How do you plan your excursion programme?

Every year we look at the places that we have taken our students on our Saturday excursions and think about new places and different adventures. We make sure to change where we go so that returning students do not repeat excursions and yet they are still interesting places to visit.

We visit some places more often partly because they are very well known and everyone wants to visit them. I am thinking of course of our excursions to Bath and Stonehenge and of course our optional London adventure! In 2020 I have taken full advantage of visiting lots of local areas and found some really exciting and beautiful new places right here in our county of Devon!

Can I visit Bath?

Bath is a day trip that our students love. We start the day with a walking tour of this beautiful and historic city before visiting the spectacular Roman Baths. Our students spend time learning about the baths before visiting them in class time and it really does make it more interesting. Of course some of our students are really excited by the free time they have to enjoy the fabulous shops in Bath!

Will I visit Stonehenge?

When we go to Stonehenge we have to book a long time in advance (from year to year) and I always pray that it will be sunny because they will not let us change days from one week to the next. We are normally lucky and get to visit the beautiful city of Salisbury too which is famous for it’s spectacular Cathedral.

I don’t like long coach trips do you take us to local places?

Of course these places are quite a long way from Exeter and so we try to alternate them with excursions that are closer to home. Luckily Exeter is based in the beautiful county of Devon and very close to Cornwall. There are lots of beautiful places to visit. We take our students on boat trips where they might see the local dolphin and seal population, they go to visit the Eden Project which is a fascinating project and students enjoy, we take them to the aquarium, to famous places like Tintagel ( home to King Arthur) or the Tate Modern in St Ives. Devon and Cornwall are famous for our National Parks and more importantly to our beautiful beaches. After 2020 we are aware that excursions to local areas might feel much safer and I have discovered some real gems!

Do you change your excursions if it rains?

There is nothing worse than getting soaking wet when you are on holiday if it is not because you jumped in the sea or a pool.

If I know it is going to pour with rain then yes. I do try to change our excursions if there is nothing more miserable than going somewhere to stand in the rain and cold. I remember being on a bus going to visit the beautiful palace of Longleat and its Safari park. It was pouring with rain and we could barely drive and then one lane of the dual carriage way was flooded. We stopped at a service station to buy maps of Bath and drew on all the meeting places. We turned around and headed back into the “sun”. We got our students to take photographs of the map with their phones and then we got to Bath and managed our normal tour and visit to the Roman baths. It was much nicer than being outside all day if slightly stressful briefing teachers about the new location and what we had to do over the phone on a bus!

Can I visit London?

We offer an optional excursion to London. It is a long day but we travel by train so it is much faster. We arrive in London and take the underground to Buckingham Palace where we see the changing of the guards. We then take a short walking tour to see the Palace of Westminster (where Kate and William got married), Houses of Parliament and then we go on the London Eye River boat cruise which is really great as we can rest our feet before walking back up to Piccadilly circus for a little bit of shopping time before heading home!

What will be new in 2021?

2021 is our 55th year welcoming students and of course 2020 was cancelled! I am planning some really exciting adventures for us all and look forward to telling you about our excursion programme over the next few months.