Here is a short list of some of the many activities and excursions your school could enjoy during your pilgrimage or retreat at Hosanna House. For more information about them (or to discuss other ideas you might have, that we might be able to help you with) please call 01788 564646 or email education@hcpt.org.uk.

In the footsteps of St Bernadette

Font in Lourdes parish church

There a number of sites associated with the story of St Bernadette that welcome visitors. These include -

  • The Boly Mill where Bernadette was born
  • The Cachot (the prison cell all the family were living in at the time of the Apparitions)
  • The Moulin Lacade - where the family lived after the Apparitions
  • The Hospice Sainte Bernadette where she made her First Communion
  • The Ancien Presbytère (where Bernadette told the Parish Priest she had seen the Immaculate Conception)

In addition, the Parish Church contains the font Bernadette was baptised in, and there is a Museum dedicated to her close to the Shrine.

Other attractions in Lourdes

The Château Fort which overlooks Lourdes

Attractions in the town of Lourdes include:

  • The Chateau Fort which overlooks the town and Shrine – and houses a museum
  • An outdoor model village, Musée de Petite Lourdes, which recreates Lourdes at the time of the apparitions
  • A wax work museum, Musée de Cire, focussing on the the stories of Jesus, St Bernadette, and other religious figures
  • The Pic du Jer with its funicular railway taking you towards breathtaking views across the Pyrenees
  • A road train (Le Petit Train) takes you 7.5km round the town at its sites

Half day trips

Show caves at Bétharram

Activities close to Lourdes include:

  • Grottes de Betharram - famous show caves. The guided visits include short underground boat and train rides.
  • Donjon des Aigles - this spectacular clifftop 11th century castle is home prestigious collection of birds of prey from around the world. Each afternoon there is a world-class bird display.
  • La Ferme du Bon'Air - a farm with over 200 animals, many of them from unusual breeds – most of which visitors can pet and feed.
  • Parc Animalier - award-winning hillside animal park. Highlights include its bears, otters and wolves. Visits include the opportunity to feed and pet marmots and goats.
Sunset at the Lac de Lourdes
  • Zoo d'Asson - a traditional style zoo with over 100 species, including a Siberian tigers and a walk through Australian area. Animal feeding sessions are held throughout the day.
  • Parc Chloro'fil - enjoy an adventure up in the trees - with 13 routes of varying difficulty suitable for children from 4 years upwards.
  • Lac de Lourdes - a large glacial lake with a safe area for swimming, pedalos, walking, hiking and mountain biking routes. Also features a picnic area.

Full day trips

The Cirque de Gavarnie

A little further afield, and perfect for longer excursions are:

  • Up into the mountains at Gavarnie - a popular destination for HCPT groups – this UNESCO World Heritage Site is best known for the its natural bowl (the Cirque de Gavarnie), and it waterfall (the Gavarnie Falls). The village offers cafes, shops and donkey rides.
  • To the seaside - St Jean de Luz and Biarritz are popular French resorts. Both have good beaches and numerous other attractions.

For more information about trips your school community could enjoy during your stay at Hosanna House please call 01788 564646 or email education@hcpt.org.uk.