.

Passchendaele and Ypres Salient Battlefields

Shortest Day - 40km / 25 miles
Longest Day - 45 km / 27 miles
Total: 5 days, 3 days' cycling; 142 km / 89 miles total.

What you can expect

The Ypres Salient was scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in World War One. Here we look in depth at the north and south sections of the salient, and the area behind the lines, to gain an insight into this fascinating area.

More detail

This tour is based in Ypres and we make daily round trip cycle rides from our comfortable family run hotel which is close to the Menin Gate and the Grote Markt. Ypres is a lovely town and it is hard to believe it was completely rebuilt following the war, during which it was obliterated. The Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate is an event not to be missed. It is a simple yet extremely moving event; so much so that everyone on our trips returns every night.

 

Day 1: Arrive Lille and transfer to Ypres.

Day 2: The Northern Salient. Our ride today includes many of the talismatic sites of the area, including Essex Farm and the dugouts where John McCrae served as a surgeon when he wrote his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'. We then pass the site of the first German gas attacks before visiting the Langemark cemetery where the flower of German youth was buried in 1914. Next is Tyne Cot, the scale of which is humbling and moving in equal measure, before passing ther Passchendaele Museum which is well worth a visit. Following this we continue to Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62) and then on to Hill 60, which with its commanding views over Ypres was bitterly fought over. Throughout the day we pass sites and memorials where troops from all over the world fought and died; Vancouver Corner and Polygon Wood, for example, plus a multitude of smaller memorials and cemeteries.

Day 3: The Southern Salient. Leaving Ypres by the pretty Lille Gate we ride past Bedford House cemetery and the Lankhof Farm bunkers to see the one of the largest of the 19 mine craters exploded in June 1917 as a prelude to the attack on Messines Ridge. We then continue to the village itself, a strategic high point held by the Germans until those mines preceded the successful attack. From the New Zealand memorial park a fine vista gives a good appreciation of the battlefield and topography; this is further enhanced by our next stop at the Island of Ireland Peace Park. Just down the hill under le Petit Douvre farm lies one of the two mines which did not go off. Continuing on we skirt round 'Plug Street' wood, seeing the site of one of the Christmas Truces of 1914, before circling north again via the Berkshire cemetery and Ploegsteert Memorial to return to Ypres via Wulvegem and Wijschajte and the Bayernwald site where a young Adolf Hitler was stationed.

Day 4: Behind the Lines. The areas behind the front lines played a vital role in the Great War and a visit to these areas gives a better understanding of how everything operated. We visit Poperinge, affectionately known as Pop to the Tommies, where the was could at least be part forgotten during brief periods of rest and relaxation. Toc H is the famous hostel here where all were welcomed regardless of rank. Also in Pop is the place where several men for whom the battle was too much were executed. Essential medical work also went on behind the lines with hospitals but the reality fo the war resulted in many men dying behind the front lines; a visit to Lijssenthoek cemetery is a vivid reminder that not everyone made it home even if they were rescued from the mire of the Flanders mud. Finally we visit Kemmelberg, a natural vantage point from where the whole of the region can be seen on a clear day.

Day 5: Depart and transfer to Lille.

NOTE: On this centre-based tour there is not a support vehicle as we ride with you on our daily excursions from Ypres around the Salient.

Transfers to / from Lille. Alternatively Ypres is easily accessible from Calais by car, being no more than 1 1/2 hours away.

Requested Single supplement: £195 (see our FAQ page)

You may also be interested in our Somme Weekend tour, Great War Battlefields Tour and our D-Day and Normandy Tour.

BOOK ONLINE NOW

or enquire about specific dates by clicking 'Booking Enquiry' below.

 

Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
26.04.18
Ends:
30.04.18
Rating:
Easy
Price:
£695

Travel Information

Start: Lille
Finish: Lille

Click here for our Travel Information page

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