Passchendaele – The Heart of Flanders Fields
Note – Suitable for groups of 20+ people
Timings – A minimum of 7 hours excluding visit to Ypres, 10.5 hours with visit to Ypres including Last Post Ceremony
Summary – This full day itinerary explores the tragedy of Passchendaele in WW1 contrasting the region with today’s peaceful landscape and local experiences within community. The itinerary includes a private garden remembrance ceremony, walk in the battlefields, traditional Flemish lunch, local beer and cheese tasting and time to explore Ypres.
Private Remembrance Ceremony
Private Remembrance Ceremony at the Passchendaele Memorial Gardens outside the Memorial Museum 1917. The ceremony consists of up to four live interactive stations involving local community participation at selected gardens, for example;
- Australian Memorial Garden
A local mother reads out a selection of letters by Fanny Seabrook, who lost three sons in Flanders Fields within one day. She highlights the pain felt by families back home and emphasises the significance of the group having the opportunity to visit graves and memorials (something that she couldn’t do a century ago).
- New Zealand GardenT
The group is greeted by the sound of a Putatara, a large shell, which signals the arrival of guests to the spirits of the departed.
- German Garden
The guide explains the German approach to remembrance and various German symbolism.
A recording of a German remembrance song is played.
- Belgian Garden
The guide explains the significance to the flora in the Belgian garden. Anecdotes are provided on the iron harvest, still inflicting the community today.
A private memorial service will be conducted ending with a bugler sounding of the Last Post or a piper playing a lament. A wreath will be laid.
Poelkapelle Tank Experience
Visitors have a very special and unique opportunity to see a restored WW1 tank in operation and take a closer look once it comes to a standstill. (The tank experience will take place on the adjacent field next to the Memorial Gardens).
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Visitors can immerse themselves in the history of WW1 in this renowned interactive museum which includes an underground Dugout Experience.
Climb the 40-metre-high belltower made recently accessible to visitors, enjoy a 360◦ view over the former battlefields.
The Battlefields – including Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Cemetery
The landscape still tells the story and, in some parts, bears the scars of the horror of war, more than 100 years ago. Through historic photographs and detailed personal accounts, learn how the battle unfolded. A visit is also included to Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot, the largest of Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the world.
Traditional Flemish Lunch
There are a variety of nearby atmospheric luncheon venues available catering well for groups.
Beer and Cheese Tasting
Hosted by a local beer sommelier, visitors will enjoy a tasty trip through the Flemish beer and cheese landscape, with four local beers and matching cheese at the Passchendaele Old Cheese Factory. This is a fun experience with lots of local anecdotes included!
Visit to Ypres (including Last Post Ceremony)
Visitors will have the opportunity to wander and explore the beautiful restored medieval town of Ypres, with the option to attend the moving Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate.
*Note all components are optional and interchangeable
Bookings and Enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org (price starts at 65 EUR /pp.)