Ypres Ramparts

  • Main Cemetery in Ypres - © William Mackesy
  • WWI Battlefields - © William Mackesy
  • WWI Battlefields - © William Mackesy
  • WWI Battlefields - © William Mackesy
  • WWI Battlefields - © William Mackesy

Key information: Ypres Ramparts

  • The superb ramparts of Ypres (Ieper), the ancient stronghold city and trade centre now just inside Belgium, date from many eras, evolving from the early middle ages via huge Burgundian works to the vast complex of ramparts, bastions, moats, islands and advance fortifications constructed by Vauban, the great French military architect.
  • The ramparts are now beautiful places of mature trees and quiet water, wildlife, and the somehow suprisingly mellow constructions of prior military needs.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating83
  • Beauty26
  • Natural interest10
  • Human interest17
  • Charisma30
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating83

Vital Statistics

  • Length: One hour
  • Level of Difficulty: Straightforward
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WWI Battlefields - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

The superb ramparts of Ypres (Ieper), the ancient stronghold city and trade centre now just inside Belgium, date from many eras, evolving from the early middle ages via huge Burgundian works to the vast complex of ramparts, bastions, moats, islands and advance fortifications constructed by Vauban, the great French military architect.

The ramparts are now beautiful places of mature trees and quiet water, wildlife, and the somehow suprisingly mellow constructions of prior military needs.

The best of the ramparts are to the south and east of the city, and a walk along them will take an hour plus an almost limitless amount of explorations and musing time.

Along the way you will see great towers and bastions from several periods, the medieval Lille Gate with a poignantly beautiful First World Ware graveyard nearby, and the unmissable, moving Menin Gate, memorial to almost 55,000 British Empire soldiers who died in the Ypres Salient during WWI but have no know grave. Excurse into Ypres' streets, ancient but rebuilt after wholesale destruction during WWI.

There is a useful but mildly annoying leaflet on the walk (almost no mention of Vauban, none of the WWI cemetery) that can be picked up around Ypres.

See our First World War Battlefields page for fascinating and highly poignant walks born of wartime in the environs.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

See also expedition planning, including our universal expedition checklist. Walkopedia encourages responsible travel.

Books and Maps

Suggest books and maps

Books on this walk           

 

Other books

Walking the Salient – Paul Reed: walking in the Ypres area.

Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to the Ypres Salient – Tonie and Valmai Holt.

 

Maps

Leaflet with map obtainable locally.

Major and Mrs Holt’s Battle Map of the Ypres Salient – Tonie and Valmai Holt.

Stanfords: www.stanfords.co.uk. A good online specialist source of worldwide maps (it is also good for guidebooks). Also try www.mapsworldwide.com and www.trektools.com.

 

Best times to walk/weather

Best times to walk

Any time of year. Summer for the best weather, other seasons for smaller crowds (except in the lead up to Armistice Day, 11th November).

Weather

Generally fine in season, can rain at any time of year.

For detailed weather information, have a look at: www.worldweather.org or www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country-guides

 

Getting there/transport/permits/fees

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Trains, bus, car.

 

Route(s)

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See Walk Summary above.

Ramparts Map

Vague, maybe; but beautiful:

 

1771-1778 map by Joseph de Ferraris (died 1 April 1814). In public domain; copyright expired.

 

Possible problems, health, other warnings

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  • Beware High walls!

See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and problems can arise on any walk. Many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks and possible problems. This website cannot, does not purport to, identify all actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to a walk or a country. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Make sure you have appropriate insurance.

 

Guided or independent?

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You can do this walk independently, or as part of an organized “Battlefields Tour”.

 

Accommodation

There are masses of places to stay, including:

  • The Albion Hotel (info@albionhotel.be) – Comfortable, if a bit short of character.
  • HotelAriane, said to be excellent (www.ariane.be) – Near centre of town.

Hostelbookers usually has a good selection of cheaper-end accommodation.

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Other information and tips

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Useful websites and information

There are many websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.

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Other things to do in the area

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Other walks

WWI Battlefields - ©William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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