Ten First World War Sites to Visit on The Western Front

Planning to take your class on a History school trip to the First World War Battlefields of Flanders? You might consider visiting some of these locations. For further details, visit http://www.schooltours.co.uk/ypres-messines-passchendaele.html.


1. Gheluvelt: The Gheluvelt Plateau was an area of high ground to the south-east of Ypres. The charge of the 2nd Worcesters at a crucial stage of the First battle of Ypres in 1914 prevented the Germans breaking through and gave the BEF enough respite to stabilise its defensive line.


2. Langemark German Cemetery: The Kameradengrab (mass grave) and the Alter Friedhof (old cemetery) hold the remains of more than 44,000 German soldiers. The casualties of the Student Battalions who encountered the professionals of the British Expeditionary Force during the First battle of Ypres are commemorated in an alcove by the entrance. 


3. Pilckem Ridge: Pilckem was the scene of the first German Gas Attack in April 1915 during the opening phase of the Second battle of Ypres. A Memorial to the French and Algerian troops who died here marks this place. The Germans failed to press home their advantage before the breach was filled by the Canadians.


4. Essex Farm: During the Second battle of Ypres, the Canadian army surgeon John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields” here in 1915. The site of an Advanced Dressing Station, the surgeons’ dug-outs, protected by the canal bank, can still be seen. The second youngest British casualty of the war, Private Strudwick is buried here. Private Barratt VC is also buried at Essex Farm.


5. The Menin Road and Hellfire Corner: The Menin Road was one of the main approaches for troops going up to the front. “Hellfire Corner” was so-called because, as a major junction, it was one of the most frequently-shelled places on Earth. A Demarcation Stone near the modern roundabout marks the high-watermark of the German advance in 1918.


6. Memorial Museum Passchendaele (MMP 1917): This museum has interpretative displays, an audio-visual presentation of the battle of Passchendaele, recreated British and German trenches and a ‘dug-out experience’ offering a glimpse into life underground. The displays relating to gas warfare show the evolution the methods of delivery from gas cylinders to gas shells as well as the development of gas masks as a counter-measure.


7. The Menin Gate: Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield, the Menin Gate commemorates 55,000 Missing of the Ypres Salient. Inaugurated in 1927, it was the first Memorial to the Missing completed by the (then) Imperial War Graves Commission. The Last Post is sounded every evening at 20.00 hours in a ceremony commemorating the fallen of the Salient.


8. Dochy Farm: Dochy Farm, offers an excellent view of Passchendaele Ridge and the ground crossed by ANZAC troops on 4th October 1917. The present-day farms have been rebuilt on the site of the original buildings which were heavily fortified by the Germans.


9. Passchendaele Ridge and Tyne Cot Cemetery: Tyne Cot stands on the forward slope of Passchendaele Ridge where the Germans sited their Flanders I Line. There are nearly 12,000 graves; nearly two-thirds unknown. The names of 35,000 missing are recorded on the panels at the rear. A Visitor Centre offers excellent views towards Ypres and across the Passchendaele battlefield.


10. Messines Ridge and Spanbroekmolen: Spanbroekmolen was the site of the largest of the Messines mines. On the 7th June 1917, nineteen mines were detonated in rapid succession under the German front line, blowing the ridge apart. The whole sequence lasted little more than thirty seconds.

  ypres tyne cot
  Reconstructed Trench

ypres menin gate

essex farm cemetery

messines spanbroekmolen

Langemark German Cemetery




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  • Statement from ABTA & STF


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    We are dedicated to bringing you the latest news and updates regarding travel. 

    Please find below a joint statement from the STF and ABTA as of March 13th 2020. Our current understanding of the situation regarding school trips is as follows:

    • The government has advised schools that they should not undertake international school trips at this stage. This is due to concerns that the schools would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate. Schools will decide how to act upon this advice. If schools do cancel their trips, normal cancellation terms will apply.
    • Schools should contact either their own general insurers or the Department for Education as they may have some financial cover in place for this scenario. This is one of the areas we are seeking clarity on urgently, so we will update again as soon as we have more info.
    • The Government is not advising schools to stop trips within the UK so schools can proceed as planned if they wish. The Government is advising schools to refresh their risk assessments.Customers wanting to cancel must do so at their own cost, normal cancellation charges apply.


    Written on Friday, 13 March 2020 15:35
  • Brexit FAQ's

    Last edited 30.01.2020


    We now know that the UK will leave the EU at 23h00 (GMT) on 31 January 2020. Following Brexit we will enter a transition period which will run, at least, until the end of December 2020. During the transition period everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now.

    We will continue to monitor the information provided by travel industry experts, organisations like ABTA and the UK Government and pick out what we believe is relevant for you.


    Common questions about travel after 31 January 2020


    Will flights still operate?

    Yes. During the transition period, everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. 


    Will my coach journey still operate?

    Coaches will still be able to travel to, from and around EU countries as usual. 


    Will trains from the UK to the EU still operate?

    Trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as usual. 


    Will we have to show our passports at each border?

    We do advise you keep passports handy when travelling throughout Europe, as you may be required to prove your right to travel at border crossings or security checkpoints.

    You can always check on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.


    Will I need a new passport?

    Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip. 

    If you are looking to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021, you will need your passport to both:

    • have at least 6 months left
    • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

    If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    If you would like to know more take a look at the latest Government advice.


    Will I still be able to use a collective passport?

    Whilst the position as to the validity of collective passports for travel to the EU has not changed, if you are able to arrange for each traveller to have an individual passport which has the requisite validity, this may help to forestall any issues which might arise.


    Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

    No. UK travellers will not need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. 


    European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance

    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

    ABTA has always advised when travelling to the EU and beyond, that it is important you take out travel insurance. Our tour price includes comprehensive travel insurance as standard. So, unless you advise us that your school or college has its own travel insurance and you wish to decline our insurance, you will automatically have insurance cover with us.

    For more information on our insurance go to:

    Galina Insurance Policy

    Further advice on travel insurance can be found at https://www.abta.com/travelinsurance


    Will my tour price change?

    If you have an existing booking with Next Generation Travel group brand:

    We have placed forward contracts for foreign currency so fluctuations in the exchange rate are highly unlikely to affect the price of your tour.

    Please note however that, if there is a change in legislation that will affect your overall tour price and which is out of our control, eg visa costs, surcharges, this cost would be passed on to you.

    As is always our policy at Next Generation Travel we will do our best to do the right thing to work with you to ensure your trip would continue.


    If you have not yet booked your tour:

    Due to our forward buying policy for foreign currency, we will work with you to ensure there is no or a low impact on pricing. The travel industry is reporting that the sensible advice is to book now to secure your booking on current currency rates.


    What is the law on price changes?

    If there are increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services post Brexit, the law says that package holiday providers, like Next Generation Travel, are permitted to increase their prices. However, we are pleased to confirm that there would be no change within 20 days of your departure and we would cover the first 2% of any price increase. In the unlikely circumstances that prices were to increase by more than 2% you may be asked to pay an additional fee however where the price increase is 10% or higher, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges.


    Will overall prices go up in the future?

    Tour prices in the future will always be open to normal market and economic fluctuations such as currency and service prices. Our foreign currency forward buying policy means we always look to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuationsHowever, overall tour prices may in the future be affected by changes in legislation such as visa costs, surcharges etc. or increased cost in services such as flights or ferry crossings.

    At Next Generation Travel our experienced staff will always provide you with a tour price which is based either on the actual current rates for your service or estimated rates which are based on our extensive knowledge of the travel and industry. We will always communicate any price changes as they are given to us and have an open and honest pricing policy, which will ensure you should have no surprises later on.

    Data roaming

    Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK and this will continue after 31 January 2020. 


    Brexit Advice for Travellers
    Passport Office
    Check A Passport – to see if your passport is valid for your destination
    Passport Office FAQs
    Industry Articles
    What Does Brexit Mean for Travellers
    How Will Brexit Affect Your Holiday


    Written on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 14:44
  • Brexit – Update January 2020
    Written on Friday, 20 September 2019 15:29
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