Ypres established a reputation for itself in the Middle Ages as a cloth-weaving centre and reportedly had a population of 80,000. However, largely due to the Hundred Years War, this had declined to just 5000 by the late sixteenth century. Ypres is most now firmly rooted in British minds because of its association with the Great War.
The city occupied a key location, blocking the German advance into northern France. For this reason, it became the focus of three intense battles as the Germans sought to drive the British out of the town. These battles resulted in the destruction of the medieval town, including its splendid thirteenth century Cloth Hall, all of which had to be rebuilt after the war, in the style of the medieval original. The Cloth Hall is now the location for the In Flanders Fields Museum.
Despite heavy bombardments, Ypres was never captured by the Germans. It was, however dangerously exposed to German attack on three sides, hence, the term Ypres Salient. After the war, the Menin Gate was constructed to honour the Allied troops who passed that way to the front. On the walls of the archway are the names of 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who have no recorded grave.
Guild of Battlefield Guides
STS is proudly supporting the Guild of Battlefield Guides, offering you the chance to pre-book your own dedicated battlefield guide. With extensive knowledge of the area, and interesting insight, our battlefield guides will help your WWI or WWII school tour come to life.
Key Study Areas
Location Click here to view map
Our best value sample itinerary from £275
4 Days to Ypres by Coach
Depart school in the morning to connect with your channel crossing. Arrive in Ypres and visit Yorkshire Trench and Dug Out before arriving at the accommodation.
Have a guided tour of the battlefields in the Ypres Salient during the morning. Visit the Passchendaele Museum and the Poperinge Death Cells in the afternoon. Attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
Drive to the Somme region to tour the key sites: Vimy Ridge, the Somme 1916 Museum, Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval, Lochnagar Crater and Delville Wood.
Check out of your accommodation and depart for your return to school.