About the challenge
The area around Ypres was immensely significant during the First World War, and saw devastating action. The fields and villages around the town are scattered with memorials, cemeteries and preserved trenches.
This poignant and challenging trek offers a unique perspective as we walk between the prominent battle-sites of the Ypres Salient, often tracing the line of the Western Front itself. There are beautiful views over the now-tranquil countryside, but as we walk along hill-ridges and small country lanes, through muddy fields and woodland, it is all-too-easy to imagine events of the past.
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|31 May 2017||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£99||+||£1600||Or||£800||Book now|
|11 Oct 2017||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£99||+||£1600||£800||Book now|
|30 May 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1600||£800||Book now|
|10 Oct 2018||5||Open challenge||Spaces||£149||+||£1600||£800||Book now|
Trace part of the Western Front between WW1 Battlefields
Visit cemeteries, preserved trenches and museums en-route
Poignant experience adds to physical challenge
Based in hotel in Ypres
Day 1: London to Lille by Eurostar; transfer to Ypres in time for nightly ceremony at Menin Gate
Day 2-3: Explore Langemark and Passchendaele areas, taking in memorials, museums and strategic battle-sites
Day 4-5: Walk south of Ypres to Kemmelberg and Messines Ridge; return to Lille and Eurostar to London
What makes it challenging?
Trek 7-8 hours each day
Long days can be hard on the feet
Mainly flat terrain with some low hills
Historical sites can add to emotional challenge
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The cost includes all accommodation as well as transport (by ferry and Eurostar) and all meals except three as specified in the itinerary. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders, drivers and mechanics.
It does not include personal travel insurance, meals as specified, extra food, personal items or entry to any optional tourist sites you may wish to visit. Remember to allow extra for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and other personal expenses. Please note that costs may fluctuate and we have no control over any changes. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
We stay in a comfortable 2-3* hotel in Ypres, on a twin-share basis. All food is included except where specified in the itinerary.
Generous packed lunches are provided on trek. Dinners are generally eaten in the hotel. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Bear in mind that being vegetarian is not generally well-understood in France, so meals may not be as varied as you are used to. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities where you are free to explore and find something to suit your budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: cyclist ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Support vehicles are with the group all of the time. All luggage and spares will be carried in them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack to carry items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening. Your bikes will return in our vehicles in time to meet you at St Pancras. They will be well-packed and protected during transit in our vehicles, but if you have an expensive or delicate frame, you may prefer to bring extra lagging to protect it more, or a soft bike bag. Hard case bike bags are not suitable as we do not have space to store them. We offer a bike courier service for those who prefer not to collect their vehicle at the station; further details and costs will be sent to you nearer the time.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency mobile phones, first-aid kits and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
Walking terrain varies from flat plains, ridges and small hills. We walk on good paths through fields and woodland, as well as some sections on country roads. Paths may be narrow, muddy or slippery at times.
Trekking distances are quite long each day (approx. 18-25km), with visits to sites and memorials built into the itinerary.
To ensure time to fully enjoy these visits, you must be fit enough to manage these distances on a daily basis. This is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered.
Clothing & Equipment
We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for quickly changing conditions and temperatures. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer.
Temperatures and climate can vary widely in this region, as it would in the UK. It could be warm or cold; rain is always a possibility and it may be blustery.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it must be valid for at least six months after entry into Europe. There is no visa requirement for UK citizens. Other nationalities should check entry requirements.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them.
Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.