10 March 2017
An account of the day by Kacie O
As we entered London on our coach, we saw some of the distinctive parts of the London skyline, Wembley, The London Eye, and Big Ben to name three. All of the streets were filled with people rushing around.
We stopped in Trafalgar Square and we walked down Whitehall towards Parliament. After a few minutes, we saw some guards on horseback that looked like they were statues! They did not move no matter how tourists tried to speak to them. The guards were from the Household Cavalry and we watched the changing of the guard.
A few moments later, we arrived a tall gate guarded by armed police. The street sign said Downing Street – we were looking at where Theresa May lives and works. There were lots of tourists all taking pictures of the coppers!
We then headed towards the London Eye. As we were in our way, we saw Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey and other amazing places. Arriving at the London Eye, we got our tickets and went on a boat trip first along the River Thames. We sat on the bottom floor of the boat – the seats were very comfortable. Our guide told us about all of the different buildings and bridges we passed, such as one of the three replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a building that looked like Marge’s hair (out of the Simpsons) and a bridge that had no actual bridge on it but it was just massive statues that stood in the river!
Coming off the boat, we went straight into the queue for the London Eye! The London Eye takes about 30 minutes to go all the way around! At the top, you had the most wonderful views of places such as Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column and St Paul’s Cathedral. Mr Harvey even saw the London Stadium!
We returned to Westminster by walking back along the Westminster Bridge. Our next stop would be the Houses of Parliaments! Ther security was very tight. We had to take off our bags, money and keys and we had to put them in a box- to be x-rayed- whilst we went through a metal detector and were given passes. The Hall where we waited for our Tour guide, Westminster Hall, was the place where King Henry VIII used to play sports! This Hall is also the place where visiting Heads of State such President Obama or President Mandela have addressed both Houses during state visits.
We first went into the House of Lords. There were a lot of microphones hanging from the ceiling and there were cameras on every wall. But, we were not allowed to sit down on the benches as we were not Lords. We were also told that anyone can just walk in with booking and sit in the seats above. We were then escorted to the Queens private room where she changes before her annual speech where she describes the Goverment’s Policies for the forthcoming year. From there we walked into the House of Commons via one of the division lobbies – the place where MPs have their votes recorded.
The MPs Chamber had green seats, microphones and cameras but once again, we were not allowed to sit down. We were told about the Speaker’s seat that had to be occupied at all times throughout debates. It even had a built-in commode!
Our coach picked us up opposite College Green, the place from journalists broadcast news from Parliament and headed home although we did stop off for a meal at one of the services on the M40.