Suggestions for students in London

Jul 25th, 1998, 09:22 PM
  #1  
Kathie
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Suggestions for students in London

I will be taking a group of about 40 students to England in the summer of 99. While some of our time is organized by the travel company with whom we are traveling, we do have a good bit of free time. Suggestions as to how we might best spend that time?? The students are 14 - 16 years old -- our English and Global Studies students for the past two years. We don't necessarily want to do the "tourist" things (although some of these things might be appropriate) -- but want the kids to experience the history and culture of London. Yes we are crazy to do this (six adults with 42 kids) -- but "carpe diem." It will be a super experience for the kids, and a character building experience for us (smile!)
Any help would be most appreciated.
Many thanks!
 
Jul 27th, 1998, 05:48 AM
  #2  
menius
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I would say take them to Covent gardens as there is heaps of street performers there and just about 20 minutes walk from trafalger square you could maybe break into groups of who wants to do what. Only problem is that covent garden gets really packed, especially during the weekend, so having so many people you're bound to lose someone, and also it's not the easiest of places to navigate. It is really fun there though, especially with Sega World.
 
Jul 27th, 1998, 06:19 AM
  #3  
Linda
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The House of Lords and House of Commons were very interesting. You might want to rent a bus & take a tour to Canterbury (as in Tales) & then go along the coast near Isle to church destroyed in 1066, which has crosses carved from Canterbury pilgrims. Then to where ships left for America. You can do this all in one day, though the harbor may be better substituted by Stonehenge.
 
Jul 29th, 1998, 09:28 AM
  #4  
Amy Ostroth
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You might also try getting your hands on a couple of brocures for walking tours. There are several companies that do them and they have a wide variety of themes--some of which would appeal to the students I'm sure (Jack the Ripper tours, ghost walks, tours of "the City" -the business center, tours of Shakespeare's or Dickens' London, and LOTS of others). The tours usually take 2 hours or so, and they are a good way to really get to see the city. You could even break the group us into smaller groups that allow different kids/chaperones to see different things.
 
Aug 1st, 1998, 10:40 AM
  #5  
Ben Haines
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If global studies are studies of world history and contemporary politics and culture, then you might take your people to the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington (tube Kensington High Street). It is probably listed at the useful site http://www.io-ltd.com/london/museums/index.htm. They might enjoy also weekend afternoons at the Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park (nearest tube Marble Arch, not Hyde Park). Many extreme opinions are there presented.
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If you are in London before 31 July Parliament will still be sitting. The queues for Commons debates are long, and the debates themselves are no great shakes. Queues for the Lords are shorter, and the level of discussion higher.

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But I'd avoid both, and take the people up to the Committee Rooms corridor. The way to do this is to set your web searcher to title: House of Lords, and follow on from there to see lists for committees of both houses, or phone the day you arrive to the Commons Committees Office and the Lords Committees Office to ask the programme for the coming week. Forty people will be too many for each committee room, so you should choose a morning with plenty of committees in session, break into three or four groups of no more than a dozen each, and fix a time for all parties to come out (perhaps forty minutes after they go in). The level of debate is high, and the surroundings are splendid. While in Westminster they should see the statues of twentieth century martyrs (including Martin Luther King) that have just been put up on the west face of the Abbey. A nearby pub lunch is at the Two Chairmen, at Queen Anne's Gate, a hundred yards from St James Park tube station and ten minutes walk from Parliament.
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The culture of London is wide, and I hope they'll go to eat a Bengali lunch or supper in Brick Lane, north of Whitechapel tube station, and to see the market and shops in Brixton. Some may like to look up Brixton in the World Music section of Time Out, and pop down for some loud music with magnificent rhythm. They'd phone in advance to be sure they can get in, and to book seats by credit card. They'd have more fun if no tutor were with them.
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For old London working class culture they might try the Friday and Saturday markets in Greenwich (go by boat from Embankment, return by train to Charing Cross). In the old market area are two pubs with outside tables, where young people can lunch. For old London middle class culture they might go to window-shop and to lunch in a pub garden in Richmond. For London history they could see the Museum of London, nearest tube St Paul's.
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You can afford a theatre trip if you choose a play in Time Out and book with a credit card. For a West End play you should go on a Monday evening or to a weekday matinee, and negotiate by phone the lowest price available. Usually, you'll then find yourselves moved bodily to better seats than you booked, as they won't open the topmost gallery. For a Fringe play there's no reductions, but concessionary prices (as for students) can be about seven pounds, ten dollars, each. Please avoid Shakespeare, as he's not our only playwright.
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I haven't understood Linda's reference to a destroyed church. If you want a US connection, you'll find that the Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe (tube from Whitechapel) is where the Pilgrim Fathers started from, before crossinbg to Holland. There are lunches in the pub upstairs, and I expect they'd take young people.
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Nor am I sure that I understand what your people are currently studying. If the course syllabus is already on disc in some form, could you kindly Email it to me and I'll see whether I've more to say. Also, about when are they here ?
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Welcome
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Ben Haines, London
 
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