Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Day 9 – Westminster Abbey and Warner Bros. Studios – Charterhouse

Today was an absolutely wonderful day in terms of fun and learning, and not to mention the incredible weather. From Westminster Abbey, a royal church that is home to the coronation of kings and queens, to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter, today was extremely enjoyable.

Our first stop was Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is a royal church in the middle of London and it was a fantastic visit. The students learned that the Abbey was formed in 960 and about all of the kings and queens who were crowned there. They even had the chance to see the chair in which the coronations took place!!! The chair is now placed behind metal bars due to the fact that people used to sneak into the Abbey at night so they could carve their names into the chair after it was closed. The Abbey serves as a burial grounds for not just kings and queens, but also very esteemed scientists, writers, knights, etc. The students learned about all of the thirty-nine coronations! They also learned about all of the royal weddings that took place at the Abbey (seventeen in total). This history lesson also included us observing the final resting place of Charles Dickens and many other notable people in history.

After eating lunch on the benches near the parking lot, we entered into the magical world of Harry Potter. The first thing that popped out about the studio were the posters of characters that were on the wall above. These posters included images of characters that spanned from the first film, The Sorcerer’s Stone, all the way until the last film, The Deathly Hallows. When entering the studio tour, we were taken into a film room, and we were shown a video about how a delayed train ride to Manchester sparked J.K. Rowling’s idea about the Harry Potter. Another video that was also shown documented the countless hours of work put into the Harry Potter film franchise all the way from the actors, to hair and makeup. The amount of effort that was put into Harry Potter was phenomenal!

The first set that we came across was the Great Hall. The Great Hall was amazingly detailed. The Great Hall doesn’t have a ceiling, and special effects were used to add a magical ceiling as described in the book. The next room was an area dedicated to many of the props that were used throughout all the movies. There was a case that held the wands of about twenty characters, but we were all surprised to learn that there were about seventeen thousand wands used throughout the film series! We saw Dumbledore’s office which was full of wonderful trinkets. We saw Professor Snape’s potion room, the Gryffindor common room, the Weasley’s kitchen, and the brand new Forbidden Forest. After a quick refreshment of delicious butterbeer, we moved on to the second set which was a crowd favorite. We saw the special effects that were used. This included the making of Dobby, the werewolf from The Prisoner of Azkaban, and the model of Hogwarts that was near the exit! What an amazing experience for all of us!!

Tomorrow will be our third on-campus sports day in addition to our first dance!!!