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Don Regiano

Ieper - car parking

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Don Regiano

Although I spend a lot of time on the Somme, my visits to Belgium have been limited to a couple of day trips from the Somme.  Next week I will be taking a friend across and, as he is fairly new to all this with just one visit to our place last year, I have promised him that we will go to Belgium.  I will show him the usual places, including Tyne Cot (I haven't been there either!) and visit my relative at Brandhoek.  I hope to end the journey by attending The Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate and then returning to the Somme that evening.

 

I have been reading up on various websites and checking on car parking arrangements.  There are some not so happy stories about not understanding the local notices which are in Flemish only and some having been given tickets even though they thought they had parked properly and legally.  So, I thought I would tap in to the wealth of knowledge and experience of the GWF to see what advice would be given.  I was thinking of parking adjacent to the railway station and walking via the Cloth Hall to the Gate.  The alternative is to the East of the Gate (over the water and turning right).  At this stage, it is likely that we will be visiting on a Sunday (though this could change) and we are not likely to be there before 6pm.  Do the parking restrictions apply on a Sunday or is it no different from what appears to be the free and paying areas as indicated on the map produced by the tourist office?

 

Thanks.

 

Reg

Edited by Don Regiano
left and right!

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

When I was there 18 months ago, parking in the square adjacent to the Cloth Hall was free after 6pm every evening.

 

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Don Regiano
12 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

When I was there 18 months ago, parking in the square adjacent to the Cloth Hall was free after 6pm every evening.

 

 

Thanks Dai Bach.  Very helpful.

 

Reg

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Plus, you can park on-street (Terms & Conditions apply!).

If you download the Ieper Tourism Tourist map Here

you'll see that there are a couple of free on-street parking areas (free anytime) at Minneplein and Leopold III Laan (about 1/4 m from Menin Gate).

Additionally, you can park in the Blue zones for up to (?)3 hours, as long as you display a blue card, which you can obtain free of charge from the Tourist Office in the Cloth Hall itself. They should explain the finer detail to you.

 

The Green Zones seem to be unrestricted, but some of them are pretty big roads, and I never parked there.

Red Zones -pay up till 6pm. I think.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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sassenach
46 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

When I was there 18 months ago, parking in the square adjacent to the Cloth Hall was free after 6pm every evening.

 

But don't do so on a Friday night; you'll get towed away (market on the Square starts early Saturday).

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 minute ago, sassenach said:

But don't do so on a Friday night; you'll get towed away (market on the Square starts early Saturday).

Ah yes.

Forgot to mention that.

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Don Regiano

Yes, that's the map I was looking at.  I didn't realise that the blue card was obtainable free of charge.  I'm not sure we will be there before 6pm and I think the Cloth Hall closes before then.  I was looking at Leopold III Laan as a possible.  Minneplein looks like another option.  I would hope that Sunday evening may not be as busy as weekday evenings.

 

Thanks all.

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nigelcave

You hardly have to pay a fortune to park in the 'Cloth Hall' square (unless things have changed in the last three months) if you are going for a reasonable length of time - say three hours - and I have never failed, over the last fifty years, to find a place eventually; the same applies for the space between the CH and what is called a Cathedral (but in fact is not - it only ever was for about sixty years and that was in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, IIRC).

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Don Regiano

Thanks Nigel. 

 

I was more interested in whether there was a charge or not (rather than the cost itself) to save fiddling about getting change or finding my car had been towed away.  Also, I was interested in how busy the car parks would be with people attending the ceremony.

 

Thanks again.

 

Reg

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Marilyne

I always park at the football field/swimming pool area (Leopold III laan - come in via zuiderring). From there you just have to walk up the ramparts to get to Menin Gate. 

Or use the parking next to the prison, not far from Ypres Reservoir Cemetery (Minneplein). 

Last possibility is the parking next to the Station (Oud Strijderslaan). 

 

M.

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Don Regiano

Thanks Marilyne.

 

I looked at Leopold III laan as that will give us a choice of direction for our journey back to the Somme after the ceremony.  Minneplein also looks a possibility.

 

Thanks.

 

Reg

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Frajohn

I normally park on BOLLINGSTRAAT (I have marked with a white line on the map)  and have never had a problem there, apart from being once told off by the local police for facing the wrong way at night. Parking there, you are just by the gate.

 

The police will normally put a barrier across the road with the junction with GEZELLEPLEIN at about 7.30, so best to park before then. Also, they are not in a hurry to take the barrier away after the ceremony, just move it while you get past in the car then put it back.

 

The Brasserie Kazematten (where they printed the Wipers Times) serves a good variety of food and beers

 

Kind regards

 

John

 

32193794337_1fa0a9fb37_o.jpg

Edited by Frajohn

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Don Regiano
1 hour ago, Frajohn said:

I normally park on BOLLINGSTRAAT (I have marked with a white line on the map)  and have never had a problem there, apart from being once told off by the local police for facing the wrong way at night. Parking there, you are just by the gate.

 

The police will normally put a barrier across the road with the junction with GEZELLEPLEIN at about 7.30, so best to park before then. Also, they are not in a hurry to take the barrier away after the ceremony, just move it while you get past in the car then put it back.

 

The Brasserie Kazematten (where they printed the Wipers Times) serves a good variety of food and beers

 

Kind regards

 

John

 

32193794337_1fa0a9fb37_o.jpg

 

 

Thanks John.  That sounds like a good call - the parking and the beer.  Will probably be going through Martinpuich at some time too as High Wood is a "favourite" spot for me so tend to go that way when visiting places a little further up the road from me.

 

Thanks.

 

Reg

 

.

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Frajohn

Always welcome to pop in for a cup or beer

 

john

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Don Regiano
2 hours ago, Frajohn said:

Always welcome to pop in for a cup or beer

 

john

 

Thanks John.  Will bear that in mind.

 

Reg

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Don Regiano

Well, Frajohn wins the prize of some fig biscuits. 

 

At the end of a largely successful day in Belgium, we made our way to Ieper from Brandhoek.  The car park at the market seemed pretty full so I decided to head in the general direction of Marilyne's suggested areas via Bollingstraat.  There was plenty of free space there (Bollingstraat) and we parked up no more than 50m from the Menin Gate at around 6.30pm just as a local family were walking past and they confirmed there would be no problem parking there.  The attendance at the ceremony wasn't huge but it was a pleasant evening.  By the time I had fixed up the satnav to get us back to the Somme, the roads were clear and barriers had been removed.  Only blot on the day was the discourtesy shown by several families of adults and children scrambling all over the Cross of Sacrifice at Tyne Cot - as often reported here.  It reinforced my preference for the less popular (touristy) sites on the Western Front.

 

Fig biscuits in Martinpuich on next visit there John.

 

Reg

Edited by Don Regiano

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Fattyowls
52 minutes ago, Don Regiano said:

Fig biscuits in Martinpuich on next visit there John.

 

I'd go for Mrs K's madeleines in Martinpuich given the choice, but good to hear that you had a fruitful visit, Tyne Cot aside.

 

Pete.

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Don Regiano
17 hours ago, Fattyowls said:

 

I'd go for Mrs K's madeleines in Martinpuich given the choice,

 

 

 

That sounds like a fair (?) exchange Pete. 

 

I was going to post a sample picture of Tyne Cot but thought better of it.  One family was particularly annoying, the father even coming back down the steps and then standing in front of us, knowing we were waiting to take a picture when the Cross was clear of the brats.  My friend was getting really annoyed.  Sometime, I have to do a repeat visit with SWMBO as she hasn't been there yet.  I'm not looking forward to it.  Menin Gate does, at least, partly make up for it.

 

Reg

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Waterloo Wanderer

Hi Reg - hope you're enjoying your trip.  Sorry to hear about your Tyne Cot Experience...I was there two years ago and didn't experience any problems.  Pls post pics of High Wood if you make it there...I will be making my first visit there next month.

 

Cheers,

Dan

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sassenach

Tyne Cot certainly attracts school parties, many of which do not behave as most of us would wish. But the size of the place means that there is invariably a quiet corner for reflection, and people who haven't visited should not be put off. And the views back to Ypres, weather permitting, are thought-provoking too.

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Don Regiano
3 hours ago, Waterloo Wanderer said:

Hi Reg - hope you're enjoying your trip.  Sorry to hear about your Tyne Cot Experience...I was there two years ago and didn't experience any problems.  Pls post pics of High Wood if you make it there...I will be making my first visit there next month.

 

Cheers,

Dan

 

Hi Dan.

 

We went past High Wood a couple of times but didn't have time to stop so no photos this trip I'm afraid.  However, here is one I made earlier showing a view of the wood looking in a vaguely NE direction across the area where the Northumberland Fusiliers advanced on 15 September 1916 and where my wife's great uncle was mortally wounded when preparing the assembly trenches prior to the attack.  Will be back across again later this month and hope to make a stop at High Wood.

 

Enjoy your trip.

 

Reg

 

 

DSC02659.JPG

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Don Regiano
3 hours ago, sassenach said:

Tyne Cot certainly attracts school parties, many of which do not behave as most of us would wish. But the size of the place means that there is invariably a quiet corner for reflection, and people who haven't visited should not be put off. And the views back to Ypres, weather permitting, are thought-provoking too.

 

Quite right Sassenach and I didn't mean to put anyone off visiting.  Here is one of the "clearer" views I did manage to take.

 

Reg

 

 

DSC06213.JPG

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Fattyowls
3 hours ago, Waterloo Wanderer said:

 Pls post pics of High Wood

 

Hi Dan, do a search on High Wood or have a look at John's various posts as Frajohn; there are some superb photos of High Wood in various posts on the forum (Jon's snowy ones are particular favourites of mine). Just to set the bar extremely low initially here is one from Caterpillar Valley cemetery looking back top the wood.....

 

Pete.

 

1816780872_SunlightonHighWood.thumb.JPG.5a51a35f882b1b0d12b03a6379bdee2a.JPG

 

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Frajohn

Thank you for the kind words Pete, another view of High Wood

 

Kind regards

 

John

40285969163_6da4f71f86_o.jpg

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Fattyowls

Superb photo John, have you been microlighting? It's so good I can almost see your house.......

 

Pete.

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