THE STORY BEHIND THE

Western Front Trail

In 2018, the idea was forged to develop a walking route along the entire Western front line. After numerous meetings and agreements with tourism sectors, the Western Front Way was created. A Via Sacra that should keep alive the remembrance of the First World War and its more than 20 million war victims. The inspiration was rediscovered in a letter from Alexander Douglas Gillespie, a young soldier who was serving at the Battle of Loos in 1915. Three months before he died, Alexander wrote to his family and headmaster about the trail and his dream:  a beautiful road...for all nations to walk together in peace once the conflict was over.
 



An epic trail walk along the Great War memorial sites in Flanders Fields

The Via Sacra - Western Front Way runs 1,000 km along No Man's land and the Western front line. Starting from Nieuwpoort to Pfetterhouse on the French-Swiss border, it is the longest walking route in Northwestern Europe. The first 95 km runs on Flemish soil and connects Nieuwpoort with Diksmuide, Ypres and finally Mesen.

Following the Western Front Way, Wandelsport Vlaanderen vzw is organizing a new long-distance walking route THE WESTERN FRONT TRAIL. Keeping Peace & World War I commemoration alive is the message behind the Western Front Trail. The epic trail walk passes along the main Great War memorial sites in Flanders Fields. 

The logo 

The first phase of the Via Sacra - Western Front Way between Nieuwpoort and Ploegsteert has now been completed and marked for walkers. In the Westhoek, the walking route is marked with a logo consisting of the four memorial flowers: poppy (Commonwealth), daisy (Belgium), cornflower (France) and forget-me-not (Germany).


CHOOSE YOUR EPIC WESTERN FRONT TRAIL

Western Front Trail 

NIEUWPOORT - ZONNEBEKE 85

The Western Front Trail 85km starts from Westfront, symbol of peace and war. The ultimate challenge passes the most remarkable sites of the First World War via the Polder plains, IJser Valley, Ypres Salient and Passchendaele Museum.

Western Front Trail

IEPER - ZONNEBEKE 60km

Starting in the vicinity of the imposing Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, you pass through Ypres Salient, Messines, the Ypres woods and Bellewaerde Ridge, past the most remarkable sites of the First World War.

Western Front Trail

IEPER - ZONNEBEKE 35km  

The imposing Menin Gate, symbol of peace and war, is the starting point of the Western Front Trail 38km. Via the Ypres green belt, Hill60, Hill62 and Bellewaerde Ridge you reach Passchendaele Museum Zonnebeke.

Western Front Trail

           ZONNEBEKE 10km          Taste the atmosphere of the Western Front Trail with a local walk in and around Zonnebeke via Tyne Cot Cemetery and Passchendaele Museum.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them