‍The Ultimate Guide to London School Trips

ultimate guide to london school trips
August 9, 2023

As an educator, you know a well-planned school trip can provide rich learning experiences for your students, as well as improving relationships and team spirit. Research from Learning Away shows that more than 80% of secondary school pupils felt improved relationships with their peers and teachers after a trip outside of the classroom. What better place to start than our very own capital city - London.  

Imagine exploring the city's iconic landmarks, delving into history at world-class museums, or even having a magical Harry Potter or world-class West-End theatre experience...  

Planning such a trip can seem daunting, right? That's where we come in. With Adaptable Travel, you're not alone. We help you create customised itineraries, linking fun activities with your curriculum goals. We handle all the safety checks and paperwork, so you don't have to worry.  

So, sit back and let us guide you through planning the ultimate school trip to London.

Key Takeaways

  • London offers a wide range of benefits for school trips including stunning architecture, historical landmarks, and world-class museums all nestled amongst a vibrant multicultural atmosphere.
  • Adaptable Travel provides tailor-made itineraries for educational trips to London, with a focus on subject-specific events linked to the curriculum, offering a fun and innovative approach to school trips.
  • Safety is a top priority for Adaptable Travel, with comprehensive measures in place such as safety documentation, risk assessments, and a travel insurance policy, ensuring a secure and worry-free experience.

Benefits of Educational Visits

Why London? Well, just like a book isn't judged by its cover, this city's vibrant ambience, multiculturalism, and iconic architecture cannot be appreciated from a textbook alone. Not only does a trip to London offer engaging activities for students, but it's also an unparalleled platform for cultural exploration.

The city's unique blend of historical landmarks and world-class museums provides an immersive learning experience that cannot be replicated in a classroom. With every corner turned, there's a new opportunity for learning outside the traditional four walls of the school. From the grandeur of the Tower of London to the technological advancements showcased at the Science Museum, these sites offer educational value that encourages curiosity and enhances knowledge.

Visiting these sites not only provides subject-focused learning but also a fantastic way to spark interest in a breadth of topics from science and history to arts and culture. It's not just about the facts and figures; it's the tangible experiences, the stories behind the exhibits, and the atmosphere that create memorable experiences for students.

The benefits of school trips extend beyond academics as these trips also contribute to students' personal development. They learn to navigate new environments, work as a team, and expand their horizons.

So, when planning your next school trip, remember that London is not just a city, but a bustling, interactive classroom waiting to be explored.

school students on the london eye on a school trip in london

Planning and Preparations

Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of orchestrating a successful educational journey, focusing on the crucial planning and preparations! With careful consideration of these elements, you're well on your way to creating a memorable educational journey for your students.

Firstly, Accommodation. London offers a vast array of choices from vibrant hostels with quirky, bright, and fun interiors to 3* hotels located in the heart of the city. Make sure you select a place that's comfortable, secure and conveniently located near the educational sites you'll be visiting.

Whilst it’s often convenient to be centrally located, some of our favourite accommodation options are located on the outskirts of the city – often providing cheaper options and better-quality facilities.  

All accommodation we use has been risk assessed and are STF assured. All assured accommodation adheres to a rigorous Code of Practice and Safety Management Standards that are verified each year. You can therefore relax knowing you’ll always be heading to accommodation that meets these standards.  

Next is transportation logistics. For large groups, our full-executive coaches are a convenient and cost-effective option that can not only transport you to and from your UK educational institution but around the city too - so long as it’s within the coach driver’s hours! Don’t worry – we always plan our itineraries around these hours to ensure you can make the most of your time in London, with your coach driver also getting their entitled rest. If you plan well in advance, you can also get discounts on train tickets.  

As for educational objectives, your London itinerary should include activities, sites, and attractions aligned with your curriculum. You can view our full list of these on our website here. This enhances the learning experience while keeping the trip exciting and engaging.

school group on a school trip to london stood with houses of parliment in the background, all wearing matching red t shirts

Exciting Itineraries

Crafting an exciting itinerary is the heart and soul of any successful educational journey. London, a melting pot of culture, history, and innovation, provides an array of exploration options that cater to every subject. With over 170 museums in London including 11 National museums, it’s sometimes tricky to know where to begin.

Here's a list of some subject specific destinations that could spark the curiosity of your students:

  • Science and Technology: Explore the wonders of human ingenuity and bring science to life at the Science Museum. Boasting a plethora of exhibits that are ever-changing, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone here. If you prefer something smaller, there are the Centre of the Cell and Body Worlds museums to consider too.
  • Psychology and Sociology: Go inside the family home of history’s most well-known psychologist - Sigmund Freud - and discover the story of psychoanalysis or visit the famous Old Bailey Court House.  
  • History: Dive into the prehistoric era and learn about the evolution of life on Earth at the world-class Natural History Museum or delve into some of the darker history with a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour.  
  • Arts and Design: Experience the magic of creativity at the Victoria and Albert Museum, boasting the World's largest museum dedicated to the arts. Similar museums include Tate Modern or the National Gallery, or if you’re looking for something more niche there’s The Cartoon Museum or Camden Street Art Tour!
  • Geography: Step off the streets and onto the water with a Thames River Cruise, learning about the 215-mile stretch of river that runs through Southern England, or explore the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens.  
  • Business and Economics: Take a look at the skyscrapers within London’s financial center with a Canary Wharf Tour. The likes of HSBC, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Barclays, and many more have set up their headquarters or central offices here. Boasting impressive transport links, Canary Wharf is now easier than ever to reach with the brand new, Canary Wharf Elizabeth Line station.  
  • Film and Media Studies: Wow your students with a world-class West-End Show or go behind the scenes to see how it all happens with a trip to the London Film Academy or the Guardian Newsroom Workshops.  

You can also take advantage of our FREE LONDON EYE offer on ALL School trips to London! (T&Cs apply)

To find out more about these visits (and many more!) click the relevant subject link above and browse our most popular visits.  

Remember, there's flexibility in choices. You can tailor your itinerary to suit your student's interests and learning needs, ensuring a truly customized learning experience.  

Bespoke Itineraries

We're experts at crafting bespoke itineraries that cater to your school's unique needs and preferences. Interestingly, 80% of our clients say that our custom itineraries are what set us apart from other travel companies.

With Adaptable Travel, you can let go of the one-size-fits-all approach and embrace a journey that's tailored just for you.

From choosing attractions that align with your curriculum to planning tailor-made activities that pique your student's interest, we've got you covered. But it doesn't stop there, our service offers a level of group-specific customization that goes beyond the usual. We carefully consider the age, interests, and study levels of your students to create a trip that's engaging and educational.

Here are four key features involved in planning a bespoke itinerary:

  1. Choosing attractions: We help you select attractions that supplement your teaching, making the trip an extension of the classroom.
  1. Tailor-made activities: We plan activities that not only entertain but also reinforce learning.
  1. Group-specific customisation: We cater to the unique dynamics of your group, ensuring each student is engaged according to their age and subject focus.
  1. Customised sightseeing: We structure sightseeing activities to enhance learning experiences, sparking curiosity and interest.

We believe that every school trip should be a memorable adventure. By creating customised itineraries, we aim to provide enhanced learning experiences that are fun, interactive, and insightful. So, whether you want to explore the wonders of the Natural History Museum or take a ride on the London Eye, we're here to make it happen.

group of students on a london educational tour at the natural history museum in london in front of the steps

Safety and Security

Ensuring everyone's safety and security is paramount when planning an educational trip. In a bustling city like London, it's a crucial aspect that teachers and organisers must consider. You have to think about risk assessments, emergency procedures, supervision guidelines, and even transportation safety. Not to forget, setting up clear communication protocols is a must. For peace of mind, you can explore our in-depth Safety and Insurance policies here.  

In the unlikely event of a crisis, having a well-thought-out plan could be a real lifesaver. Provide everyone with emergency contact numbers and familiarise them with evacuation routes. We also offer an Emergency Phone Line, so you can get into contact with us whilst on your trip, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Supervision guidelines are equally crucial. You need to ensure students are never left unattended. Establish a buddy system or break students into manageable groups with assigned supervisors. That way, you create a safety net around them.

Communication protocols should be in place to keep everyone informed and updated. Use group chats or social media platforms to share information quickly and efficiently. To help this easier, we have partnered with Vamoos – an app to keep all your travel documents in one place. This includes your itinerary, excursion tickets, weather forecasts, and maps. Once all of these documents are downloaded, you don’t need data to access them!  

So, when you're organising that school trip to London, remember, safety isn't just a box to tick. It's a commitment to your students' well-being and a vital part of a successful educational journey.  

Future Opportunities

Looking ahead, there's an array of exciting prospects on the horizon with Adaptable Travel. Did you know that students resilience, self-confidence and wellbeing improve drastically when learning aligns with real-world applications? That's why we're always evolving and innovating to offer more tours and destinations that align with the school curriculum, providing continued fun, inspiration, and real-world education.

Adaptable Travel has been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, increasing confidence in our practices. This means we provide and have demonstrated high quality learning outside of the classroom. You can read more about the wonderful works of LOtC here.  

We're not just about exploring London; our upcoming destinations span the globe, giving students the opportunity to learn about different cultures, histories, and ecosystems. Our innovative programs are designed to make education an adventure, turning every trip into a unique learning experience.

We are committed to expanding our curriculum offerings to cater to a wider range of subjects. Whether it's science, history, or art, we believe in providing engaging activities that inspire curiosity and deepen understanding. We don't just show students the sights; we immerse them in the subject matter.

Whether you're planning to explore the wonders of London or venture further afield, Adaptable Travel is here to create personalized experiences to meet your educational needs. Our experts work closely with you to tailor itineraries that align with your learning objectives and engage your students in meaningful ways.

So, what's around the corner with Adaptable Travel? More exploration, more learning, and more fun! Stay tuned for our future school trips, where we continue to break down classroom walls and turn the world into a learning playground. Remember, with Adaptable Travel, the horizon for educational trips is always expanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to plan a school trip to London?

Considering weather, cost implications, cultural events, exam schedules, and holiday seasons, spring and autumn are ideal for your school trip to London. These seasons offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

However, it's crucial to plan around exam schedules and coincide with cultural events to enhance the educational experience. Remember, holiday seasons can be more expensive and crowded.

We recommend avoiding travelling in June or July if possible as this is when costs will be highest and accommodation choices most limited.

Ultimately, the best time depends on your specific needs and budget constraints.

How can schools factor in special dietary requirements for students during the trip?

We understand the importance of catering to special dietary requirements to ensure everyone is happy and healthy.  

Allergy awareness is paramount, with vegan options and gluten-free catering readily available. Halal meals can be arranged with ease and cultural dietary customs are always respected.

We will ask for your dietary requirements once you book your trip and pass this onto any meal bookings, we make for you.

What strategies can teachers use to keep students engaged during the trip?

To keep students engaged during a trip, teachers can implement interactive activities. They can use the surroundings as a canvas for scavenger hunts or educational games. Additionally, they can opt for guided tours that are specifically tailored for students, offering intriguing insights and fun facts. Teachers can also encourage students to maintain personal journals, documenting their experiences and observations. These strategies promote active engagement, making learning fun and memorable.

How can schools ensure accessibility for students with mobility issues during the trip?

Navigating a bustling city like London might seem difficult for less mobile students. But don't worry, it's achievable!

Start by booking accessible transportation, and ensuring the chosen venues cater for all accessibility needs. With an Additional Needs form to complete during the booking process on our website, so long as we’re aware of every student’s needs, we can accommodate our trip planning best suit.  

Remember, every student deserves to be a part of this epic adventure!


So, don't hesitate, get in contact and start planning your trip to London today! With Adaptable Travel, you're not just planning a school trip, you're crafting unforgettable learning experiences for you and your students.

From the classroom to the capital, we turn London into a learning playground. Safety, learning, and fun interweave seamlessly, creating a tapestry of experiences that'll shape your students' futures.

With us, a school trip to London isn't just a drop in the ocean, it's a ripple effect of lifelong learning.