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. Built in the 11th century, 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!
The Goats Cheese Farm is always a popular option among our groups. Pet the goats, milk them and finish off with a tasting session – delicious!
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.
15 minutes from the Château, 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.
La Cité de la Mer is one of Normandy’s must-see family attractions about man’s adventures under the sea. You can spend a whole day here and visit “Titanic, return to Cherbourg”, a unique exhibition about the celebrated liner. You will also be able to listen to the Captain of Le Redoutable telling you all about his life on board the largest submarine in the world that is open to the public**. Then you will gaze in awe at the 17 aquariums, including the magical, 11-metre-deep, Abyssal Aquarium.
** for safety reasons, children under five are not allowed to visit Le Redoutable submarine.
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This was my first trip and, although I had been informed how well run it was, I had not expected it to be quite as fab as it was – what an excellent trip it was – thank you ! The boys were looked after well and their French has definitely benefitted from the experience.
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