Experience 600 years of European history in just three days!

Kate Moore

31 May 2024, 11:44
by Doug Clucas and Kate Moore


The Changing Nature of Warfare - Suggested Itinerary for GCSE History Students

Doug Clucas, History teacher at The Skinner's School crafted this fascinating 3-day itinerary named the "Changing Nature of Warfare".  This history school trip takes place in Northern France and Belgium, with a carefully curated selection of excursions that cover over 600 years of history of warfare, from the earliest battle of Agincourt in 1415 all the way through to the end of the Cold War in 1991. 

600 Years. 3 Days. 2 Countries.

Covering the nature and experience of warfare from the Medieval period to Twentieth Century warfare this short trip to France and Belgium is perfect for GCSE history students, packing in these major events:

•  The Battle of Agincourt (1415)

•  The Battle of Waterloo (1815)

•  WWI Battle of the Somme (1916)

•  WWI Battle of Passchendaele (1917)

•  World War II (1939 - 1945)

•  Cold War (1945 - 1991)

Day 1 - Agincourt

Arrive in France to kick off your tour at the beginning of the timeline with a visit to the Agincourt museum to get an understanding of the 1415 battle between England and France. After the more formal education of the museum, take your students on a guided tour of the battlefield to see the site first-hand and even take part in an archery lesson to experience using the weaponry soldiers used in the battle 600 years ago.

Day 2 - The Great War

The following day, tour the Somme Battlefields of World War I. What stands out about the battlefields of the Somme is that although over 100 years have passed, the signs of the conflict are still starkly apparent as the landscape has been left largely untouched. Trenches the soldiers fought and died in are now deep grassy caverns, which serve as an unignorable reminder to students of the reality of the war.

Then cross the border to Belgium for a crash course in the history of the Battle of Waterloo at the 1815 Memorial Museum. The museum is a great interactive experience for students, with an audio guide and 4D movie screen. Afterwards, tour the battlefield for yourselves.

End the day by attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. The daily tribute commemorates the lives lost in WWI in a simple and moving manner. Students will even have their chance to pay respects by laying a wreath at the gate.

Day 3 - WWII & The Cold War

Start your final day by visiting the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, devoted to the fallen soldiers of the Battle of Passchendaele in WWI. This museum is certain to be a stirring experience as students will try to comprehend the extent of the loss of life - 500,000 men in just 100 days.

A guided tour of Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest for Commonwealth forces in the world, is next on the agenda for this history school trip. Pay respects at Tyne Cot Cemetery, a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by Commonwealth forces. The sheer volume of brilliant white graves and their uniformity make it an undeniably poignant experience for students.

Conclude your tour with a fascinating exploration of La Coupole, delving into WWII history and the technological advancements of the Cold War era. The exhibits in the underground passages demonstrate the technological side of warfare and provide a great comparative exercise for students to see the changes in weaponry and technology from the longbows of Agincourt.

Stay at our residential centre in Northern France

Located less than an hour from Calais and within very easy reach of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Le Touquet, Arras and the WWI battlefields, our Moulin aux Draps centre is the perfect destination for schools looking for a short history trip. The centre is exclusively for the use of school groups creating a safe and comfortable environment for students. 

Don't miss the opportunity to witness the evolution of warfare across six centuries, condensed into an enriching 3-day itinerary to Northern France and Belgium. Contact us for a quote for this trip. 

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