Just like last year, I chaperoned our 4ème (or 8th grade) students during the official trip week to England back in April (my selfish secret: I prefer this trip because the students stay in host families while we get a hotel, meaning that our nights are student-free!) Last year, we hit several new destinations on my list, including Cambridge, Kent, Canterbury, Colchester, and Harwich. This year, we actually ventured further north, to Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, stopping by Strandford-Upon-Avon along the way. This was an entirely new area of the UK for me, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I especially enjoyed Chester and Liverpool (I’d LOVE to go back on my own sometime!) Here are a list of highlights from the trip (thankfully we had an awesome team and an even better team leader- Heather, Sadie, Rebecca, Sid, Bruno, Delphine, and myself!)
On our way up north, we made a pit-stop in Stratford-Upon-Avon to visit William Shakespeare’s birthplace. Although a brief stop I thought the town was very quaint, as well as the house itself. Shakespeare is intertwined in the curriculum across our school and I felt it was important for the kids to connect some dots.
I really, really enjoyed the city of Chester. A former Roman city, the centre is actually walled, and one of the best-preserved in Britain. What was especially unique were The Rows- the shops and dwellings are actually two storeys tall from the outside. The ground floor was often lower than the actual street, meaning you descend to enter; it often felt like a crypt or a vault. Then, you climbed a few stairs to get to the “first floor” (or second floor by American standards). The shops were connected by various walkways which sloped, and the walkways overlooked the streets. The architecture is black and white and medieval and beautiful. The Eastgate clock was added in 1899 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The clock also marks the original entrance to the city, and is said to be the second-most photographed in England (after Big Ben, of course).
Some shots of Chester
Like so many others, I associate Liverpool with mainly one thing: The Beatles! Whilst in Liverpool, we enjoyed The Beatles’ Story Museum, as well as the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which told the story of the Titanic (because she originally left from Liverpool). The latter was also free, which made it even better. I actually learned a lot in both museums, but a highlight for me was having a drink in the Cavern, where the Beatles were originally discovered. It is such a cool and hopping venue, even at 15:30 in the afternoon!
Top Left: The original Cavern; top right: The Cavern in The Beatles’ Story
Many of the kids enjoyed visiting Manchester United Stadium as well as the free Museum of Science and Industry, built around an old railroad station (and also free of charge!). Hopefully I’ll get to go back and visit Britain’s third largest city itself in the future.
We enjoyed a wonderful 5-day journey in Northern England, and came back to Lille to find gorgeous weather. Have you ever been to Northern England?