School tours to the Opal Coast have been hugely popular for many years. Famous for its typically French atmosphere, beautiful coastline, elegant resorts and more historic sites and monuments than any other French region, the Opal Coast scores highly in every way!
The Opal Coast offers a plethora of opportunities to experience real French culture and practice language skills. With the Somme Battlefields of World War I, as well as a number of World War II sites, the Opal Coast is an ideal destination for history groups and cross-curricular groups.
Voyager is privileged to be one of the select UK operators working with the Ambletuese centre near Wimereux. With en-suite accommodation for all, 10 minutes walk from a beautiful beach and an on-site swimming pool, the centre is the perfect place to base your school trip to the Opal Coast.
New to the Voyager offer is the Voyager Interaction programme, which runs mostly from the Opal Coast region of France. It’s an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in French and interact with French students of their own age. Oftentimes, these tours result in life-long relationships, for students and teachers alike, that inspire students and give them a real immediate reason to improve their language skills in order to maintain their new friendships. Please see our Voyager Interaction website for more details: www.voyagerinteraction.com
Cross Curriculum Excursions
Have the opportunity to go to an authentic French Boulangerie and see how baguettes, croissants and all your favourite tasty French treats are made.
Handmade Chocolate Manufacturer
Take a trip to Les Chocolats de Beussent to see how the world's most popular food is made. You will have the opportunity to experience a guided English or French tour of the workshop, and see the process of melting, moulding and coating; you will even be offered the chance to taste some for yourself.
Handmade Sweet Manufacturer
At the Bec a Suc Sweet factory, you and your students will learn about the manufacture of sweets, make some for yourself and learn about why people in the Pas-de-Calais have such a sweet-tooth.
Boulogne is one of France's major fishing ports, which is not only within easy reach of the UK, but is complete with old town and cathedral. The Old Town is nestled between mighty ramparts, which were built at the beginning of the thirteenth century and can still be seen today. It sits in the shadows of the Cathedral Belfry and Tower, and remains the administrative and spiritual centre of Boulogne. If you and your group are interested in history then the Castle Museum is worth a visit. It was also built in the early thirteenth century and was the first castle to be built without a keep in the history of military architecture.
Nausicaa Sealife Centre
Also in Boulogne, is the Nausicaa Sealife Centre, which looks closely at man’s ever-changing relationship with the marine environment. www.nausicaa.fr
Bagatelle Theme Park
The Bagatelle Theme Park is a popular attraction situated on the D940 between Berck and Le Touquet-Paris Plage. The attractions include family favourites like log flumes and rafting, to rollercoasters. It also houses a small zoo and a 360 degree cinema. It opens from Easter to Sept. www.bagatelle.fr
Aqualud, le Touquet
Aqualud is an excellent waterpark on the seafront at the Opal Coast and is always a popular choice when the weather is hot. www.aqualud.com
WWI Somme Battlefields
After eighteen months of deadlock, the Battle of the Somme was supposed to be the decisive breakthrough for the British and French Allies on the Western Front. Instead, with 20,000 men killed on the first day and one million casualties in total on both sides, the Battle of the Somme became a by-word for indiscriminate slaughter. Due to their efforts on the first day of the Battle, George V gave the First Newfoundland regiment the new title of 'The Royal Newfoundland Regiment.' Owing to the massive slaughter that the regiment suffered, the Regiment and the British Legion are still remembered every year on the nearest Sunday to 1st July.
Beaumont-Hamel Memorial Park
Some seven miles to the North of Albert, is the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland memorial park, covering 84 acres. It was bought by the government of Newfoundland as a memorial to its armed forces that died there. As well as a line of preserved trenches, there are also a number of memorials and cemeteries located within the park. This is probably one of the most popular World War I Battlefield destinations and was visited by many as a site of pilgrimage, in the years which immediately followed 1918. It is the site where the British Army suffered their worst ever casualties in a single day.
The Thiepval 'Memorial to the Missing' remains the largest British war memorial in the world and is dedicated to the 73,357 British and South African men who have no known grave and who died at the Somme between July 1916 and March 1918. The memorial, which dominates the surrounding area, is 150ft high and was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The cemetery behind the memorial is unusual because it contains the remains of both French and British soldiers to commemorate the Anglo-French alliance at the Somme.
Pozieres is where tanks were used for the first time, but it is also the scene of some of the heaviest fighting that took place on the Somme.
As the largest crater on the Western Front, the Lochnagar Crater has a diameter of 300 ft. and a depth of 70ft., and when it exploded it created an explosion which could even be felt in London.
The Delville Wood Memorial immortalises the memory of the South African troops who lost their lives along the Somme battlefields, whilst the museum at Delville commemorates the 25,000 South African volunteers, who laid down their lives In both world wars and in Korea. The now peaceful setting contrasts dramatically with its story.
There is a cafe and toilets.
Somme 1916 Museum, Albert
The museum at Albert is located 10 metres underground and is 250 metres long. The museum will give you and your students the opportunity to experientially understand what everyday life was like in the trenches during the year 1916. www.musee-somme-1916.eu
Historial de la Grande Guerre, Peronne
The Historial de la Grande Guerre museum, aims to show its visitors what life was like for the major participants in World War I, and what the impact of the war was on the rest of the twentieth century. It also shows the effect that the war had on the civilian populations that were occupied by enemy forces, who were often forced to flee their homes. There is an extensive collection which includes many items that were used by the soldiers, which help to clearly depict life during the war. There are also some films and walk through exhibits, which add to the experience. www.historial.org
Arras is famed for the secret tunnels beneath the town that were dug out and used by British troops during the Great War. Eventually, the Battle at Arras claimed 159,000 lives in only 39 days, which is more than the amount of people who died per day at the Somme (2,943).
Vimy Ridge ran 12km north-east of Arras and was built by the Germans to withstand the onslaught of artillery. The trenches were also protected from infantry attack by concrete machine gun posts. The British and French were constantly trying to take hold of and occupy Vimy Ridge because of its strategic benefits. Repeated French attempts to take Vimy Ridge cost about 150,000 lives between May and November 1915. The original trenches have been reconstructed to show how close the two lines were.
La Coupole is a World War II remembrance museum that seeks to analyse the relationships between science and war, and war and the image. It is located where the secret launch site of Hitler's V1 and V2 rockets were planned to be. It is an impressive museum that uses multi-media interaction in order to bring the facts of World War II to life in a way that is accessible and informative. www.lacoupole.com
Azincourt Medieval Centre
Interactive exhibition, including a multimedia tour of the French and English camps and the battlefield itself. The museum focuses on the Battle of Azincourt and the whole of the one Hundred Years War. It is specifically designed for younger children and is also a wonderful resource for medieval history teachers. www.azincourt-medieval.com