Year 7 ARDE visit to France 2015

It was 8:00 AM on  22 June when we left Old Sil’s for our first Arden residential trip. As all of our parents waved us off, the excitement on the coach was building as we started to anticipate our arrival in Boulogne, for many of us it was our first time abroad away from our parents.

After several hours on the coach with our driver, Mick, we arrived at the Euro tunnel. After eating our lunch we went for a look around the service stations because unfortunately, we couldn’t catch the Euro tunnel we had planned too. The short delay allowed us time to stretch our legs and catch up with the other coaches but it felt like no time at all until we were ready to board…

Around 35 minutes later, we were in France! After a short journey we had arrived at our accommodation right by the Opal coast. That night, coaches 2 and 3 went out for dinner whilst coach 1 stayed for a delicious meal at the accommodation. After everyone had eaten we had a walk down to the beach and Mr Spence organised some games. It was girls against boys and we knew it from the beginning, but eventually the girls came out on top!

We got back to the accommodation at around 9:30 PM and we were all ready to spend our first night in France…

At the Cheese Farm

Day 2 and after a fulfilling breakfast, we headed for the goats cheese farm. The farm had many different animals including: goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and cows and after having the opportunity to hold many of them, we moved on to testing our French and tasting the cheese. After purchasing the top quality cheese, we headed for the chocolate factory where we learnt about the process of making our favourite sweet treat. We watched them fill moulds, decorate creations and we also got to sample the chocolate (the best part)!  


We then drove to Montreuil where we ate lunch and also performed a flash mob arranged by Miss Cassells, I’m sure the French public loved it!  After shopping in the supermarché and a stroll round the historic town, we headed for a night at the bowling alley…back from bowling at 10:00 PM we all settled down for a deep sleep after our first full day.

On to day 3 and it was our history day where we would visit important sites in World War one like the Wellington Quarry and Vimy Ridge. First we visited the Wellington Quarry where a major battle was planned, many British soldiers lived and where, sadly, many soldiers lost their lives. But before long we were, on our way to Arras, to remember those who fought. The amount of graves was breath-taking. We had never seen anything like it before, there were so many innocent men risking their lives for a brighter future.   We then headed out to Vimy Ridge where we would see many more graves, trenches and a towering memorial for the Canadian soldiers who unfortunately lost their lives. It was elevated many metres in the air and was imposing against the clear blue skies.

It was a memorable day with many poignant memories and after eating out at a local restaurant we were all ready for bed.

Day 4 and it was already our last full day in France. Today, in Le Touquet, we would use all of our new French vocab in the market mission where we would work in groups to buy and prepare our own lunch. All of the stall holders were very friendly and understood most of our novice French. As a result we all had a lovely, fresh lunch on the beach.  After an hour in the sun, we headed to Nausicca to wind down the day. We saw loads of different species of sea life, even sharks, seals and penguins (they stank)!  Following buying some souvenirs, we then headed back to the accommodation to freshen up before heading back out for our last dinner.

On the beach...


Before we all knew it, we were packed and on our way back to the UK. The journey back seemed much shorter and by 3:00 PM we were back on home ground after a magnificent trip. We had an amazing week; thanks to all the teachers who gave up there time to make the visit go ahead.

Grace Lord 7A