School residential trips don’t have to be week long affairs. There are lots of options for one night stays in the UK that are perfectly suited to primary aged children, and none more so, in my opinion, than the ‘Kip in a Ship’ experience provided by the team at HMS Belfast. This inspirational idea has blossomed into a stimulating and very affordable overnight experience for youngsters aged seven and over. What could be more exciting than sleeping on a real ship and discovering the adventures below deck?
Overnight Stays on HMS Belfast
Not only will your group be sleeping on real sailors’ bunks (six adults can be accommodated in separate cabins), but the visit is full of learning opportunities and story telling sessions in which the children are regaled with tales of the men who worked and lived on the ship during war time.
The package can include an evening activity too, which is definitely worth adding. Your ‘kippers’ will learn about life on the ship and the different jobs that had to be done. They’ll be introduced to the roles of signallers, learn the language of semaphore and have the chance to make their own flagpole to fly.
Youngsters will become totally engrossed with the whole experience and will soon be asking questions and really appreciating that this place was once a home as well as a place of work for the sailors. Hot chocolate was a favourite of the seamen on board and your ‘wannabe crewmembers’ will be able to design their own mess mug and enjoy a hot chocolate of their own.
Students will be treated to a tour of the Captain’s Bridge, where they can take a turn sitting in the Captain’s chair, and can visit the Flag Deck, where they can keep a lookout and get great views over London. Climbing up and down ladders and making their way across nine expansive decks is an adventure and exploring the boiler and engine rooms is always thrilling.
Children enjoying school residential trips aboard the magnificent HMS Belfast will get a feel for the history of this incredible boat; a history that covers the war in Korea, the D-Day Landings, the Cold War and lots of other expeditions. Through the use of simulated technology your group can engage with the Battle of North Cape in the Gun Turret Experience and then uncover more battle facts in the War and Peace Exhibition. With so many interactive exhibits, life on board ship comes alive. Youngsters can explore the ship’s laundry room, bakery, sickbay and dentist surgery and will get the chance, through real life personal accounts, to learn about how war affected life at sea.
When planning school residential trips, the organisation can get overwhelming. If you are looking to take the hassle out of organising the trip, I can highly recommend using a company whose expertise lies in arranging educational tours. These companies are on hand to do the groundwork for you and help you achieve your educational goals while making the trip as memorable as it can be.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning UK study tours, school residential trips to the USA, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.