History School trips to Ypres, The Somme, Messines & Passchendaele (4 Days)

After the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans turned their attention to capturing the Channel ports. The so-called "race to the sea" culminated in the hard-fought first battle of Ypres in which the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) successfully resisted the numerically-superior German forces. As winter approached, both sides dug in. Trench warfare now came to dominate the battlefield & the Ypres Salient was born. 

As the stalemate continued into 1916, the Allies planned a major offensive on the Somme.  The Pals' Battalions of Kitchener's New Army suffered almost 60,000 casualties on the first day.  In Britain, controversy still surrounds Haig's conduct of the battle.  Across No Man's Land, the Somme came to be seen as "the muddy grave of the German Army".

Haig's Offensive of 1917 was the most notorious of the battles fought in Flanders.  The successful clearance of Messines Ridge was the prelude to a battle which became an attritional struggle.  For many, Passchendaele or "Third Ypres" became a byword for seemingly futile sacrifice. More recent studies point to tactical developments & innovations & the effect it had on the German war machine. The debate continues....

Our battlefield tours can be tailored to cover your students' specific learning objectives.

Add a visit to a Christmas Market to your battlefield tour if you are travelling in late November or December.        Click here for details

Download our free First World War Word Puzzle.

 

Itinerary

 

Day One:  Outward Journey

  Tyne Cot at the going down of the sun
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

  • School pick-up (06.00 hours approx) & travel to Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
  • Full-board accommodation
  • Three nights in the Ypres area
 
 
 

Day Two:  Ypres, 1914-16

 
  • Gheluvelt & Hooge
  • Langemark German Cemetery
  • Pilckem Ridge Gas Attack
  • Ypres: Cloth Hall
  • Essex Farm Cemetery & Dug-outs
  • Passchendaele Museum: Trenches & Dug-out Experience
  • The Menin Road & Hellfire Corner
  • Last Post at the Menin Gate at 20.00 hours
  • Return to accommodation

 

 

 

Tyne Cot Memorial Panels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Three:  The Somme, 1916

 
  • Serre:  Accrington Pals' Trench
  • Newfoundland Park
  • Ulster Tower
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Ovillers & "Mash" Valley
  • Lochnagar Crater
  • Mansel Copse & Devonshire Trench
  • Return to accommodation
 
 
 
 

Day Four:  Messines & Passchendaele, 1917

 
  • Messines Ridge & Spanbroekmolen Crater
  • Dochy Farm
  • Passchendaele Ridge
  • Tyne Cot & Flanders I Line Bunkers
  • Return travel to school with evening drop-off
 
 
 
 

Some alternatives you may want to visit instead......

 
  • Ypres:  Sanctuary Wood Trenches & Hill 62 • In Flanders Fields Museum • Talbot House & Death Cell at Poperinghe • Bayernwald German Trenches • Hill 60
  • The Somme:  Montauban • Danzig Alley • Mametz Welsh Memorial • Pozières & Mouquet Farm • Delville Wood • Musée des Abris, Albert
  • Please advise us of any other locations you would like to visit
 
 
 
 
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Video

 

 

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Curriculum

 

Outward Journey / Pre-Tour

      Serre Accrington Pals Trench
 
  • The Alliance System 
  • Causes of WWI
  • Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
  • "Race to the Sea"
  • The Channel Ports
  • Significance of Ypres
 
 

Ypres, 1914-16

     
  • The First Battle of Ypres
  • The High Ground at Ypres
  • Air Power in WWI
  • The BEF in 1914
  • Stalemate in 1914-16
  • Territorials
 
  • Gas Warfare
  • Experience of Trench Warfare
  • Medics & Casualty Evacuation
 

The Somme, 1916

   
  • Verdun & the Somme
  • The Pals' Battalions
  • Trench Warfare & Tactics
  • The German Defences
  • Haig's Generalship
  • The Machine-Gun
  • Artillery on the Somme
  • Mine Warfare, 1916
  • New Weapons: Tanks
  • Lessons of the Somme
  • Significance of the Somme
  • The Continuing Debate
 
 

Messines & Passchendaele, 1917

   
  • Mine Warfare at Messines
  • "Bite & Hold"
  • Air Power in 1917
  • Attrition: Haig's Offensive
  • Significance of Passchendaele
  • Conscription
  • Artillery: Creeping Barrage
  • Infantry: Platoon Tactics
 
  • The Machine-Gun
  • "Learning Curve" Debate
  • Impact of Industrial Warfare
 

Return Journey / Post-Tour

     
  • Collapse of Tsarist Russia
  • America's Entry into the War
  • The Ludendorff Offensive
  • 1918:  Advance to Victory
  • Germany's Defeat
 
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Resources

 

Study Materials Relevant to Your GCSE/National Curriculum KS3
  Pool Of Peace Spanbroekmolen opt
 
 
 
 
 

Our study materials are designed by teachers with GCSE examining experience.  You will receive a copy of both our student study packs & teachers' notes, free of charge. 

 
  • You can use our study materials exclusively or use your own study materials if you prefer.
  • You can also use a combination of both your own & our materials.
 
  • The A4 monochrome format keeps reproduction costs down.
  • Loose-leaf task & information sheets offer greater flexibility of use.
 
 

The Student Pack Includes

  The Teacher Pack Additionally Includes  
  • Factual detail on each location visited as well as background information about the war 
  • Maps, illustrations & a time line of events
  • Eye-witness accounts
  • Tasks, activities & discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited
 
 
  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
  • A curriculum matrix linking each location to assessments objectives
  • Differentiated mark schemes for written tasks
 

Integrate with Your Scheme of Work

  Study Materials:  Skills & Concepts  
  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
  • Study materials on Ludendorff Offensive are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
 
  • Knowledge, recall & comprehension 
  • Historical concepts
  • Understanding, analysis & evaluation of evidence
 
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Guides

 

Our Guides

   

  Hooge Trenches - Ypres Battlefield Tours

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

We believe a study tour is an educational experience best delivered by people with a knowledge and understanding of the educational system & culture. You can discuss learning aims & objectives with your guide so that the tour meets your requirements.

 
  • Our guides are former teachers, excellent communicators & have examining experience.
  • They have organised tours themselves so understand the demands placed on accompanying staff.
  • They have an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge & ideas & engaging with young minds.
 

 

Steve Clarke, BA (Hons), PGCE

   

 

Steve is a former Head of Humanities & prior to retiring was an Assistant Head. Steve joined Galina in 2010, having led school groups as a client for a number of years. His experience includes battlefield tours to the Western Front, RS tours to the Netherlands & a range of UK tours.

Steve has 30 years' teaching experience in secondary schools in Hull.

"As always, Steve, our guide, tailored the tour to suit our needs & adapted his information & stops to meet our requests. Excellent – we have always been very satisfied with the service provided.”  Merchant Taylors' Girls School, Liverpool

  Steve Clarke  

 

Selected & Trained by Galina 

 
  • We have our own training programme to ensure consistently high standards.
  • Our guides up-to-date with current examination specifications & amendments to Key Stage 3.
  • All guides are DBS-checked.
 
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Accommodation

 

Accommodation

    Pax Hotel Dixmuide
 
 

The accommodation we use regularly is audited following guidelines laid down by the School Travel Forum and incorporated into our Safety Management System.

 
 
4* Pax Hotel, Dixmuide
   

The Pax is a five-minute walk from the town centre & twenty minutes from Ypres by coach. It is a family-owned hotel which is part of the Best Western group. Evening meals are taken in the de Vrede Hotel in the Grote Markt of Diksmuide which is also owned by the same family. 

 
 
 Pax Dixmuide Bedroom Pax Dixmuide Breakfast Room
 
Pax Dixmuide Bar 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 100 students & staff in 37 bedrooms on 4 floors (access via lift/stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Multi-bedded rooms
  • Breakfast room
  • Meeting room
  • Games room/computer area
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar & lounge area
  • Coach parking
 
         

The Menin Gate, Ypres

    Menin Gate Hotel
 
 
Request a quotation
 
 

 
 

The Menin Gate Hotel is situated opposite the Menin Gate & Ypres Ramparts and just a short walk away from the Grote Market in the centre of town. Evening meals are taken in one of several restaurants in the main square.  The Menin Gate Hotel is part of a group of hotels owned by the same company that also includes the Salient & Poppies Hotels.  All are maintained to the same high standard. 

 
 
Menin Gate Student Bed Room
 
Menin Gate Dining Room Menin Gate Staff Lounge  

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 55 students & staff in 11 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Large TV & free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking nearby
 
         

The Poppies, Albert

    Poppies Albert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Poppies Albert is situated 5 minutes' walk away from the Albert Basilica in the town centre.  Evening meals are taken in a restaurant also near the town centre. Each floor in the hotel can take a group.  An access code is required to open the main door to each floor from the outside so groups can be kept securely separate.  The hotel is ideally placed for schools visiting the Somme battlefield.

 
 
Poppies Albert Student Bedroom
 
Poppies Albert Dining Room Poppies Albert Games Room  

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 186 students & staff in 48 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking
 
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Gallery

 

      
  Ypres, Somme, Messines
 
&
 
Passchendaele
     
     
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Testimonials

 

Colonel Frank Seely School, Nottingham

"Excellent service yet again. The service your company offers is tremendous. I look forward to booking yet another Battlefields tour next year."

 

Reigate Grammar School, Surrey

"Itinerary was excellent, the coach drivers made the trip a great success. Many thanks to all at Galina who worked on this for us."

 

The Crossley Heath School, Halifax

"Having recently led a battlefield tour using Galina International, we were very pleased with the standard of the coach.  Your driver, Gary, was excellent; he really did make our tour run like clockwork. I really cannot praise his efforts enough and hope to have the privilege of his skills and company on our next tour."

 

Southbank International School, Westminster, London

"Guide, Bruce, was great! Very adaptable and with a wealth of knowledge."

  Queens CWGC Somme
 
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