Educational history destinations to visit in Ypres

If you're planning a school trip to Belgium and want to delve into the history of the First World War, then head over to the historic town of Ypres. Our WW1 battlefield school trips offer students a comprehensive exploration of topics ranging from warfare and medicine to military tactics, technology, volunteering, conscription, and the role of women in the war effort. So, let’s take a look at some of the top historical places to visit in the Ypres Salient region. 

1. Menin Gate and Last Post Ceremony

Standing as a solemn tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Great War, the Menin Gate is a poignant memorial bearing the names of over 54,000 soldiers whose final resting places remain unknown. Students can also witness the iconic Last Post Ceremony, held every evening since 1928, where the buglers pay tribute to the memory of the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice.

2. Tyne Cot Ceremony

Venture to one of the most poignant Ypres educational attractions: Tyne Cot Cemetery. Known as the largest British Military Cemetery in the world, its large number of graves stands as a stark reminder of the immense scale of loss during the conflict. Students visiting this site may have the opportunity to participate in one of the moving ceremonies held here, paying homage to the brave soldiers who fought and perished in the war.

3. WW1 Medical Evacuation Tour

Step back in time with a WW1 Medical Evacuation Tour, run by In Flanders Field Museum — ideal for groups studying Edexcel’s Medicine and Surgery on the Western Front option. Here, students can delve into the remarkable medical advancements and challenges faced during the war. They'll gain valuable insights into the courageous efforts of medical personnel who cared for the wounded of the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment following their involvement in a gas attack on May 5th, 1915.

4. Bayernwald (Croonaert Wood)

Immerse your class in the authentic trenches of Bayernwald, also known as Croonaert Wood. This well-preserved site offers a glimpse into the daily lives of soldiers, complete with intricate German trench systems and bunkers. Guided school tours provide invaluable insights into the harsh realities faced by troops on both sides of the conflict.

5. In Flanders Fields Museum

Embark on an immersive experience at the In Flanders Fields Museum, one of the top educational places to visit in Ypres. Each student will be equipped with a wristband that guides them through the museum, providing a firsthand perspective from someone who lived through the war. With personal artefacts and engaging multimedia presentations, this museum offers a comprehensive overview of how the war profoundly impacted Ypres and its residents.

6. Talbot House

Discover the heartwarming story behind Talbot House, affectionately known as ‘Toc H’. In 1915, this British soldiers’ club provided respite for weary soldiers of all ranks from the atrocities of war. Today, students can learn about its enduring legacy, wandering through the rooms and beautifully restored concert hall where countless recreational activities took place. 

7. Sanctuary Wood Museum

Located close to the original front lines, the Sanctuary Wood Museum is one of the most captivating Ypres educational attractions for students to visit. The site showcases well-preserved British trenches and covered passageways, offering a glimpse into the harrowing experiences of WW1 soldiers. Within the museum, two rooms house an array of artefacts from the battlefield, including a remarkable collection of three-dimensional photo images, displayed within special viewing boxes. 

8. Langemark German Cemetery

Pay your respects at Langemark German Cemetery, a sombre reminder of the human cost of war where more than 40,000 German troops rest in eternal peace. 
Here, students can delve into Germany's commemoration of its fallen soldiers, gaining insight into the profound impact of events like the Massacre of the Innocents in 1914. This tragic event, where British regular troops clashed with German student battalions, challenges pre-war notions of the glory of warfare, offering a sobering perspective on the realities of conflict.

9. Passchendaele Memorial Museum

Embark on a journey through the tumultuous 1917 Battle of Passchendaele at the Passchendaele Memorial Museum. From gripping exhibits to immersive reconstructions, including a network of open-air trenches and a new remembrance gallery, this museum offers a compelling narrative of one of the war’s most notorious battles. 

10. Hooge Crater

No Belgium school trip would be complete without a visit to one of Ypres' most historically significant educational sites, the Hooge Crater. This museum boasts an extensive collection of weapons spanning the period from 1914 to 1918, showcasing war equipment used by all armies involved in the intense four years of conflict. With compelling photographs and a haunting landscape bearing the scars of war, this museum is an essential stop for students seeking a deeper understanding of World War I.

Book your next school trip to Ypres with NST!

We hope this blog has sparked your curiosity. If so, seize the opportunity to provide your students with a hands-on history lesson and book a school trip to Ypres today. At NST, we’re here to help you bring the past to life and create memories that will resonate with your students for years to come! Request a quote today and we’ll be happy to help.