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WWI History school trips to the Battlefields Region (Northern France & Belgium)

Our established WWI Battlefields programme, covering Ypres Salient and the Somme, enables your students to learn from a wealth of important historical sites and excursions, and help them understand the impact and the lessons left behind. Following the events of 1917, a tour to the Ypres area concentrates on the period from the beginning of The Messines Offensive in June, to the end of The Passchendaele Offensive in November. Other events within The Salient are also studied. On the Somme, a tour will follow the events of the 1st July in considerable detail.

Below, you'll find an example of one of our most popular itinerary choices, but we can tailor-make yours from scratch to meet your exact requirements...

WWI Battlefields - 4 day suggested itinerary package

Contact NST for a tailor-made quotation.

 MorningAfternoonEvening
Day 1Morning flight from IrelandGuided tour of Vimy Ridge & the tunnelsLocal orientation
Day 2Lochnager Crater & Delville WoodThiepval Memorial & Visitors Centre, Ulster Tower, Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont Hamel & Serre Pals MemorialKaraoke
Day 3Croonaert Wood, Spanbroekmolen Crater & Sanctuary WoodGuided tour of Ypres including Tyne Cot British Cemetery & Langemark German CemeteryLast Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
Day 4Passchendaele Memorial MuseumFree time in Ypres for shoppingReturn flight to Ireland

Our most popular visits in the WWI Battlefields region for History school trips

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Here are some of our most popular visits in the WWI Battlefields region for History groups. We can tailor-make an itinerary to your exact needs. Call us to create your itinerary from scratch today.

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Ypres Salient

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In Flanders Fields Exhibition
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This superb state-of-the-art, interactive museum covers most aspects of the war in Flanders, and shows the war through the eyes of soldiers, nurses, refugees and children. An educational pack and study resources are available.

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Sanctuary Wood Museum & Hill 62
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This fascinating visit shows well-preserved, original British trenches. The museum consists of two rooms housing artefacts and photographs from World War I.

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Hill 60 & Caterpillar Crater
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The remains of two of the mines blown at the beginning of the Battle of Messines lie here. The preserved battlefield around the Hill 60 crater bears witness to the ferocity of the fighting around this vantage point, which changed hands on several occasions.

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The Lettenberg Bunkers
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These excellently restored British dugouts near Kemmel give a vivid insight into the scale of the war underground.

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Passchendaele Memorial Museum
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The memory of the 1917 battle is kept alive in the museum through images and movies, historical artefacts and several life-like-dioramas. Students can also follow in the footsteps of the 40th Australian Battalion on 4th October 1917 in an interactive visit which can include a battlefield walk in full uniform, an authentic

Below, you'll find some of our most popular accommodation options for school groups.

This is just a sample of our full range, so for full details of all properties available, please call to speak to one of our Tour Advisors today.

ChateauChâteau d'Ebblinghem

Specifically renovated to provide a superb standard of accommodation, NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem offers unrivalled facilities for school and youth groups.

Château d'Ebblinghem

Château d’Ebblinghem is NST’s very own 19th century French country house set in a rural location 8km east of St Omer on the Opal Coast in north west France, and just 45 minutes from the Channel ports.

Address

St Omer, Opal Coast

Local Rating

Capacity

La Gareyne, Le Manoir and L’Auberge, three separate accommodation buildings, each accommodating large groups of between 43-58 guests. Our fourth building La Caserne accommodates a maximum of 84 persons, including pupils and staff and depending on your group size you may share the accommodation building with another school group.

Location Information

NST’s château is located in St Omer on the Opal Coast, just 45 minutes from Calais and Ypres, 55 minutes from the Eurotunnel terminal, 60 minutes from Boulogne and 90 minutes from Le Touquet.

Hotel Image Strip

Purpose-Built Accommodation

There are four separate buildings at the château. Each building is designed to accommodate student and teacher rooms together with dedicated teacher areas too.

Bedrooms

All bedrooms in all 4 buildings are bright, modern and clean, and feature a private shower, toilet and washbasin.
Le Manoir has 1 room with 6 single beds, 2 rooms with 5 single beds, 9 rooms with 4 beds (2 bunks) and 3 rooms with 2 single beds.
La Gareyne and L’Auberge both have 13 rooms with 4 beds (2 bunks) and 3 rooms with 2 single beds.
La Caserne has 18 rooms with 4 beds (2 bunks) and 6 rooms with 2 single beds.

Your Group’s Safety & Security

The secluded location of the château, the fact that each group’s bedrooms are housed together, and that the complex is only open to NST groups, will no doubt be a major reassurance to teachers and parents. In addition, a member of our staff is always on duty overnight.

Meals

Meals at NST’s château provide a nutritious balanced diet which is carefully planned to restore the energy expended during the day’s activities. Breakfast and evening meals are provided on-site and packed lunches are supplied daily. We can be flexible regarding meal times to suit your itinerary, and most special dietary requirements are easily managed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your group members’ specific needs.

Personal Service

During your stay at NST’s château, you will be allocated your own personal group co-ordinator – known as a ‘groupie’ – to provide full-time assistance throughout your tour.  Your groupie will:

  • Be based at the château
  • Assist you on arrival to ensure a smooth check-in
  • Discuss all your itinerary arrangements with you, including on-site and off-site activities
  • Travel with you to all your visits to assist with directions and organisation
  • Organise and be present at all your on-site activities
  • Be available to assist with any questions or issues

Recreational Facilities

Your group will have its own dedicated room for recreational activities, and access to the communal games room.
Facilities include:

  • Four hectares of private grounds
  • Two football pitches (one floodlit)
  • Volleyball area and outdoor activities (during summer months)
  • A separate dedicated building housing a games room, teachers’ bar and the château shop

Organised Evening Activities

Our staff will arrange a programme of activities for your group such as talent shows, games shows, quizzes, team challenges, initiative exercises, discos, etc. During summer months, outdoor activities will also be added to your evening programme.

If you would like to add in some study time too, a dedicated room – complete with TV, DVD player and white board – will be available.

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Tempelhof

A traditional building that has been completely renovated and converted into a small but efficiently arranged guest house. The ground floor dining room which is used for the group’s breakfast and dinner, can also be utilised as a recreation and meeting room. It also doubles up as a Bistro during the day which is open to the public up to approximately 6pm. Should the Bistro be booked for a private evening function, meals would be taken in a local restaurant close by. During this time, communal areas are not available during private functions.

Tempelhof

This guesthouse is centrally located in Ypres. Whilst the rooms are compact, groups of over 30 can be assured sole-use of the property. Coaches are able to drop off passengers directly outside the property.

Address

Tempelstraat 6
8900 Ypres
Belgium

Local Rating

Guest house

Capacity

50 guests in 11 rooms over 4 floors.

Location Information

The hotel is located in the heart of Ypres, a 2 minute walk to the main square, the Grote Markt and 800 metres from the Menin Gate. For groups of over 30 persons, exclusive use of the hotel is guaranteed.

Hotel Image Strip

 Accommodation Facilities

  • Breakfast room
  • Meeting/recreation room
  • TV & DVD player with USB connection
  • Internet access, free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Disabled facilities: This hotel is not suited to guests using wheelchairs.

 Student Rooms

  • 3-8 bedded rooms
  • En-suite facilities

Staff Rooms

  • Twins/singles
  • En-suite facilities
  • TV

Safety Guidance

There is no 24-hour permanent staff on-site but there is a telephone contact for night time emergency. The owner will conduct a verbal safety brief on arrival and written instructions in English will be given to the group leader.

Group leaders are advised to consider this in their risk assessments/group management plan and ensure appropriate control measures are put in place.

Security Deposit

A security deposit of €20 per person is payable on arrival. This is to be paid in cash. The amount is refundable at the end of your stay provided there has been no damage to the areas occupied by the group. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend all group leaders undertake an inspection of all rooms with the hotelier.

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Ypres Lodge

This is a low rise modern hotel that has been purpose-built for school groups. Whilst forming part of the Flanders Lodge hotel, it is an adjacent separate unit sharing the same management team. Group Leaders can use the bar facilities at the Flanders Lodge.

Ypres Lodge

This modern accommodation has been purpose-built for school groups. Its location provides good access to the surrounding area and is within easy reach of the centre of Ypres and offers very good value for money and is highly recommended.

Address

A. Dehemlaan 19
8900 Ypres
Belgium

Local Rating

Purpose built youth hotel, equivalent to British 2* standard.

Capacity

Ypres Lodge can accommodate approximately 190 guests in 2 blocks over two floors (including ground floor).

Location Information

The hotel is located in a commercial zone on the outskirts of Ypres, approximately 1-mile from the town centre. There are good road connections. Ypres is a bustling, picturesque town located in Flemish-speaking Flanders. The town was the setting for some of the worst fighting of the Great War and today serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives.

Hotel Image Strip

 Accommodation Facilities

  • Dining/games room – suitable for meetings and evening entertainment
  • Bar
  • Conference facilities for up to 100 persons (available for hire and ideal for music groups, pre-bookable)
  • Free karaoke facility (pre-bookable)
  • Table football and ping pong (on arrival, each school party will receive a box with ping pong balls, pallets, pool balls and cues. There will be a deposit of €50 per group which will be returned on departure if all in tact)
  • CCTV cameras
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Coach parking available
  • Outdoor area at the rear of the hotel for groups to play ball games
  • Disabled facilities: This property has no specific facilities or adapted rooms for disabled clients

Student Rooms

  • Multi bedded rooms – 4 to 6 persons or triples with the use of bunk beds
  • En-suite with a shower and toilet
  • TV
  • Towels are not provided

Staff Rooms

  • Twin-bedded rooms
  • En-suite with a shower and toilet
  • TV
  • Towels are not provided
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Hotel Oude Abdij

An attractive, traditional hotel building retaining many of its original features. The hotel is set in its own grounds in a tranquil location about 300 metres from the centre of Lo and next to the Old Abbey.

Hotel Oude Abdij

A comfortable, atmospheric hotel offering an ideal location for excursions to the Battlefields. The owner, who lives on-site, is extremely hospitable and experienced in accommodating groups of young people. She also speaks excellent English. Feedback from groups is consistently very positive and many return year after year.

Address

Noordstraat 3
B-8647 LO-RENINGE
Belgium

Local Rating

3 star hotel

Capacity

187 guests over 3 to 4 floors, either in the main building or in the adjacent annexe.

Location Information

The hotel is situated close to the centre of the small picturesque town of Lo, which is approximately one-hour’s drive from Calais and 25 minutes’ drive from Ypres.

Hotel Image Strip

Accommodation Facilities

  • Reception
  • Two spacious dining areas
  • Two separate bar areas
  • Games area including table tennis, pool table and table football
  • Projector & large screen suitable for showing DVDs
  • Large garden/patio
  • TV/video
  • Karaoke facility
  • Lift
  • Private parking
  • Disabled facilities: This property has no specific facilities or adapted rooms for disabled clients.

 Student Rooms

  • 2-6 bedded rooms plus1 large 8 bedded room
  • En-suite facilities
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Hairdryer

 Staff Rooms

  • Twins/singles
  • En-suite facilities
  • TV
  • Telephone
  • Hairdryer

 Safety Guidance

The hotel conforms to all local standards, which does not require lifts to have internal doors or windows to have restricted opening. Group leaders are advised to consider this in their risk assessments/group management plan and ensure appropriate control measures are put in place.

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Messines Peace Village

A modern low rise purpose built hostel. The accommodation is composed of 4 accommodation blocks, each of which can accommodate up to 32 persons in 8 x 4-bedded rooms. Staff are accommodated in twins in line with our booking conditions. The main block houses the reception, new bar and games room, dining room and several meeting rooms.

Messines Peace Village

A recent purpose built youth hostel offering spacious and practical accommodation in an historical location 15 minutes from Ypres. The hostel would be a good base for music groups.

Address

Nieuwkerkestraat 9A
B-8957 Mesen
Belgium

Local Rating

Hostel

Capacity

160 beds over 40 rooms

Location Information

The hostel is located in the town of Messines set in its own grounds, behind the Messines Ridge WWI cemetery and 9kms south of Ypres. In the Battle of Messines of 7th June 1917, Allied forces overwhelmed German defences by exploding 1,000,000 lb worth of mines under German lines. Nowadays Messines is a peaceful town set between the hills and pastures. Messines has several monuments remembering and honouring the brave souls who lost their lives in this dreadful war. The Island of Ireland Peace Park and Flanders Peace Field are just two of them. The hostel offers an educational torch walk which focus on reflection and remembrance. The tour takes 2.5 km (90 minutes) and visits most of the local memorials. Nearby Ypres is a bustling, picturesque town located in Flemish-speaking Flanders. The town was the setting for some of the worst fighting of the Great War and today serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives.

Accommodation Facilities

  • Reception
  • Bar and games room
  • 2 large outside terraces
  • Dining room
  • 4 meeting rooms (must be pre-booked)
  • Spacious grounds
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • The centre can also arrange quiz nights, karaoke at a cost of 40€ – must be booked in advance
  • Disabled facilities: 8 rooms are fully equipped for disabled clients with a walk-in shower, the hostel is also fully accessible to disabled guests

 Student Rooms

  • 4 bedded rooms (bunk beds)
  • En suite facilities
  • Towels are not provided

 Staff Rooms

  • Twin bedded rooms
  • En suite facilities
  • Towels are not provided
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NST Guide Lecturers 

An increasing number of schools book a Guided Study Tour each year due to the recommendation of NST's customers. Why not add an NST Guide Lecturer to your tour package.

Your Guide Lecturer will:

  • Be selected from a specialist team to meet your exact visit requirements
  • Be a highly experienced and knowledgeable educationalist
  • Have a long and proven track record of delivering excellent results
  • Have an understanding of the needs of students and information delivery
  • Understand the pressures and requirements of Group Leaders

Benefits of NST Guide Lecturers:

  • A Strong Teaching Background - All of our guides are ex-teachers with specific History expertise. Their educational background and detailed knowledge of the current curriculum will help them meet your specific needs. As former teachers they also understand the demands and requirements of organising educational visits.
  • Helping You to Prepare Your Ideal Itinerary - Our guides will contact you before your tour to discuss your learning objectives. They will then advise on the appropriate visits to build an itinerary that matches your specified objectives and enables your group to get the most out of every day.
  • More Time for One-to-One Teaching - With an NST Guide Lecturer leading the group, you gain the opportunity to provide individual tuition and enjoy the visits with your students.
  • First Evening Talk - Your Guide Lecturer will provide an informal discussion on your first evening, setting the scene for the next few days. Helping students focus on the days to come and covering many general questions up front, this talk will allow more time for specific questions at each site.

WWI Guided Study Tours

Personalise your tour to the WWI Battlefields by following in the footsteps of your local battalion or visit the grave of a relative. By taking a guided study tour with NST, you can discuss this option in advance enabling your Guide Lecturer to build this into your itinerary. If you are looking for something different…

  • Our Guide Lecturers' knowledge of the WWI Battlefi eld areas is endless. We can take you off the beaten track to discover lesser known sites which will enable you to cover a wider perspective of WWI. Fewer people may be at these sites, offering you more space in situ for teaching and discussion.
  • Our Guide Lecturers can cover topics which are lesser studied but still of great value and interest, such as the early stages of WWI or 1918.
  • Empire History - Our guides will be happy to suggest amendments to your itinerary, either in terms of sites visited or themes studied, in order to make the tour as relevant as possible for schools studying British Imperial History.

Our team of guides include:

  • Jeff Garner - Programme Co-ordinator - A Cambridge graduate, Jeff has extensive experience in both museum work and secondary education. In this 24th season as Programme Co-ordinator, Jeff works with your Tour Consultant to allocate the ideal guide for each group and oversees tour arrangements. Jeff is responsible for guide training and involved in product development and this year has developed two new areas for History tours: Berlin: The Cold War and the Fall of Communism, and London History.
  • Alan Reed - Growing up near Arras, Alan's interest in World War Battlefields started at an early age as the son of a War Graves Commission family. Alan combines a huge knowledge of the Battlefi eld area with a detailed understanding of both the history and culture of the region. He is a published author of ‘Meet at Dawn, Unarmed', a book on the Christmas Truce of 1914.
  • Robert Watson - An experienced retired secondary school teacher, Robert combines his extensive guiding experience and excellent knowledge with a keen understanding of how to relate this to all groups
  • Tom Morgan - Former teacher Tom is an experienced Battlefields guide, with his own well respected WWI website. As well as being a published author, Tom has also made a television documentary on the Battle of the Somme.
  • Greg Davey - An experienced History and English teacher with over 13 years of teaching experience, Greg has also tutored for the Open University. Greg has written E-Learning courses covering the origins of WWI and runs a business which provides Living History materials to schools.
  • Peter Crook - With a career as Head of History and Associate Advisor for History with a Local Education Authority, Peter has been guiding tours to the WWI Battlefields for his own and other schools since 1982 and is a published author.

Free Study Packs

In order to save you preparation time and ensure you and your students get the most from your tour, NST have worked with educationalists to provide downloadable resources to use before, during and after your tour.

Click here to view a sample of our WWI Resource Pack for groups visiting the Battlefields region.