From the 2 – 5 December 2014 a group of 21 students from Escola Secundária de Oliveira do Bairro visited London. The students represented three professional courses in Travel Marketing; Laboratory Analysis and industrial Maintenance and proved to be model guests to the UK who were respectful, thoughtful and interested in everything they saw.
Before arriving in London the students had prepared for their visit by researching all the key sites and had produced their own guide to the city. At the beginning of each day the students helped to plan and agree the sites to be visited. Students were appointed to take it in turn to plan the route using the London underground and lead the group using the various colour coded tube lines. At each site the students were responsible for explaining the history and interesting facts to their peers in English.
The students and their teachers enjoyed a very full 4 day programme which included all the major sites in London. On the first day the group completed a walking tour of Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, some of the most recognised sites in London. They walked to the London Eye before crossing the Thames to Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Regent’s Street, Oxford Street and Marble Arch on the way back to their accommodation in Bayswater Road.
On the second day the group began with a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral before walking across the millennium Bridge to visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery. After visiting the Gallery they carried on along the Southbank of the Thames past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Golden Hind, famous for circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake and HMS Belfast, a former Royal Navy cruiser from the 2nd World War. Lunch was a picnic outside the Mayor of London’s famous round glass building overlooked by the Shard, an 87-storey skyscraper before walking across Tower Bridge and around the Tower of London. They learned the nicknames of some of the new modern buildings in the city area including the ‘cheese grater, ‘the walkie talkie’ and the ‘gherkin’. In the afternoon the group visited the Science Museum which was founded in 1857 and attracts 3.3 million visitors each year. The museum covers all areas of science and technology and includes an interactive learning area where you can explore their skills in carrying out repetitive activities to determine how well we pay attention in activities!
In the evening the group had the opportunity to visit the famous Covent Garden area which was originally a fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site. The final visit was to Chinatown, with over 80 restaurants showcasing some of London’s finest and most authentic Asian cuisine.
On the third and final day before departure the students began the day with a visit to the Natural History Museum with exhibits on animals, plants, geology, paleontology and climatology. One of the most famous exhibits is a 105-foot (32 m) long replica Diplodocus carnegii skeleton, situated within the central hall known as ‘Dippy’. The most enjoyable are the sate of-the-art interactive exhibits especially the roaring T-Rex in the dinosaur area.
In the afternoon some students enjoyed a visit to Madam Tussaud museum to have their pictures taken with some famous wax models from politics, music and film including Justin Bieber, One Direction, President Obama and Princess Diana while others spent their time at ‘Winter Wonderland’ in Hyde Park. This Wonderland is a regular yearly feature for Christmas with fairground, Christmas Markets, ice rink and a range of festive food cafes and restaurants.