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Visit before you go
Enjoy a two night complimentary B&B stay for two people in your group’s chosen accommodation before your trip. This offer does not include flights. Find out more.
Opal Coast Cultural & Transition Yr School Trips & Tours
Provide your group with a real taste of life in France, whilst offering fantastic visits which will introduce your pupils to a new culture, and fascinate them with an environment so different to their own!
If you’re seeking to challenge and inspire your group in the practical application of French language skills, our French Language Enrichment Experience can be included in your cultural trip too. Your group can visit traditional boulangeries, small farms producing local delicacies, and even a theme park!
For over 20 years we’ve helped Transition Year Co-ordinators plan the perfect, hassle free experience for their pupils to the Opal Coast.
Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.
|1||Morning flight from Ireland||Ypres, the Menin Gate & In Flanders Fields Exhibition||Group quiz|
|2||Boulogne Market & Nausicaä Marine Centre||Boulangerie visit with demonstration & croissant tasting||Crepe making activity|
|3||Les Chocolats de Beussent||La Coupole||Disco|
|4||Last minute shopping & sightseeing in Lille or similar||Transfer to airport for return flight to Ireland|
|Morning||Morning flight from Ireland|
|Afternoon||Ypres, the Menin Gate & In Flanders Fields Exhibition|
|Morning||Boulogne Market & Nausicaä Marine Centre|
|Afternoon||Boulangerie visit with demonstration & croissant tasting|
|Evening||Crepe making activity|
|Morning||Les Chocolats de Beussent|
|Morning||Last minute shopping & sightseeing in Lille or similar|
|Afternoon||Transfer to airport for return flight to Ireland|
On-tour support includes...
- Services of a See Off Representative at your departure airport
French Language Enrichment Experience at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem
Exclusive to NST
Our French Language Enrichment Experience has been designed to develop conversational and comprehension skills through a range of exciting target language-focused excursions and activities with an emphasis on enrichment experiences.
Throughout your tour, pupils will have daily interactions with French speakers to help build their confidence when communicating in a variety of social situations. No matter what your group’s age or ability, your experience can be pitched at exactly the right level to enrich their learning and enable your pupils to engage with the target language.
With the support of your own French-speaking Groupie at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem, your pupils will be encouraged to use their language skills at all times, for example, during morning language briefings, mealtimes and evening activities.
Your Groupie will liaise with you on arrival to confirm your group’s language requirements, to support differentiated learning styles and to ensure that your trip is meeting your needs. Then put your learning into practice by interacting with native French speakers on a series of local visits!
Find out more about our French Language Enrichment Experience.
St Joseph’s Village
Give your pupils an insight into 19th & 20th century French Life in this re-created French Village. They’ll develop their French vocabulary as they enter the specially constructed windmill, school, bakers shop, garage, and the chapel, all complete with the equipment of a bygone age.
This port town provides several cultural experiences located close together.
- Take a guided tour of the town and practise your language skills with the local French guide.
- Explore the Roman old town, spending time in its shops and cafés and practising language skills.
- Pupils can also compare French life past and present.
- Local market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Pupils can interact with traders, build language confidence and pick up a bargain or two.
Nausicaá Sea Centre
Nausicaá promises you an unforgettable voyage to the heart of the Ocean! Discover the 1,600 species who call the Aquarium home. A visit here will convince you that the Ocean is not only a wondrous and rich resource; it is also the future of Mankind. This fascinating sea centre promotes learning through interactive exhibits. Groups can explore two amazing worlds: "Journey on the High Seas" and "Mankind and Shores". Their range of educational workshops is now available for all age groups in French or English, covering marine-based topics such as ecology, marine life and tides.
Local Goat Farm
Gain an insight into French farming and cheese making. There are also opportunities for cheese tasting and, at certain times of the year, to help milk the goats.
Les Chocolats de Beussent
Learn about the industry of chocolate making and combine the demonstrations of melting, moulding and coating with worksheets, a guided tour of the workshop (in English or French), and the chance to enjoy tasting samples!
At this traditional boulangerie only French is spoken. Your pupils will learn new phrases as they see the making and baking of bread, brioche and papin pies, before leaving with a fresh croissant or pain au chocolat.
Get a real taste of France! At a working snail farm, your group will learn how one of France’s most famous foods is reared. Then sit back and see which of your pupils will be first to sample one for themselves.
Local Boulangerie Visit
There are a number of boulangeries in the region where your pupils will watch and listen to the baker describe, in French, the process of making traditional French bread and croissants, before getting the chance to produce and eat their own.
Becasuc Sweet Factory
Take a tour of the sweet factory located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where pupils will learn from the French commentary, demonstrations and be able to taste the delicious sweets produced.
Follow trail instructions and answer questions in French in this informative way to explore the town. NST’s exclusive trails are an excellent method of getting pupils to read, repeat and understand French words and phrases. Town trails are available in:
- St Omer
‘Talk French’ with Hannah France
NST has joined forces with Hannah France, an MFL teacher now living on the Opal Coast. Hannah can create bespoke language lessons for your pupils including speaking and listening sessions to prepare them for key visits in your itinerary such as the chocolate factory or boulangerie. Hannah will then support the group at their visit, coaching pupils to approach and interact with staff. Hannah can work with groups up to A-level standard and can offer many learning activities including a town trail around the charming walled town of Montreuil-sur-Mer with opportunities for pupils to interact with locals.
Home to over 5,000m² of wave pools and water slides that will keep your pupils active whilst they’re away.
Bellewaerde Theme Park
Spend a day at this fantastic theme park, home to a wonderful mix of rollercoasters, shows, animals and water features.
Natur’Pom Cider Farm
Visit the organic orchards at this cider farm and learn about the ecosystem of the farm, the cycle of the plant and organic production. Visits can be adapted to the age of pupils and there is an on-site shop for tasty souvenirs!
Le Touquet sits at the estuary of the River Canche and is the perfect location for Tourism Studies. Observe and describe key sites and locations, and gather information to produce a sightseeing guide. Le Parc de l’Estuaire also offers the opportunity to study the natural sand dune and woodland ecosystems of this area.
This shop in Calais makes delicious chocolates daily, and also offers demonstrations and workshops on the chocolate-making process and its history.
- WWI experiences (including trying on replica wartime uniforms and making traditional ‘army biscuits’ at NST's Château d'Ebblinghem
- Viewing WWI artefacts (examples of items include whistles, replica medals, drill rounds, regimental cap badges and button sticks) at NST's château
- Organised evening activities at the château (including a French night, snail tasting, making traditional tarte au sucre, mini Olympics, a disco or karaoke, Superhero Challenge, NST’s Got Talent, boules...and much more!)
- Excellent recreational facilities at the château (including a games room, a teachers’ bar, a shop, two football pitches, volleyball area and four hectacres of private grounds
- Most other hotels can provide a room for groups to use in the evening for quizzes or discos
We offer flights from a variety of departure airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.
Giving you full support throughout
Before your tour
- Your own dedicated NST contact
- Bespoke tour itineraries
- Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
- Curriculum linked visit programmes
- Great value for money - no hidden costs
- Free group leader inspection visits
- Risk assessment guidance
- Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits
Whilst you're away
- Free educational resources
- Group-friendly accommodation
- Exceptional standards of coaching
- On-tour support from our reps on the ground
- Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
- 24/7 support just a call away
- Extensive group travel insurance
On your return
- Priority rebooking services
- Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
- You say, we listen - we're committed to continuously improving our tours
- School travel company of choice since 1996