Cross-curricular school trips to the Opal Coast, France
Super easy to reach from the UK, the Opal Coast is a great destination for short trips. The majority of groups stay in our own hotel Moulin aux Draps, which is well linked to a wide range of cross-curricular attractions and sites such as the Somme.
Key stage 2 - 3
We'll help you pack a lot into a short trip to France
The Opal Coast guarantees an abundance of culture, French language and fun! This rich region offers food workshops, city visits, WWI history sites, including the extremely immersive underground Wellington Quarry tour and La Coupole - a museum housed in a huge concrete dome amongst the hills. For pure fun, why not visit Parc Bagatelle or the beautiful Le Touquet beach to let off some steam. Just a short coach ride from our hotel are excursions to Boulogne-Sur-Mer where students can explore the historic fishing port and the huge Nausicaá national sea centre, Europe’s largest aquarium, which is as educational as it is impressive and offers a particular focus on oceans and climate change. Whatever your curriculum focus, we'll work with you to create a tailor-made itinerary to suit your learning objectives.
Our own Moulin aux Draps residential centre near Boulogne, is the perfect destination for schools looking for an affordable/short school trip to France. The residential centre is exclusively for the use of school groups meaning there are few distractions for students.
New for 2023!
The Moulin aux Draps centre is under new management, with a team from our centre of excellence, Château de la Baudonnière, taking the helm to transform the programme. We’ve introduced new on-site activities including beach volleyball and pétanque, and a brand new accommodation block, all set against the centre’s 22 acres of wildlife.
We can tailor your itinerary to your unique learning requirements, please contact us for a bespoke quote.
This is our suggested 4-day Opal Coast itinerary. If you would like to change the duration of your trip or choose different excursions, just contact us for a bespoke quote.
Board your coach for your trip to France
Once in France, students enjoy their first local visit - the snail farm
Check into Moulin aux Draps and meet the staff
History excursion to Vimy Memorial to learn about the Great War
Tour of the pretty town of Arras city visit, built in Flemish Renaissance style
Visit a local bakery for a fun demonstration and the chance to sample patisserie fresh from the oven
Visit the beautiful seaside town of Boulogne-Sur-Mer
Learn about ocean conservation at the Nausicaá national sea centre or treetop adventure and high ropes
Visit a local goat's cheese farm - meet the goats, learn how cheese is made and tasting session
Time for some souvenir shopping
Board the coach for your Channel crossing back to England
Arrive back at school
A wealth of possibilities for students just a short hop from the UK
A school trip to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France is often the first time school children will experience the excitement of being in another country without a parent or guardian. This small taste of independence is a brilliant confidence and character-building tool, as well as important for bridging friendships between classmates and respect for teachers. What makes the Opal Coast a popular choice is the opportunity to pack a lot into a school trip without heading too far and only travelling by coach and ferry.
Stay at Voyager's own Moulin aux Draps residential centre
Located less than an hour from Calais and within very easy reach of the stunning Opal Coastline, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Le Touquet, Arras and the WWI battlefields, our Moulin aux Draps centre is the perfect destination for schools looking for an affordable/short school trip to France. The residential centre is exclusively for the use of school groups meaning there are few distractions for students.
Our local French staff have considerable experience in looking after British school trips and catering for the needs of British teachers and pupils. The centre is contained within 22 acres of car-free French countryside, giving students plenty of space to run around and let off steam. Supervision is easy as the grounds are within view of the main building and teachers can relax in the evenings as the Voyager team will deliver a programme of evening entertainment for your students.
Click here for more information about this residential centre owned by Voyager School Travel.
At a local boulangerie, a baker will perform a baking demonstration for your group in French. Students will walk away with a croissant and a pain au chocolat each!
We can arrange for this workshop tour, where your group will learn how a local French chocolaterie produces their chocolate, to be led in either English or French. Students will even get a chance to taste the chocolates too!
A fun and unique equivalent to a walk through the woods, the Rando Rail is a four-person bike that runs along an old railway track. Students team up and pedal 10km through the French countryside.
The city of Boulogne-sur-Mer is the largest fishing port in France and seafood is a big part of the local culture. Groups can explore the history of the city through the streets of the old town with its cathedral, or head to the more modern centre and town hall.
Boulogne town trail
To maximise your group's language learning, your animateur will lead our interactive tailor-made town trail through Boulogne, encouraging your students to read, understand and speak French in situ.
Nausicaá National Sea Centre
Nausicaá is the largest marine life centre in Europe with 1,600 species within 17 million litres of water! The centre promotes sustainability and marine management and is an educational and scientific visit suitable for cross-curricular groups.
Maison du Marais
A fun way to discover the Audomarois marshland, Students float along the waterways in a flat-bottomed boat with an expert guide to see the island homes of the residents, the flora and fauna. The exhibitions also include artefacts, films and aquariums.
Outdoor Laser Tag
Team up and prepare for battle! Based in a safe, sandy, forested area, this outdoor laser tag game is great fun for groups. There's also a volleyball pitch and picnic area for students to eat lunch.
Bagatelle amusement park has a good variety of water rides, rollercoasters and attractions to suit all ages, so your group is sure to be entertained!
Musée de la Résistance
The Museum of Resistance in Bondues is housed in a 19th-century fort that was occupied by German troops in WWI & WWII. Students will learn about the lives of the fighters of the French resistance and how they worked with the British Intelligence Service.
Mining History Centre
This is a museum housed in a former colliery that explores the three centuries of coal mining in northern France. The buildings are complete with the massive antique machinery and the highlight of the visit is a guided tour underground!
Azincourt Medieval Centre
This museum focuses on the Battle of Azincourt and the Hundred Years' War. An interactive exhibition includes a multimedia tour of the French and English camps and the battlefield of Azincourt. It is specifically designed for younger students learning medieval history.
This huge concrete dome amongst the hills was built in 1944 to house jet-propelled rockets. It is now an exceptional war museum and interactive planetarium. La Coupole is a great choice for groups studying WWI and WWII.
Beneath the city of Arras lies a network of tunnels that were used by over 20,000 British soldiers during WWI in a surprise attack on the German troops. The Carrière Wellington museum allows students to walk in the footsteps of the soldiers underground in the illuminated tunnels.
Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
This WWI memorial is on the site where the British Army suffered their worst ever casualties in a single day. A bronze Caribou monument stands as the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
This massive war memorial is a moving tribute to the 72,000+ servicemen who died in the Battles of the Somme in WWI. By visiting the memorial, students can get a very visual understanding of the scale of loss in the war through the inscribed names and white crosses on the lawns.
The village of Pozières was completely destroyed in the WWI Battle of the Somme. This memorial commemorates the more than 14,000 casualties of the battle and is a stark visual reminder of the scale of the loss of life for students.
The massive carter was created by the explosion of a mine during the WWI Battle of the Somme. The site has since been preserved to act as a war memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers.
Delville Wood was the scene of heavy combat during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and once more in 1918. The cemetery remembers the 5,500 South African servicemen buried there, of which over half are unidentified.
Somme 1916 Museum
For teachers wanting students to get a greater understanding of the lives of soldiers during WWI, this museum is a good choice. The exhibits are housed in tunnels 10 metres underground, so it's also an entertaining visit for groups.
The Museum of the Great War is the largest WWI museum in Europe. There are many exhibits that demonstrate the social impact of the war on regular civilians, making it a great resource for students to learn more about how war impacted day to day life.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the Canadian servicemen who lost their lives in WWI, particularly in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The towering limestone memorial is a very striking sight for students.
Farm of 1001 Feathers
Working farm visit with a variety of animals and birds, ,located in a beautiful area near Montreuil sur Mer. Your visit includes a craft workshop. The visit lasts around 1.5 hours and costs £5.50 per students. Open year round.
Goat's cheese farm
Visit a local goat's cheese farm to meet the goats, find out how cheese is made and try some for yourself!
Boasting among other things the highest water chute in Europe, Bellewaerde Park is just across the border in Belgium. Enjoy thrilling rides, marvel at exotic animals and explore the park.
The bunker of Eperlecques is the biggest bunker of the north of France, as a witness of this dark period, from 1939 to 1945. It was opened to the public in 1974 and classified "ancient memorials" in 1985.
Desvres Art Centre
Enjoy a guided tour and workshop in one of the creative techniques offered by these two local craft centres. The area is rich in the raw materials needed for pottery resulting in a thriving local industry.
Étaples Military Cemetery
Étaples Military Cemetery is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in Étaples, near Boulogne on the north-west coast of France. The cemetery commemorates over 11,500 lives lost in WWI and WWII.
Maison du Marais
Discover the Audomarois marshland. The exhibitions include models and artefacts, films and aquariums. When you’ve discovered the background to the marshland, glide through the waterways in a flat-bottomed boat with an expert guide to see the island homes of the residents, the flora and fauna.
Set within 7-hectares of forest surrounded by sand dunes, Opalaventure is an exciting treetop adventure in the heart of the Opal Coast. Tackle ziplines, high ropes, rope ladders and more!
Trips to our Moulin aux Draps centre include the following:
A fun programme of evening activities (led in French if required) by our own highly trained team of French-native animateurs
All off-site cultural excursions and activities
Full board and lodging with three cooked meals and snacks
Free teacher to student ratio approx 1:8 (coach trips) / approx 1:10 (air groups)
Private teachers’ lounge areas
24-hour emergency support
Teacher evening wind-down activities such as cheese and wine tasting evening
Your choice of return travel; coach travel, with ferry crossing, applicable tolls and taxes included, or return flights and overseas transfers
Coach to take your group off-site for visits
Comprehensive travel insurance
Subsidised centre inspection visit for you and a colleague
The opportunity to carbon offset your trip. Click here to find out more.
Extras to budget for
Meals on journeys
School to airport transfers (if required)
Visa charges, collective passports
Supplements for small parties, single rooms and additional adults
Ready-made resources to get your trip off the ground
These ready-made trip resources are designed to reduce your admin and help speed up the process of planning, promoting and getting approval for your trip:
If you need any further assistance, just let us know or visit our COVID-19 Travel Hub for full details of our Peace of Mind Promise, COVID-19 travel insurance cover and enhanced health and safety measures.
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