London Trip 2019
Last month a group of our senior pupils, along with staff members Mr MacBeath and Miss Orr, made the long journey to London for a sightseeing and educational visit. Two pupils, Hayley Hourston and Kirstin Ganson very kindly agreed to write an account of the trip from their perspective. Here, they tell us more…
“The bus departed Wick High School just after 6pm on the 15th February. We were all excited to get going, except we had to manage 14 hours overnight on the bus before our trip could truly start. We arrived on the outskirts of London at a service station at around 8.30am, where we all got dressed and fed, before heading off again to Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where we had plenty of time to explore the wizarding world of Harry Potter, take lots of photos and spend time in the gift shops and cafe. It was fascinating to see behind the scenes of the books and films and to see how the production of ‘Harry Potter’ was put together. As they are my favourite films, it really brought everything to life.
We then headed to the hotel where we would be staying; Meininger Hotel Hyde Park. We had time to unwind and unpack, then we left again for some competitive bowling games, at a nearby alley. It was a great way to relax after a busy day of walking and excitement, especially when we were all still tired after the long bus trip as it was extremely difficult to get to sleep. We then went to Pizza Hut for a buffet dinner. The pizzas were gone in seconds. It might have had something to do with the 16 slices on Mackenzie’s plate and everyone watched as, one by one, they all disappeared. It was definitely the biggest achievement of the whole trip. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for our first night in London.”Kirstin Ganson
“We started the next day by visiting The Natural History Museum. It was huge, inside and out. We split into groups and chose where we wanted to go. My group managed to see it all thankfully but my favourite part of the museum would have to be the biology part which was split into DNA, reproduction, the growth of the fetus and human senses. It was interesting to see things I had learned in biology outside of class and there was also loads of things we could take part in. The sculptures of different animals were amazing and so well kept. The first thing we saw when entering the building was the remains of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling.
Then we headed to the London Eye. As amazing as it was, it wasn’t for me. We had to get into the pod while the wheel was moving; that alone was enough to make my legs go like jelly. Everyone else loved it and the views were breathtaking. The free time that night was definitely one of my favourite part of the trip. We got to go off, explore and do some shopping. There were not many shops I was interested in but it was good to go and get some free time. We found some buskers who had real talent and ended up listening to them for most of the night.”Hayley Hourston
“The next day was an early start and most of us wondered down to breakfast still in our pyjamas and half asleep. First, we had a guided tour around the Houses of Parliament which was one of the best parts of the trip for me, as a lot of the information we were told linked with what we had been taught in History, so it was really interesting to learn more. We were shown through the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Royal Hall, the Queen’s Robing Room and many more. After Parliament, we had some free time to split into groups to go for lunch and visit any other close tourist attractions if we wanted to. My group walked to Downing Street. It had very high security but was still really good to see. Other groups went to Buckingham Palace or just went shopping. Then we went on a Thames River Cruise, which would have been better if it wasn’t raining, but we got to under the deck which was nice and warm. The boat was packed but we could still see out the massive windows as we went past many London tourist attractions including the Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Once we got off the cruise, we were straight on the bus to the Tower of London where we got involved in all aspects of the history in London. This included The Crown Jewels, ancient methods of torture and executions, royal beasts and battlements, but the best part for me was the history re-enactment some of us got involved in, which allowed us to participate with actors in a theatre-like act of history. It was amazing fun and it all felt so real. After a jam-packed visit to the Tower of London, we had a great two-course meal, before joining the long queue to watch ‘Wicked’. The cast were incredible to watch as their singing and acting was unimaginable. This was one of the busiest days for us so we were all tired by the time we made it back to the hotel that night.”Kirstin Ganson
“On Tuesday morning we had to the choice to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods, or just go shopping. Me and a few others were desperate to find a Primark so we went on a mission using Google Maps. A trek later and we found a huge Primark, full of people and clothes. An hour later we had all done enough shopping and needed to get back to where we were meant to meet everyone else. We also went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which was fascinating to see and to hear about the history of the place during our tour. Our tour guide was also exciting and energetic which made it that much more enjoyable. We then did an acting workshop, in which we ran over some Shakespeare scenes and learned some acting techniques. We had dinner after the workshop at a place of our choice and then started the 14 hour journey home, once again.
The trip would not have been possible, or as amazing as it was, without Miss Orr and Mr MacBeath. We are all grateful for their help, perseverance and contributions as well as our bus drivers who made it possible for us to see all the amazing attractions that we did.”Hayley Hourston