SOME NOTES FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
Although this area does get many thousands of visitors each year, I have included some general tourist information on this area for those of you who have yet to make the journey, or have only been a few times. Any questions contact me via email.
EMAIL PAUL REED
The easiest route from the port or the Channel
Tunnel, is to follow the A16 motorway for DUNKERQUE (Dunkirk). At Dunkerque,
take the A25 motorway, following signs for ARMENTIERES and LILLE. Leave the
motorway at Exit 13 STEENVOORDE and then follow the D948 for POPERINGE and YPRES
(IEPER). From here it is about fifteen minutes to Poperinge and half an hour to
Ypres. There are no tolls on either of these motorways. You could plan your
route online by visiting Mappy.Com.
Ypres is in the Flemish (Dutch) speaking area of Belgium, and if you compare a map from 1914-18 with a modern one, you will notice a lot of differences in the spelling: e.g. Ypres is now IEPER. This can cause some confusion, and you should remember that all road signs once you are in the Ypres area will be in Flemish, not French.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many places to stay in and around Ypres (now Ieper). A full list of them can be obtained from the excellent Ypres tourist office, whose address is:
Ieper Tourist Office
Some others I will mention are:
BED & BREAKFASTS
VARLET FARM: Run by the charming Charlotte Cardoen-Descamps and her family, this B&B is located in their farm on the Passchendaele battlefield. Varlet Farm was part of the German defences in October 1917 and attacked and captured by the Royal Naval Division. Seven en-suite rooms are available - from 45 € per night including breakfast. English spoken - very well! For further details contact:
Charlotte & Dirk
TEL/FAX: 0032 51 77 78 59
THE RUM JAR BED AND BREAKFAST: Bed and Breakfast run by ex-pat Peter Morris. Only recently opened, The Rum Jar offers 2 double en-suite rooms and 1 twin en-suite room. Prices include either continental or English breakfast. The Rum Jar is located about 350 meters from the town square and is directly opposite the Common Wealth War Graves Commission Ypres Office.
0032 (0) 473 77 88 06
CHERRY BLOSSOM B&B: Jon and Liz Millward offer a warm British welcome at their family run Bed & Breakfast situated at Brandhoek, Vlamertinge - just off the N8/N38 towards Poperinge. Close to where Noel Chavasse VC & Bar is buried.
0032 (0)57 301555
Mobile: 0032 (0)472 347694
APPARTMENT TO RENT IN YPRES: Located in the main square, almost opposite the Cloth Hall, this appartment is fully modernised with all facilities including: Fully equipped kitchen with microwave, ceramic stove, oven, dishwasher and refrigerator, Living room with television, stereo, large sitting and dining area, Large south-facing sunny terrace with outdoor furniture, 2 bathrooms with shower, 2 lavatories (one on the upper and one on the ground floor). The upper floor consists of 3 bedrooms: every bedroom has 4 beds. Prices are from €350 for a week and €200 for a weekend.
To book contact the De keersmaecker Family in Ypres: (0032) 57208956 / (0032) 475938085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAUL'S PLACE: GITE NEAR ZONNEBEKE: Located in a wooded area near Ypres this is a fully equipped Gite with two bedrooms. Full details on the website.
HORTENSIA, YPRES: centrally located B&B in Ypres with six rooms. English
Contact: B&B Hortensia, André Parys, Rijselsestraat 196, 8900
CAMPING - YPRES
Large camp site with excellent facilities, close to the town and only five minutes walk from the Menin Gate. For further details and bookings contact:
Leopold III Laan 16
Tel - 0032 57 21 72 82
Fax - 0032 57 21 61 21
CAMPING - KEMMEL
Large camp site close to Kemmel village. It has its own shop and bar, and a children's swimming pool open in the summer months. The main site is open all year round, and is ideally situated for touring the Ypres Salient battlefields. For prices and further information contact:
8956 Kemmel - Heuvelland
Tel: 0032 57 44 46 31
Fax: 0032 57 44 48 81
HOOGE CRATER: Excellent museum and cafe,
serving drinks and lunches. Open
every day (except Mondays) from 10.00-18.00. There is a small entrance fee for
the museum. Groups must book in advance, especially for lunches. Good toilets.
Also here on this site.
HILL 60 TEAROOM: New venture opened directly
opposite the famous Hill 60 site. Clean and friendly; does food and drink, with
good, clean toilets. Open every day, with the Tearoom area open 14.00 - 18.00
TALBOT HOUSE - POPERINGE
It is not often realised that this magical place, founded by Rev. P.B. 'Tubby' Clayton in 1915 and a veritable oasis out of the front line for British troops during the Great War, actually has its own accommodation for the use of battlefield visitors. In total there are 21 rooms, 15 in the main building and 6 in the Garden House. All beds are single beds, and bedding is provided. No rooms are en-suite, however there are showers on all the main floors of the house and in the Garden House. Talbot House is totally self-catering - including breakfast. It has a large and well equipped kitchen - and you are expected to do your own washing up! Nearby are several bakers, and some excellent restaurants.
For full details of accommodation contact:
Talbot House - Poperinge
TEL: 0032 57 33 32 28 FAX: 0032 57 33 21 83
HILL 62 TRENCH MUSEUM
The last of the original Trench Museums, this one
opened in 1919. For information see this page
on the main site.
Contact: Hill 62, Canadalaan 26, B-8900 Zillebeke-Ieper, Belgium.
Tel: 0032 57 46 63 73
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
Your first stop on any visit to the Ypres Salient should be the In Flanders Fields Museum, located in the magnificent building of the old Cloth Hall. This modern museum only opened a few years ago, and aims to tell the story of the fighting around Ypres using a mixture of original exhibits and photographs, and modern technology - such as CD ROM stations. There is bookshop which sells maps of the area, and some books in English, along with the usual postcards and souvenirs.
MEMORIAL MUSEUM PASSCHENDAELE, ZONNEBEKE
Excellent new museum, with recreated WW1 dugout and small bookshop, following the fighting in the Zonnebeke - Passchendaele area and very much focused on the events in 1917. Highly recommended.
Some useful books about the Ypres Salient include:
Walking The Salient
- Paul Reed (Pen & Sword 1999, new edition 2013)
The Ypres Salient Then & Now - John Giles (After The Battle)
Before Endeavours Fade - Rose Coombes (After The Battle)
They Called It Passchendaele - Lyn MacDonald (Various editions)
See also the page of Ypres Books on the main site.
MAPS OF YPRES
There are a whole series of detailed maps of the area available in the In Flanders Fields Museum shop and some of the book shops in Ypres. These are the Belgian IGN series: the Ypres battlefields are on sheets 20 and 28. The new series of 1/20,000 sheets are the most detailed, and can be used in conjunction with original trench maps of the same scale. Maps can also be ordered via the IGN web site at:
The French Green series IGN Map 1/100,000 No 2 'Lille-Dunkerque' also covers this area and is suitable if you just intend driving the Salient. The Michelin 'Yellow' series No 51 covers this area of the battlefield, and the CWGC version with all the cemeteries marked on it is very useful. You can find it on sale at the CWGC officers in Ypres and the In Flanders Fields museum.
Major & Mrs Holt also produce a useful map of the Ypres Battlefields, showing all the cemeteries and memorials. This can be obtain from their website at: Major & Mrs Holts Battlefield Guide Books and Maps.
Guy Smith and Jerry Whitehead have also produced a new Trench Map/GPS system which has revolutionised visiting the battlefields. See their website for more details: Great War Digitial.
©Paul Reed 2001-2012
Page Last Updated: 27/02/2013