Bright and early on Sunday morning, following a wonderful trip to Oxford the day before, all the students took a coach to London. We were dropped off at Embankment where the group split into two, each with a tour guide, and set off towards the grand city of Westminster. Our guides, ever enthusiastic, led the students alongside the Thames, pointing out all the significant sites along the way, linking historical facts to modern events to show London’s enduring prosperity. The students enjoyed the iconic views of Parliament with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Churchill War Rooms, Whitehall, Downing Street, St James’ Park, Hyde Park and, finally, the magnificent Buckingham Palace. Our guides told us funny stories and oddities about all the places on the way and there were many opportunities to take photos of quintessentially London red phone boxes and buses.
After the students had all thanked the guides, we were left to collect our tasty packed lunches, take a break and have a kitkat. The afternoon was spent in two locations since the majority of the students chose to visit Selfridges, voted the best department store in the world, and the others went to explore the august British Museum. Those spending their leisure time in Selfridges enjoyed browsing the clothes rails and food halls, and ogling at designer wear and jewellery. London, one of the fashion capitals of the world, certainly did not disappoint. However, still in search of knowledge, nine students headed off on the London Underground to the British Museum. The students were given an hour and a half to see some of the world’s most important archaeological finds, including the Rosetta stone, the Elgin marbles and the Sutton Hoo hoard. Some students were lucky enough to listen to guided tours or buy souvenirs and they all agreed that they saw some spectacular exhibits, the Egyptian section being a favourite.
When the afternoon activities were over, the students all piled back into the coach waiting for us at Marble Arch and arrived back in Cambridge in time for dinner. Since everyone had spent the day walking and travelling, in the evening the students were able to unwind watching the film Limitless in the cinema room, a film about the delights and dangers of using full brain capacity. Others finished work set by tutors and practiced for the much anticipated talent night, making good use of the music room complete with piano, guitar and drum kit. Well rested, the students went to bed ready for the range of activities planned for the sports day to come.