Flanders Fields is a region located in western Belgium that holds a significant place in the history of World War I. This area witnessed some of the most brutal and devastating battles during the war, and today, it serves as a memorial for the fallen soldiers and a symbol of peace. If you are a history buff, or simply looking to pay your respects, this guide will help you plan your visit to Flanders Fields.
Flanders Fields is located in the provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders in Belgium. The region encompasses several towns and villages, including Ypres, Poperinge, and Passchendaele, among others.
How to visit Flanders fields
The most convenient way to visit Flanders fields is by car. Visitors from the UK can choose between the channel tunnel or a ferry crossing to France. Once you arrive in France, it’s only a one hour drive to Flanders Fields.
Visitors who don’t have their own means of transportation can take a train to Ypres instead.
Best things to see and do at Flanders Fields
- Menin Gate Memorial
The Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres is a must-visit for anyone visiting Flanders Fields. The memorial honors the soldiers who lost their lives in the Ypres Salient battles and whose graves are unknown. The Last Post ceremony, held every evening at 8 pm, is a moving tribute to the fallen soldiers.
- Tyne Cot Cemetery
Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world and is a testament to the sacrifices made by the soldiers during World War I. The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 11,000 soldiers, most of whom died during the Battle of Passchendaele.
- In Flanders Fields Museum
The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres offers an in-depth look into the events that took place during World War I. The museum showcases interactive exhibitions and displays that bring the war to life.
- Passchendaele Museum
Located in Zonnebeke, the Passchendaele Museum offers an immersive experience that brings the events of the Battle of Passchendaele to life. The museum features interactive exhibitions, dioramas, and audio-visual displays that provide a comprehensive overview of the battle.
- Ypres Cloth Hall
The Ypres Cloth Hall, also known as the ‘Lakenhalle’, is a magnificent building in the center of Ypres that dates back to the 13th century. The hall was severely damaged during the war, but has since been restored and serves as a museum that chronicles the town’s history.
- Hill 60
Hill 60 was the site of intense fighting during the war and is now a preserved battlefield site. A visit to Hill 60 offers a unique perspective on the war and the impact it had on the region.
- Trenches of Death
Located in Diksmuide, the Trenches of Death are a preserved section of the battlefield that provides a glimpse into the daily life of soldiers during World War I. The site features a trench system and underground bunkers, offering a hands-on experience for visitors.
- Bellewaerde Park
For a fun day out, head to Bellewaerde Park. This theme park features thrilling rides, animal shows, and attractions that showcase the region’s culture and history. The park also features an Aquapark with several waterslides, play-fountains, sauna’s and jacuzzi’s.
Conclusion Flanders Fields is a region that holds a significant place in world history and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the events of World War I. From memorials and museums to preserved battlefield sites, there is something for everyone in this region. Whether you choose to drive, take the train or fly, visiting Flanders Fields is an experience you will never forget. We hope this guide has inspired you to visit and experience its rich history for yourself.