London for the Day

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London is an hour’s train ride and an easy day trip from Oxford, so this semester we’ll try to head over regularly to explore one of our favorite cities. Tuesday was the first of (hopefully) many trips.

The girls requested to go to the British Museum and Hamley’s Toy Store, a five-story childhood dream. Monday afternoon, they spent some time on playing around on the museum’s kids webpage, learning about different cultures and artifacts the museum showcases.  (Social Studies? Check!)

Once we got to the museum Tuesday morning, most of our time was spent completing one of the museum’s learning activities: Travelling in Time: Ancient Greece through the Ages.  We learned about different ages of Greek civilization and found lots of cool treasures along the way, including, of course, the stunning Elgin Marbles.

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After the learning trail and lunch in the cafe, the girls wanted to search for some of the artifacts they’d learned about in their research: Rosetta Stone, the bust of Ramesses II, the Lewis Chessmen, the Hoa Hakananai’a, the Sutton Hoo artifacts, and the Fulham sword.  Since we were sharing the museum with lots and lots of lots of other tourists, we decided it was time to wrap up our visit and walk to Hamley’s.

After arriving at Hamley’s we covered each of the main floors (while the girls added many things to their Christmas lists — I think their lists may be covered for the next decade or so).  We also ran into an old friend on the Lego floor.

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We didn’t really make plans after the museum and the toy store, but we had several hours before our train back to Oxford, so we took the opportunity to explore the area a bit.  We walked down Regent Street, popping into some fun shops, grabbed a snack and warm drink, and wandered on to St. James Park, which was in full bloom.

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The girls hadn’t ever seen Buckingham Palace, which sits at one end of the park, and we had great fun watching the guards through the gates.  We giggled and giggled at the guards’ silly, quick march back into the palace when it started raining heavily.

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By now, we were getting quite wet and evening was coming on, so we popped out our umbrellas and headed toward the train station.  (But who can resist a Mary Poppins imitation when one is walking though London with an umbrella?)

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A fun day in London!  Looking forward to heading back soon!

 

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