Academic Enrichment News |

DT trip to London

10 Nov 2023

By George, Lower Sixth

It was an early start for us all on Wednesday morning as we had to leave bright and early at 6:45am. We all packed our bags onto the two minibuses driven by the generous headmaster Mr Jackson and Mr Easton who drove us to Darlington railway station for our London bound train that left at 7:30. The 3-hour train journey flew by due to the great company of friends and teachers. When the train arrived in Kings Cross station, we all rushed off the train excited for the day ahead of us. To start things off we took a walk to the hotel, which was the Royal National Hotel, we passed many beautiful structures and had many interesting conversations with Mr Beaty where he explained the origins of the construction of some these spectacular buildings. We arrived at the hotel only to drop off out bags and get ready for the day ahead. By this time, it was 11:00 am and we were on the way to the tube. Now as a Yorkshire lad this was all new to me, the thick black air hit me when I stepped foot on the platform. We got our first tube to the Design Museum and wow what an experience this was. In their exhibition, Designer, maker, User, there were so many unique and classic designs we could explore such as the Vespa scooter, Converse shoes and Levi jeans, all of which came with information about the design. There was also a most interesting exhibition on sustainable housing & construction using environmentally friendly materials. After about two hours of indulging in all this amazing design history, we took another tube to soho where we got had lunch (the standard McDonald’s) and had some free time to explore the beautiful capital, after some shopping and draining of the bank accounts we met at the Rendezvous point and looked around the stunning National Gallery, it was here I saw some of the most beautiful and touching art in my life, such as Constable’s Hay Wain and some fine Canalettos, two of which are on display in our very own Bowes Museum. When we finished looking around the gallery we walked outside and watched the sunset over London, with the Elizabeth Tower and Nelson’s column in view, my breath was taken away with the beauty of the city. After many pictures we took the 15-minute walk to Theatre District near Covent Garden. This was one of the highlights of the trip, the smell of mulled wine (not taste) filled the air, and the Christmas lights filled the streets. When we had spent our time in the theatre district we headed to Bella Italia for some dinner. After being filled up with pizzas and brownies we headed for the tube station to return to our hotel. It was here we encountered the first issue. The stairs. We had to take the stairs to the platform due to the lift being so full. It’s safe to say some of us underestimated the sheer number of winding stairs, but after some grit and determination we made it back to the hotel. By this time, it was 9pm and we were all feeling the fatigue of the long day, so it was time to wind down for the night for the early start the next day. Day 2: after waking up at 7:30 getting showered, packed and ready for the day we headed down to the hotel breakfast, there was a variation of pastry’s, full English and fruit salad it was absolutely beautiful. We ate and left the hotel en-route to the Science Museum. The science museum was very interesting and ranged from early steam engines to Covid-19. We spent about 3 hours taking in this great information about manufacturing, the work of technicians, space technology & engineering, cars, medical technology, biology and design and after looking through the gift shop we headed back to the tube and headed towards South Bank for some lunch at Nando’s. After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the Tate Modern art museum. Although there was some controversial artwork in the various galleries. Mr Beaty suggested to us that whist we may not fully appreciate the artistic merit of some art works, we should admire the artists ability to convince and art gallery to purchase it, probably at a very large expense. After our long two days it was time to head to King’s Cross station and get the train back to Darlington. 3 hours quickly passed after a short nap and some music as we pulled up to Darlington, we were sad to be home as the trip had been so enjoyable.