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Three Days to Explore London and Dover

July 18, 2023 London

First and foremost, this weekend was absolutely amazing. We got three days of free time from our typically busy schedule, so I used our mornings to do some much-needed sleeping in. Saturday consisted of a group of us catching a train to the coastal region of Kent, about an hour south of London, to the White Cliffs of Dover. I’ve been wanting to visit this famous region for a long time, so it was an amazing opportunity to cross something off my bucket list. We left at around 11 AM via St Pancras train station, stopping for lunch at an Italian restaurant in Dover before our hike. After a delicious pepperoni pizza with vegan cheese thanks to my lactose intolerance, I was ready for the hike ahead of us. To say the least, the hike up to and on the cliffs was absolutely breathtaking. It was on the hotter side and most of us were not dressed for a moderately challenging hike, so we were definitely quite sweaty but made the best of it. I spent the way up getting an Italian lesson from Tommy and listening to JJ’s classical music coming from his speaker, which really set the tone for the scenery surrounding us. As we walked, The wildflower-dotted grass path we were on began to taper off in stunning white drop-offs. Flower fields and sheep’s gates surrounded the landscape as we made it to the top, and we spent about an hour resting and gazing into the open sea and cliffs as Debussy’s Clair de Lune played. We grabbed snacks from a convenience store after hiking back into town and catching the train home.

Sunday was also incredible, but completely different from Saturday. A group of us managed to get pit tickets to the Arctic Monkeys in Arsenal’s football stadium, and although the concert wasn’t until the evening, this quickly became an all-day affair as we wanted to be as close to the stage as possible. We arrived at the stadium at about 3 PM for the 8 PM show and made ourselves busy by playing card games and goofing off, two things our group has best at throughout our trip. The hours of waiting and standing ended up being absolutely worth it as we were about 4 rows back from the stage, and the rain that fell on us that evening ended up being a blessing in disguise as standing in such a packed area would have no doubt been extremely hot. We spent the concert screaming the words to our favorite songs and befriending the English teenage girls behind us who spent most of the concert making fun of Anthony’s “Americanness,” which they all thought to be extremely amusing. After the concert we all spilled onto the tube and rode back to central London, ending the night off with some much-needed late-night McDonalds.

Monday came as a pleasant surprise for us as we learned there was no class scheduled, so most of the group spent the day touring London’s museums. In the morning, I went on a run to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey before heading to the British Museum, which is just around the corner from our flats. After a delicious BLT sandwich from the café, I spent my time in the Medieval section looking at Middle Age relics from the UK and Europe, including knight’s armor, jewelry, and art. I was lucky to find a curator giving a tour of the Medieval artifacts, so I joined the group and got to learn even more about the exhibit than what was written on the plaques. After the tour, I left the museum for a nap and rest before hanging out with my roommates in the evening.

About the Author

This article was written by Chloe Williamson, Class of 2025, majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Justice and Public Policy.