Cultural & Transition Year School Trips & Tours

We have put together a great choice of themed itineraries in all our exciting destinations, which are ideal for a transition year trip, enrichment week, a cultural tour or a group bonding and reward trip - all of which can be adapted to suit your specific objectives.

Our range of transition year trips offer a unique opportunity to inspire curiosity and create stronger relationships among teenage groups beyond the four walls of their usual classroom. These trips build interpersonal skills by encouraging young people to step outside of their comfort zone, meet interesting people, try new things and understand more about the world we live in. 

The connections made on a transition year or cultural school trip – whether personal relationships or cultural understanding – often last for far longer than the time actually spent away.

For over 20 years we’ve helped Transition Year Co-ordinators plan the perfect, hassle free experience for their pupils and we understand the changing needs of each group.

Focusing on the pupil experience, our destination range will allow your pupils to gain fresh cultural insights and experiences abroad. NST can help you every step of the way in organising a comprehensive itinerary that is educational yet fun and fulfilling for pupils travelling abroad during their transition year. 

Whether you’re looking to learn more about art and design in Paris, business in Berlin or theatre in New York, we have a huge selection of trips for your transition year pupils on offer that can be shaped to suit your individual needs. Get in touch today to find out how we could help you. 

Learn more about our cultural & transition year trips to Europe

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Many groups choose to base themselves in Noordwijk, a modern seaside resort with long sandy beaches, numerous cafés, shops and traditional Dutch attractions. Noordwijk provides a suitable base for excursions to Amsterdam and the Hague. Amsterdam offers a wide choice of visits and attractions with many world famous museums and galleries.

Learn more about our trips to Amsterdam here

Andalucía

Andalucía

During an NST tour to this colourful region, groups will have the opportunity to sample traditional Spanish lifestyle and culture, whilst gaining an understanding of local people and their customs and putting their language skills into practice. With a variety of visits to choose from, including historical landmarks, language workshops, flamenco lessons, Andalucía is the perfect destination for a school trip.

Learn more about our trips to Andalucía here

Barcelona

Barcelona

A school trip to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona certainly won't disappoint! This seaside city is steeped in history, offering a diverse range of educational visits and language enrichment experiences. The rich history of the city, as well as the talents of its artists including Gaudí, Picasso and Dalí, is visible throughout the city's many museums, landmarks and attractions, perfect for a cultural or transition year trip, or enrichment and activities week. 

Learn more about our trips to Barcelona here

Bay of Naples

Bay of Naples

The preserved towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum provide a unique insight into 1st century Roman life, while coastal towns show their strategic importance to both the provision and protection of Rome. Our tailor-made Bay of Naples cultural trip itineraries provide students with a real insight into life in Roman times. A mild climate makes this the ideal area to visit at any time of the year. We also offer a range of alternative Italy school trips to fit your requirements, contact us for more information.

Learn more about our trips to Bay of Naples here

Rome & Bay of Naples

Rome & Bay of Naples

Students taking this two-centre package gain a valuable insight into life in both Rome and the outlying regions that supplied the city. Combining Rome’s classical heritage with the trappings of a modern city, it is a fascinating year round destination to visit.

Learn more about our trips to Rome & Bay of Naples here

Belfast

Belfast

Belfast is quickly becoming an exciting city to visit - and with more and more exhibitions and cultural visits opening, it's a destination that's suitable for all ages. With a great choice of experiences to excite students studying a variety of topics including  Titanic Belfast® which has brought a new life to the Titanic Quarter, Belfast is an excellent low budget visit for school groups.

Learn more about our trips to Belfast here

Black Forest

Black Forest

This picturesque region, situated on the east side of the French-German border, provides a great base for students to strengthen friendships whilst exploring and comparing two countries in one visit. We can build an itinerary that includes various visits and attractions in the cities of Strasbourg and Freiburg and the many other forest and spa towns on either side of the border.

Learn more about our trips to Black Forest here

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin is one of Europe's most historic cities and has evolved to become vibrant and cosmopolitan with educational and cultural visits. A school trip to this lively city will give pupils a greater understanding of German life, past and present. History groups can gain insight into the Cold War and the Holocaust. German language pupils will be immersed in the culture of German life, helping to reinforce classroom-based learning and enhance language skills.

Learn more about our trips to Berlin here

Dublin

Dublin

Why not take your school group to the Irish Capital? Enjoy the amazing visits that are educational, cultural and fun. With a diverse range of activities, museums and guided tours, this is an exciting destination with excellent access from all over Ireland.

Learn more about our trips to Dublin here

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, with the medieval maze of the Old Town ready to explore. Whether you’re looking for fascinating museums, enchanting history and heritage or dramatic cultural landmarks, you’ll find it all in Edinburgh.

Learn more about our trips to Edinburgh here

Florence

Florence

Your students will be amazed by the vast array of impressive buildings, fascinating galleries and treasure-crammed churches. The birthplace of the Renaissance will leave your group with a lasting impression of Italian heritage and culture. The group will stay in smaller more suitable town of Montecatini, only one hour’s drive from Florence and close to Pisa and Lucca for day trips.

Learn more about our trips to Florence here

Krakow

Krakow

The ancient capital of Poland is a hugely important historical and cultural centre. Its compact and pretty city centre provides students with easy access to the many impressive tourist attractions.

Learn more about our trips to Krakow here

Lake Garda

Lake Garda

The largest and most spectacular of the Italian lakes and home to a number of lively lakeside towns and villages. Lake Garda is an ideal base to take in Venice, Padua, Verona and Milan.

Learn more about our trips to Lake Garda here

Loire Valley

Loire Valley

This diverse region of France is an ideal destination for a cultural or transition tear tour. Known as ‘the Garden of France’, the Loire Valley is home to many cultural and educational visits for school groups. 

Learn more about our trips to Loire Valley here

London

London

An exciting London cultural tour offers pupils the opportunity to cover many aspects of their curriculum in a short space of time. By choosing NST, you’ll receive valuable advice and expertise on hundreds of visits, as well as excellent prices at top attractions, West End shows and pupil-friendly accommodation.

Learn more about our trips to London here

Moscow & St Petersburg

Moscow & St Petersburg

Russia has played a pivotal role in many of the key events of the 20th century and has a rich history that spans back even further. Pupils will see the majestic legacy of its Tsardoms and Empires, and learn about the conversion to Communism and the creation of the Soviet Union too.

Learn more about our trips to Moscow & St Petersburg here

Munich

Munich

Bavaria's capital, Munich, provides a diverse range of attractions for your group to explore. NST will tailor-make your itinerary to include the Royal Palaces, modern architecture, film studios and numerous museums enabling your students to learn about the history of Bavaria and way of life in modern Munich.

Learn more about our trips to Munich here

Manchester

Manchester

Exciting things have been happening in Manchester over recent years, and this vibrant city offers lots to see and do. Major touring musicals stop off at the Palace Theatre, MediaCity UK continues to grow, and the exciting tour of Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground is still our most popular visit.

Learn more about our trips to Manchester here

Madrid

Madrid

Soak up the Spanish culture and explore the many museums, monuments and parks during an NST cultural or transition year school trip to this colourful city. Madrid combines a modern infrastructure with an important cultural and artistic heritage, the legacy of centuries of fascinating history. With a range of cultural and educational visits to choose from, a trip to the city is certain to inspire your pupils.

Learn more about our trips to Madrid here

Opal Coast

Opal Coast

NST's exclusive school group accommodation, Château d'Ebblinghem, situated on the Opal Coast, Northern France is ideal for small groups through to whole year groups - perfect for a year 7 bonding trip, Christmas markets or enrichment and activity week.

Learn more about out trips to the Opal Coast here

Paris

Paris

Paris is one of NST's most popular overseas destinations, as well as being one of Europe's most iconic and popular cities. The French capital offers an abundance of exciting visits and attractions which touch upon much of the curriculum. As well as being a fun and cultural experience, Paris is perfect for enrichment week or transition year trip with lots of activities for your group to do. 

Learn more about our trips to Paris here

Rhine & Moselle

Rhine & Moselle

The region offers a wide range of visits that give an insight into German life and a safe and welcoming environment within which to practise language skills. NST offers an excellent choice of accommodation serving the needs of school groups and our tailor-made itineraries will add real value to your classroom based learning.

Learn more about our trips to Rhine & Moselle here

Rome

Rome

Combining its classical heritage with the trappings of a modern city, Rome is a fascinating destination to visit. Its centre is sufficiently compact to accommodate walking tours while its extensive and excellent metro system also affords easy access to the superb range of museums, monuments and tourist attractions, making it perfect for enrichment week or a cultural tour. Only by visiting Rome can you really understand the splendour and decadence of 'The Eternal City' and is certain to leave your pupils feeling inspired.

Learn more about our trips to Rome here

Venice

Venice

Venice is a truly magical city of painted palaces and serene churches built on a series of islands that are united by bridges and crisscrossed by canals, while Lido di Jesolo is an ideal base for student groups to explore the region.

Learn more about our trips to Venice here

Learn more about our cultural & transition year long haul destinations

China

China

Our fully inclusive tour of China will be the experience of a lifetime for many pupils. The diverse mix of historical landmarks, incredible scenery and interactive Chinese experiences reveal the rich and long history of one of the oldest civilisations in the world.

Learn more about our trips to China here

New York

New York

Absorb the bright lights and pizzazz of Broadway with a school trip to New York. Take in the art scene at some world-renowned museums and galleries. Visit top media organisations to get the low-down on TV, film and radio production. Explore the origins of the Civil Rights Movement. Discover the city's past as an arrival port for 20th century migrants. Learn more about the heart of US finance on Wall Street. Plus, benefit from great group prices too.

Learn more about our trips to New York here

Washington DC

Washington DC

Chosen as the US capital for its tactical location between the South and the North, Washington DC offers a whole host of experiences for school groups. This is the ideal cultural trip destination to couple with a trip to New York as many American history themes can be covered within, and between, the two cities too. NST also offer trips to other great American cities, view our range.

Learn more about our trips to Washington DC here

West Coast USA

West Coast USA

Don't hesitate to take your group to America's West Coast. With its areas of great natural beauty coupled with some of the world's most awe inspiring cities, you will be far from disappointed. Film studios strip back the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to give a true impression of what really goes on behind-the-scenes. An array of other media and film visits and workshops, a huge selection of leisure opportunities, guided city tours and the incomparable National park scenery, is guaranteed to leave your pupils wanting more.

Learn more about our trips to West Coast USA here


Planning your first school trip?

If you're planning your first cultural & transition year school trip, our essential guide will take you through each step of the process...

  • Choosing your destination
  • Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head
  • Promoting your tour in school
  • Confirming your booking
  • Tailor-make your tour
  • Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment)
  • Quick reference timeline
  • Pre-tour checklist

Additional support, resources & information

Tour planning service

Tour planning service

With NST, you’ll get your own dedicated, knowledgeable Tour Co-ordinator who’ll work with you from start to finish. You’ll benefit from their unrivalled destination knowledge, and their experience gained from working with many other groups too. They’ll tailor-make your itinerary from scratch and take care of everything for you: 

  • Pulling together an itinerary that runs smoothly 
  • Planning the right balance of visits every day with realistic timings 
  • Pre-arranging and pre-booking your visits, entrance tickets, passes and meals 

 

You’ll receive your final itinerary a full 4-weeks before you travel too.

Free school trip promotion pack

Free school trip promotion pack

We’ll support you and provide everything you need to advertise your school trip around school and to parents. Our free school trip promotion pack consists of: 

  • Parents’ letter & permission slip template for you to complete A3 posters to promote your trip around school 
  • PowerPoint presentation templates which you can tailor to your own needs 
  • Online parents’ video which showcases the benefits of taking a school trip 

Risk assessment support including preview visits

Risk assessment support including preview visit

Risk assessment plays a vitally important part in the planning and organisation on any school tour.

Our risk assessment guide aims to help you understand more about your obligations and how you can more effectively manage group safety on your next educational visit and provide you with risk assessments for your trip.

Planning first school trip

Planning first school trip

Organising your first school trip can appear to be a daunting process. 

If you're planning your first school trip, our guide will help to take you through each step of the planning process, answering frequently asked questions and providing tips and support along the way. 

Our helpful guide covers the following: 

  • Choosing your destination 
  • Gaining approval from your Local Authority and/or your Head 
  • Promoting your tour in school 
  • Confirming your booking 
  • Tailor-make your tour 
  • Completing your risk assessments (including a sample risk assessment) 
  • Quick reference timeline 
  • Pre-tour checklist 

 

View our essential guide to a successful school trip here

Get live updates on your group's tour location

Get live updates on your group's tour location

Locate My Trip uses GPS technology and is the easy, convenient way for your school to follow your location whilst on tour. Specifically designed to provide reassurance to both parents and teachers, NST will know where your group are 24/7. If your schedule needs to change, we’ll put plans in place to keep your tour on track. 

With Locate My Trip your group can also share photos and videos with the school and parents, via a secure link, to keep them updated on your experience whilst you’re away.

Watch our short Locate My Trip video here

Your online school trip organiser - My Tour Manager

Your online school trip organiser - My Tour Manager

Save time and stay on track with your school trip admin with our online orgnaniser - designed to help busy teachers like you. 

With My Tour Manager, you'll be able to download FREE resources and access trip paperwork online and in one place. Your personalised checklist details what you need to do and by when, plus you'll receive fortnightly reminders too. 

What's more, you can take all your trip documents on the go whilst on your tour with our app, My Tour Manager-On-the-Go. 

Find out more and watch out short My Tour Manager video here

Free classroom resources

Free classroom resources

We've created a range of free geography resources and educational posters to brighten up your classroom!

Take a look at our downloadable posters here

Speak to one of our school travel experts

Our team of school travel experts have unrivalled destination knowledge and experience so they can help to bring your tour ideas to life and might even suggest options you hadn’t already thought of too!

So get in touch today and we'll help to create a bespoke, budget-friendly tour itinerary to meet your specific learning requirements.

Why choose NST...

Here's why hundreds of teachers choose NST each year...

  • Unrivalled knowledge

Your dedicated cultural & transition year tour co-ordinator will use their unrivalled local knowledge and expertise to create a tailor-made, curriculum-linked itinerary to meet your group’s exact needs.

  • Making it easier for you

With our online school trip organiser, travel app, free classroom posters to support in-school promotion.

  • FREE group leader inspection visits

We offer a free inspection visit to your chosen destination to support your risk assessment planning. 

  • Value for money

We’re committed to bringing you the best possible value trips to help make every penny count.

 

  • More than 20 years’ experience

With over 20 years’ experience, with NST you can rest assured that your group is in safe hands.

  • Risk assessment guidance

Our risk assessment guidance will help you to manage group safety on your next educational trip. 

  • Peace of mind

Your group’s location can be followed with our trip tracking device - Locate My Trip - plus you’ll have 24/7 support from us whilst you’re away.

  • Offsetting carbon emissions

For every trip taken, we'll plant a Maya nut tree in Peru to support reforestation, local communities & biodiversity. Plus, we'll offset an additional tonne of CO2 to guarantee carbon emission reductions. 

Looking for protection on your next school trip? 

Booking with a school travel company is the best way for you to protect parents’ money and give yourself peace of mind.

Financial protection from the moment you book

NST are fully bonded & licensed:

  • ABTA
  • ATOL
  • IATA
  • Commission for Aviation Regulation

 

Managing safety on school trips

For your protection, NST's independently audited Safety Management System covers:

  • 24-hour emergency cover
  • Audited accommodation & transport
  • Excursions & school visit assessment
  • Group leader preview visits to assist with risk assessment planning

Package Travel Regulations 2018

Don't forget - if your school arranges transport, accommodation and other services directly, you’ll be liable under the Package Travel Regulations – meaning you’ll have all the responsibilities of a travel company, both legal and financial. 

We're LOtC Council’s Quality Badge assured

For groups travelling from Northern Ireland... the Department for Education advises schools to always look for the LOtC Quality Badge when choosing a school travel provider.

Learn more here