History School trips to Ypres & Dunkirk (4 Days)

Epitomised by the stalemate of the trenches, the fighting around Ypres gave rise to both great sacrifice and controversy. The most notorious of the battles fought here was that of Passchendaele or "Third Ypres" in 1917. For many, it became a byword for seemingly futile loss of life and the horrors of modern industrialised warfare. More recent studies point to tactical developments and technological innovations as well as the cumulative effect the fighting had on the German war machine. The debate continues.

A generation later, the faith placed in the strength of the Maginot Line and the defensive tactics of World War One proved no match for the mobility and concentrated firepower that characterised the Blitzkrieg of 1940.  The British Expeditionary Force and the French found themselves fighting a rearguard action to hold the Panzers at bay. The British launched Operation Dynamo to withdraw the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force and what remained of the French Army to safety across the Channel using the port of Dunkirk as the main point of evacuation. Co-ordinated by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, the operation far exceeded expectations. The Royal Navy and the "little ships" of civilian volunteers eventually rescued 338,000 Allied troops from the beaches and the East Mole in what became known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk".

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




Day One:  Outward Journey

  Vancouver Corner Brooding Soldier





  • 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

  • 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




British Destroyer Sinking








Day Three:  From Attrition at Passchendaele to Blitzkrieg at Dunkirk

  • Dochy Farm
  • Passchendaele Ridge 
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Creton Farm
  • Norfolk Cemetery
  • Mont Cassel
  • Beaches at Bray Dunes
  • Bedford House Cemetery
  • Return to accommodation

Day Four:  Dunkirk

  • Dunkirk Memorial Museum
  • The East Mole
  • Dunkirk Town Cemetery
  • Memorial to the Missing
  • Return travel to school with evening drop-off

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

  • Sanctuary Wood Trenches & Hill 62 • In Flanders Fields Museum • Talbot House & the Death Cell at Poperinghe • Bayernwald German Trenches • Hill 60
  • Please advise us of any other locations you would like to visit
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  Ypres & Dunkirk
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Ypres & Dunkirk


       Main Themes

  Tea up
Trench Revetting
  • From the end of mobility to the stalemate of the  trenches in 1915-16
  • The war of attrition
  • The development of new tactics & technology
  • The controversies surrounding Passchendaele
  • Development of the tank & the Blitzkrieg of 1940
  • Bertram Ramsay & Operation Dynamo
  • The significance of Dunkirk














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Outward Journey / Pre-Tour

      Dunkirk Town Cemetery
  • The Alliance System 
  • Causes of WWI
  • Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
  • "Race to the Sea"
  • The Channel Ports
  • Significance of Ypres

Ypres & Passchendaele

  • The High Ground at Ypres
  • Air Power in WWI
  • The BEF in 1914
  • Stalemate in 1915-16
  • Experience of Trench Warfare
  • Territorials & Gas Warfare
  • Medics & Casualty Evacuation
  • Attrition:  Haig's Offensive
  • Significance of Passchendaele
  • Infantry: Platoon Tactics
  • Artillery:  Creeping Barrage
  • The Machine-Gun
  • "Learning Curve" Debate
  • Impact of Industrial Warfare


  • The Role of the BEF in 1940
  • The Dyle Plan
  • The Phoney War
  • Opposing Forces
  • Blitzkrieg Tactics
  • SS Panzer Divisions
  • Mechanised Infantry
  • Stuka Dive-Bombers
  • British Rearguard Actions
  • Le Paradis Massacre
  • Dunkirk Perimeter
  • Operation Dynamo
Return Journey / Post-Tour
  • Defeat of France
  • The Threat of Invasion
  • Dunkirk & the RAF
  • Fighter Command
  • Churchill's Leadership
  • The Home Front
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Study Materials Relevant to Your GCSE/National Curriculum KS3
   British Helmet

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

  • use our study materials exclusively
  • use your own study materials
  • use a combination of your own & our materials
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 main events
  • Eye-witness accounts - both British & German
  • 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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Our Guides


TyneCot VisitorCentre







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.


Bruce Hubbard, BA (Hons), PGCE, DASE



Bruce was a Head of History & Humanities at Ainsdale High School, Sefton, Liverpool. He has worked for Galina since 2007 & was a school client for several years previously. His guide experience includes both History to the Western Front & RS tours to Amsterdam & Vught in the Netherlands. Bruce is a member of the Western Front Association & Great War Forum.

Bruce has more than 30 years' teaching experience & has been an examiner.

“Bruce, was fantastic. He was enthusiastic & helpful. He also spoke directly to the students enabling them to feel he was approachable. They listened & responded brilliantly to him.”

Woodcote High School, Coulsdon, Surrey

  Bruce Hubbard  


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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    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

Oostduinkerke Youth Hostel

Oostduinkerke Youth Hostel

Oostduinkerke Youth Hostel is situated on the Belgian coast between Koksijde & Nieuwpoort. There is a beach ten minutes walk from the hostel. The local area is also known for its nature reserve. This modern centre is conveniently located just twenty miles from Dunkirk & twenty-four miles from Ypres. There are twenty-three four-bedded rooms & three six-bedded rooms for students. There are also twelve twin rooms.

Oostduinkerk Student Bedroom
Oostduinkerke Dining Area Oostduinkerke Games Room  

Accommodation Factfile

  • Capacity for 134 students & staff in 38 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Disabled access
  • Restaurant & bar
  • Free WiFi
  • TV room & outdoor area
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • Coach parking
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North Leamington School, Leamington Spa

"Excellent, as always.  Very satisfied.  All the arrangements were well-organised."


St. Aloysius College, London

"Excellent service. Excellent – pupils really enjoyed the trip and learnt such a lot. They all want to go on another trip."


Lady Margaret School, Parsons Green, London

"Thank you for your help and efficiency."


Beaumont Leys School, Leicester

"The driver was very flexible, thoughtful and reliable – with an excellent rapport with the kids."

Essex Farm Dug Outs
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