School Trips & Tours to Northern France

Northern France is a fantastic school trip destination for a number of reasons. Here, beautiful countryside meets medieval villages, poignant wartime memorials and wonderful food. 

The Opal Coast is an ideal destination for groups seeking to enhance language skills through a range of educational and cultural visits.  The area offers a range of seaside resorts, local markets, water and theme parks – so it’s perfect for French language groups to practise and enhance language skills, discover French culture and find time for a spot of group bonding too!

Our exclusive French Language Enrichment Experience at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem can be included in your school trip too.

Northern France is an ideal destination if the focus for your school trip is wartime history. By visiting sites significant to the conflict, your class can develop a stronger interpretation of the tactics employed in events such as Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk or Hitler’s Atlantic Wall at the French-Belgian Border. 

If music is your focus then we are also very well-known for providing school music groups of all abilities with a chance to perform in front of appreciative audiences as part of a school music tour of Northern France.

Get in touch today to find out more about how NST can help to tailor your perfect trip to France.

Browse our curriculum-linked school trips to Northern France

Cultural & Transition Year

Cultural & Transition Year

Provide your group with a real taste of life in France. The Opal Coast offers a fantastic choice of visits to introduce your pupils to a new culture.

Learn more about our cultural & transition year trips to the Opal Coast here

French Language

French Language

The Opal Coast is an ideal destination for groups seeking to enhance language skills through a range of educational and cultural visits. Our French language Enrichment Experience can be included in your school trip too.

Learn more about our French language trips to Opal Coast here

Music

Music

Combined with an array of memorable visits, a concert tour to Northern France offers groups the opportunity to bond and fully concentrate on their rehearsals and performance.

Learn more about our music trips to Northern France here


Northern France trip highlights - our groups love...

French Language Enrichment Experience at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem

French Language Enrichment Experience at NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem

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.

Language Workshops at Lille & Boulogne Universities

Language Workshops at Lille & Boulogne Universities

Lessons at the universities of Lille and Boulogne can be tailored to the ability of your group as well as your choice of topic. Your group will be split into classes of up to 15 pupils to ensure the maximum individual participation of each pupil, who will then go on to use their enhanced abilities and confidence in speaking the language for the remainder of the visit. These lessons are available year-round from Monday through to Saturday (excluding August).

Nausicaá Sea Centre

Nausicaá Sea Centre

This fascinating sea centre promotes learning through interactive exhibits. Their range of educational workshops is now available for all age groups in French or English, covering marine-based topics such as climate change, plankton or marine life. Groups can also choose from one of the following experiences as part of their visit: 'Shores and People' and the brand new 'High Seas' experience. Coastal boat trips are also available from Nausicaá too.

Local Boulangerie Visit

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. 

Local Goat Farm

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. 

P&J Chocolates

P&J Chocolates

This shop in Calais makes delicious chocolates daily, and also offers demonstrations and workshops on the chocolate-making process and its history.

Becasuc Sweet Factory

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. 

Les Escargotières

Les Escargotières

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. 

La Coupole

La Coupole

This fascinating museum was once the Nazi’s planned V2 rocket base. It now showcases the story of Hitler’s secret weapon and also of French life during WWII.

The bomb damaged remains of this V2 assembly and launching site house a museum covering the themes of the 1940s occupation of Northern France, the German secret weapons, the Cold War and the conquest of space.

For music groups

Two popular performance venues for music groups: 

Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres

Choirs and bands can perform two hymns alongside the British and Belgian national anthems at this daily ceremony commemorating the fallen of WWI. Participating in this ceremony is an incredibly moving experience for groups who are often able to lay a wreath on request.

St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent

Sacred choirs and orchestras are welcome to perform in this beautiful cathedral. Use of the organ can be arranged in advance.

NST’s Château d’Ebblinghem - NST’s exclusive school group accommodation

Just 8km east of St Omer on the Opal Coast in northern France is NST's Château d’Ebblinghem is ideal for a range of subject trips including French Language, cultural & Transition Year trips & music tours

Groups can also choose from an extenstive programme of free evening activities to easily enhance their itinerary. 

The complex is only open to NST groups, providing reassurance to teachers and parents and can accommodate year groups of up to 250 students. 

A dedicated on-centre Group Co-ordinator will ensure the smooth-running of each educational tour, providing all-round support. 

Planning your first school trip?

If you're planning your first 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

Northern France school trip experts

Hundreds of students travel with NST to Northern France every year, and members of our team regularly visit the region to really get to know the ins-and-outs of the area, from logistics and visits to our range of student-friendly accommodation.

Your dedicated Tour Co-ordinator will use their knowledge of the region to create an itinerary that’s tailor-made, perfectly timed and meets your exact school travel needs. They’ll be able to share their first-hand experience, suggest options you might not have considered and give you insight into the feedback other teachers have given us too.

Why choose NST...

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

  • Unrivalled knowledge

Your dedicated tour co-ordinator will use their unrivalled local knowledge and expertise of Northern France 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