Social Programme

Social Programme

We believe social activities are an important part of learning a language, so we coordinate a wide-ranging programme of activities to suit all tastes. The programme is packed with student get-togethers, sports, trips to museums, historical buildings, attractions and cultural events, as well as weekend excursions to destinations outside London.

We encourage participation as a way to improve your language and make friends. Many of the activities are free of charge and all trips are accompanied by a member of the teaching staff. To see what’s on this week’s social programme see below.

What’s on this week?
Day Activity
Monday 14th August – Special Guided Tour of Tower Hill  (13:30, FREE)
Tuesday 15th August-  Natural History Museum (13:30, FREE) Lazer Tag (16:00, £6-50)
Wednesday  16th August- Wimbledon(14:00, from £21-00)
Thursday  17th August- Bankside Gallery (14:00, FREE), 
Friday  18th August- Buckingham Palace Walking Tour (14:00, FREE)
Saturday  – Canterbury (08:30-18:oo, £30 including Cathedral entry)
Sunday 20th August

New to London?

Time Out London (www.timeout.com/london) is a really helpful magazine for information about attractions, events, music, theatre and other things to see. It is available from most newsagents.
Here is a selection of sights, shopping, museums and galleries you might find of interest.

Historical Sites

Buckingham Palace (www.royal.gov.uk)
The official London residence of British sovereigns since 1837, and the main royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (www.parliament.gov.uk)
The home of the British Government. Why not sit in the public gallery and watch parliament in action?

St Paul’s Cathedral (www.stpauls.co.uk)
An architectural gem, built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is famous for its dome and ‘whispering gallery’.

Tower of London (www.hrp.org.uk)
One of the historic royal palaces, the Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels and the London Beefeaters.

Westminster Abbey (www.westminster-abbey.org)
The resting place of kings, queens, statesmen, poets, priests, heroes and villains. It has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the burial site of 17 monarchs.

China Town (www.chinatownlondon.org)
The centre of London’s Chinese community, it has lots of restaurants and shops.

Covent Garden (www.coventgarden.uk.com)
Its shops, undercover market and street artists make Covent Garden an entertaining neighbourhood. The Royal Opera House is here too.

Greenwich
Visit the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, local market, or just wander the streets of this world heritage site.

St Katherine’s Dock (www.skdocks.co.uk)
On the east side of Tower Bridge, this is an old dock that has been converted into an attractive area of old boats, shops and cafes.

 

Museums

London has some of the best museums in the world, and many of them are free to visit. Here is a selection.

British Museum (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk)
Described as a ‘museum of the world, for the world’, this is one of the world’s great collections of historic art and artefacts.

Imperial War Museum (www.iwm.org.uk)
Covering all aspects of warfare, from weapons to the historical effects of war on people.

Museum of London (www.museumoflondon.org.uk)
A fascinating museum that tells the story of London and its people, from prehistoric times to the modern day.

National Maritime Museum (www.nmm.ac.uk)
Set in beautiful Greenwich Park, the National Maritime Museum holds exhibitions on everything to do with the sea and the Greenwich meridian.

Natural History Museum (www.nhm.ac.uk)
The national museum of nature, with its fascinating displays of animals, insects, fossils and dinosaurs.

Science Museum (www.sciencemuseum.org.uk)
A museum that holds a collection of over 300,000 scientific items, from medical exhibits and instruments to historic jet engines and trains.

Victoria & Albert museum (www.vam.ac.uk)
One of the world’s great museums of art and design, the V&A has a collection that spans 2,000 years of art across virtually every medium.

 

Galleries

There are so many galleries to visit in London, from small, commercial venues to large museums.

National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.org.uk)
One of the world’s greatest collections of paintings from the 13th Century to 1900.

National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk)
Paintings, sketches and photographs of famous people through history.

Tate Britain (www.tate.org.uk)
British art from the 16th Century to the modern day, housed in a magnificent building in the fashionable area of Pimlico.

Tate Modern (www.tate.org.uk)
A giant converted power station on the Thames, which is home to a major collection of contemporary art.

Bankside Gallery (http://www.banksidegallery.com

A fantastic gallery of print and watercolour art close to the Tate Modern

 

Markets & Shopping

Petticoat Lane, Liverpool Street
Petticoat Lane is known for its clothes, leather goods, cheap jewellery, toys and fast food from around the world.

Portobello Road, Notting Hill
Portobello Road has a general market during the week, but it livens up when the antiques stalls come out on Saturday. There is also a food and flea market at the north end of the road, closer to Ladbroke Grove.

Spitalfields market
Spitalfields has been redesigned in the last few years. On the weekend you will find food, handmade crafts and restaurants around the undercover market, and it is worth wandering around nearby Brick Lane for food, vintage clothing and creations by young designers.

Covent Garden (www.coventgarden.uk.com)
There is a nice selection of shops around Covent Garden and it is a great place to wander. To its north, Neal Street and the streets around Seven Dials (www.sevendials.co.uk) are definitely worth a look.

Kensington High Street
A stylish shopping area for fashion, just south of Notting Hill.

King’s Road, Chelsea (www.kingsroad.co.uk)
An elegant and stylish road in this affluent part of London.

Knightsbridge
Designer shopping and world-famous London store Harrods.

Oxford Street
One of the main shopping streets of central London. Here you can find the big-name shops, as well as department stores like John Lewis and Selfridges. It is worth taking walk over to Carnaby Street, south of here.

Camden Town (www.camdenlockmarket.com)
A great place for second-hand and vintage clothes, food, books, records and antiques, as well as a lively local atmosphere.

 

Parks

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, you will love London’s open spaces as the capital has more than 1,800 parks and commons. There are two beautiful Royal parks within walking distance of the Notting Hill site: Holland Park and Hyde Park.

Holland Park
An elegant space where Kensington Academy students go for picnics in the summer. There is a summer opera company that produces a season of opera in the park.

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens was once the private gardens of Kensington Palace. Hyde Park is one of the largest green spaces in central London, home to the Serpentine Swimming Club, whose members swim in The Serpentine every day – even on Christmas Day.