Excursions & visits

Discover all Normandy has to offer with our expert animateurs

Central to the programme are guided excursions to local attractions in Normandy, which are led by animateurs to offer your students authentic cultural exposure and the opportunity to interact with the local community. In addition, back at the centre animateurs will lead a programme of activities and evening entertainment which will get your students speaking French while having heaps of fun—and they're sure to become more confident in the process!

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Excursions to local Normandy attractions

Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-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.

Local markets in Normandy

Local Markets

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.

Saint-Malo

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!

Goats Cheese Farm school trip excursion in Normandy

Goats Cheese Farm

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

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.

School trip excursion to Granville

Granville

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 Landing Beaches school trip excursion

Arromanches / Landing Beaches

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.

Caen excursion

Caen

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.

Local beaches school trip excursions in Normandy

Local Beaches

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.

Bayeux

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.

Villedieu-Les-Poêles

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

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.

Optional on-site activities at Château de la Baudonnière

Climbing at French education chateau in Normandy

Escalade (climbing)

On our own purpose built wall, pupils take it in turns to climb whilst those not climbing take on the role of instructor, or guide. The ‘guide’ directs their partner in French using the appropriate constructions and vocabulary for directions and body movements/parts. At the end of the session, your animateur will help your pupils to fill in their workbooks, revising sentence constructions and vocabulary used during the activity. Harnesses, helmets and other necessary safety equipment is supplied by the château.

Initiative Exercises normandy

Exercises d'initiative (Initiative Exercises)

The château grounds provide the perfect base from which to run these team building and problem-solving exercises. Animateurs will set your pupils up with various challenging tasks to be carried out in the forest. Pupils are encouraged to speak to each other in French (as much as possible!) as they work as a team to overcome the challenges that have been set.

Activities at The Château - Archery

Tir a l'arc (Archery)

After the obligatory safety talk, pupils learn how to shoot arrows in our purpose built archery arena. The session is finished off with a balloon shooting competition. The activity provides the perfect environment for practising French numbers (scores) and directions.

Orienteering

Course d’Orientation (Orienteering)

Students will be taught map reading in French using orienteering games and courses in The Chateau grounds. As well as using French language for features, directions and map symbols the team orienteering challenges will involve other French language quizzes as well as finding the control markers.

Activities at The Château - Assault Course

Parcours de Sante (Assault Course)

The obstacle course is quickly becoming the château’s most popular activity. Instructions, as usual, are given in French and pupils are asked to repeat ‘action’ statements before tackling each obstacle. It is an ideal activity for practising popular verbs and prepositions. Everyone loves parcours de santé because it gives them the chance to get rather wet and muddy!

Escrime Fencing

Escrime (Fencing)

As with everything we do, in our fencing sessions safety is our number one priority. So, only after the equipment has been issued and the safety brief has been fully understood, do pupils get down to practising their fencing moves. Your animateur will teach the basics of the sport in French and pupils will repeat actions whilst practising their new French phrases.

French school centre 4 v2

Fabrication du Pain (Bread Making)

Everyone loves making things they can enjoy and eat later, and even more so at the château because we combine bread baking with singing French songs! Primary school pupils love getting covered in flour, kneading their dough and enjoying their tasty treats later with their evening meal. A hands-down favourite.

Photography

Photogramme

"Photogramme" is an artistic activity which take place in a dark room. Using the photography development techniques, the kids will be able to create their own piece of art. They will use the nature surrounding them to discover the principles of early photography techniques and also to learn some new vocabulary. The Pupils can keep their creation at the end of the session.

Circus skills

Circus skills

Brilliant for learning a whole variety of French vocabulary and phrases, from the names of circus tools to the actions themselves, as well as more basic things such as colours, numbers and prepositions. Your animatuer will teach the technique alongside the art of circus skills.

Activities at The Château - Aeroball

Aéroballe (Aeroball)

Aéroballe is probably our most popular activity among teachers and pupils alike – it is a totally unique trampoline-basketball-volleyball game, suitable for all ages. It is played by two teams of two, who are guided by their friends in French.

Animal farm at educational french chateau

Mini-farm

The mini-farm is either one of the 'Petit-Boulots' that the students do before or after meal time, or a longer activity. During this session, the students will discover the vocabulary regarding the animals and the work that is done around them. They will experiment some of the tasks of the mini-farm including feeding the animals and cuddling the rabbits. The chickens, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, ponies and lamas all love this type of activity when the kids can approach them and take care of them!

activities Mountain Biking v2

V.T.T (Mountain Biking)

Vélo Tout Terrain (VTT) is excellent for the use of directions; tout droit, tourne à gauche etc. After the obligatory safety talk and issue of equipment, the students participate in a biking session involving a country ride. Parts of the bike are explained in French as well as commands, directions, road safety etc. These days this isn't one of our standard activities, but we can organise for older groups. We also have a bike tour during the week just for teachers.

Tournoi des Sports

Tournoi des Sports

We have 2 sports courts at the Chateau which we use for hockey, basketball and football. Our larger court can also be used for tennis and teachers sometimes use that. One of our evening programmes is our famous sports tournament which is great fun.

Evenings

Evenings

Evening activities at the chateau include; Grande Trouvaille – Photo-mystère, Tournoi de sports, Feu de camp, Quiz, Talent Show, Exercice d’initiative intérieur, Jeux d’intérieur, Jeux d’extérieur (l’été), Jeux Sans Frontière (l’été), Disco, Cinéma – Film sur Grand écran, Crêperie, Bowling

Discover more about Normandy Experience

Why choose us for your French school trip to Normandy?

French immersion works

Developed over 20 years, our approach to French teaching creates a truly immersive experience that is shown to improve learning and confidence.

We’re here for you

Our local managers are on hand 24/7 to look after the individual needs of your group and deliver the best experience every time you visit.

Schools return to us year after year

Our French language residentials offer the highest quality instruction and care which is why 8 out of 10 school groups return each year.

Animateurs are “like having another teacher on the trip”

All school group activities are led by our own French-native animateurs who are skilled at encouraging even the most reticent learner to use their French.

Authentic French experiences

As part of the local community, with ties across the region, we offer an authentic French cultural experience during your group's stay.

A French programme to suit your learning objectives

Looking for onsite adventure activities? The chance to experience authentic local culture? Or an escorted tour of Normandy's rich history and landmarks? We have a French trip to suit.