"What happens when teenagers run free in the UK!" United Kingdom by Carmanah
United Kingdom Travel Guide: 94,312 reviews and 225,403 photos
On March 27, 1996, a group of 18 grade ten and grade eleven students all from Hugh McRoberts Secondary School, flew out of Vancouver and landed at London's Heathrow Airport 9 hours later. This was the first time our school had ever put together a fine arts and historical field trip in the UK. Most of the students selected for this trip were really good friends already. We all loved music, loved the arts, loved the idea of skipping 2 weeks of school so we could nonchalantly meander around the streets of some British town. What was there not to love? And the best part about this was even the teachers were cool! Mrs. McCarthy was an eccentric drama teacher whom everyone adored, and Mr. Hobson was our cheerfully, happy-go-lucky band teacher who we regarded like an uncle. It was perfect. The perfect mix of students, the perfect teachers, and you're letting us loose in the UK!
I was one of those students.
We explored London and Windsor from the day of our arrival on March 28 until our last night there on March 31st. We explored Picadilly Circus, London Tower, Oxford Street, Camden Market, Winsdor Castle, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, and had a good overview of the city's architectural highlights via a coach tour. We got around by the tube and by double-decker bus. We saw lots of museums, watched musicals (Miss Saigon!), ate take-away curries and shopped for rarities at Tower Records.
I also think day light savings time went into effect on our last night there. That messed things up somewhat the next morning, as we forgot to switch our clocks ahead! Ooops!
On April Fool's Day (April 1st), after figuring out daylight savings time and that we were running late for breakfast, we toured Stonehenge, Bath and Stratford-Upon Avon. We saw Shakespeare's Twelvth Night that night while the Comet Hale-Bopp was visible from the sky.
On April 2nd we explored the rest of Stratford-Upon-Avon such as visiting Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's Home. We dropped by Coventry for lunch to have a look at its famous cathedral, and then headed our way to York. That night in York, I met up with my Dad's cousin, Felicity, her boyfriend Phillip, and her daughter, Catharine. They took me out for dinner at Betty's!
On April 3rd, we explored York and all its architectural glory. I fondly remember walking around and seeing peacocks! And while it was a rather frosty morning, I recall our elderly tour guide wondering why we were so cold . After all, we were from Canada! She didn't know, of course, that April in our part of Canada has flowers blossoming, not frost! So we were actually underdressed! Later that afternoon, we reached the Scottish border, stopped off at a roadside tourist trap shop (sweaters? tartans? Edinburgh castle rock candy?). We then made it into Edinburgh and stayed at a wonderful B&B.
Our last 2 days were spent in Edinburgh. Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting posters were literally everywhere, especially in the bookshops. I wouldn't find out its significance until at least 2 years later! I remember enjoying Edinburgh's warm spring weather (a welcome relief!), strolling through Edinburgh castle, shopping at HMV at the height of Oasis-mania, and discovering hole-in-the-wall alternative clothing boutiques. On the last night there we bought last-minute tickets to my favourite musical, Phantom of the Opera. It was great! I loved Edinburgh and wished I had more time.
On our final day, we woke up and boarded our bus to Glasgow. Used to Canadian distances where the next major city is often a full day's drive away, I was quite surprised when we arrived in Glasgow 45 minutes after leaving Edinburgh!
From Glasgow we flew to London, and from London, we flew home!
- Pros:A fun region to explore when you're with a group of your friends, lots of history and culture, beautiful pastoral landscapes, and a very addictive contemporary culture! Seeing the UK at the height of the Britpop madness was a lot of fun for a teen!
- Cons:Too much to cram within 2 weeks!
- In a nutshell:An ideal destination for a high school fine arts field trip!
Carmanah's Related Pages
United Kingdom Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Firas in Wonderland"
- "My U.K. - a home I love very dearly."
- "United Kingdom Adventure"
- "A Taste of Real Britain - Tourist Information"
- "UNITED KINGDOM"
- "Jet Ski!"
- "Christmas 2010"
- See All...
- Things to Do in United Kingdom
- Hotels in United Kingdom
- Transportation in United Kingdom
- Nightlife in United Kingdom
- Restaurants in United Kingdom
- Shopping in United Kingdom
- Warnings and Dangers in United Kingdom
- See All...
Badges & Stats in United Kingdom
- 39 Reviews
- 106 Photos
- 2 Forum posts
- 3 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (18)
Have you been to United Kingdom?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in United Kingdom
- Posted in Travel Vancouver Forum "Re: Canadian Crafts shops on..."
- Uploaded a Photo to "Tour group travelling"
- updated a United Kingdom Travel Page "What happens when teenagers run free in the UK!"
- Wrote a Review Coventry Cathedral in United Kingdom Favorites
- Commented on one of miksu's United Kingdom travel pages
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Vancouver Intro, 238 reviews, 390 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Steveston Intro, 54 reviews, 151 photos, 5 travelogues
- Victoria Intro, 59 reviews, 134 photos, 5 travelogues
- Montreal Intro, 39 reviews, 75 photos, 4 travelogues
- Canada Intro, 31 reviews, 77 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tofino Intro, 11 reviews, 61 photos, 5 travelogues
- Boston Intro, 26 reviews, 45 photos, 2 travelogues
- Ottawa Intro, 22 reviews, 45 photos, 3 travelogues
- London Intro, 11 reviews, 49 photos, 2 travelogues
- Puerto Vallarta Intro, 27 reviews, 32 photos, 1 travelogue
FriendsSee All Friends (82)
Top United Kingdom hotels
- London Hotels
- 23314 Reviews - 48908 Photos
- Blackpool Hotels
- 481 Reviews - 891 Photos
- Llandudno Hotels
- 243 Reviews - 479 Photos
- Edinburgh Hotels
- 3409 Reviews - 6784 Photos
- Manchester Hotels
- 1741 Reviews - 4028 Photos
- Torquay Hotels
- 178 Reviews - 352 Photos
- York Hotels
- 1631 Reviews - 3976 Photos
- Scarborough Hotels
- 276 Reviews - 409 Photos
- Bournemouth Hotels
- 207 Reviews - 462 Photos
- Glasgow Hotels
- 1241 Reviews - 2065 Photos
- Eastbourne Hotels
- 94 Reviews - 207 Photos
- Whitby Hotels
- 355 Reviews - 743 Photos
- Liverpool Hotels
- 1280 Reviews - 2297 Photos
- Birmingham Hotels
- 766 Reviews - 1269 Photos
- Newquay Hotels
- 139 Reviews - 274 Photos