19 Year 11 pupils and four staff travelled to London primarily to watch the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena. We were unlucky not to see Nadal as he had pulled out due to injury; however, on the Wednesday of our trip, we did manage to see Jamie Murray and his partner winning their doubles match and a spectacular contest between Grigor Dimitrov, the eventual champion, and David Goffin. The experience of seeing such high level sport in a world class arena was a valuable one for all involved.
A trip to the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon was another highlight of our trip. Our tour guide was excellent; he told us very interesting facts about the history of the club and the running of the tournament we see on TV. The most important rule there is ‘don’t walk on the grass’. We were able to enter by the players’ entrance and walk down the hallowed corridors frequented by the likes of Roger Federer and the Williams sisters, sit in the main press interview room where the winners are interviewed after their match, and take court side seats in Centre Court where we learned about their distinctive grass and how it is cared for. This was an experience not to be forgotten by us all.
Our trip also included a ‘voyage’ on the London Eye, a Thames cruise, sightseeing at Buckingham Palace where the Royal Standard was flying so we knew that Queen Elizabeth II was ‘in’, Westminster Palace, and shopping at Harrod’s, Oxford Street, Leicester Square, where there was a lovely Christmas market, and Covent Garden. We met lots of the celebrities, including the Prime Minister, at Madame Tussauds and saw some amazing artefacts at the Natural History Museum and, on our final evening in London, watched an amazing performance of Disney’s The Lion King.
The whole trip was amazing from beginning to end, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We also managed quite a bit of sightseeing during our trip. Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Horse Guards Parade were on the route to Westminster where we took a flight on the London Eye and then boarded the Thames Clipper for our river trip past the Tower of London and under Tower Bridge to Greenwich. We also had a very informative
and interesting guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall, visited the world famous Harrods, shopped at Covent Garden and got up close to celebrities at Madame Tussauds.
Another highlight was the show ‘Matilda The Musical’ in the West End. On the whole, this trip was a fantastic experience for all involved.