It is almost 30 years since Travelbound School Trips started to welcome UK school groups to the Château du Molay, Normandy. In that time the chateau has seen a number of developments, facelifts and improvements allowing it to cater to a diverse range of groups.
Primary schools who wish to provide their Year 5 and 6 classes with their first school trip away from home, secondary schools who seek to provide their students with opportunities to engage with native speakers, and even former England Rugby Union head coach Brian Ashton have graced the halls of the Château du Molay. Such is the versatility of the chateau and its grounds, the Travelbound team based onsite are well-versed in catering to the varied needs of school groups and their students.
If you’re planning your next school trip with a reputable provider like Travelbound, you can operate safe in the knowledge that all accommodation is vetted and checked to meet the strict guidelines set to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone on the trip. In addition to this, only accommodation suitable to host school groups will be considered.
However, there are also additional elements Group Leaders should seek out when it comes to choosing the right accommodation for your next school trip. Here we will identify what to look out for in relation to:
Location, location, location
When you’ve travelled by coach either by ferry to Caen or by EuroTunnel to Calais, the last thing you and your students want to be doing is spending endless hours on the coach between attractions. Located just 14kms from Bayeux, the Château du Molay is a great example of accommodation that allows school groups to easily access a vast number of cross-curricular excursions within close proximity.
It means Group Leaders’ jobs are made easier across year groups and subjects by opening up the school trip to a broader spectrum of students. Language, medieval history, modern history, art, food, culture… the list goes on with market towns, landing beaches, war cemeteries, and museums all accessible via a short transfer.
- Short transfer time
- Access to an array of attractions
- Cross-curricular options available to schools
A place to rest your head
When it comes to rooming, working out gender breakdown and who has access to which facilities may appear a less than attractive task. However, if you can find accommodation which works off of the multi-bedded model, students will be able to be easily grouped. At the Château du Molay, multi-bedded student rooms come feature en-suite facilities and means ‘lights out’ is easier to manage.
The call for breakfast, gathering that forgotten baseball cap and returning from the chateau disco in the evening are all made easier with accommodation on the one site. While little time will be spent in bedrooms, having a comfortable place for students to rest their heads at the end of a long day and which caters to the needs of your group in terms of access and usability is a key factor to consider. There is also a dedicated room for those requiring disabled access.
Staff accommodation features individual rooms with en-suite and coffee facilities.
- Multi-bedded student accommodation
- Upgraded staff accommodation
- Good access options
A gruel-free zone
When it comes to children and food there can be some barriers to trying unfamiliar cuisine. It can be the one test Group Leaders dread the most when it comes to the group gathering for their first meal together. Choosing an accommodation that is used to providing school groups with a substantial and varied diet is not only something that is a must but also expected by parents.
At the Château du Molay, the onsite restaurant can provide just that. Having welcomed school groups for nearly 30 years, the onsite Travelbound team are well versed in understanding what goes down well with students’ tastebuds.
The chefs produce healthy and varied options with crowd-pleasers and familiar ingredients expertly prepared. Think fine dining which suits both students and teachers alike.
Breakfast at the Château du Molay also provides students with the opportunity to choose what they like from the modern breakfast bar area. Knowing it is important to kickstart the day right, the morning team of chefs prepare a range of options so even the fussiest of eaters can find something that tickles their fancy.
Located on the ground floor of the chateau, it is just a short walk along the covered walkway to the restaurant. Again, this is a lifesaver in terms of logistics and getting all students from their rooms to the table.
- Onsite restaurant
- Healthy and varied crowd-pleaser options
- Modern breakfast bar
Make the accommodation work for you
When looking at accommodation on any trip (Normandy or elsewhere), you want to seek out flexibility.
With 38 acres of parkland, it’s of little surprise recreation opportunities are not in short supply at the Château du Molay. In addition to tennis courts and a sports pitch, the chateau also boasts an archery range and blind trail. The on-site Travelbound entertainment team can also lead on activities, like circus classes or survival in the wilderness.
For those times when faced with inclement weather, the chateau also has its own retro games room, cinema area and lounge space with tuck shop.
When it comes to downtime you want your students to have options. The Château du Molay has these in abundance with evening entertainment options including disco nights, snail and frogs’ legs tasting, plus crêpe evenings.
For staff, there is also a private bar area allowing Group Leaders to mingle and reflect on the day’s events.
- Onsite Travelbound entertainment team
- Range of outdoor and indoor facilities
- Choice of evening entertainment options
Safe and secure
The safety of your group is always of paramount importance. When seeking out accommodation options in Normandy, it’s not only close proximity to attractions you are looking for. Ensuring the location is secure and free from Joe Public is key to the wellbeing of your students.
At the Château du Molay, the accommodation can only be approached via a long driveway. The private estate is solely owned and used by Travelbound and their chateau team who are easily identifiable via their uniform and lanyards.
Travelbound and their Château du Molay are recognised by the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge for delivering high-quality experiences to young learners. This level is maintained at each stage with everything at the chateau designed and considered to ensure the safety of students during their school trip to the Château du Molay in Normandy. From handrails to windows, insulation to ground maintenance, attention to detail is key when choosing accommodation for your school group and which the chateau team constantly review each season.
- Away from main roads
- Private estate
- Health and safety protocols