NORMANDY AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR BATTLEFIELDS
Normandy has played a unique role in British history, and is a fascinating destination for your next school trip.
For those studying the Second World War, the Normandy beaches were the battlefields for the largest amphibious invasion in history, and the success of Operation Overlord was the beginning of an onward march to Berlin which would ultimately end the war in Europe. A school trip to Normandy will allow your pupils to see first-hand these beaches, upon which so many sacrifices were made, and witness the vast and humbling cemeteries left by those pursuing freedom. Visitors will marvel at the ingenuity of the Mulberry Harbour, the remains of which sit like sentinels off the coast of Arromanches, and will see for themselves the clear strategic importance of Pegasus Bridge, sight of a spectacularly successful Allied raid on D-Day. Indeed, beyond these remnants of war, Normandy has a wide array of museums which will guide you through every aspect of the conflict, including the renowned Memorial Caen, and we will tailor-make your tour to engage with whichever aspect of the conflict you wish to focus on.
Jumping back almost a millennium, Normandy is also the obvious choice for those studying the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Long regarded as a key turning point of British history, the invading Normans led by William “the Conqueror” forever altered England’s culture, language and institutions, and the Norman Conquest has rightly been a key part of the curriculum for many years. Why not show your pupils that most famous of historical sources, the Bayeux Tapestry, and let them follow with their own eyes the events that led to Harold Godwinson’s defeat at Hastings? Or else, take your pupils back to where it all began, and explore the newly restored Falaise Castle, birthplace of William the Conqueror, and stronghold for successive Anglo-Norman rulers. Built as the Conqueror’s capital, Caen is also well worth a visit, and contains the twin Romanesque monasteries of Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames, dedicated by William and his wife Matilda of Flanders as penance for their consanguineous marriage. Normandy is full of visits that will bring the medieval history of the region to life for your pupils, and is sure to inspire in them a passion for history which will last a life-time.
For those wishing to explore the culture and language of France, Normandy is full of treasures, and is a fascinating example of life in twenty-first century provincial France. From the historic towns of Dieppe and Rouen, to the starkly post-war reconstructed city of Le Havre with its famous port, and the picturesque countryside dotted with manoirs and châteaux of the ancient regime, Normandy presents an excellent microcosm of wider France. This makes it the ideal destination for a French school trip, and the pupils will have plenty of opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture and practise their language skills. Its variety also makes it an excellent choice for Business Studies school trips and Food Technology/Home Economics trips, with a vast array of cheese, honey and goat cheese farms, tours of its international export infrastructure, and of course its world famous Calvados orchards and distilleries.
Whatever your subject, whatever the level of your pupils, and whatever the focus of your scheme of work, Normandy will have something to offer. Why not contact us today for more information?
SCHOOL GROUP EXCURSIONS IN NORMANDY
Memorial Museum, Caen
This outstanding museum uses a variety of media, including films and a large collection of artefacts to help students to better understand the causes, battles and aftermath of the Second World War, especially the Normandy landings, and including the way in which the conflict has continued to have an effect on how we see the world today. Please click here to visit their website.
D-Day Landing Beaches and Museums
The five beaches of Gold, Sword, Juno, Utah and Omaha are all open for visitors, with Arromanches (part of Gold) and Omaha perhaps the most striking. At the former is the excellent Arromanches 360º Cinema, a unique and moving experience with panoramic views of the remains of the Mulberry Harbour, and the popular Musée du Débarquement, while the iconic cemetery at the latter is an essential visit for those studying American involvement in the conflict.
Housing the original Pegasus Bridge, complete with bullet damage from D-Day, this museum has become a “must-see” attraction, and is a fantastic introduction to the events of the first hours of D-Day. Situated in its own grounds, the museum also features a full-size reproduction of the gliders used by the British on D-Day, and explores in depth the significance of capturing the bridge in the wider Operation Overlord. The memorial is dedicated to the British 6th Airborne Division, including the parachutists and glider-borne troops who were the first to land during the invasion of Normandy. Please click here to go to their website.
Goat Cheese Farm
Discover how goats’ cheese is made in the traditional way. Meet the goats, learn about cheese production and, of course, join in a cheese-tasting session!
The town of Bayeux is a fabulous place to spend the day exploring, not only for its charming Cathedral and Old Town, but of course for the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry. After learning all about the Norman Conquest with the help of an excellent audio-guided tour, why not discover the more recent history of the region with a visit to the fascinating D-Day Landings Museum and the very moving British War Cemetary. Highly recommended.
La Cité de La Mer
Discover the history of the ocean depths in this unique scientific, technological and cultural tourist attraction. Visit the world’s largest submarine that is open to the public, learn all about deep sea exploration and see Europe’s largest cylindrical aquarium. There is also an inter-active exhibition dedicated to Titanic and to emigration from the Old World to the New World. Please click here to visit their website.
Of course, the above and following excursions are only a sample. We will tailor-make your tour to engage with your exact learning requirements, and our information packs contain details of our extensive excursion package. Why not contact us now to request more information?
SCHOOL GROUP ACCOMMODATION IN NORMANDY
We can cater for any requirements which you may have, and work with a number of hotels and centres across Normandy, including:
Centre Bon Séjour la Plage
This outstanding and ever-popular centre is located next to a beautiful sandy beach in the pleasant coastal village of Merville-Franceville. Just a few kilometres from Cabourg, the centre is ideally placed for visiting the landing beaches, Bayeux and Caen, and offers an array of facilities to guests, including an outdoor swimming pool (subject to availability and with a reservation only), miniature golf and a disco organised by the centre every evening. Pupils will be provided with rooms with separate beds for four to seven children, with staff in twins or singles, and all rooms have private en-suite facilities. Rooms are also available for those with mobility difficulties. Please click here to visit their website.