Visitors Centre at Tyne Cot Cemetery

Inside the Visitors Centre looking through the panoramic window to the west and the city of 
		Ypres. The northernmost corner wall of Tyne Cot cemetery can be seen on the left.

Since the late 1990s there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people visiting the First World War battlefields of the Ypres Salient. Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British military cemetery in the world, and the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, will almost always be included in visitors' itineraries.

The path from the car park to the Visitors Centre at Tyne Cot.
Path from the car park to the Visitors Centre at Tyne Cot.

The large number of visitors to this cemetery each year, and problems created by lots of coaches parking at the front entrance gate, produced a need for the construction of a specially designated parking area with a Visitors Centre at Tyne Cot.

The building work was completed in 2006. It was officially opened at a ceremony on 12th July 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Queen Paola of Belgium.

The Visitors Centre

Remembering the 34,887 Missing in Action

Entrance to the Visitors Centre for Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.
Entrance to the Visitors Centre for Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.

As visitors walk along the path to the Visitors Centre names are spoken out loud by a female voice. These names are called out every few seconds on a continuous speaker system.

Each of the names is for one of the 34,887 soldiers from the United Kingdom and New Zealand Forces who are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

Display panels at the Tyne Cot Visitors Centre.

Displays

The Visitors Centre contains display panels, items on display and a video film to explain the history of this part of the battlefield and the men on all sides who fought and died here.

Access to Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial

Exit from the Visitors Centre, turning right to follow the pedestrian route to Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.
Exit from the Visitors Centre, turning right to follow the pedestrian route to Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.

On leaving the Visitors Centre visitors make their way from the centre to the right and to the northernmost corner of the Tyne Cot cemetery wall.

Then walking slightly downhill visitors make their way along the outside of the northern boundary of Tyne Cot cemetery.

Turning left at the road the entrance to the cemetery is only a few metres' further on. The few minutes' walk is a good opportunity to take the time to look out across the fields of the old battlefields of the Ypres Salient, towards the spires of Ypres only a few kilometres in the distance.

Many thousands of lives were lost in the battles fought on this area of ground for exactly four years from late October 1914 to late September 1918. Some 90,000 British and Commonwealth and as many German casualties have never been found with their identity intact. Reported as missing in action in the Ypres Salient they either still lie in the fields around Ypres or are buried in many hundreds of graves marked as “Known unto God”.

Leaving the Visitors Centre visitors turn right to walk along the boundary wall of the cemetery, looking across the northern Ypres Salient towards the brickworks' chimneys at Zonnebeke, Ypres beyond them and the Kemmelberg hill on the far horizon.

Parking for Cars and Coaches

The car park is spacious for cars and coaches.

All guided tour coaches and minibuses are required to use this designated parking area, which provides a safe access route into the cemetery. There is absolutely no parking allowed for commercial and larger vehicles on the narrow lane at the front of the cemetery.

Whilst it is acceptable to still park a family car at the front entrance of the cemetery during quiet visiting times, all vehicles are now directed from the main road, the N303, to park in the car park at the eastern end of the cemetery.

This has been done for reasons of safety especially at busy visitor times, for example in the summer months and the Armistice anniversary on and around 11th November. It avoids the danger to pedestrians created by larger vehicles causing congestion on the narrow lane at the main entrance of the cemetery. Before this arrangement was introduced a coach trying to manoeuvre around several other coaches parked by the main cemetery entrance on 11th November became stuck in a ditch. No-one was injured but it highlighted to the local authorities that steps needed to be taken to avoid such problems in the future.

Public Toilets

There are (coin operated) public toilets in the car park.

Visitor Information

Admission

Free

Opening Hours

1 February - 30 November: Open daily 10.00 - 18.00 hours

Tyne Cot Cemetery and Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing

Aerial view of Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial photographed in the 1980s.
Aerial view of Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial photographed in the 1980s.

For a detailed description, numerous photographs and a section of trench map go to our pages about the cemetery and the memorial at:

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing

Location of the Visitors Centre at Tyne Cot Cemetery

The Visitors Centre is located at the eastern side of Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing. It is signposted from the N303/N37 Beselare-Passendale road.

Latitude N 50° 53' 18.45" ; Longitude E 3° 0' 0.79" (Latitude 50.888457; Longitude 3.000222)

Related Topics

Map of the front lines in the Ypres Salient at the end of the Third Battle of Ypres (known as the Battle of Passchendaele) by mid November 1917.
Map of the front lines in the Ypres Salient at the end of the Third Battle of Ypres (known as the Battle of Passchendaele) by mid November 1917.

Museums in the Ypres Salient

Cemeteries in the Ypres Salient

Memorials in the Ypres Salient

Battles in the Ypres Salient