The open countryside, towns and cities that make up the historic site of Flanders Fields can be explored in many ways; by bicycle, car, scooter, boat, or simply on foot. Whichever way you want to travel, our selection of self-guided First World War itineraries will be sure to inspire your own journey to learn about First World War history in Flanders.
The cycling network guarantees over 620 miles (1,000 km) of cycling pursuits. Cyclists can plan their preferred route in advance, using the network maps to select the junction numbers. In the Flanders Fields Country there are two networks available, one for the north and another for the south of the region. Maps can be ordered from Ypres Tourist Information Centre. You can also use the app Route You that offers several routes uploaded by cyclists or the biking route planner (mostly in Dutch).
To better explore the region, 10 First World War cycling trails have been developed and the route maps can be brought online. Try The Legacy which explores sites of the Battle of Passchendaele.
Take The Peace Route for an introduction to the Ypres Salient. Starting In Ypres, visit First World War locations, cycling through the countryside and past the cemeteries of Tyne Cot, Langemark and Essex Farm.
Explore the brand new beer routes and cycle along the hopfields and explore the world’s best beers and breweries.
Bikes can also be hired locally. Read more.
Or you can book on to a cycling tour:
For a full list of tour operators across Flanders click here.
Car, campervan or motorbike
Discover First World War heritage in the Westhoek region of Flanders Fields by car, campervan (motor home) or motorbike with three First World War themed driving routes. Life at the Front explores the front area between Poperinge, Heuvelland and surroundings.
Taking your campervan or packing a tent? Take a look at the sites offering facilities for campervans and camping across Flanders Fields, close to the WWI themed trails.
For a unique experience, you can even ride a scooter around the various sites in Flanders Fields. Feel the wind, smell the air and cruise along the magnificent Flemish countryside in style. Find out about scooter hire in Flanders Fields.
If you’re looking for a special way to tour Flanders Fields, a relaxing trip on the water is the perfect option. Follow a 100 mile (163 km) route along historic monuments and buildings with this Cruising route. Book a self-guided cruising holiday on a luxury Linssen motor boat with BBoat without the need for a skipper’s licence, or follow Le Boat’s Peace Cruise itinerary.
For those who want to sit back and relax while exploring, take a half day river cruise with Seastar between Nieuwpoort and Diksmuide; passing the Yser Tower (Museum on the Yser) and the Trench of Death (the last remaining Belgian First World War trench system).
Flanders Fields can be just as easily enjoyed on foot. Start at one of the three entry points of the Ypres Salient and walk along these historical landscapes. Discover the Passchendaele battlefields by following one of the four walking routes which take you along various sites in Zonnebeke, or the Mines & Craters trail, following the Battle of Messines.
During World War 1 ‘De Palingbeek' (Entry Point South) was located on the frontline, in the centre of the Ypres Salient. The highest peak was called ‘The Bluff' and nowadays the area is a great place for walking. If you would like to join a guided tour for a day, there are a range of tours to choose from or book your own personal guide. Here’s a selection.
The Western Front Way is a new long-distance walking and cycling route for peace, wellbeing and remembrance. Along with European partners and supporters, the WFW is connecting and marking a 1000km walking and cycling route that echoes the line of No-Man’s Land along the Western Front. The route is the biggest single commemorative project underway on the globe and represents a forward-looking approach to cooperation, collaboration and education to safeguard peace for the future.
The Belgian section in Flanders Fields is now complete, with over 450 plaques in place on 100km of the walking route, and 35 larger plaques on local points of interest. Another 60km will see an eastern branch off the main route taking in the Commonwealth War Graves Tyne Cot Cemetery and Langemark German War Cemetery.