School Travel Blog

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Christmas Markets - safe, sparkly and ready to make merry!

It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas but it’s not everywhere you go that you see the night time lit up with colourful, twinkling lights, great glistening Christmas trees stretching into the air, magical-looking ice rinks packed with happy skaters, twirling Ferris Wheels with excited faces watching the enchantment below from high up in the sky. It’s not every market square that has carole singers and intoxicating wafts of spice and sizzling Christmas treats on offer either. All these pleasures and more can be found in the Christmas markets of Europe. And, you can take your school on a short trip to some of the sparkliest and festive markets in France, Brussels, Germany and Holland quickly and easily with Voyager School Travel. 


A warm welcome awaits you at Voyager's own hotel on the Opal Coast

“A hidden gem”
In summer 2015 Voyager took over the stunning Le Moulin Aux Draps, a former Best Western hotel set in the tranquil countryside near the Opal Coast. Finding the right hotel to add to Voyager’s portfolio of language centres and school accommodation in Europe was no easy business –  Voyager’s Château de la Baudonnière in Normandy is already one of the most popular and respected French language centres amongst English schools. Voyager’s directors Nigel English, Nick Goddard and Trish Bryant had been looking for the right place for their new centre in the Opal Coast for a while:  “Discovering the  Le Moulin was a dream come true,” says Trish. “When we saw it for the first time we knew we’d found a hidden gem.”


What makes our animateurs special? Introducing Lilie

Anyone who visits the Château de la Baudonnière says there is a magic about the place. The enchantment begins as you drive through the idyllic green countryside of La Manche in Normandy to reach the château. Then you meander down the country lane leading to the château and see the 19th-century house for the first time. The turrets and the conservatory give it a fairytale look. Wild rabbits, cocky peacocks, clucky hens and a petulant parrot complete the scene. Later, when you explore the grounds, you find there are woods, a lake, a river and many more nooks, leafy dens and hideaways to keep you enthralled...


Piste wars – resorts accused of exaggerating claims over the length of their ski runs

Thinking of organising a winter ski tour for your school? Well it seems that some European resorts are not quite as well blessed with miles of pistes as they would have us believe.


Meet the team at the Moulin

Taking charge of a hotel has got to be one of the most exciting moments in the history of Voyager School Travel. The keys to the beautiful Le Moulin aux Draps  were passed to the Voyager team earlier this summer and it’s been all go at the hotel ever since. Trish, our Tours Director, has been busy turning this former 3-star Best Western hotel into a five-star centre for Voyager’s French Language Immersion programmes. “We inherited a pristine hotel with the most amazing views,” says Trish. “There are forests nearby and it’s just a fifteen-minute walk into the local town of Desvres. Desvres is like the French equivalent of Royal Doulton because it is a centre for pottery making and there is a museum there devoted to ceramics.”


FREE INSPECTION VISIT for teachers to our NEW 3* OPAL COAST HOTEL

Voyager School Travel are running a free, organised teacher inspection visit this July (22-24 July or 24-26 July) to their new 3* hotel, Le Moulin aux Draps, on the Opal Coast.


Voyager’s very own hotel on the Opal Coast

If you’re planning or already take school trips to the Opal Coast in France then Voyager has some very exciting news for you. We have just bought our own hotel, Moulin Aux Draps, moments away from the Opal Coast and set in the most peaceful and idyllic French countryside. Not only is the Moulin Aux Draps a lovely place to stay but it is only a 15-minute drive from Boulogne or 35 minutes from Calais. A school tour of northern France has never been so easy!


Ghostly goings on in Great War cemetery

You may see more than you bargained for on your next school tour of the Opal Coast. On a recent school trip to Arras in Northern France, a British school boy took photographs of the German cemetery at Neuville-St-Vaast on his mobile phone. Teenager Mitch Glover is studying poetry of World War I at school and he was on a school tour to look at war graves. He claims he didn't see or feel anything when he shot the pictures but when he got home and looked closely at the shots he could see the ghostly figure of a soldier near the graves. If you look at Mitch's photographs in the Daily Mail article you may be able to make out a soldier wearing a kilt and Tam o'Shanter. Is it the ghost of a soldier from the Seaforth Highlanders regiment whose cemetery lies just a few hundred metres away at the Nine Elms cemetery? Perhaps it's just a smudge on the lens of the camera.


Hitching a ride on a school trip

A visit to the police station is not the usual ending for a school trip to France. Last week a party of school pupils from Illford, Essex shared their coach home from France with a suspected illegal immigrant. The Sudanese teenager was said to have hitched a lift by clinging to the chassis of the coach. Amazingly, he was unharmed but the driver of the coach diverted the tour to the police station where the teenager was arrested by police on suspicion of illegal entry into the UK. Witnesses claim that the school party on board the coach didn't seem to know about the drama that was unfolding under their noses.


A taste of adventure

An adventure travel tour with Voyager Adventure is an action-packed holiday you will never forget. On our school trips children are taken out of their comfort zones and given the opportunity to try out the most amazing adrenalin-driven activities. We have carefully chosen some of the best watersport activity centres around France and Spain so your students can go sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, weaselling, windsurfing, paddleboarding, mountain biking and mountain climbing in safe, secure and incredibly scenic places. On top of this, our centres have some great evening activities including catapult combat, slacklining, blind trail, bin bag catwalk, nature treks and cabaret. All in all, your students will be kept busy and buzzing for the whole of the school trip. 


Paris gets more kids into cycling

It's no secret that the team at Voyager School Travel love Paris and we have some wonderful school trips, including language immersion school tours, for you. We really do believe that Paris has it all; whether it's history, art, architecture, entertainment, atmosphere and style. This week Parisiennes have gone one better by becoming the first city in the world to introduce a new cycle hire programme that really encourages kids to get on their bikes.


The Daily Telegraph - Château de la Baudonnière

Long before first light and at a time when the night owl was still in full cry, the children staying at Château de la Baudonnière were filing through the woods, torches in hands. They followed the path of the rushing river, clambered up the shadowy banks and, finally, as darkness gave way to dawn, arrived back at the château for a feast of coffee, croissants and more besides. For 12 wide-eyed young boys, it was a typically enchanting start to a day at this sporting activity-cum-educational centre near the Normandy coast. Maidwell Hall’s second most senior class - 10 and 11-year-olds - were in residence at the time of our visit.


Château de la Baudonnière in The Guardian

Education: Schools: Avant le deluge: With modern languages no longer compulsory at GCSE, what can be done to stem the flow of students dropping the subject

The group of teenagers sit round the table, white clouds of flour billowing into the air as they knead and roll their individual lumps of dough to the words of a French song. The singing gets louder as the pounding and pulverising gets more intense: "Roulez, roulez." One boy whose paper catering hat bears the name Thierry Henry gives a whoop of delight as he chucks his dough in the air.


Year 8 Paris Trip, Immanuel College

On Monday 31st March we travelled through the Eurotunnel to Paris for a trip which would give us many fun times and memories. On the first day we stopped to pay our respect to the fallen in The Battle of the Somme. At the Somme Memorial at Thiépval we recited Kadesh and special prayers and poems for the fallen. It was very emotional to see all the people that had died to give us a better future.


Family Adventure Holidays Featured in The Times!

Family Adventure Holidays is a new programme that Voyager have launched for families in France. The Normandy Adventure Week has been featured in the article 'The Best Family Adventures of 2014' in The Times newspaper.


Five Successful Inspection Visits To Normandy

Five teachers from schools that have not previously used us visited Château de la Baudonnière for an inspection visit during august before taking their groups.


Voyager Launch Family Adventure Holidays Website!

Voyager School Travel are pleased to announce the launch of the Family Adventure Holidays website which went live on Tuesday. After lots of hard work, the website is finally complete and will have all the information about our new product.


Introducing Family Adventure Holidays!

Voyager School Travel are very pleased to announce the launch of the the brand new programme for families in a few weeks' time: Family Adventure Holidays!


Voyager School Travel at Language Show Live!

The Language Show is an exhibition all about different cultures and languages that takes place yearly for people passionate about learning or teaching languages.


Schools Love Voyager's Paris Centre!

Cirencester Deer Park School recently went on a trip to our Etoiles Centre in Paris and loved every aspect of their stay.


Paris trip success

Queen's Lower School have just returned from their trip to Paris, which both pupils and teachers loved!


New veranda built in La Grand Ferme

A new veranda has just been built at our La Grand Ferme in Normandy!


The Eiffel Tower on strike!

The Eiffel Tower has been closed since Tuesday 25th June due to a staff strike. The Company Director has said that the strike was due to salary, company profit-sharing policy and other issues.


Argeles Adventure Centre Opens

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Voyager Interaction school makes local French press

One of our groups has had such a successful Voyager Interaction exchange trip, they have made the local French press!! To read the full article, click here.

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