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Social programme

Throughout the six weeks, St Mary’s offers a number of activities included in the programme price to help you get to know your new city.

These activities include:

  • virtual pre-arrival sessions to prepare you for your trip
  • round-trip transfer between Heathrow airport and campus on arrival and departure days (at specified times)
  • in-person orientation session help you settle in at St Mary’s
  • welcome barbecue
  • walking tours of Twickenham and Kingston
  • academic field trips
  • farewell tea party.

Optional activities

Weekends are free for you to study, explore London, or go even further afield. We will schedule optional trips that you may sign up to and pay for separately. We are partnering with an expert tour company to offer an exciting package of day and weekend trips to some of the most popular and beautiful parts of the country.

By taking the guesswork out of planning, our optional social programme allows you to explore with your friends and make the most of your time in the UK. Details of the trips, including prices, will be available at least two months before the programme starts. See below for possible trips.

Greenwich Boat Cruise and Royal Observatory

Board your boat at Westminster Pier for the best view you can get of Tower Bridge before traveling east towards Greenwich – the village in the Big City. Hear tales of London's maritime past and present and enjoy a walking tour of Royal Naval Hospital and College. Finally, climb the hill for one of the best views in all of London. As you rest and take in the skyline, you can put one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere and the other in the Western Hemisphere! Entry to the Observatory is included so you can learn what Greenwich Mean Time is all about. Afterwards, relax and enjoy wandering around the vintage stalls of Greenwich Market.

Oxford and the Cotswolds

Visit England's oldest university town and the enchanting Cotswolds countryside. You will see the river where Lewis Carroll took the real Alice in Wonderland, the Hogwarts dining hall (when available), and the colleges where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien taught.

Stonehenge and Bath

Take a trip back in time by visiting Stonehenge and Bath. From the Roman Baths to the awe-inspiring ancient monument of Stonehenge, this will be a trip that you will not soon forget. You can also soak up the beautiful Georgian architecture of Bath and visit the Jane Austen museum.


The White Cliffs of Dover were recently recognised by the Lonely Planet as one the best places in the world to visit. Rising 350 feet on the coast of the Strait of Dover, these cliffs are one of England’s most spectacular natural features steeped in historical and wartime significance. Enjoy sweeping views and a lovely coastal walk during this unforgettable trip! 


Enjoy a quintessential day at the seaside! Located on England’s southern coast, Brighton is a trendy little city bursting with charm. Fill your day browsing in the independent shops, enjoying a carnival ride on the pier, and sampling fresh fish and chips.