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Visiting Ieper for a day

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Amersham, United...
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Visiting Ieper for a day

I'm staying in Lille at the end of this week and hoping to visit Ieper for a day. I have two queries really:

I wanted to be at the Last Post ceremony but, so far as I can see, the last train to get me back to Lille leaves Ieper at 2039 which seems to be pushing it a bit. Is there any other transport method to get back to Lille?

I was looking at the street map on the Ieper tourist website and there seems to be a war cemetery to the east of Ieper on the Menin road. Is this right as the map isn't totally clear? If so, is it within walking distance? I'm guessing there aren't any other First World War sites I could visit on foot.

Thanking in advance for any advice

London, United...
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1. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

Unfortunately there is no other means of getting back to Lille the same night.

However, the Last Post ceremony usually lasts about 15 minutes, so it will be over by about 20:15. This will leave enough time to walk back to the station (about 10 minutes), provided you know exactly where you are going.

So I would suggest getting a map and working out the route from the Menin Gate to the station. Looking on Google maps, from the Grote Markt, you go down Neermarkt and then Boterstraat until it meets the road by the station. Perhaps when you arrive in Ieper you could walk the route in reverse so that you know exactly where you are going, and how long it will take.

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

There are quite a few cemeteries East of Ieper, but the first one here isn't far from the Menin Gate:

1 km : Ieper Town Cemetery + extension - ww1cemeteries.com/ww1cemeteries/yprestowncem… ; …phpbbweb.com/scottishwargraves-post-17606.h…

2 km : Menin Road South Military Cemetery - ww1cemeteries.com/ww1cemeteries/meninroadsou…

3 km: Perth Cemetery (China Wall) www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_details.aspx…

4 km: Hooge Crater Cemetery

5 km: Sanctuary Wood Cemetery

9 km: Tyne Cot (Passendale)

Dublin
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3. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

Hi GillB,

I put Ieper to Lille into the Belgium train service web site. The last train for Lille (change at Kortrijk) seems to depart Ieper at 20.39, Having been to the Last post in Ieper this would seem like a bit of a rush. We visited both Lille and Brussels last year and found it easier to visit Ieper for the last post from Brussels as the train service back to Brussels was better.

Lille tourist office run trips to battlefield locations. Have a look at there web site. None seem to take in the last post and are not cheap. Another day trip option from Lille for war graves was Arras.

Tyne cot cemetery is a bus ride out of Ieper. Huge cemetery, but make sure you know the times of the bus for your return trip as they are only every now and again. Tourist office in the town square can provide bus time tables

Ieper is a lovely town to spend the day in and just wander around taking in all the different sites. In Flanders field museum in the town centre is well worth a visit.

As I said before, we had the option of visiting from Lille or Brussels and it was much easier from Brussels. Enjoy your trip.

Regards,

Supervanman.

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4. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

Having had a further look at the timetables, it is possible to get back to Lille if you get the 21:39 from Ieper, but it is slightly more involved.

The 21:39 from Ieper arrives at Kortrijk at 22:09.

From Kortrijk there is a connection to Mouscron which leaves at 22:25 and arrives at Mouscron at 22:33.

Mouscron is only just over the French border and there are several bus services into France, but none at half past ten at night.

However, you can get a taxi

(pagesdor.be/q/…)

to take you to the station "Tourcoing CH Dron". This is the northern terminus of line 2 of the Lille Metro, from where you can get the train back into Lille. Late in the evening trains run every 4 - 6 minutes, with the last one at 23:56. Journey time from CH Dron to Lille is about half an hour.

Edited: 4:33 am, May 23, 2011
Amersham, United...
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5. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

Thank you very much for all the info on both my questions. I'm still a bit iffy about staying for the Last Post, but thanks to PaulDuncan for the backup suggestion.

Thanks, too, for the bus suggestion for graveyards. Stupidly I never thought of buses so that's another thing I can look into. However, even if that doesn't work out, it looks as though the town cemetery is easily within walking distance.

Thanks again.

Amersham, United...
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6. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

Just as a postscript, I decided not to stay for the Last Post, but am not sure I could have stood the emotional overload anyway. The main museum (In Flanders Fields) was so engrossing and involving, I could have stayed there all day.

I did find a very small military cemetery when walking round the town's ramparts. It was in an idyllic spot overlooking the moat ... far better positioned than those I passed on the train which were overlooking the railway line.

London
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7. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

We included the Menin Gate ceremony as a must whilst in Ypres for a day. If you intend attending this 20.00 ceremony you may wish to get there early as it gets busy and you may not see much. Although a very emotional ceremony bearing in mind why it is here our 'appreciation' of it was slightly spoiled by two youngish well dressed couples who seemed to want to talk and giggle all the way through including the one minute silence, why bother visiting if you are going to spoil it for others and not respect the whole process and reason for it.

Certainly worth a visit.

Brian L

8. Re: Visiting Ieper for a day

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