On Sunday we disembarked Queen’s college, with London the day’s destination. Following on from an activity packed day at Oxford, there was a buzz of excitement among the participants to visit the UK’s capital city. For many participants, this was their first time visiting London and the activities planned for the day was a great way to discover a new city.
The participants had a choice between an open-top bus tour, visiting the British Museum or the National Gallery. Fortunately for the open bus tour crew, the sun was out – a rarity in England, really. The bus tour took us through the streets of London, from Oxford Street to Piccadilly. The participants enjoyed the views from the top floor of the bus whilst learning some new facts about London- did you know that the British flag is called the Union Flag and not the Union Jack?!? Unmissable sights on the bus tour included the Queen Elizabeth Tower featuring the Big Ben (the bell, not the tower), Trafalgar Square and Baker Street (home of famous detective Sherlock Holmes).
A Trip Back in Time
Whilst the open bus tour crew were learning the nooks and crannies of London, some participants were viewing artefacts in the world’s oldest national public museum – yes, the British museum is older than the USA. With a collection of over 8 million objects including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles and Egyptian Marbles, the British museum is definitely a must-visit for all tourists and non-tourists.
Attracting 4 to 5 million visitors yearly, the National Gallery was a delight for the participants who visited. Not only does it contain beauty in its collection of numerous paintings, but its building is a spectacle in itself, located right in the centre at Trafalgar Square.
Following their initial activities, the participants then had free time to explore London on their own and have lunch. Popular lunch destinations included Vapianos (11/10 would recommend!), Byron Burgers and the market by the London Eye; the smoothie stand there is mouth-watering! We concluded the lovely day with breath-taking views from the London Eye, after which we headed back to Cambridge. As participants and mentors bobbed to sleep on the coach, everyone was heartily pleased with the tiring but fun-filled weekend escapades!