A School Trip with Crevette & 20 Facts about London

Today, I was lucky enough to be one of the parents accompanying Crevette’s first ever school trip to London. I was in charge of a small group and really enjoyed sharing this memorable experience with the little ones.

It was obvious a lot of work had been put into this day trip and everything had been carefully planned. The logistics and organisation would have put a military operation to shame and everything fitted into place beautifully and effortlessly throughout the day.

Staff members were calm and composed at all times. The head teacher, who injured one of her toes yesterday, smiled all day and looked genuinely pleased to wave at over-enthusiastic children despite an obviously painful foot that left her wearing flip-flops because her bandaged toe would not fit in regular shoes.

It was a fantastic trip, including a river cruise and a ride on the London Eye. My favourite moment was without the shadow of a doubt the second the coach turned into Parliament Square and the children all spotted the top of the London Eye behind the buildings. I wish I could have bottled up the cries of elation that came spontaneously out of all those six and seven year olds’ mouths.

For safeguarding reasons, we were not allowed to take any photos today. It felt odd not having my much-loved camera with me and I kept looking at places I wanted to capture but could not. I ended up taking mental pictures of all the sights I was seeing, trying to memorise shapes, colours, materials and locations. I have looked through photos I took a few years ago and found a few I could use today.

Here are 20 facts I learnt today. They would make nice ice-breakers in an awkward conversation!

1. The Monument, which was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London (1666) that consumed more than 13,000 houses in three days, is 61.5 metres high. It is the exact distance between the Monument and the bakery in Pudding lane where the fire broke out.

London - The Monument to Commemorate the Great Fire of London 16662. There are 32 capsules on the London eye but they are numbered 1 to 33. Why, I hear you ask? Superstition! People were worried about going into pod number 13 so they decided to go up to 33 and get rid of number 13.

3. The London Eye cost £75 million to build. It paid for itself within a year.

London - The London Eye & the Sealife Centre

4. Big Ben, the bell in the Elizabeth Tower of the houses of Parliament, weighs 14 tons.

London - The Houses of Parliament at Night

5. Millennium Bridge was closed on its first week-end because it was wobbly. It took two years to completely eliminate the swaying motion.

6. St Paul’s is the second largest cathedral in the world.

7. Florence Nightingale is buried at Saint Paul’s.

London - St Paul's Cathedral

8. The OXO tower is breaking the law as it is forbidden to advertise on the river bank. When taken to court, OXO said they had ordered random geometrical shapes and it was pure coincidence those shapes ended up spelling OXO. They won!

9. The boat on top of the Queen Elizabeth Concert Hall is a hotel room. The demand for the quirky room was so high a lottery system had to be put in place.

10. The Globe, which is situated very close to the original theatre, was built using the tools that would have been available in Shakespeare’s time. It has the only thatched roof in London, as they have not been allowed since the Great Fire of London.

11. HMS Belfast was going to be scrapped but eventually, she was bought for £1 and made into a museum ship.

12. London Bridge used to fall down all the time (hence the nursery rhyme) because it was made out of wood and used to rot really quickly.

13. Tower Bridge is a Victorian steel structure covered in stone to blend in with the Tower of London. It is insured as a ship.

14. The old port of London used to be the busiest port in the world.

15. The Shard was opened to the public in 2013. Standing 309 metres high, it is the tallest building in the European Union. It is often referred to as ‘the city in the sky’ as it has a 7 star hotel, restaurants, a gym, a spa, as well as flats selling for millions of pounds.

16. Blackfriars is the only station you can access from either side of the Thames. It is on a bridge over the river. The solar panels on the roof provide the station with half of its energy.

17. The silver griffins in Temple are there to indicate we have left the City of London and are entering the City of Westminster.

18. The Dorchester is the most expensive hotel in London with rates ranging from £400 to £10,000 per night.

19. It was in Covent Garden that the Earl of sandwich created the eponymous snack.

20. 90,000-seater Wembley Stadium contains more toilets than any other venue in the world (2,618).

Do you know any other fun facts about London?

 

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Comments

  1. J’adore Londres donc j’été ravie de lire ton post !
    Mon endroit préfère : Covent Garden !

  2. I miss London (some of the time). Didn’t know most of these facts, thanks for sharing. #BrilliantBlogPosts

  3. Wow! That is a lot of facts about London…I wonder how many the kids can remember! I never knew that the London Eye paid for itself within one year! Wow. Mind you it does cost a lot!!!

    • It certainly does. I gave the list to my little man’s teacher so hopefully they will remember a couple of those!

  4. Love this post ! we recently moved here from South Africa so great inspiration x

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely day and I knew hardly any of those facts about London! Very interesting! x

  6. Fascinating facts Mel – a few that I already knew but several that I didn’t so thank you for sharing. Sounds like you had a wonderful day 🙂

  7. I remember learning fact no. 1 on my first school trip to London! It sounds like you had a wonderful day.

  8. Wow I did know most of those facts and I’m shocked at how quickly the london eye paid for it’s self. I hope I can join the boy in his first school trip to the city

  9. Love day trips to London, or any (leisure) trip really. And love a bit of trivia. HMS Belfast is brilliant, so it’s a good job it’s now a museum. Bargain price!

  10. I love London 🙂 It’s been a while since my last visit but I’m planning a family day trip in the summer – there’s so much I want to show my 3 year old! London Eye is definitely on the list, plus she is obsessed with Big Ben, so we’d have to have a look at that! My husband & I climbed Monument years ago; great view from the top! #countrykids

  11. Children’s excitement is just the best isn’t it? Ours were like that with Big Ben, and still talk about it now. The oxo tower fact made me laugh!

  12. Wow, you must have done a lot in one day! I didn’t know all of those facts, especially the one about no thatched roofs. Although, of course, now you mention it… My eyebrow is also raised for the OXO defence.

    Anyway. Cool!

  13. Some amazing facts here that will stick with the children, they are certainly remarkable to me! This is how to make facts interesting, I can’t believe HMS Belfast was built for £1 ot that the eye paid back the £75 million within a year, we certainly helped with a go on that one!

  14. So great that you had photos you could use. I am going on Aaron’s first ever school trip next week to the farm. He just read this post with me and yelped “ferris wheel” ha ha. I didn’t realise it paid for itself within a year. Is BA still behind it? Great post and it sounds like a marvellous day out.
    Liska
    xx
    #CountryKids

  15. Fun facts – I didn’t know the OXO tower one (or that St Paul’s was the second biggest cathedral, bad Londoner!). Sounds like you had a great day though. #countrykids

  16. loving number 8, who knew Oxo could be so cheeky and win!! Brilliant, thank you.

  17. I lived so long in London and still did not know all these facts! Great list

  18. I knew some of these (and worked for the engineering firm who designed and fixed the Millenium Bridge…), but I learnt quite a few new things. The kids must have had an amazing day 🙂 #CountryKids

  19. Love, love, love visiting London.So much to see and explore, we never get bored going.Popped over from Country Kids.Following your blog as my eldest has lots of allergies too.

  20. I live just outside of London all on my life and yet I did not know all of these facts! Especially about the London Eye. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  21. I do love London, amazing city!! I didn’t know a few of those facts, so thank you! Glad you had a fab trip!!

  22. I love London! I was there so many times and never get bored of it!

  23. I dont know about the buildings here but in the Philippines we dont have 13th floor as well as people doesnt want anything to do with it. This is a lovely post! I have learned so much after reading this. #countrykids

  24. Such a great post – I adore London and literally lap up London trivia.

    #MagicMoments

  25. I didn’t know any of those facts so that was a really interesting read. Thanks for sharing, fab photos.

  26. Brilliant – I’ve lived in London for nearly a decade and there were loads of new things I learned from this post 🙂 #countrykids

  27. Wow, they’re some really wonderful facts! Sounds like you had a really great day! #magicmoments

  28. I do love a fact about London. I’m that girl that buys those books you see in gift shops! Elinor x

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