“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson
Here some of the things you can do
London is a bustling metropolis that is steeped in history and yet is home to one of the most modern financial and business centres in the world. Anyone who decides to study English in London is assured of a host of great places to visit and wonderful things to do. Such activities and trips make studying English in England very special, allowing students to soak up the local atmosphere and see some of the things that have informed English’s development as a global language. These are indeed some of the main sources of inspiration for students and teachers alike. elephant Minds takes its students to visit numerous places in London and the countryside, offering the chance to make friends with classmates as well as locals, learn new skills, see some of the most famous iconic buildings in the world and ad a whole lot of fun into the mix. The following list is a flavour of the trips that we offer in the city but is by no means complete. elephant Minds always takes you where you want to go, so, if there is somewhere that you especially want to visit, all you have to do is ask.
The most famous palace in the world, it became the seat of royal power in 1837 when Queen Victoria came to the throne. This legacy continues all the way down to Queen Elizabeth II and it has always been her official residence. It has an incredible 775 rooms, including 240 bedrooms, 78 bathrooms and 19 state rooms. It is guarded by the iconic Royal Guards, who famously wear bearskin caps as a reward for their actions in the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon in the 19th century. See the Palace, walk around the surrounding parks and lakes, and why not end the day shopping at Fortnum and Masons after tea at the Ritz.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror, shortly after he invaded England in 1066, with its iconic white stone being very traditional of Norman architecture. It was initially disliked by Londoners who saw it as a symbol of oppression. It was used by the Tudors as a prison, with Henry VIII, imprisoning his second wife Anne Boleyn there and Mary I, imprisoning her sister and future Queen Elizabeth within its walls. Other famous occupants include Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Cromwell and Lady Jane Grey. The tower was also used as a Royal zoo, a tradition that began when a Scandinavian King, gave the British monarch a polar bear, yes, a polar bear (!) who lived within its grounds and went fishing in the Thames. The Tower now holds the crown jewels and there are traditionally a number of ravens in it, because: “if there are less than 6 then the kingdom will fall”. Visit the Tower and imagine yourself guarded and taken to be sent away for ever…
Houses of Parliament
The neo-gothic wonder known as the Palace of Westminster was constructed in 1834 after the previous building burnt down, although it has been the site of the British Parliament since the 13th century. The original parliament was a much smaller affair and was held in the next-door Westminster Hall, eventually moving to the palace when the hall could no longer hold all the members.
Most people believe that the iconic clock, located on the side of the Houses of Parliament, is called Big Ben: it is not! Big Ben is actually the name of the large bell located inside the tower, which rings each hour and plays the famous Cambridge Chimes. Walk around Westminster, visit the Abbey and go up on the London Eye by the river to see the city from the skies, standing at 135 metres high!
Horse Guard’s Parade
Located a short walk from Buckingham Palace, this large parade ground is the base of the Royal Guards and plays host to the changing of the guard’s ceremony at around 11:00am every day. This now famous ceremony began after Queen Victoria went down to inspect her guards and discovered that they were all drunk! As ‘punishment’ they have had to parade ever since.
Standing on the precise location that Shakespeare’s original Globe did, before it was burnt down when a cannon was fired during a play in the 17th century. It was designed to be exactly the same as the theatre was in Elizabethan times, making it the best way to experience authentic Shakespearean theatre. Take a tour of the theatre or book to see Romeo and Juliet under the blue sky.
The British Museum
The British Museum can reasonably claim to be the best museum in the entire world, hosting a plethora of amazing exhibitions, including the Elgin Marbles that were originally on the side of the Parthenon in ancient Athens, the Rosetta Stone, which was used to decode Egyptian Hieroglyphics, the exquisitely preserved Sutton Hoo Anglo Saxon battle helmet and a multitude of other amazing things to see. Mummies, ruins, sculptures, paintings, it has it all!
St Paul’s Cathedral
Originally built by the Normans, after they invaded England in 1066, St Paul’s has always been London’s most popular church. And yes, it was here that Prince Charles and Diana got married in1981. It was burnt down during the fire of London and rebuilt in its current location by the famous architect Christopher Wren. It also plays host to the graves of some of Britain’s most important citizens, including: Horatio Nelson and Christopher Wren himself.
The royal church, which is located next to the Houses of Parliament, plays host to some of the most important royal ceremonies including coronations, marriages and funerals. Considered one of the highest honours possible to achieve; to be buried there with distinguished personalities such as Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens and plenty of past monarchs.
All of these amazing places and more are just waiting to be explored. All our English Immersion Programmes include half-day and all-day outings. elephant Minds will show you the very best that London has to offer.
By the Blogs Team