Activity Review – French Day Trip

Some Hampshire Explorers went on a French day trip to Mont St Michel. The objective to experience historic France and practice some learned language. 

Day Trip to Mont St Michel

Activity Overview

  • Venue: North Coast of France
  • Cost: approx £80pp
  • Locations: Start and finish Portsmouth International Ferry Terminal (Grid Ref: 50.8116691,-1.0895208) with activity start: St Malo (48.6405002,-2.0268822) and activity destination: Mont St Michel (48.6302947,-1.5182116)

The Context

A strong contingent of Explorers from one Hampshire District went on an international expedition, well, a French day trip. To Mont St Michel to be precise. The objective was to experience something of historic France, perhaps even practice some learned language. 

The Logistics

The different Explorer Scout Units converged at Portsmouth International Ferry Terminal in time to catch the overnight ferry to St Malo. Having done this type of day trip before, the organisers had booked cabins (no one sleeps on the recliners in the lounge, do they?!) for both legs of the journey. Experience has shown that this provides the opportunity for some sleep which means that the groups are more manageable. 

Small groups were given a responsible adult each and instructions of where to get to and to return to and approximate timings. The next stage was up to the individual groups.

The Journey

Following arrival at St Malo, the groups made their way to Mont St Michel via a number of historic buildings. They used public transport. The way that the day unfolded was entirely up to each group. 

Because Explorers thrive on challenges, the leader issued a few demands of the group: take a photo of the group by a monument, visit a typical French cafe, try [insert type of food that is typically French that might disgust some members of the group!]. The aim being to have members immerse themselves in to the experience rather than just being tourists or permanently attached to their mobile device. 

After visiting the infamous Abbey, the Explorers returned to St Malo to get the overnight ferry home. Like most Scouting activities, they packed a lot in to the almost 20 hour long French day trip. 


The whole trip is little more than 36 hours in duration. There is excitement around an overnight ferry trip. This part of France is unquestionably stunning and fascinating. But the price puts some members of the group off. If they can see past the price for what the experience offers, it is worth it.

From a leader’s perspective, it is an easy to organise and reasonably low-risk event. And an event that has become an annual excursion for our District. Certainly, running the trip as a District ensures that we get the numbers to qualify for a discount on the crossing!

Star rating: 
We’ve given a three star because it is quite expensive for such a short event. Don’t get this view wrong, it is still a good event!

 Key Information for Planning 

POR Reference: Guidelines for holding activity

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