We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Canadian memorial beautiful but museum tacky”
Review of Sanctuary Wood

Sanctuary Wood
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Tour: WWI Canadian Battlefields Including...
Attraction details
Reviewed March 29, 2014

The memorial to the Canadian dead is impressive in ints simplicity and worth a visit but the museum was very disappointing. The trenches were in among trees which was not the case when they were built so they looked out of place. The indoor museum had lots of interesting artefacts but they were all thrown together in a terrible mish mash. The whole place was had a tacky feel and the toilets were disgustingly dirty. Could not recommend this museum and cafe.

1  Thank debbieBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (638)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"preserved trenches"
in 27 reviews
"bomb craters"
in 18 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 40 reviews
"private collection"
in 18 reviews
"small museum"
in 20 reviews
"war memorabilia"
in 6 reviews
"school trip"
in 8 reviews
"brought home"
in 7 reviews
"first world war"
in 12 reviews
in 31 reviews
in 83 reviews
in 36 reviews
in 40 reviews
in 19 reviews
in 39 reviews
in 27 reviews
in 13 reviews

408 - 412 of 638 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2014

This is probably the most commercialized of all the sites on the salient. It is quite expensive and I suspect not all the features are genuine. I would recommend you visit the sita as it was an important action that took place there and there is much to see but don't pay, it is not worth the expense. If you are interested in Canadian sites then visit Crest Farm or go further afield to Vimy Ridge or Newfoundland Park where things are much better preserved and presented and FREE.

Thank John_and_Jennifer_23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Here is what this cafe is - a piece of history in its own right not just because of the trenches, but because it dates from the initial wave of "world war 1 tourism" that began in the 1920s. We would be very put out if it was all modernized and transformed because there is very little left of this first phase of the after war history of the area. So not point comparing it to the new Flanders Field museum in town etc. Yes its collections are messy and poorly displayed. We took that to be part of its own history as amateurs/local farmers setting up for visitors in the wake of the war. We did not smell any cat of any kind. We sat outside for a drink and snack which we enjoyed. Amused by the random memorabilia and (with two teens) very much appreciated the outside area with trenches etc for them to see. It's true they take many school groups. If you are thinking of going, take it on its own terms. We were glad to have stopped there.

Thank Texastrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

This is hideous, its a house and a riffy looking cafe that has in its grounds the trenches of Sanctuary Wood. The museum which fills the house is an appallingly maintained collection of WWI ephemera, uniforms, shells, barbed wire, recruitment posters, horrific photos and any & everything else you can imagine. The whole place has a vague smell of cat wee, the uniforms are moth-eaten (literally) & falling apart. It should also be noted that the decomposing uniforms are mostly arrayed on ancient, female (with badly drawn on mustaches!) shop mannequins that are so bad you would roll on the floor laughing if the subject matter was less serious. Yet someone must be making serious money out of this. It costs 10euro per person to enter; I was there in early march and the space of an hour saw four 50 seater coaches arrive - if you extrapolate this over a 9 month visitor season even estimating conservatively its turning over 3/4 million euros without including the shop / cafe takings, yet none of this appears to be finding its way into even basic care of its artifacts.
The trenches which are out at the back, are no-longer historically accurate in terms of construction although the layout and the small craters that pock mark the area are in their original location. The atmosphere was somewhat marred though by the whooping school party treating them as a muddy jungle gym, under other circumstances the combination of mud, dormant trees and low sun would have made those much more atmospheric.

1  Thank wolvoUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Crazy place! Someone's collection of WWI material, this museum (use the word loosely I think) is somewhere between a treasure trove and a nightmare. The stereo viewers were incredible and to be frank it is worth visiting for those alone. The trenches outside were no doubt manufactured but the landscape appears genuinely damaged by shells. The museum is housed in two, well, houses. The moment when I thought we should perhaps escape was the bedroom still set up with bed, wardrobe etc but filled with frightening dummies wearing uniforms including one in a British uniform lying on the bed apparently dying of his wounds. The bed still has a flowered duvet cover. The 'nurses' are small child mannequins, half dressed with masks. It really is awful. But, this said, do visit as it is all strangely compelling….

Thank amyajb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Sanctuary Wood also viewed

Ieper (Ypres), West Flanders Province
Ieper (Ypres), West Flanders Province
Ieper (Ypres), West Flanders Province

Been to Sanctuary Wood? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing