Opal Coast

  • Opal Coast school trip
    Any Opal Coast school trip should undoubtedly feature a visit to La Coupole.
  • Opal Coast school trip
    Cool off with a visit to Aqualud.
  • Opal Coast school trip
    The remparts of Montreuil-sur-Mer, inspiration for Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
  • Opal Coast school trip
    Why not pay homage to Calais' lace-making heritage at the Cite Intérnationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode.
  • geography school trip to the Opal Coast
    Nausicaá is always a popular addition on any Opal Coast school trip.

Wonderful hotel and a fantastic opportunity for our children. The food was fantastic with a range to suit even the fussiest of children. The organisation of the room allocation was excellent. All trips were fantastic. A fantastic tour, a great time was had by everyone. Excellent service throughout. Andy has been brilliant every year and I cannot fault the service in any way.NF, North Reddish Junior School

It is not just the short and easy journey from the UK which makes the Opal Coast one of the most popular destinations for school groups. Stretching from the Belgian border to the Somme estuary, students will experience a different language, culture and cuisine, in addition to having the opportunity to visit a host of places of great interest and educational value.

The attractive coastline, with its historic towns, elegant seaside resorts and small fishing villages has an abundance of local industries, many of which welcome school groups, offering guided tours and demonstrations. In addition, the battlefields and memorials of the Somme provide a vivid and lasting impression of the Great War.

Renowned for its magnificent sandy beach and promenade, Le Touquet Paris Plage is a smart and fashionable resort offering a fine selection of shops as well as a twice-weekly market. Ideal for younger groups meanwhile, Stella Plage is a smaller, quieter seaside resort just south of Le Touquet, yet still boasting a large sandy beach and dunes as well as a number of shops and cafés.

Typical Accommodation

We work with a number of different hostels and 2*/3* hotels across this popular region of France. Please let us know your requirements and we will be happy to recommend suitable accommodation to suit your Opal Coast school trip itinerary and budget.

Opal Coast School Trip – Subject Suitability

Visits and excursions are entirely your choice, but a sample four-day itinerary could be as follows:

Sample Itinerary – 4 Days by Coach

Day 1 – Travel from school to Dover where you’ll take the short-sea ferry crossing to Calais. Continue on to your hotel (approx. one hour) where you’ll enjoy dinner on arrival. If time permits, a visit to the Nausicaá Sea Life centre en route to your hotel can easily be arranged.

Day 2 – A day devoted to food, today’s itinerary includes a circular tour of the region, with a visit to a snail farm in Airon-St-Vaast, a guided tour of the chocolate factory in Beussent and a demonstration of bread making in Neufchatel-Hardelot. Return to your hotel for dinner at the end of the afternoon.

Day 3 – Head off for a full-day excursion today to the archaeological site of Samara and the caves of Naours. Equally, you might opt to spend your day exploring the World War I battlefields and memorials of the Somme.

Day 4 – A morning visit to a local market to practise your language skills and perhaps pick up a snack or some souvenirs, before commencing your homeward journey.

A stop can be made at Cité Europe for some last-minute shopping before taking the return ferry to Dover and continuing back to school.

Another option is to make this a two-centre trip, coupling the Opal Coast with the World War I battlefields of the Somme or even the city of Lille. Why not contact us for further details?

Travel Options

  • By coach with short-sea ferry crossing from Dover to Calais. Alternative ferry routes are available from Newhaven to Dieppe.

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Popular Visits & Excursions

History

La Coupole – A former Nazi V2 rocket base, now a World War II history centre housed in a giant concrete bunker. There’s now a 3D planetarium situated here.
Forteresse de Mimoyecques – As an underground launch site, this secret base was expected to be used for the installation of the giant underground V3 super gun, foreseen to bomb England but was shelled by the Royal Air Force in 1944.
Le Blockhaus d’Éperlecques – Constructed by the Germans in 1943, this was the largest bunker in northern France, prepared for launching both V1 and V2 rockets.
Montreuil-sur-Mer – The inspiration for Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, this is one of France’s most attractive fortified towns.
Musée 39-45 – Situated in Ambleteuse just north of Boulogne, this museum explores all aspects of the Second World War, from the campaign in Poland to the Japanese surrender. There are thousands of fascinating exhibits on display.
Medieval Historic Centre of Agincourt – Experience life as it was in the Middle Ages and learn about the Battle of Agincourt (or Azincourt as the French prefer) of 1415.
Colonne de la Grande Armée – Situated just outside Boulougne-sur-Mer in Wimille, the Column of the Great Army was built from 1804 to 1824 in honour of Napoleon I, whose army camped in Boulogne and the neighbouring ports in preparation for his assault on London.
Wimereux Communal Cemetery – Contains 2,847 WWI Commonwealth graves, among which is Lt.-Col. John McCrae, author of the poem In Flanders Fields. There are also five French and 170 German war graves.
Tour de l’Horloge – A hands-on, historical museum where school groups can dress as Vikings or knights. Explore the Viking invasion and the 1520 meeting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, in which King François I of France sought to persuade Henry VIII, King of England, to form an alliance.

Elsewhere

La Cité Souterraine de Naours – These subterranean caves were used as a refuge during the Middle Ages, a hiding place for contraband during the French Revolution, a hospital for the British army during the First World War, then a strategic weapons depot for the German army during the Second World War.
Samara – A reconstruction of a Neolithic village, demonstrating how people lived in prehistoric to pre-Roman times.
Amiens – Famous for its soaring Gothic cathedral, this former capital of the Picardy region is also renowned for its associations with the writer, Jules Verne.
Historial de la Grande Guerre – Attracting over 80,000 visitors a year, this museum offers an overview of life in and behind the front line trenches, as well as the impact of the Great War on 20th-century society.

Food Technology

Chocolats de Beussent – Enjoy a guided tour of this chocolate factory, complete with the all-important tasting to finish.
Bread-making – Watch a demonstration on how to make French baguettes at a traditional boulangerie in Neufchatel-Hardelot.
Goats Cheese – Discover the production process of making goats cheese at Ferme le Fond des Communes in Montcavrel.
Snail Farm – A French delicacy, who’s brave enough to try one! Visit the farm and learn the farm to table process.
Bec à Suc Sweet Factory – A really popular visit with all our school groups, see a demonstration of how both hard and soft sweets are produced, with the opportunity to taste which one is your favourite.

General Interest

Nausicaá Sea Life Centre – Situated in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, this is a popular addition to any Opal Coast itinerary. Discover 36,000 animals and sea creatures living amidst 4.5 million litres of water including penguins, sea lions, turtles, sharks, octopus, rays, eels, jellyfish and a wealth of fish and marine life!
Aqualud Water Park – Another popular excursion, Le Touquet’s Aqualud contains over 2km of water chutes and slides as well as indoor and outdoor pools and other fun attractions.
Parc Bagatelle – A well-established amusement park boasting a large number of rides and attractions including log flumes, rafting and rollercoasters.
Cite Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode de Calais – Situated in a former 19th-century lace factory, this museum is dedicated to Calais’ lace-making heritage, once the city’s most sought after product and still produced today.
Pottery workshop visit – The town of Desvres is famous for its pottery; tour one of its factories and learn the potting process.