THE STORY BEHIND THE
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 POPPIESWALK. 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 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 POPPIESWALK
The Poppieswalk 80km starts at the Memorial Passchendaele Museum 1917. The ultimate challenge goes via Ypres Salient, Heuvelland and the green outskirts of Ypres past the most World War I sites. The finish line is near the impressive Menin Gate in Ypres.
Starting in the vicinity of the imposing Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, you pass through Ypres Salient, Plugstreets, Messines, the Ypres woods and Bellewaerde Ridge, past the most remarkable sites of the First World War. The finish is near the Menin Gate in Ypres
Via the Memorial Passchendaele Museum 1917 in Zonnebeke and the Ypres green belt, it goes to the Menin Gate, symbol of peace and the finish line of the Poppieswalk 35km.
ZONNEBEKE - IEPER 18 km
Taste the atmosphere of the Poppieswalk with a green-rich circuit around Ypres Salient. Start in the wake of the 80, 60 and 35 km participants. End point is also the Menin Gate.
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