The Long, Long Trail's Battlefield Guide to Poperinge

Poperinge is a charming, welcoming little town. It is within a few minutes drive of Ypres and all sites of the Ypres salient, the Messines Ridge, Ploegsteert Wood and the Flemish Hills. Easily reached from UK, it is for many the first town they reach on crossing the border into Belgium. Don't neglect Pop as you go through to Ypres for it has its own Great War sites of first-class importance as well as some excellent accommodation and restaurants.

Poperinge
The magnificent town hall in Poperinge, a popular town behind Ypres, both now and during the Great War.

Basics

Poperinge is in Belgium. Note that this is not a French speaking area, although many people understand and use French, it is primarily Flemish speaking. Most people in the area speak English well, many fluently. The currency in use is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Getting to Poperinge

By car from UK: Poperinge is an easy 90 km (just over 1 hour) drive from Calais.
Route with map
.
By car from airport: Ypres is 145 km (just over 1 hour 30 mins) drive from Brussels.
Route with map
.
By rail: Poperinge has a main railway station with trains direct from Brussels.
Timetables
.

What is there to see?

Poperinge is more to be remembered as a place behind the lines than as a battlefield. It does however have a number of sites of tremendous interest to Great War battlefield tourists:

  • Talbot House (Toc H or Everyman's Club) (Gasthuisstraat, town centre) Website
  • L'Esperance and La Poupee (officers and soldiers haunts) (Grote Markt, town centre)
  • Town hall cells (Grote Markt)
  • Former Skindles (officers club) (Gasthuisstraat)
  • Old and New Military Cemeteries (within short walk of town centre)
  • Switch Road (built by army as a town bypass) (within short walk of town centre)
  • Railway station (leave train departures) (within short walk of town centre)
  • Many cemeteries, memorials and other sites within the area

Great War memories abound in Pop

Tourist essentials

  1. The main tourist office is situated in the Town Hall on the main square (Grote Markt) (town centre)
  2. Monday is closing day: most shops and facilities are closed, at least for the morning.
  3. Eating and drinking: there are many restaurants, bars and cafes in town, most grouped around the central square.
  4. Banks and ATMs (cash machines) : on Grote Markt.
  5. Parking: main car park is on Grote Markt and there is plenty of on-street parking.
  6. Supermarkets: several, plus smaller general stores, bakeries, etc in the town centre.

Accommodation

When booking any accommodation, buyer beware. The Long, Long Trail can not be held responsible for the availability, price or performance of any of the accommodation listed here. Obviously.

There is a wide selection of accommodation in the town and surrounding villages. Note, however, that accommodation can be rather full for 11 November. Book early.

Note: international dialling code to Belgium is 32. Numbers are shown as they would be dialled from overseas. when calling in Belgium itself, drop the 32 and add a zero at the front of the number. Most hotel receptionists and guest house operators speak very good English.
 

Hotels

Amfora
Address: Grote Markt 36, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 33 88 66
Website URL: www.amfora.be
Hotel and restaurant. Situated in Poperinge town centre
Het Belfort
Address: Grote Markt 36, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 33 88 88
Website URL: www.hotelbelfort.be
Hotel and restaurant. Situated in Poperinge town centre
Gasthof de Kring
Address: Burgemeester Bertenplein 7, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 33 38 61
Website URL: www.dekring.be
Hotel and restaurant. Situated in Poperinge town centre.
Manoir Ogygia
Address: Veurnestraat 108, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 33 88 38
Website URL: www.ogygia.be/
Hotel and restaurant. Situated in Poperinge town centre. Beauty and wellness treatments.
Palace
Address: Ieperstraat 34, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 33 30 93
Website URL: www.hotelpalace.be
Hotel. Situated in Poperinge town centre.
Recour
Address: Guido Gezellestraat 7, 8970 Poperinge
Tel: 32 57 20 15 41
Website URL: www.pegasusrecour.be
Luxury hotel and restaurant. Situated in Poperinge town centre.
 

Guest Houses / B&B

't Brouwershuis B&B
Address: 23A Trappistenweg, 8978 Watou
Phone: 32 57 38 88 04
Website URL: www.brouwershuis.com
Sabrina Bierlaen
In the village of Watou
Camalou B&B
Address: 351 Dikkebusseweg, 8908 Ieper
Phone: 32 57 20 43 42
Email: info@camalou.com
Website URL: www.camalou.com
Annette Linthout
In the village of Dikkebus
Cherry Blossom B&B
Address: Grote Branderstraat, Vlamertinge
Phone: 32 57 30 15 55
Email: liz@cherryblossom.be
Website URL: www.cherryblossom.be
Jon and Liz Millward
In the hamlet of Brandhoek near Vlamertinge
Predikherenhof B&B
Address: 25 Elverdingseweg, 8970 Poperinge
Phone: 32 57 42 33 66
Website URL: www.predikherenhof.be
Email: predikherenhof@telenet.be
On the outskirts of Pop
 

Camp sites

Camping Ypra
Address: Pingelaarstraat 2, 8956 Kemmel-Heuvelland
Phone: 32 57 44 46 31
Fax: 32 57 44 48 81
E-mail: camping.ypra@skynet.be
Jan and Ann Vitse Heddebauw