UK adventures for February half term

Posted: Feb 16 2015

What is there to do in the UK this February half term? (other than more school work!)

Teachers work hard. Fact. And for many, half term holidays are simply an opportunity to catch up on marking and get down to some lesson planning. But giving yourself time to recharge and step away from school life is essential in order to sustain term time. Plus if you’ve recently moved to the UK, it’s a great time to get some exploring done, especially locations outside of the capital. So we’ve come up with some great ideas for making the most of those precious days away from school this February and for the most dedicated there’s also a handy way to link your trip back to the classroom!

Visit a King of England

With fast trains from St Pancras station reaching Leicester in less than 70 mins, a day trip to one of England’s newest tourist attractions couldn’t be easier, or cheaper with an advanced rail ticket. The city is home to the award winning, £4 million King Richard III visitor centre and with the former monarch’s burial planned in March Leicester is buzzing with all things Richard.

The story of this fascinating find; his bones discovered under a car park, dumped there after he lost in battle and the modern battle to keep the royal remains in Leicester, could also provide inspiration for all kinds of class subjects, from history, to creative writing, art and drama.

Check out this article from the Guardian which has some great ideas for a day in Leicester. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/feb/03/lets-go-to-leicester-weekend-breaks-comedy-festival

 

Walk, cycle or sail the country’s smallest county

If the weather is looking fine then why not turn a day trip to Leicester into a second or third day in nearby Rutland. There are lots of budget hotels in the city and you can catch the train out to the pretty market town of Oakham in less than half an hour.

The UK’s smallest county has the largest reservoir where you can walk, sail, fish and cycle. Better still there’s a tourist bus called Shorelink which allows you to access many of the water’s amenities direct from Oakham train station. You can even hop on and hop off with your bike.

Rutland is a great place to really get away from it all and experience the beauty of England’s green landscape and fascinating wildlife. Plus the Osprey Project with live nest webcams could be a really interesting subject for your students to follow when the resident birds arrive in March to breed. The organisers behind ospreys.org.uk also run World Osprey Week in March and are encouraging schools to sign up now to take part in a range of activities http://www.ospreys.org.uk/.

For more info about Shorelink, which currently runs at the weekend visit http://www.rutland.gov.uk/transport_and_streets/public_transport/shorelink_tourist_bus.aspx and for things to do in Rutland and details on how to hire a bicycle, visit http://www.discover-rutland.co.uk/. Discover Rutland also has a handy app.

 

Take the sleeper train to Cornwall

The Night Riviera Sleeper train from Paddington is a fun way to make the long journey down to Cornwall. It is one of only two sleeper services on the railway in the UK – the other being the Caledonian Sleeper.

No stay in the UK is complete without spending some time in this amazing county, there’s simply too much to see and do to cram it all here. Whatever the weather the dramatic coastline is spectacular and any visitor cannot fail to fall in love with England’s far west.

The famous Eden Project www.edenproject.com/ has loads of school friendly info and project ideas. As does the brilliant National Maritime Museum in Falmouth http://www.nmmc.co.uk/ which also provides a mountain of info for teachers looking to take some Cornish culture back to the classroom.

Plan your visit to Cornwall here https://www.visitcornwall.com and book train tickets with First Great Western https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/your-journey/night-riviera-sleeper.