sites near Somme & Ypres WW1 trip

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by monty the motorhome, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. monty the motorhome

    monty the motorhome Read Only Funster

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    Looking at visiting the area around the WW1 battlefields of the Somme & Ypres next year.

    Any recommendations or avoidances much appreciated.

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  2. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    We stayed at the aire at Ypres, nice and walkable from town

    we prebooked, as we went new year time, and the aire only is open not the campsite part.

    We booked a tour of the battlefields with the guy in town who was excellent.

    I will try and dig out paperwork if you need to know anymore.

    Pat
    below are the websites for where we stopped and the tour i arranged for the boys

    you can also do some tours I think from Brugge although a little further, which is a lovely place to stay, there is a aire in town, prebookable, and a campsite a bit of a walk outside, I liked staying at ypres because you can do the menin gate evening call which is really moving. Then move on to Brugge for some nice sightseeing and beer drinking, or chocolate tasting or both. Hope that helps


    http://www.jeugdstadion.be/E/index.php

    http://www.salienttours.be/
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
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  3. Bailey58

    Bailey58 Funster Life Member

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    That's on out to do list too so bookmarked this thread. :france:
     
  4. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    ther is a place to park up right next to the canal and then just over the bridge to town we love iper ad such nice friendly community and sum grate food around the square :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  5. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Don't know any campsites, we only use aires and there is a nice one at Arques ( Rue Michelet, off D210, its next to a few fishing lakes)
    We used it when we visited the Canadian Memorial at Vimy. Make sure you don't miss that, its spectacular and very moving.
    This is a view from the rear on the approach path

    [​IMG]

    Allan
     
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  6. brynric

    brynric Funster

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    In ypres we stay at Jeungdstadion(?) it's convenient and easy ... Once you're through the gate.
    On the Somme many years ago we stayed at a farm near Auchon Villers (?) it's just up the road from Beaumont Hammel and an easy visit to Newfundland park. The site was run by an English historian who had quite a collection of bits. But as I said, that was probably 12 years ago, I'm not sure if it's still there.
     
  7. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    We stayed here in the summer plenty room then , free and quiet under trees, going to the Xmas market next week , hope to park there next Saturday , you go up to the menin gate from the square , follow the one way around it then turn right down the side of the canal , no through road and parking either side:BigGrin:
     
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  8. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Also Paul, (Monty) if the camp site that Pat links to is closed, and the Aire is full, as well as the parking slots that Bill refers to, the Leisure Centre on Leopold 111 Laan, will let you overnight on their coach park area, if you go in and ask nicely.

    The following photographs were taken further down the same street, towards the Menin Gate. BTW, those parking areas have since been revamped, so length may now be an issue for street parking.

    HTH,

    Jock.
     

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  9. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    Hi, you can do most of the best sights on the Somme in a couple of days as they are only a few miles apart. We've done the Somme many times over the past 20 years but only went up to Ypres for the Menin Gate ceremony, then back down.

    There are plenty of campsites, but when we wanted to stop off in the area on our way home last November, we only found one Aire: Doullens. It was
    Ok but a bit noisy, opposite a bus stop!

    If you are looking for recommendations on what to see, I'd suggest the following:

    Newfoundland Park near Beaumont Hamel, and whilst you are there, take the short walk to the crater at Hawthorne Ridge, form which you can see the sunken road cemetery and the long line of front line cemeteries running all the way up Redan ridge towards Serre. Some of the very small ones on the ridge are hardly ever visited and all the more atmospheric for that.

    The Historial museum in Peronne is well worth a visit. On the way back towards Albert you will pass the Devonshire's trench cemetery and that too is worth a look. The poet WN Hodgson is buried there.

    Lochnagar crater on the Albert-Bapaume road is worth visiting as is the museum underneath the townhall in Albert itself. You can park your motorhome in the large carpark behind the railway station.

    And you should definitely visit the Thiepval memorial and the nearby Ulster Tower.

    The whole area is beautiful nowadays and it is hard to imagine how it was one hundred years ago. :thumb:
     
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  10. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    On the way from Calais to Ypres you will see signs for Blockhouse, it's not far out of your way and really worth a look if you have not seen it before, a massive concrete structure where the Germans were going to build and launch the v2 until the British bombed it and it is still as it was when it was bombed you can go inside and all around.
     
  11. micky drip

    micky drip Read Only Funster

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    If you fancy a break from WW sites the Monks brewery at Westvleteren is worth a visit. They allowed us to stay overnight in the car park after our brewery tour and sampling session.


    www.sintsixtus.be/eng/brouwerij.htm‎l
     
  12. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    We were in the area doing the WWI sites just over a month ago.

    As others have said, Camping Jeugstadion at Ypres is spot on. If the office is shut you have to park outside the barrier, then you check in using an automated console next to the office which will issue you with a pass to raise the barrier. You must have your booking reference number handy, so book in advance.

    We spent three hours in the Flanders Field Museum in the Ypres Cloth Hall - one of the best we've seen on any subject. The nightly 8pm ceremony at the Menin Gate is worth attending. We also visited Tyne Cot cemetery near Passchendaele, which is the world's biggest Commonwealth cemetery, and a very sobering experience. Nearby at Zonnebeke is the Passchendaele 1917 Memorial Centre which has a unique reconstruction of deep dugouts amongst other things, including trenches. We also visited the Vimy Ridge Memorial site where they've preserved the cratered battlefield landscape (Moonscape?) around most of the area. Be mindful that the whole WWI thing is a bit intense and can be quite depressing - I know it's not supposed to be joyful or anything, but it's a bit full on. You might want to think about having a break from it.

    I think chaser's V2 site (mentioned above) is called 'La Coupole' and it's at Helfaut, just off the A26, and we dropped in there on the way back to Calais. Unique and well worth a visit, especially as it covers life (and death) in the slave labour camp at Dora-Mittelbau where thousands died to make the V1 and V2. More people died making them than were killed by their use - Wernher Von Braun doesn't come out of it very well at all.

    Belgian Beer recommendation - Trappist Rochefort No 10, available in the small Carrefour behind the Cloth Hall in Ypres. They've been brewing it since 1595 and it's like drinking a Sunday dinner. Definitely puts the pist in Trappist.
     
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  13. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Micky,

    Your link didn't work for me. Is that what you wanted us to see? The Brewery

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  14. HymerB544

    HymerB544 Funster

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    LA Couple and the Blockhouse are different places but both worth seeing. Blockhouse is a huge concrete structure where they launched V2s. Our lot tried to bomb the hell out of it and whilst it is lopsided it is, amazingly, still pretty much intact.
    LA Couple is more interesting as this huge concrete dome houses an exhibition center, and was, as far as I can remember, a V1 construction and launch site.:thumb:
     
  15. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Please note that the Aire at Arques is only open when the Camping Municipal on the same site is open. It closes on 30 Sept on the dot but not certain what date it opens!
     
  16. pandj

    pandj Funster Life Member

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    There is a war museum under the church at Albert which is very interesting as well.
    P&J
     
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  17. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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    We were in the Picardy region in 2011 and it was in the Amiens tourist information office that we first became interested in WW1. We learned a lot on that trip. It was an astonishing experience and one that we will never forget.

    The Somme Museum is located in the centre of the town of Albert. Albert saw a lot of fighting during World War I, where huge parts of the town was destroyed. Most of this museum is located in the World War I tunnels under the town.

    The Circuit of Remembrance is a route touring the Somme battlefields in France. It’s a forty mile route and starts from either the town of Albert or that of Peronne, winding through numerous battle sites, memorials and museums. It was so sad to see all the gravestones of those brave young men, some only 18 years old. What they went through was horrendous and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

    The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is a major war memorial to 72,000 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme and who have no known grave.

    Verdun has both a memorial site and a museum. The Battle of Verdun was the largest single battle ever fought in history and it resulted in excess of three-quarters of a million casualties – such a wicked waste of life. The Verdun Memorial is set amidst the site of this battle and the surrounding landscape bears the scars of the war, including mine and shell craters. The Memorial Museum immerses the visitor in the realities of the battle and uses multimedia presentations to guide visitors through the events of the war.

    We are so fortunate that we are of a generation that has not known a world war. Until we made that trip two years ago I don't think we really appreciated the sacrifices that were made which have enabled us to live such privileged lives.
     
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  18. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    You were exceptionally lucky if you got a brewery tour! The brewery at St Sixtus is off-limits to non-monks, with all the commercial stuff taking place at the In de Vrede cafe and information centre over the road. I used to get crates of the beer from the monastery itself, but since an American beer website declared the '12' to be 'the best beer in the world' demand has increased to insane levels, forcing the monks to introduce a rationing system that works against foreign purchasers. Good to know you can overnight there though.
     
  19. Enjoy_Yourself

    Enjoy_Yourself Read Only Funster

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    Jeugstadion is good and very close to Menin Gate, Cloth Hall etc. The aire is even closer, right opposite Vauban defences. Good cycle routes from Ypres around all the battlefields. Hill 20 is worth the trip.

    If you are driving between Ypres and the Somme stop off at Arras and go down into the caverns where troops were billeted before Battle of Arras. Square is even grander than Ypres with even more beers!
     
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  20. kglblue

    kglblue Funster

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    Jeugdstadion a municiple campsite 10 minutes walk from Ypres town centre, it cost 12 euro a night for our Motorhome. The staff were really helpful, and you get free wifi.:Smile:
     
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