The First World War is rightly considered to be one of the most important and high-profile topics in British, European and international history. Fought as ‘the war to end all wars’, the conflict was the product of tensions which had been building up for decades between Europe’s expansionist imperial powers and ushered in a new era of technological warfare for which neither side was fully prepared. For those pupils studying World War I it can be very difficult to imagine or conceptualise the logistics of this broad and complex conflict. That is why we at Schools Into Europe passionately believe that the true nature of the Great War is most easily understood on the Battlefields upon which it was fought.

Focused on the town of Ypres (or ‘Wipers’) in the Ypres Salient in Belgium and the towns of Albert and Péronne in the Somme region of France, our school battlefields tour and day trip programmes include an extensive array of excursions designed to explore the various aspects of the war, its causes and its consequences. From interactive multimedia based museums, to more traditional museums, and, of course, the trenches, cemeteries and monuments, the battlefields of the Ypres Salient and the Somme are the ideal destination for history school trips and a natural complement to pupils’ classroom based studies. We will tailor-make your school tour to engage with your exact learning requirements, and will help you to choose the excursions which are most relevant to your scheme of work and historiographical focus. We can also, if requested, organise for your party to visit the sites of battles fought by local regiments and arrange for the group to visit particular cemeteries and graves, if you so wish.

Why not contact us today to discuss your exact requirements with us?

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for Belgium and France, including information on security and local laws in addition to passport and visa requirements, please click here for Belgium or here for France.


The Last Post Ceremony

This evocative and poignant ceremony takes place every evening under the Menin Gate, with the ‘Last Post’ performed by buglers from the local fire brigade. Surrounded by the names of those fallen soldiers for whom there is no known grave, this moving ceremony instils listeners with a sombre awe and is an essential component of any tour to Ypres. Schools can also lay a wreath if they wish to, by prior arrangement. Please click here to visit their website.

Guided Tour of the Ypres Salient

This guided tour, led by one of our expert guides, will engage with your exact learning objectives and is highly recommended. Normally including a number of the key monuments and cemeteries, such as Essex Farm, Tyne Cot, Langemark and Passchendaele, this tour can include also more theme-specific visits, such as Hedd Wyn’s grave and the new Welsh memorial at Langemark for Welsh groups. This tour can also be tailor-made for those groups studying the rich poetry of the First World War, including Wilfred Owen and John McCrae.  Visits to cemeteries with the graves of specific soldiers can be arranged should this be desired.

In Flanders Fields Museum

Situated in the central square of Ypres in the reconstructed historic Cloth Hall, this hugely influential museum has recently been extensively refurbished to make full use of the latest multimedia technology. Long regarded as the focal-point of battlefield studies in Ypres, this museum is one of the best of its kind in the world and is an integral component of our battlefields tours. Please click here to visit their website.

Hill 62 – Sanctuary Wood Museum

This scene of bitter battles between German and Canadian forces is now an informal museum housing an incredible collection of First World War artefacts, including pictures, shells and shoes! Your pupils can also walk in the original trenches, but make sure you bring your wellies!

Of course, the above excursions are only a sample. We will tailor-make your tour to engage with your exact learning requirements, and our information packs contain details of our extensive excursion package. Why not contact us now to request more information?


Guided Tour of the Somme

This guided tour will be tailor-made to suit your needs and will normally last for either two or three hours. It would normally include visits to the Thiepval Monument, the Lochnagar Crater and the Irish Tower, but can also include more locally important monuments, such as the Welsh Dragon memorial at Mametz Wood for Welsh school groups. This tour is an essential part of any school trip to the Somme and is highly recommended.

Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge

The Canadian National Memorial at Vimy and surrounding park is open all year round and includes a small but fascinating Historical Interpretive Centre, staffed by extremely knowledgeable Canadian nationals. During the summer months it is also possible to book an English-speaking guide to help bring the surrounding trench systems to life and to take school groups into the underground tunnels.

Newfoundland Park in Beaumont Hamel

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme the Newfoundland Regiment attacked the German forces at Beaumont Hamel and suffered appalling losses. After the war the land was purchased by the Canadian government and the trenches maintained as a memorial to those who died. Students can walk in the original trenches (bring your wellies!) and see the layout of the battlefield and the famous caribou memorial statue. We would thoroughly recommend booking one of the Canadian volunteer guides to get the most out of this fascinating and moving visit.

Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne

Located inside an ancient fortification, this museum uses a mixture of multimedia and more traditional displays to explore various aspects of the First World War and guides visitors through the various stages and theatres in which the war was fought. This museum is very popular with our school groups and is widely considered to be one of the best museums on the First World War. Please click here to visit their website.

Musée Somme 1916

This underground museum brings to life the realities of trench warfare through a series of recreated scenes and displays, along with a large collection of weaponry and other memorabilia, and is conveniently located in the heart of Albert. Please click here to visit their website.

Of course, the above excursions are only a sample. We will tailor-make your tour to engage with your exact learning requirements, and our information packs contain details of our extensive excursion package. Why not contact us now to request more information?


The Menin Gate Schools Hotel Group in Ypres and Albert

These school hotels, located in the heart of Ypres and Albert in easy walking distance of some of the major monuments and museums, are very popular with our groups. Designed with the needs of school groups in mind, these hotels have a mixture of room sizes, each with private facilities, and twin and single rooms for teachers are nearby to enable easy supervision. The Menin Gate and The Poppies can offer sole occupancy to single coach parties of between 35 and 71 guests, whilst The Salient is designed to accommodate larger groups of up to 100 people. The Poppies d’Albert has 186 beds divided over three floors and groups of at least 45 guests will have sole occupancy of an entire floor, making supervision easy.

De Lork

This friendly centre is located near the village of Kemmel in a pleasant rural environment only 10km from Ypres, and is ideal after a busy day exploring the battlefields. The centre is specially designed to accommodate school groups and you are guaranteed a warm welcome. Accommodating up to 150 guests in 2-4 bedded rooms, with staff in twin or single rooms, the majority of rooms have private facilities and 4 are specially adapted for disabled guests. To keep your students entertained in the evening there are seven meeting rooms which can be reserved for study or group activities and plenty of green space for outdoor games. There is also an indoor games room with ping pong table, a selection of audiovisual material and indoor football and volleyball facilities.


This unique family-run hotel in historic Langemark is ideally situated for exploring the Ypres Salient, and is the perfect base for a battlefields tour. Long a focal-point in the community, the hotel has a mix of room sizes, each with private facilities, and has indoor games rooms, basketball courts and table-tennis tables on-site. This hotel has recently been extensively refurbished and offers a very high standard of accommodation for school groups.