Day 16: Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle
Hurricane Bertha may have greeted us with a fond good morning as the songbirds woke the students at the Reach Cambridge camp, but in typical British fashion we showed that a little rain was not going to be allowed to ruin the fun. So, as the rain lashed against the coach and we all attempted to grab a few moments of extra sleep the coach, we proceeded on our journey to Stratford upon Avon in the hope of experiencing some Shakespearean delights.
On arrival we made our way up the hill through the delightful mock Tudor surroundings to feast our eyes on the home of the great William Shakespeare himself. A town synonymous with Shakespeare, the majority of us felt that seeing the house in which he was born was a necessity of the two hour coach ride, but a brief and fleeting view was enough to satisfy my interest being, by this point, slightly damper than I usually care to be. Bedraggled, but happy, the supervisors took up camp in Patisserie Valerie, a fine specimen of…er French (oops) cuisine. Having dried out and consumed a large quantity of steaming tea, coffee and marshmallow laden hot chocolates we embarked on a spot of sightseeing. The students were given plenty of free time to explore the village and many of them used this time to full potential choosing to explore the wonders of…British shops (well could you blame them in the rain?). Spurred on by the promise of a fantastic prize they scoured the shops hunting for the tackiest, most tasteless piece of tat they could procure for under £5. My offerings were restricted to a beautifully illustrated version of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: an interesting selection of books displaying our loveable Star Wars heroes in elaborate Elizabethan dress and speaking the language of most esteemed author. Lo, this came in at a whopping £11.99 so sadly I had to forgo such a purchase.
After a morning of excitement in the way of weather, sights and food we boarded the coach once again as the sun decided to grace us with its presence for the first time that day. Our next destination was Warwick Castle, a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Between intermittent showers we still managed to enjoy the wonders of the birds of prey display and I had the pleasure of acting as ‘responsible adult’ to a large group from Cathedral School who were desperate to visit the dungeons. After being submitted to a rigorous and frankly terrifying examination from the scary lady in the dungeon’s infirmary, I decided that I had definitely got more than I had bargained for. Slightly shaken up (admittedly more than some of the students) we finally emerged from darkness into the bright sunshine of the castle grounds. The rain had passed just in time for us to make our return journey to Cambridge, but there was no sense that the rain had ruined the day’s fun. Damp, tired, but having had an exciting day of sights and thrills we returned to the familiar surrounds of Cambridge to enjoy a good meal and an early night.
Written by Abi, Head of Pastoral Care