic price so if you’re looking to travel between February to October 2015, please speak to one of our travel advisors as this allocation won’t last long.
- Great value for money
- Multi-bedded student rooms
Purpose-built for school groups, the Ieper Lodge is in a great location near the centre of Ypres.
Location: Approximately 1 mile from the centre of Ypres in a commercial zone.
Facilities: WiFi, dining and games room, table football, ping pong and an outdoor area for games.
Accommodation: Pupils will stay in 4-6 multi-bedded rooms that are en-suite bathroom and TV.
Meals: Full board, with continental breakfast, packed lunch and dinner.
The Old Abbey
- Traditional hotel set in its own grounds
- Spacious dining areas and lots of facilities
A hospitable and welcoming hotel, The Hotel Old Abbey (Oude Abdij in Flemish) is a great accommodation choice for groups and is in an ideal location for excursions to the Battlefields.
Location: One hour drive from Calais, 25 minute drive from Ypres, in the small town of Lo.
Facilities:Games area including pool table, table tennis and table football, two large dining areas, outside garden and karaoke.
Accommodation: 2-6 bedded rooms plus a larger 8 bedded room, en-suite facilities and TV.
Meals: Full board, with continental breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner.
Quick Tip: This is just a small sample of possible accommodations available. Please contact us for more information!
Somme & Ypres Excursions
Below is a selection of popular excursions for the Somme & Ypres.
For more excursions download our:
'Somme & Ypres Excursions Information' booklet (PDF)
Many of the popular visitor attractions can be pre-booked and pre-paid before you travel. This ensures availability and saves you time.
- Prices are on request and will be based on 1:10 free place ratio. Please ask us for a quote.
- Many more excursions and visits are available, please call us for more information on anything not shown.
- All attraction bookings are subject to availability.
- Prices quoted are subject to change.
- For smaller group ratios, prices are on request.
Subject Specific Excursions
The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a major war memorial to 72,191 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme of the Great War between 1915 and 1918 with no known grave. The names of the missing are etched into the memorial along with a large inscription reading “Here are recorded names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”
Sheffield Memorial Park
An area of great loss, here the original frontline trenches and shell holes have been preserved, which you can reach from a track via the cemetery honouring those who defended the front line.
Ulster Memorial Tower
The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division. They attacked a German stronghold on July 1st, 1916 known as Schwaben Redoubt with huge losses, about 5,000 were lost, half of their strength. The tower is a copy of Helen’s Tower in County Down, where the men of the 36th trained.
Talbot House, Poperinge
13km west of Ypres, Poperinge was commandeered by the British Army to accommodate its men. Two chaplains opened this house up as a club for all soldiers regardless of rank, to come and relax. For three years this operated as a safe haven where the men could stay in a ‘home from home’ and experience a little peace. Come and see where the men stayed and sought solace from the war.
In Flanders Fields Museum
This is probably the best museum in the area with loads to see. It offers a real insight into the devastating events that took place during 1914-1918 and allows students to follow the experiences of the people living in Westhoek at the time of the First World War. It’s very interactive and you’ll need a good couple of hours here.
Behind the monumental gate of rosy sandstone are the graves of 44,061 German soldiers, 3000 of them were cadets and student volunteers of the 22nd to 27th Reserve Corps. They fell in October 1914 during vain attempts to come closer to Ypres.
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
You can download a fantastic smartphone app which will lead you through this cemetery by using real examples of people such as Nurse Jane and gardener Tom. From 1915-1920 the hamlet became the destination for the largest evacuation hospital in the Ypres Salient. There is a fabulous, modern, interactive visitor centre for your students to look round.
Memorial Museum Passchendaele
Memorial Museum Passchendaele The museum gives an amazing impression of the bloody battle of Passchendaele in 1917 where 500,000 lost their lives. The museum also exhibits a superbly realistic British underground bunker system, where you can see the communication and the dressing post, headquarters and dorms. July 2013 sees a brand new extension of permanent exhibitions of trenches, shelters and galleries.
Menin Gate & the Last Post
The famous British war memorial of WW1 and by far the most important edifice in Ieper (Ypres) to the British visitor. It was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. The names of 54,896 missing soldiers are engraved on its walls. The Last Post, the traditional final salute to the fallen is played by buglers in honour of the memory of the soldiers who died in Ypres. Members of the local Fire Brigade play at 8pm every single night and aim to maintain this daily act of homage in perpetuity.
Tyne Cot Cemetery
Many of those who died in 1917 fighting to capture the village are buried in the nearby Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world.
Quick Tip: If you have an excursion in mind which you don't see listed, please get in touch anyway as we may still arrange it for you!
Guild of Battlefield Guides
When you book a ‘3 medal’ tour, a badged member of the Guild of Battlefield Guide is included in the price of your trip. These specialist qualified history guides provide a different insight to your visit as their knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is immense!
Find out more about our selection of Battlefields Guides >>
Why use a Guide on your tour?
- Add a thought provoking dimension to your tour
- Help to shape a bespoke itinerary
- Linking of stories and artefacts between battlefields
- Create one coherent tour with expert knowledge at all points
- Help you bring the subject to life
First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme
We are delighted to announce our partnership with the Institute of Education to deliver the government’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government to give more children a chance to experience onsite learning through school battlefield tours.
Find out more about the Programme and how to register for your FREE school place here >>