Ypres Camping (Campsite Jeugdstadion)
Recently Ewelina and I decided to take the Hymer for one last quick overseas trip and settled on 2 nights in Belgium. After the short drive to Dover we boarded a DFDS ferry to Dunkirk arriving mid afternoon. We decided to spend the first night in Ypres or Leper as it’s now known locally, staying at the Aire which is generally known as Ypres Camping or Camping Jeugstadion (it’s located close to a sports stadium). Our second night would be spent at the aire in Bruges.
Ypres Camping (Campsite Jeugdstadion) – Review Summary
Though I don’t think you need to book in advance, if you are sure about your travel plans I would recommend booking as the process on their website is easy and you receive an email confirmation. Finding Ypres Camping was straight forward enough. As well as an address that you can use for your sat nav, the website also has a link called ‘Route and Location’ which shows a map with their exact location. It should be noted that the motorhome park is open all year but the rest of the campsite closes in mid November and does not open again until March. The shower block is also closed off season so bear this in mind if you don’t have a shower on board.
The reception is only staffed for a few hours in the morning morning and late afternoon but even outside these hours you can check in using automated machines. For a nightly fee of €12.00 you get a parking place, electricity and use of the shower block when open. There is also a free wifi signal but to be honest connection is poor unless you have a wifi extender or happen to be right next to reception.
When you arrive you will come to a barrier. Leave your vehicle and head to the reception area. The automated machines are simple to use and offer instructions in various languages. As well as the camping fee there will also be a €4.00 security deposit for a keycard that you will be issued. This keycard is what will open the barrier to the campsite. Depending on the season the keycard is also needed to access the shower block. You will get the deposit back when you check out and leave Ypres Camping.
As well as space for regular tent campers I believe they also have a hikers hut which can be booked.
Ypres Camping – What to see and do in the area
Ypres Camping makes a great base to look around Ypres itself which has some interesting architecture and shops. Most probably come here though because of it’s links to the First World War. Every night at 8:00pm there is the ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate which I went along to and witnessed. The Menin Gate is a war memorial to British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the area during World War I who have no known grave. The list of names on the insides of this huge memorial go on forever, you are left in no doubt how costly this was in terms of human life.
It’s a moving ceremony attended by dignitaries, locals and tourists alike and I left with the feeling that it was a fitting way to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony in no way glorifies way.
Besides the Menin Gate, Ypres Camping also makes a good base to explore some of the war cemeteries in this area. One of the most well known is called Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world. On a previous visit to the area close to the France / Belgium border I visited many cemeteries. Michelin even had a map you could buy if you were doing a driving tour of the cemeteries. I even remember visiting one for Indian Commonwealth soldiers which had Asian feel about the architecture.
Whatever the reason you happen to find yourself in Ypres (Leper) if you are in a motorhome I can recommend Ypres Camping as a good option!