It’s been an incredible year for the team here at WST; we’ve helped to create some really special memories that we are sure will last a lifetime. As 2014 ends, we've put together some of our highlights from the trips we’ve organised throughout the year.
The Opal Coast
One of WST’s specialist tour consultants, Rachel Fryer, spoke about her favourite visit in 2014 to the bakery in the Opal coast ‘Boulangerie Le Fournil’. She enthused: “We always receive great feedback from groups. The couple who own the bakery are very accommodating and welcoming.”
Tour operations assistant Jan Nockels also agreed that the Opal Coast makes a great trip. She commented on the fact that it’s a small place but has plenty of activities and things to do. As its less than 30 miles from the UK, it manages to be close to home but still has a great continental feel to it.
Paris was Louisa Winder’s top trip for 2014. Specialist Tour Consultant Louisa discussed that as you can travel to Paris by train, plane and coach, it’s an ideal destination, suiting all budgets and group sizes. “With its Iconic landmarks and fantastic culture the pupils become totally immersed in their surroundings and what Paris has to offer. The experience enhances their language skills whilst having fun outside the classroom and away from home.”
Ypres and the Somme
WW1 memorials in Ypres and the Somme really stood out for Transport Executive Chris Derby and Customer Relations Director Sian Belfield.
Chris touched on how moving a visit to Flanders Fields can be for pupils “It’s only when you’re standing in Flanders Fields, that you really get a sense of the terrible destruction and sheer loss of life.”
For Sian Belfield, the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres held special significance. Due to the World War One Centenary beginning this year, the emotion and reality surrounding the losses suffered at war were truly brought home; the Menin Gate Memorial beautifully symbolises this.
Situated along the banks of Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps, Geneva is thought of as one of Europe's most beautiful cities.
Specialist Travel Consultant Julie Smart spoke about visiting Geneva as a part of a Physics trip, including a visit to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, which she feels really brings the subject to life for students.
This is a unique destination where Science and Technology groups can experience a trip to remember.
The Rhineland is the perfect place to experience German culture and provides students with a great introduction to the German language.
Operations Team Leader Nichola Dixon felt that the good weather wasn’t the only thing that made the trip to the Rhine such a success; the Rhine River provides a picturesque spot for sightseers to soak in the city.
Krakow is a popular school trip as pupils are able to fully immerse themselves in the history of the city and discover more about the concentration camps in the surrounding region.
“The conversations and the engagement had between the students and the survivor of one of the camps definitely create lasting memories for the groups,” commented Helen Hamer, Specialist Tour Consultant.
A trip to London allows students to appreciate the country’s capital city, and its hustle and bustle is something that pupils are unlikely to tire of.
Kerrie Bilson, a Specialist Tour Consultant, has loved visiting London since the Olympics in 2012. Kerrie feels that pupils struggle to get bored in London as there is always so much going on. “I feel like we are really offering something unique here at the moment so it has definitely been one of my favourites in 2014," she said.
"London has it all: from history, to architecture, ancient and modern, art, food from around the world, theatre, music, cinema, museums and galleries and sites of religious significance. One school trip to London often doesn’t feel like quite enough."
WST’s trips to New York give pupils a chance to experience American culture and appreciate the iconic city in the flesh.
Specialist Tour Consultant Carole Burrows described New York as a city that has everything. As it is such a big visit for the students, she packs the itinerary with interesting activities to make sure they don’t waste a minute. Her recommendations include the huge green expanse in Central Park and aerial views from the Empire State, to Times Square and Ground Zero and the 9/11 Museum.
Home to iconic landmarks, world-class galleries, museums and tours, not to mention countless entertainment and shopping opportunities, a New York educational trip can’t fail to impress and inspire.