CCSS Students Day Trip to London
On Saturday 2 March, six students from CCSS hopped on a train to London for a day of adventures. A quick ride on the DLR, looking at the impressive skyscrapers in Canary Wharf, and the students arrived at Island Gardens. It was then a short walk under the river, an unnerving experience for some, to the Cutty Sark.
The Cutty Sark was built in the late 19th century, and represents the pinnacle of the clipper ship design. It was one of the fastest ships that existed at the time, and was designed for the Chinese tea trade, before transporting wool all the way from Australia to England. The Cutty Sark now resides in Greenwich where it is the world’s only remaining extreme clipper, and allows the public to get a close up view of one of the world’s finest ships.
After spending time exploring the Cutty Sark, the students then headed off to the Royal Observatory, also located in Greenwich. The climb up the hill was definitely worth it to see the mesmerizing views across London, made even better by the bright sunshine.
At the observatory, the students had the chance to learn about astronomy, how the techniques that seamen used to navigate evolved over time, the development of longitude and latitude, as well as the struggle of having a pendulum clock onboard a ship. The tour through the observatory ended at the Prime Meridian line. This is the point where the eastern and western hemispheres meet, and also marks Longitude Zero, so every point on Earth is referenced by its angle to this line. This makes it an incredibly significant place in the world, and it was very exciting for the students to be able to stand on the exact line.
After so much learning at the Observatory, there was then time to explore the Greenwich Art and Craft market. This was a really multicultural, vibrant and colourful place, with stalls selling a huge variety of things, such as exotic foods, vintage clothing, handcrafted jewellery and wooden furniture. It was also a great spot to grab some lunch as there were so many different global cuisines on offer.
With lunch all finished, it was time to take a boat tour all the way from Greenwich to Westminster. This meant that the students got to see some of the most iconic sites in London, such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. They also learnt some interesting facts, such as that the Thames flows in both directions, and the river is now the cleanest it ever has been in recorded history. This was met with some skepticism by the students looking at the water, until it was explained that the colour of the Thames comes from the mud-based river beds, rather than from pollution. The boat tour whizzed past more of London, including the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Shard. The most excitement came though when the students saw the Millennium Bridge, which they recognised from a scene in one of the Harry Potter films.
Overall, the students thoroughly enjoyed their adventures in London, and especially getting to see so many iconic sights that are recognised across the world.
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