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Cycle Route

Following cycle routes are for sale in the Visitor's Centre in Ieper

Or online http://shop.westtoer.be/en 

Peace route
The Peace Route offers an ideal introduction to the Ypres Salient, the old arch-shaped front line which enclosed Ypres on three sides during the First World War. It starts on the market square in the heart of Ypres and first leads to the Palingbeek provincial domain, Hill 60 and Hill 62 - three locations of great strategic significance for the armies of both sides. The route continues through pleasant countryside and passes a number of impressive military burial sites, including Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passendale, the German Soldatenfriedhof in Langemark and Essex Farm Cemetery in Boezinge.

Starting point: Grote Markt Ieper

Distance: 45 km

Price: € 2.00

Cycle Routes 14-18

Ypres Salient 

The Ypres Salient was created at the end of October 1914. An arc-shaped front formed itself around Ypres. Both armies dug in and fought from a continuous system of trenches and mineshafts. The ‘Little Ypres Salient' remained virtually unchanged from May 1915 to August 1917. A half million soldiers of over 50 different nationalities died there. Because of this, "the Salient" became one of the most notorious places along the Western front. This cycling route takes you along the front line around Ypres. The route is way-marked with hexagonal signs.

Starting point: Visitor's Centre - Cloth Hall Ieper

Distance: 36 km

Price: € 2.00

Poison Gas

On 22 April 1915, German troops opened around 6,000 cylinders filled with chlorine gas over a 6 km front line between the Stampkothoeve and ‘t Halfweghe huys. On that day, and the following days, around 5,000 soldiers and civilians lost their lives and thousands more continued to suffer the negative effects of the gas throughout their lives. The use of this weapon of mass destruction is considered the birth of chemical warfare. 

Starting Point: City Hall Langemark-Poelkapelle

Distance: 41 km

Price: € 2.00

The Legacy

Zonnebeke is the heart of the famous Ypres Salient from World War I. The Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, where hundreds of thousands of people were killed in only a few months' time, still is an international symbol of gratuitous war violence. The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 remembers vividly of the Battle of Passchendaele. The museum, situated in a beautiful castle park, is the ideal base for a tour to the ancient battle fields. With the Legacy cycle route you can, starting at the museum, discover the rich heritage of the municipality of Zonnebeke in a pleasant manner.

Starting Point: Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 - Berten Pilstraat 5a - Zonnebeke

Distance: 37 km

Price: € 2.00

Pop

The cycling route follows the tracks of the First World War behind the front. The first stop after hell, where soldiers washed off the mud and blood, healed their wounds or died from them. Poperinge, or POP as the British used to call it, was flooded with foreign troops for four long years. They came to rest for a few days in POP, close to the people, or to stand trial for their failures in the business of war.

Starting Point: Tourist Office Poperinge - Grote Markt 1 - Poperinge

Distance: 41 km

Price: € 2.00

Cogghe-Geeraert

The cycling route highlights the flooding of the IJzer plain during the First World War and the role that historical figures Karel Cogge and Hendrik Geeraert played in the event. The route connects places and monuments that bear witness to this remarkable event and stand as reminders of the suffering of war: the Albert I monument in Nieuwpoort, the Town and Country House in Veurne, the Belgian military cemeteries of Steenkerke and Ramskapelle, the bust of Karel Cogge, the Ganzepoot sluice complex, and the former railway line turned cycling route known as the "Frontzate". 

Starting point: Belevingscentrum Vrij Vaderland te Veurne en Bezoekerscentrum Westfront Nieuwpoort te Nieuwpoort 

Distance: 41 km 

Price: € 2.00

Pioneer

The 'Pioneer' cycling route takes you through the Front landscape and tells the story of German activity in the region in the time between the Second and Third Battle of Ypres. You will cycle past all kinds of relics of the war such as German bunkers, cemeteries and memorials. You will be following the trail of the German military transport and will experience the strategic importance of the rolling countryside to the south-east of Ypres. 

Starting point: Zandvoordeplaats, 8980 Zandvoorde (Zonnebeke)  

Distance: 38 km

Price: € 2.00

German Hinterland 

The route leads you through a portion of the former ‘Operationsgebiet', the area just behind the German front with some wonderful panoramic vistas: the Mill of Peace in Klerken, the church of Hooglede and the Stadenberg Panorama. These were very important sites during the war due to their strategic elevations. The route also takes you past a few impressive relics of the war in this part of the German hinterland, such as for instance the German military cemetery in Hooglede, the Belgian military cemetery in Houthulst and the Vrijbos route as a former supply line to the front. 

Starting point: Duitse militaire begraafplaats Hooglede, Beverenstraat 79, 8830 Hooglede - Vrijbosroute, Statiestraat, 8840 Staden - Dienst voor Toerisme Houthulst, Markt 17, 8650 Houthulst 

Distance: 52 km

Price: € 2.00 

Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) was a German expressionist painter. Her son, Peter, died almost immediately after arriving at the front in Flanders Fields during WWI. Käthe's works express her revolt against war and poverty. She also tells the story of her plight as the mother of a fallen soldier in "The mourning parents", one of the most haunting war memorials. 

Starting point: Dienst voor cultuur en toerisme (CC De Brouwerij) Koekelare, Sint-Maartensplein 15b 

Distance: 42,5 km 

Price: € 2.00 

Niemandswater 

No man's water tells the story of the medical evacuation from the front (Noordschote- Steenstraete) to the field hospitals (Hoogstade - Beveren) but also of hygiene (Eversam) and the spiritual counselling provided to soldiers on the front. Soldiers with abdominal injuries were given first aid in the surgical outposts (Reninge). A little further on, those for whom help came a little too late were buried (military cemeteries of Hoogstade - Reninge - Westvleteren). 

Starting point: Vleteren en Lo 

Distance: 45 km 

Price: € 2.00

Yser 14-18 

The ‘Yser 14-18'  cycling route takes us to monuments and sites on the Yser front. From the starting point, Diksmuide's central square, the ‘Grote Markt', we will be seeing memorials to the ‘Great War' of 1914-1918. From the Yser tower, you will descend to the Museum aan de IJzer (Museum on the Yser). The Dodengang (Trench of Death) and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwehoekje provide a first-hand account and experience of life at the front. The Belgian and German military cemeteries keep echoing a message of peace: ‘no more war'. 

Starting point: Toeristische dienst, Grote Markt 6, 8600 Diksmuide 

Distance: 41 km

Price: € 2.00