The Long, Long Trail guide to Ypres

Whether you are a first time or an old hand at battlefield touring, Ypres is one of the best places you can possibly choose for the combination of access, accommodation, intensity of the historical monuments and other battlefield places of interest – and evening entertainment.

A scene from the battlefields of the Ypres salient. Signposts to memorials and cemeteries - and an unexploded artillery shell, casually awaiting removal for safe disposal by the Belgian Army.

A scene from the battlefields of the Ypres salient. Signposts to memorials and cemeteries – and an unexploded artillery shell, casually awaiting removal for safe disposal by the Belgian Army.

Basics

Ypres is in Belgium. Its modern name, in the Flemish language spoken in the area, is Ieper (that is with an “i” not an ”L”). It  is pronounced ee-per. Note that this is not a French speaking area. Most people in the area speak English well, many fluently.  The currency in use is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Getting to Ypres

By car from UK: Ypres is an easy 94 km (just over 1 hour) drive from Calais.

By car from airport: Ypres is 135 km (just over 1 hour 30 mins) drive from Brussels.

By rail: Ypres has a main railway station with frequent trains direct from Brussels.

See my guide On the way to Wipers! A battlefield tour before you get there

What is there to see?

The Ypres area is so full of places to go and things to see it is hard to know where to begin. “Must not be missed” sites include:

  • The Cloth Hall (town centre, incorprating the “In Flanders Fields” museum)
  • Menin Gate Memorial (town centre)
    • The “Last Post” is played here and wreaths laid every day at 8pm. Please note that the centenary has attracted many people to this event and you are advised to arrive early if you wish to obtain a good view of proceedings.
  • St George’s Memorial Church (town centre)
  • Lille Gate and adjacent Ramparts Cemetery (town centre)
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery, Memorial and Visitor Centre (Passendale)
  • Langemarck German Cemetery (Langemark)
  • Passchendaele Museum (Zonnebeke)
  • Hooge Crater Cemetery and Hooge Military Museum (Hooge)
  • Hill 60 and Caterpillar Crater (Zillebeke)
  • Essex Farm Cemetery, bunkers and memorials (Brielen)
  • Mine craters in the Messines-Wijtschaete area

Our suggested tour itineraries

Tourist essentials

  1. The main tourist office is situated in the Cloth Hall on the main square (Grote Markt) (town centre)
  2. Monday is closing day: most shops and facilities are closed, at least for the morning.
  3. Eating and drinking: there are many restaurants, bars and cafes in town, most grouped around the central square but also along the Rijselsestraat and other main routes into the square. The larger  villages around – notably Langemark, Zonnebeke and Passendale – have some too.
  4. Banks and ATMs (cash machines) : in Ieper and Zonnebeke, increasingly in the larger villages.
  5. Parking: main car parks are on Grote Markt and Leet (cathedral) (town centre) and there is a lot of on-street parking in Ypres but it is “pay and display” parking that must be paid in advance from slot machines. Free from 6pm to 8am. No problems parking at sites on the battlefields.
  6. Supermarkets: there is a small supermarket facing the cathedral and larger ones on the road out to Boesinge.
  7. Phoning: international dialling code to Belgium is 32. Numbers below are shown as they would be dialled from overseas. When calling in Belgium itself, drop the 32 and add a zero at the front of the number. Most hotel receptionists and guest house operators speak very good English.

Accommodation

When booking any accommodation, buyer beware. The Long, Long Trail can not be held responsible for the availability, price or performance of any of the accommodation listed here – obviously. It’s a good idea to check other customers comments at Tripadvisor or other accommodation review websites, before you book.

Ypres

The beautiful Grote Markt, the centre of Ieper, viewed from the Regina Hotel

There is a wide selection of accommodation in the town and surrounding  villages. Note, however, that accommodation is invariably  full for 11 November. Book early.

Hotels

Albion
Address: St Jacobsstraat 19, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 20 02 20
Website URL: www.albionhotel.be/
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre. Very limited own car parking
Alliance
Address: D’Hondtstraat 19, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 38 88 05
Website URL: www.alliancehotel.be/
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Ambrosia
Address: D’Hondtstraat 54, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 36 63 66
Website URL: www.ambrosiahotel.be
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Chris Baker says “When I stay in Ieper I usually choose the Ambrosia Hotel: a good quiet location just a few minutes walk from the Grote Markt; easy on street parking (free overnight); a good welcome and great breakfast; nicely furnished rooms – and all at a reasonable price”.
Ariane
Address: Slachthuisstraat 58, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 21 82 18
Fax: 32 57 21 87 99
Email: info@ariane.be
Website URL: www.ariane.be
Hotel. Car park. Situated in Ieper town centre
Best Western Flanders Lodge
Address: Albert Dehemlaanlaan 19, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 21 70 00
Fax: 32 57 21 94 74
Email: info@bestwestern.be
Website URL: www.bestwestern.be
Hotel formerly known as the “Rabbit”. Car park.  Ieper outskirts.
Hampshire Hotel O Ieper
Address: D’Hondtstraat 4, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 36 23 30
Website URL: http://www.hampshire-hotels.com/hotel/97/Hampshire_Hotel_O_-_Ieper.html
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Kasteelhof t’Hooge
Address: Meenseweg 481, 8902 Ieper
Tel: 32  57  46 87 87
Fax:  32 57  46 87 58
Email: kasteelhof.thooghe@belgacom.net
Website URL: www.hotelkasteelhofthooghe.be/
Hotel. Car park. Situated out of town on the main Ieper-Menen road, between the Hooge Museum and the Bellewaarde amusement park and opposite Hooge Crater cemetery
Main Street Hotel
Address: Rijselsestraat 136, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 46 96 33
Website URL: www.mainstreet-hotel.be/
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Fields
Address: Sint Jacobstraat 15, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 42 96 00
Email: H1372@accor.com
Website URL:www.accorhotels.com/accorhotels/fichehotel/gb/nov/3172/fiche_hotel.shtml
Hotel. Underground car park. Situated in Ieper town centre
Old Tom
Address: Grote Markt 8, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 20 15 41
Fax: 32 57 21 91 20
Email: info@oldtom.be
Website URL: www.oldtom.be/
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Regina
Address: Grote Markt 45, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 21 88 77
Fax: 32 57 21 90 20
Email: info@hotelregina.be
Website URL: www.hotelregina.be
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre, facing the Cloth Hall
Sultan
Address: Grote Markt 33, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 21 90 30
Fax: 32 57 21 95 37
Email: sultanyp@skynet.be
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre
Gasthof ‘t Zweerd
Address: Grote Markt 2, 8900 Ieper
Tel: 32 57 20 04 75
Fax: 32 57 21 78 96
Website URL: www.gasthof-tzweerd.be
Hotel. Situated in Ieper town centre

B&B / Guesthouses

Camalou B&B
Address: 351 Dikkebusseweg, 8908 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 20 43 42
Email: info@camalou.com
Website URL: www.camalou.com
Annette Linthout
In the village of Dikkebus
Cavells B&B
Address: 3 Minneplein, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 47 98 06 426
Email: info@cavells.be
Website URL: www.cavells.be
Roger and Muriel
In central Ieper
Cherry Blossom B&B
Address: Grote Branderstraat, Vlamertinge
Phone: 32 57 30 15 55
Email: liz@cherryblossom.be
Website URL: www.cherryblossom.be
Jon and Liz Millward
In the hamlet of Brandhoek near Vlamertinge
De Akkerwinde B&B
Address: Lange Dreve 12, 8980 Zonnebeke
Phone: 32 57 46 60 00
Website URL: www.deakkerwinde.be/en/index.asp
Patrick and Fanny
Alongside Polygon Wood
D’Hellekapelle B&B
Address:Dikkebusstraat 171, B8950 Loker
Phone: 32 57 20 24 83
Website URL: www.dhellekapelle.be
In the village of Loker (Locre). Also has self catering flats
De Nacht Wacht B&B (the Night Watch)
Address: Maloulaan 15, 8980 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 20 55 15
Website URL: www.denachtwacht-ieper.be/
Mike and Ine
Ieper town centre, close to railway station
Guesthouse ‘t oud gemeentehuis Poelkapelle (“the old town hall in Poelkapelle”) 
Address: Guynemerplein 5,  8920 Poelkapelle
Phone: 32 494 633 091
Website URL: www.guesthouse-poelkapelle.be/
Stijn Vercruysse and Nele Tryssesoone
In the village of Poelkapelle
Hortensia B&B
Address: Rijselsestraat 196, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 21 24 06
Email: info@guesthouse-ypres.be
Website URL: www.guesthouse-ypres.be
Andre Parys
100m from Lille Gate in Ieper town centre
Le Chat Noir
Address: Diksmuidsestraat 91, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 47 45 95 344
Email: info@lechatnoir.be
Website URL: www.lechatnoir.be
Alain
A few 100m north of Grote Markt  in Ieper town centre
Lille Gate Guest House
Address: Neerstraat 14, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 40 08 57
Email: info@lillegateguesthouse.com
Website URL: www.lillegateguesthouse.com
Chris and Milena
100m from Lille Gate in Ieper town centre
Llamedos Guest House
Address: Rijselseweg 126, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 48 60 09
Email: mikeruthbelgium@skynet.be
Website URL: www.llamedos-ieper.be/
Mike and Ruth Bygrave
1km from Lille Gate on road to Messines
De Potyze B&B
Address: Zonnebeekseweg 359, Ieper
Phone: 32 57 20 3443
Email: info@potyze.com
Website URL: www.potyze.com
Paul and Mimi
3km from town on road to Zonnebeke
Protea B&B
Address: Menenstraat 47, 8980 Geluveld
Phone: 32 57 46 6339
Email: info@theprotea.be
Website URL: www.theprotea.be
Paul and Mimi
On main Menen road in Geluveld
The Rum Jar B&B
Address: Elverdingestraat 69, Poelkapelle
Phone: 32 51 77 88 06
Email: info@therumjar.be
Website URL: www.therumjar.be
Peter Morris
Ter Vesten B&B
Address: Arsenaalstraat 4, Ieper
Phone: 32 57 21 57 59
Website URL: www.bbtervesten.be/
Magda Vandenbroucke
In Ieper town centre
saBBajon B&B
Address: Boezingepoortstraat 6, Ieper
Phone: 32 57 20 30 06
Email: info@sabbajon.be
Website URL: www.sabbajon.be
Jo and Luc
In Ieper town centre
Varlet Farm B&B
Address: Wallemolenstraat 43, Poelkapelle
Phone: 32 51 77 78 59
Email: info@varletfarm.com
Website URL: www.varletfarm.com
Rooms in farmhouse and renovated farm buildings.
Near the villages of Poelkapelle and Passendale, close to Tyne Cot

Self Catering

Poorthuis Ieper 
Address: Diksmuidsestraat 26, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 475 42 02 38
Website: www.apartmentsypres.com
Philippe and Katie Deschryver
D’Hellekapelle
Address:Dikkebusstraat 171, B8950 Loker
Phone: 32 57 20 24 83
Website URL: www.dhellekapelle.be
In the village of Loker (Locre) also has B&B see above
Landhuis Kemmelberg 
Address: Lokerstraat 10, 8956 Kemmel, West-Vlaanderen
Phone: 32 475 42 02 38
Website: www.apartmentsypres.com
Philippe and Katie Deschryver

Camping

Camping Ypra
Address: Pingelaarstraat 2, 8956 Kemmel-Heuvelland
Phone: 32 57 44 46 31
Fax: 32 57 44 48 81
E-mail: camping.ypra@skynet.be
Jan and Ann Vitse Heddebauw
Camping Jeugdstation Ypra
Address: Bolwerkstraat 1, 8900 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 21 72 82
Fax: 32 57 421 61 21
E-mail: Info@Jeugdstadion.be

Some useful Ypres links

Recommended guide books
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