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Getting to Ypres.

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Auckland Region...
posts: 40
reviews: 47
Getting to Ypres.

Is it easier to go through Brussels or is it fairly easy and cheaper to find our way going by Eurostar to Lille and catching local train? We are planning to go in May from London. Are there hotels or B&Bs near the station?

10 replies to this topic
Brussels, Belgium
posts: 21,044
reviews: 3
1. Re: Getting to Ypres.

You can get from London to Ieper in 3h22, getting off in Lille and also changing in Kortrijk, as opposed to 4h22 via Bruxelles-Midi, but the longer journey is less expensive because the Brussels-Ieper leg would be covered by a flat-rate fare (automatic on b-europe site if you give your destination as Ieper; using eurostar.com, you must select ABS = Any Belgian Station other than Brussels).

For the rest, all depends on what you consider "easy": 1 extra hour via Brussels, but with only 1 change ; or 1 less with 2 changes, which also means changing stations in Lille, as the Eurostar arrives at Lille-Europe while the train to Brugge departs from Lille-Flandres station.

The cost depends on how far in advance you can book. Buying today for tomorrow, for example, London-Ieper via Lille would cost €155/€190 non-flex or €191/€280 semi-flex, while London-Ieper via Brussels would cost €148/€183 non-flex or €184/€211 semi-flex, depending on departure. Obviously this would be cheaper for May - buying now - but as I don't know your date of travel I couldn't say what it would be, except that the same sort of differences would exist between the different fare levels. Using https://www.b-europe.com/Travel (Belgian Railways), entering London St. Pancras as departure station and Ieper as destination, plus your date and time you want to depart London, will give you all options and costs.

Most hotels in Ieper are in the centre, which is about 15 mins walk from the station, but you can use the map on www.booking.com/city/be/ieper.en-gb.html to see which would be most conveniently located: b&b De Nacht Wacht being closest to the station. You can also check out places that interest you on tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g188675-Ieper_Ypres_W…

Edited: 5:36 pm, February 07, 2014
Auckland Region...
posts: 40
reviews: 47
2. Re: Getting to Ypres.

Thank you so much for the very useful information.

Adelaide, Australia
posts: 238
reviews: 6
3. Re: Getting to Ypres.

Very helpful post qaminari. When booking the 'ABS' ticket, do you need to specify you want Ieper? I couldn't find the opportunity to do this. Do you just get on the next train for Ieper that leaves from Midi?

thanks in advance.

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 21,044
reviews: 3
4. Re: Getting to Ypres.

If you aren't finding any opportunity to select a specific destination, you aren't using the Belgian Railways website, www.b-europe.com/Travel ! Using that website, entering London (or Paris, or Amsterdam etc.) as departure station and Ieper as destination will automatically give you ABS conditions, i.e. will cost €N (ABS flat-fare) extra, compared with the London-Brussels, Paris-Brussels, etc. fare.

If using Eurostar site, you simply select "'Any Belgian Station (via Brussels)" from the "Belgium" tab.

As the ABS fare is the same to ANY destination in Belgium other than Brussels, it makes no difference whether you are going to Ieper or, say, Arlon.

So yes, you just take any convenient train from Midi to the destination you have chosen - either on the date of arrival or at the latest the day after, permitting an overnight stay in Brussels: eurostar.com/uk-en/….UybhgU2PLug

Whichever booking system you use, it will propose the next connection to whichever ultimate destination you select, but your reservation will only be for the Eurostar (or Thalys etc.) itself. For domestic trains in Belgium it isn't possible to book specific departures or reserve seats, so your ticket can be used on any train to Ieper (or other ABS destination) on the date in question.

Sheffield, UK
posts: 30
reviews: 84
5. Re: Getting to Ypres.

I agree, it is possible to get from Lille to Ieper but it is not the easiest or cheapest journey. Get the Eurostar to Brussels and use the 'travel to any Belgian station' on your Eurostar ticket to go up to Ieper. You dont have to specify the destination station, just ensure to go through Brussels.

With regards to B&Bs, there are a lot in Ieper (we've stayed there a few times) but not all are so good. Closer to the station means further away from the centre / Grotk Markt. I can thoroughly recommend B&B @ Room's. It's not the cheapest but is one of the best by far.

Auckland Region...
posts: 40
reviews: 47
6. Re: Getting to Ypres.

Thank you, but we are all booked now, so lets hope everything works out OK.

ashtead
posts: 41
reviews: 1
7. Re: Getting to Ypres.

HI,

Have an elderly dad of 84. Would the option of Eurotunnel be better. We live in Surrey, I guess it would mean Id have to drive down to Ypres from Calais and not very keen to do that. Or , is there such a thing as share a lift with people taking Eurotunnel. There must be that facility? WE dont want to do ferry and dad cant walk far.

Many thanks for any advice.

Kathy

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 21,044
reviews: 3
8. Re: Getting to Ypres.

Why "must there" be that facility?! I know of no such thing as "share a lift" specifically with people taking Eurotunnel. If you aren't booked in a car, you can't get on the Eurotunnel train, so you would have to use a UK ride-sharing website to try to identify someone in advance (as they have to know how many people they will have in the car when they book) who would be driving over on the day you want and (possibly someone else) back on the day you want: which seems a bit hit-and-miss to me. Plus, you don't just want them to drive you onto and off the train, but between Calais and Ieper, which narrows things down even further.

If you don't want to drive from Calais (or Lille, hiring a car from there) yourself, then unless you are prepared to pay for a taxi from Lille to Ieper (apparently about €120, about 50 mins), it would be easiest to take the Eurostar to Brussels and change onto a local train from there: which at least involves only one change, at the same station (Bruxelles-Midi) as opposed to having to walk to a different station in Lille and changing in Kortrijk as well.

Ride-sharing websites you could look at/ put an ad on:

- http://www.carpoolworld.com/carpool.html

- gumtree.com/p/…96331207

- http://rideforcents.org/

Sheffield, UK
posts: 30
reviews: 84
9. Re: Getting to Ypres.

Your best bet, I think, is to drive. Particularly if your dad can't walk very far. Ypres itself is a lovely town but the sites (other than the menin gate itself) are outisde the town (the cemeteries) and are not 'walkable'.

You can get the Eurostar to Brussels and change to the Poperinghe train, which calls at Ypres, but there are no taxi services in Ypres and the train station is a 5-10 minute walk from the town centre. The benefit of the Eurostar is that you get free onward travel to any Belgian station providing you go through Brussels, but if your Dad is not overly mobile, I really would suggest driving.

What are your plans when you are there? Cemeteries?

Brussels, Belgium
posts: 21,044
reviews: 3
10. Re: Getting to Ypres.

"The benefit of the Eurostar is that you get free onward travel to any Belgian station providing you go through Brussels"

Not true, it costs about €8 each way on top of the London-Brussels/Brussels-London fare. This is a good buy compared with the standard single (Brussels-Ieper) fare of €17.50, but not for those under 26 or over 65 who can get a Go-Pass 1/Seniors ticket respectively, for that part of the journey, for €6; and indeed anyone travelling on a weekday in July or August, who can get the "summer deal" ticket which last year cost €7.50.

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