Normandy is surrounded by a variety of exciting excursion options. An animateur will accompany you on all your excursions and continue to encourage your group to speak French as much as possible. Pupil workbooks add structure and organisation to each visit allowing you and your students to get the most out of your time away from the château. As you would expect, Normandy excursion options range from history based trips (medieval and C.20th), to Goats Cheese farms, local town markets and even beaches.
Le Mont St. Michel may well be France’s most famous landmark outside of Paris. According to legend the abbey was founded in 708 AD by Saint Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, following three visions of Archangel Michael,instructing him to build a church on a rocky islet nearby. Since then it has not only become a centre of pilgrimage of world renown, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located 1 kilometre off the Normandy/Brittany coast, and surrounded by quicksand, the Mont is inhabited by just 40 people (including its own football team!) and visited each year by 3,000,000.
The Abbey is a feat of medieval architecture with outstanding panoramic views over the bay. The adventurous can approach by crossing the tidal causeway, but wearing shorts is recommended! A guide will make sure you follow a safe route and point out interesting features along the way.
French markets are a staple of French culture and are always lively colourful affairs, selling local produce, French fashion and accessories and plenty of seasonal fruit and veg. The vendors are usually friendly and keen to help pupils practise their French – ideal places to pick up souvenirs.
Our region is rich in towns where every stone is steeped in history, with medieval ramparts perched over picturesque valleys. One of the finest is St Malo, with its magnificent cathedral, Wax Museum and the Old Market Hall, shops with local crafts and open markets. It’s also home to a huge aquarium, where you can ride on a submarine or even touch living fish – a real hands on experience!
A legendary visit amongst our schools. Tony is passionate about his life as a farmer, his goats, and the delicious cheese he produces with their milk. This is a memorable visit guided by Tony himself, it includes learning about the production of cheese on a small, non-industrial scale, with the highlight being the opportunity to groom and feed the goats, maybe even to help milk the goats - all rounded off by a tasting. Bon appétit!
Dinan is one of the most attractive medieval walled cities in France. The old town is full of half-timbered houses, churches, castles and cobbled streets overlooking the river Rance. Its fortifications made Dinan an almost impregnable fortress.
The old town with its narrow cobbled streets of houses built from local granite offers panoramic views towards the islands of Jersey and Guernsey to the north and Mont Saint-Michel to the south. Built on its own little peninsula, once the basis of the town's defences, Granville is compact and a fantastic shopping centre.
Arromanches was at the heart of the D-Day Landings and as such has superb museums with emotive and informative displays. One of these museums features a 360° cinema with unreleased footage from war correspondents filmed on D-Day.
The Musée du Débarquement in Arromanches des Bains explains the construction, creation and use of Mulberry Harbours (temporary harbours made because the Germans occupied all fixed harbours along the Northern French coast), which were absolutely crucial to the Allies in winning strategic advantage over the German forces: some say that without them the D-Day Landings would almost certainly have failed.
The town of Caen is mostly known for its long history. As the city of William the Conqueror, Caen has protected its magnificent heritage including the Caen castle, one of the largest medieval fortress of its time, which now serves as an Art Museum. Caen was also a key site of the Battle of Normandy during the Second World War - a core part of our Normandy Battlefield tours programme. The city has preserved the memory by building a memorial for peace. (see our Modern History page)
The Normandy coastline is beautiful, with miles upon miles of long sandy beaches. So for groups fancying a bit of R&R, a trip to the beach is perfect for an impromptu picnic, beach games led by your animateur or an interesting coastal walk.
Go to the entrancing city of Bayeux to uncover the mysteries of the C.11th Bayeux Tapestry depicting the events leading up to the defeat of King Harold by William the Conqueror, including the Battle of Hastings. Aside from the Tapestry, don’t miss the magnificent medieval cathedral.
30 minutes from La Grand'ferme, groups can visit the town's Bell Foundry, Copper Workshop and Pewter Museum. It is rich in history and has a great morning market every Tuesday.
Maison de la Presse, Cathedral and Cemetery, Falaise, Paris, Flers, Côte Fleurie, Honfleur, Souterroscope - underground caves and tunnels, Cider Farm, Honey Farm, Mussel Farm, Fromagerie de chèvre, Oyster Farm, Pegasus Bridge, Second World War Museums, Mémorial Museum, Pointe Du Hoc, Longueville Battery, Colleville Cemetery
The programme of activities was varied to suit our particular needs – we went for a cross-curricular approach giving us a good range of linguistic and physical activities. The food was wonderful – we ate calmars, vol au vents au poisson, dinde à la crème and lovely picnics.St Margaret's School, Hampstead, article in ISMLA Newsletter
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