We met at the Hall at around 9.00 am. The group from Bradwell were there already. The vans were packed and we set out just after 9.20 am. Fortunately, the journey down to London was quite uneventful. Just a bit of traffic delays around the M25. We arrived at the camp site at about 2.30 pm.
After setting up, choosing bunks etc. we started tea. We had to rush tea a bit as we were due at St. Paul’s tube station at 7.00 pm for our Ghosts of the Old City walk. The walk took us round some of the oldest parts of the City Of London and we were told about some of the more ‘grisly’ parts of our Capital’s history. We ended up back near to St. Paul’s Cathedral, so we decided to walk down to look at the Millennium Bridge. It was interesting to walk across it and look at all bridges and buildings lit up. The Tate Modern looked very impressive all lit up.
After looking up and down the Thames it was time to head back to the campsite.
On the way back we had a slight problem when three of the Scouts were not paying attention on the Tube and did not get off at the correct station. Luckily, they got off at the next station and found a policeman. So we found them quite easily. They were a bit shaken, but all right. We all got back to the campsite safe and sound!
After getting up a bit late, and a hearty breakfast, we set off into London to do some sight seeing. Our first stop was Trafalgar Square. As it was a lovely, hot, summer’s day the opportunity to have a paddle in the fountains was taken! A couple of the Scouts got rather wet indeed!
Next, we took a walk along The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, stopping along the way for some lunch. After looking at the Palace, we had a little look around St. James Park before going to The Guard’s Museum. While there some of the Scouts were able to try on some Guard’s uniforms and very smart they looked too!
After the museum we walked down to Westminster, past the Houses of Parliament and down to the South Bank of The Thames and on past County Hall.
Then it was back to the camp site for tea and chilling out for the evening.
Jop had arranged for us to have a look around the Lloyds building in the City of London this morning. We all got down there and met up with the people who were to be taking us round. The only problem was, three of the leaders (including me) were not allowed into the building as we were wearing shorts! So while the rest of the group went round the building and saw the Lutine Bell, we went for a coffee! By all accounts everyone enjoyed the tour.
For lunch we wandered down to The Thames and saw for the first time H.M.S. Belfast, our evening’s accommodation.
During the afternoon we indulged in a little retail therapy. First of all, Hamleys (loads of toys!), then on to Covent Garden. We had to leave a little early as we had to get back to camp and pick up of stuff for the stay onboard H.M.S. Belfast. We were a little late getting there as Jop was a bit late coming back from work. This didn’t matter though.
When we arrived at H.M.S. Belfast, we were met by the Imperial War Museum’s liaison with us, Nick. He took us on board and let us know all the rules. After we had settled in, we went to find some food. The majority of us went for a pizza at a restaurant just the other side Tower Bridge, while four of the group went off for a curry. The pizza restaurant was quiet until we walked in! Still we had an enjoyable meal and after we finished we headed back to the ship and everyone met up there. After finishing watching ‘The Mummy’ it was off to bed.
Got up quite early for us! Well, at 7.30 am anyway, as breakfast was at 8.00 am in the Walrus Café. After we had eaten, we were given a short talk about the ship and the conditions on board during the Second World War, by Barbara one of the Ship’s education officers. We all had the chance to try out a hammock (quite comfy) and dress up in naval clothes. We were then let loose around the ship.
After everyone had taken a good look round the ship, it was time to head back to the camp for lunch and then a quiet afternoon.
In the evening we had the traditional end of camp BBQ.
Packed up and came home! The end of a successful camp.