The yearly trip to the Ardeche has been running for many years now at Northgate. Back in July another groups of students had the chance to enjoy the experience. Reanna Denson-Smith, Year 9, was one of those pupils and she shares her experience with us here. ‘I went on the Ardeche France trip with Northgate in the summer and I wish I could go every year! Looking back on this mazing opportunity I can confidently say on behalf of everyone involved in this trip, that it is great fun and something worth doing.

On the Ardeche trip you are able to try so many different activities such as rock climbing off the natural surroundings, caving through beautiful caves, raft building, water activities and kayaking on a lovely river near the campsite. This is as well as a rewarding 2 day canoeing trip where you have a camping experience under the stars. You are also able to visit the local town for some shopping where you can use you French knowledge to talk to the locals and even order an ice cream. I found this trip improved my French drastically because I was using it more so it was easier for me to learn.

As well as being able to do these amazing activities you get to experience the naturally beauty of the Ardeche following you wherever you are, you are also always with your school friends, teachers and the fabulous staff at Acorn – they are always really positive and fun to be around. They motivate you to overcome the personal challenges you may face. At the campsite there are multiple villages which is the school’s designated area where you sleep in tents with your chosen friends on proper beds. Due to the lovely weather in the Ardeche, you don’t have to worry about being too cold or hot at night, however during the day make sure to wear loads of sun cream because France is very hot in July which is nice as it makes the experience better.


The only bad bit about the trip I when you have to come home! Even then, the long trip there and back is enjoyable as the coach is luxurious and you are able to sleep on it. It has a tv and loads of room and the drivers are really friendly! The food in the Ardeche is also really tasty so you will definitely have enough energy to participate in all the great activities. There were also activities in the evening which included using the swimming pool at the camp site, going down to the river, treasure hunts and walks into the town.

I would definitely recommend you go on this trip as you are unlikely to get such a great opportunity again. There is not one thing I could fault about the trip and it is genuinely one of the best things I have ever done and if I get the opportunity I will go again without hesitation.

Beth High and Ruby Dagless, Year 8, also went to the Ardeche and give their take on the experience.

First up is Beth who said, ‘On the Ardeche trip we did climbing, a two day canoe trip and we ate frogs legs and snails! The frogs legs were delicious, they tasted like chicken! The best part about the Ardeche trip was the evening activities because they were calm and enjoyable. I would recommend the Ardeche because it’s a wonderful experience and worth the cost.’

Ruby commented, ‘I am very pleased that I went on the Ardeche trip. We sailed in boats, climbed up rocks, clambered through caves and I slept under the stars for one night. We also went in the rivers a lot and I swam down the rapids and experienced frogs legs for the first time!’

Sounds like a fantastic trip – pupils are already signing up for next year!