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. 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.
A trip to the Somme & Ypres will contextualise their textbook learning. Being on the battlefield sites, imagining the emotions felt by those soldiers who bravely gave their lives for a better future, will help your students relate to those historical events in a totally different way. No wonder this is one of our most popular destinations for school trips. And having delivered the government funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme in partnership with UCL, we have refined our History tour itineraries further to align to exam board specifications. We’ll work with you to ensure your tour covers the key topics in either your depth or period study to ensure better learning outcomes for your students.
Enquiry Based Approach to Itineraries
Working alongside the UCL Institute of Education, we have developed an enquiry based approach for First World War battlefields tours to Ypres and the Somme that focuses on student-led learning. As part of these tours groups will receive high quality materials and participate in activities that provide an engaging and educational framework. The enquiry based itineraries and materials created with the UCL Institute of Education promote a deeper understanding of the First World War and themes related to this subject taught in the classroom.
1.) Select your enquiry question
- How is the First World War remembered?
- What was life really like for soldiers on the Western Front?
- How did technology and tactics develop on the Western Front?
- How diverse and multicultural was the First World War?
- What impact did the First World War have upon our local community?
2.) Contact your local travel advisor
Based on your chosen enquiry question/s, our team of specialists will create your tailored itinerary (take a look at our example itineraries below to see what these could include.) Request a quote now (don't forget to tell us your choice of questions/s using the comment box)
3.) Plan your history tour
You’ll receive itinerary specific guides and student-led activity documents, so you can engage your students in tour related work in advance of travel.
NEW for tours in 2019: WWI & Versailles Treaty 100th Anniversary
- Depart school, journey to Dover
- Crossing to Dunkirk & continue to Ypres
- Visit town centre & chocolate shop
- In Flanders Museum
- Evening meal
- Check in
- Breakfast & packed lunches
- Tyne Cot Cemetery
- Langemark German Cemetery
- Newfoundland Memorial Park in Beaumont Hamel
- Lochanagar Crater
- Ulster Tower
- Thiepval Memorial
- Armistice Museum in Compiegne
- Head to Versailles
- Check in
- Evening meal
- Visit Versailles Palace
- Journey to Calais
- Crossing to Dover & journey back to school
Short on time? Take a day trip to Somme & Ypres from only £57 per paying student (inclusive of the museum visit stated in the inclusions) and consider the enquiry question:
How is the first World War remembered?
Our great value day trip includes visits to:
- In Flanders Field Museum
- Langemark German Cemetery
- Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
- Menin Gate (Last Post Ceremony)
Poppies Youth International Hotel – Somme
- Set in historic centre.
- Recently refurbished
An ideal option for Schools and large groups located in the very centre of the battlefields of the Somme, closet to Lille, Arras, Amiens and less than 2 hours drive from Paris.
Location: Close to the town centre of Albert, ideally located for all the Somme WW1 excursions.
Facilities:On 3 separate floors, one per group. Each floor has got a meeting room and a games room. Free Wi-Fi throughout. Swimming pool next door.
Accommodation: 2-6 bedded rooms all with private facilities
Meals: Breakfast on site. Evening meals taken at the Corner’s Pub restaurant in Albert.
Ieper Lodge - Ypres
- 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, good value for money.
Facilities: WiFi, dining and games room, table football, ping pong and an outdoor area for games. Bar for the adults. Coach parking available.
Accommodation: 4-6 multi-bedded rooms for the students, twins or singles for the adults All have en-suite bathroom and TV
Meals: Full board, with continental breakfast, packed lunch and dinner.
The Old Abbey - Ypres
- Traditional hotel set in its own grounds
- Spacious dining areas
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.
Guild of Battlefield Guides
Speak to our specialists about including a Guild of Battlefield Guide to your tour. These specialist qualified history guides provide a different insight to your visit as their knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is immense!
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
- From as little as £6 per student per day
Subject Specific Excursions
Somme Excursion: Thiepval Memorial
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.
Ypres Excursion: 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.
Somme Excursion: 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.
Ypres Excursion: 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.
Somme Excursion: 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.
Ypres Excursion: Langemark Cemetery
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.
Ypres Excursion: 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.
Ypres Excursion: 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.
Ypres Excursion: 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.
Ypres Excursion: 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 so we can do our best to arrange it for you!
Call our friendly team today on 01273 648 248 or submit your details online below and we'll get back to you soon!