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Overview

History School Trips to Normandy, France

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Explore the beaches where events changed the course of the Second World War.

Normandy has had a long and historic relationship with Britain, but it is probably the events of June 1944 that the region is best known for. The long sweep of beaches that the Allies chose to use as their invasion point to retake Western Europe from Nazi Germany can be found in Normandy. What seemed like an impossible plan was the most successful amphibious attack of modern times that pushed technology and inventiveness to its limits and made fighting men heroes.

A trip to this historic region can include the military cemeteries of Britain, the Commonwealth and America, and memorials to those who risked their lives or paid the ultimate sacrifice. In addition to the history of 1944, groups can visit the beautiful medieval towns of Caen and Bayeux, home to the impressive Bayeux Cathedral and the historically significant Bayeux Tapestry.

Bring history to life

A helping hand from a History Tour Guide.
Expert knowledge, an understanding of your students’ educational and social needs and in-the-field assistance are just three of the benefits of opting for a History Tour Guide. We have carefully selected a handful of guides who specialise in various areas of history including WWI, WWII and the Holocaust.

Find out how a guide can enhance your school’s History Trip.

“A very comprehensive and well organised trip”

Nicholas Brice, July 2014 - Normandy

Outside the classroom…

Whilst inspirational videos and textbooks depicting the bravery and valour of troops in Operation Overlord help students to understand the events, nothing compares to actually visiting the region. Travel the roads and fields where Bocage fighting occurred as the Allies drove the Germans out of this part of France prior to the re-taking of Paris. Visit Caen, now rebuilt but once the location of some of the fiercest fighting during the invasion and see the impact of the invasion on a French community. This is just the start; Normandy has so much more to offer budding history students looking to further their understanding of this period in history.

Did you know?

The stretch of coastline targeted for the landing of the Allied troops measured 50 miles.

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Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.

Normandy Fact File

Perfect for:
KS3 and KS4 (or equivalent)

Transport options:
Coach

Curricular Links:

Areas of the syllabus illustrated

  • The Second World War
  • Peace and war
  • Europe and the 20th century

Themes that can be explored

  • Technology
  • War and conflict
  • Warfare over time
  • Medicine through time
  • International relations
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Study Visits


Normandy History Study Visits

When trying to help your students understand the true events that took place on the 6th June 1944, nothing compares to a visit to Normandy. There are ample visits in the region suitable for school groups and here are just a few of our favourites:

Visit
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D-Day landing beaches Gun Batteries, Longues sue mer Arromanches Pegasus Bridge Museum in Benouville The Caen Memorial Museum British Cemetery in Bayeux The American Cemetery in St. Laurent, Omaha The German Cemetery in La Cambe Ste Mere Eglise
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Itineraries

Normandy Sample Itineraries

Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated Educational Trip Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group. But just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itineraries created for two of our clients below.

British Cemetery in Bayeux

4 days,
3 nights

Dates: 6th – 9th July 

Passengers: 21 students and 3 teachers

Accommodation: Acceuil Les Tourelles

Board Basis: Full Board

Overview of visits: Pegasus Bridge, Merville Battery Museum, Arromanches, Mulberry Harbour, Longues Gun Battery, British Cemetery in Bayeux, Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach Museum, St Mere Eglise, Omaha beach Cemetery, Caen Memorial Museum, Cambes-en-Plaine British War Cemetery

Day 1:

It was an early start for the students as they were picked up from school at 5am. After a lunchtime ferry the group arrived at Acceuil Les Tourelles in the early evening where they checked in made themselves familiar with their surroundings before an evening meal and an early night.

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 2:

The day started with the group heading out after breakfast for Benouville to visit the famous Pegasus Bridge site. After viewing the memorial and seeing the artefacts exhibited here it was on to the Merville Battery Museum. The Battery is made up of four steel-reinforced concrete gun casemates and also includes a command bunker, accommodation buildings to house men and ammunition magazines. Just before lunch there was time to fit in one more visit at Arromanches to view the Mulberry Harbour. After lunch it was on to the Longues Gun Battery in Longues-sur-Mer which played a vital role in the D-Day landings and gives a good insight into how Nazi Germany viewed the coastal defences of the Reich referred to as the Atlantic Wall. The British Cemetery in Bayeux was the group’s next stop, with the students taking in the 3935 graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers. After a full day it was then back to the accommodation centre for an evening meal and time for relaxation.

Day 3:

Today’s visits started with the coach departing for Pointe du Hoc and the German Gun battery, which was strategically placed in range of the American landing beaches of Utah and Omaha. It was then onto Utah beach for a look around the Utah Beach Museum which was created as a permanent tribute to those who lost or risked their lives. After lunch, the group departed for St Mere Eglise where they were free to look around the town before a visit to the Omaha Beach Cemetery and visitor centre. The group then made their way back to the accommodation centre for their evening meal. Time for rest!

Day 4:

The group checked out after breakfast with just enough time for a couple more stops before heading home. First it was Caen and the Caen Memorial Museum, followed by time at the Cambes-en-Plaine British War Cemetery where 224 British soldiers are laid to rest. With time to reflect during their jorurney, the group arrived home.


Bespoke Quotation

school-history-trips-to-normandy-sample-itinerary-1

5 days,
4 nights

Dates: 17th – 21st April 2012

Passengers: 44 students and 5 teachers

Accommodation: Bon Sejour

Board Basis: Half Board and Bed and Breakfast

Overview of visits: Pegasus Bridge Memorial and Museum, William the Conqueror’s Castle, Caen Memorial Museum, Monet’s House and Gardens, Chateau de Versailles, Musée du Louvre, La Conciergerie, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur Catholic basilica, Bateaux Mouches cruise, Newfoundland memorial, Thiepval Memorial

Day 1:

The coach departed from Wolverhampton in the early hours of the morning to catch an early morning ferry to Calais. It was then straight on to the first of the day’s excursions, Pegasus Bridge Memorial and Museum. After this, it was time to go to the accommodation centre the Bon Sejour Hotel for check-in, room allocation and finally an evening meal before spending the remainder of the evening at leisure.

View the full day-by-day itinerary

Day 2:

Today’s excursions started with a visit to William the Conqueror’s Castle at Falaise with a step back in time to this 12th century castle that perfectly illustrates the power of the Dukes of Normandy. It was then onto a different period in this region’s history and a visit to the Caen Memorial Museum where there are a number of exhibitions focused from 1981 to the end of World War II. Packed lunches were eaten at the museum before the group were met by a tour guide and took part in a 3 and a half hour tour of the landing beaches and the American cemetery. An evening meal was taken back at the hotel and the rest of the evening was free for study and relaxation.

Day 3:

Breakfast was taken on the go as the group checked out of the hotel and departed for Giverny for a visit to Monet’s House and Gardens. There are enchanting gardens which inspired the impressionist Claude Monet’s most famous works. From there the group headed to Versailles and the Chateau de Versailles, the official residence of the Kings of France. It was then off to Paris and check-in at the Kyriad Porte d’Ivry Hotel was followed by an evening meal at the hotel.

Day 4:

Now in Paris, the first visit of the day was to the Musée du Louvre where the group split up into two groups to explore the many fantastic and world-famous works of art that are housed in the museum. After a spot of lunch, the two groups took it in turns to visit La Conciergerie on the banks of the River Seine in the heart of Paris. Once both groups had completed their visits, the group made their way to Notre Dame for a view of the most important and impressive churches in Paris. The metro was then taken up to the Montmartre, the highest hill in Paris, for a visit to the Sacre-Coeur Catholic basilica. The group soaked up the ‘bohemian’ atmosphere and the impressive views over the city. From here, the group took the coach to Pont de l’Alma jetty where they boarded a Bateaux Mouches cruise for a riverside view of the many bridges and famous landmarks, accompanied by commentary in English. After a busy day, it was back to the hotel and a well-deserved evening meal and nights rest.

Day 5:

Breakfast was taken early today before the group checked out of the hotel, loaded up the coach and got on their way to the Newfoundland memorial at Beaumont Hamel to take part in a guided visit. The group then departed for Thiepval Memorial, a former German strong point and now a memorial to the missing. The afternoon was spent enjoying a little retail therapy at the Cite d’Europe – shopping centre, before the group headed back to the UK on a late afternoon ferry.


Bespoke Quotation

Accommodation

Normandy Accommodation

We have a number of hotels and hostels in and around Normandy which are perfectly suited to school groups. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Bon Sejour, La Plage

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Ideally located just steps away from some of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Calvados, the Bon Sejour La Plage is perfect for school groups. The hotel has 74 rooms, each with a TV, hairdryer, Wi-Fi and safe. Rooms are comfortable with secure wooden bunks and a maximum of 4 students accommodated in each room. Adults are accommodated in twin rooms. All rooms have a private shower and W.C. and all rooms are spread over 3 floors can be reached by the hotel’s lift. The hotel has plenty of facilities for your group to enjoy; a heated swimming pool, sauna, spa, ping pong table, tennis and pétanque courts, mini golf and a library.

  • Students in bunk beds
  • Adults in twin rooms
  • Private facilities in each room
  • TV room

UNCMT Hostels

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Grandcamp-Maisy “Les Aigues-Marines”

Located by the sea wall with views out to sea, this centre can accommodate up to 80 people in 2 to 4 bedded rooms across 2 wings and on 2 floors. Each room has a washbasin, with toilets located on each floor and showers on the ground floor. There is a dining room, 2 activity rooms and a TV area.

Grandcamp-Maisye
Grandcamp-Maisy Grandcamp-Maisy Grandcamp-Maisy
Lion-Sur-mer “La Petite Falaise”

Just 50m from the beach, this centre is made up of 2 buildings. Students are housed in rooms with 2 – 6 beds. Each has a washbasin and shared bathroom facilities can be found on each floor. There is a large dining room, 3 activity rooms that can be used as classrooms, a separate area for teachers as well as outdoor areas for table tennis.

Lion-Sur-mer
Lion-Sur-mer Lion-Sur-mer Lion-Sur-mer

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