Hill 60 is an artificial mount formed by the earth excavated from the adjacent railway cutting. It was seized by the Germans at the beginning of war and became a major site of the underground war where networks of galleries were painfully dug by both camps in order to attack the opponent’s positions.
The British miner regiments dug underground galleries under Hill 60 and managed to capture the sector in 1915, but the Germans recaptured it shortly after.
The underground fights on Hill 60 lasted from 1915 until 1917, a period during which many soldiers fell to mine explosions.
Sadly many bodies were never ever recovered and still lie underneath Hill 60…
Hill 60 is therefore a sacred ground, a place of burial that should be visited with respect.
You could easily miss Hill 60 when approaching the site as the hill is much smaller than expected, and it is shaded by trees and protected by bushes from the road.
It stands at the edge of the small town of Zillebeke and you can park your car in a reserved area marked by a memorial plaque by the site’s entrance, just after crossing the bridge that spans the railway.
At first sight, Hill 60 looks like any other underwood, almost like a town park…until you notice the deep craters covered with grass and scattered among the trees that were planted to stop the site from being destroyed by wind and water erosion.
Hill 60 has therefore been preserved in its wartime state.
A path runs around the site from the entrance to the top of the hill where a memorial monument, plaques and stones have been placed.
The path then leads towards a ruined bunker that reminds us of the German occupation and across more craters before returning to the entrance.
It is a short circuit but the depth and width of the craters leave very little to the imagination, the explosions must have been horrendous!
My advice when visiting Hill 60:
Road signs direct you to the site but we found them a little bit too discreet and they can be easily missed if you don’t know what to look for, so I suggest you prepare your itinerary before setting off.
The car park is not huge, I would say that it can accommodate 10 cars, but it seems fairly easy to park along the road which is not very busy.
The site is well maintained, there are brambles on the sides but they are not in the way but I would advise you to wear hiking or walking shoes as the terrain follows the declivity created by the craters.
As I wrote above, Hill 60 is a sacred ground; many men are buried in its earth. The thought of it is quite moving despite the peace and quiet of the place!
Hill 60 is another Must Do when visiting Flanders Fields.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC