Flanders Fields in 48 hours - accessible tour
This tour gives you the opportunity to make the most of your 48 hour visit to Flanders Fields and focuses on places with high levels of accessibility. Start your journey at the In Flanders Fields Museum, located in Ypres' imposing Cloth Hall. Visit Hill 62, military cemeteries, the Menin Gate, Talbot House and other points of interest.
Grote Markt 34, Ieper
The entirely renovated In Flanders Fields Museum tells the story of the Great War in the battlefield area of West-Flanders. The museum is accessible with assistance. On the steep, metal slope, help may be needed. An adapted toilet is available. The cafeteria is accessible, and some tables are suitable for wheelchairs.
After lunch we leave Ypres and head over to Essex Farm cemetery. In May 1915, the Canadian doctor Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote his world famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ here. The site is accessible with help and extra effort. The pathways in cobble stones may cause problems.
During the First World War a small school was located near this cemetery. The French troops used this school as a medical post. Soldiers who died were buried in the adjacent garden. The garden grew into a real cemetery, but many graves were destroyed during the war. This cemetery is the largest French cemetery in Belgium. About 4,200 French soldiers are buried here, of which 616 were interred in a mass grave. The cemetery is accessible with help. The access pathway in cobble stones is at some points in a bad condition.
Hill 62 is a hill in the neighbourhood of Ypres. ‘62’ indicates that hill 62 is 62 metres above sea level. Hill 62 or Höhe 62 passed into German hands in 1916 but was re-taken by Canadian troops who suffered great losses during this conquest. The site is accessible with help. The alternative entrance for wheelchair users via the service entrance is not clearly indicated. The paths consist of even grass.
We head back to Ypres for a meal and to attend the Last Post under the Menin Gate. The Menin gate in the shape of a Roman triumphal arch bears the names of 54,896 missing Commonwealth soldiers from the then British Empire. Since 1928,apart from during WW2, the Last Post has been sounded here every evening at precisely 8 o’clock to commemorate the fallen soldiers. The Menin Gate is only partially wheelchair accessible and the panels on which you can read the names are only accessible by stairs. The path that leads to the alternative route to the panels at the top of the Menin Gate is not wheelchair accessible. However, the main hall, where you can attend the playing of the Last Post every day, is wheelchair accessible. At the top of the Menin Gate, blind and visually impaired people can touch the model, which is an exact replica of the monument.
Gasthuisstraat 43, Poperinge
This British soldiers club from WW I opened its doors to the public in 1931. The chapel in the attic, the beautiful garden and plenty of memorabilia breathe the atmosphere of WW I. Since 2004, the Concert Hall accommodates a permanent exhibition about daily life at the frontline of Ypres. The museum is accessible with help and extra effort. You might need help to open the rather heavy door at the entrance. The exposition on the ground floor is accessible for wheelchairs. You can reach the Concert Hall at the first floor by a lift, but there’s a steep climb on your way to it. The adapted toilets are too small for wheelchair users to use comfortably. The exposition layout in the garden, the ’Slessorium’ and Talbot House itself are not wheelchair accessible.
Shooting spot & condemned cells
Stadhuis, Guido Gezellestraat 1, Poperinge