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Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Hols Recommendations

Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Hols Recommendations

Stephanie Knowles
Stephanie Knowles
Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Hols...

As the UK ‘reopens’ and we start thinking about what to do during our summer hols, the humanities and social sciences faculty have some ideas of things to do and places to go this year to keep yourself engaged, your body active and mind still interested.

Those interested in business studies, (and chocolate!), why not take a trip up the M1 to visit Birmingham’s Cadbury World. This is a world of chocolatey delights. It advertises fascinating, fun-packed day out providing opportunities to learn how your favourite confectionaries are made, play in virtual chocolate rain and add your favourite treat to a delicious pot of warm melted Cadbury Dairy Milk (yum!). Alongside this, experience a successful company that continues to thrive despite the challenges of the past two years. The business studies department challenge you to “Dive into a chocolate world!”.

For something to do from the comfort of your own home, why not play the board game ‘Go For Broke’ recommended by the economics department. The idea is to lost a million by spending it faster than any other player. I have the original game but the new game includes the exciting elements of inheriting the money from Great Uncle Edward and all the other players are potential inheritors. Not only does the game teach about some of potential ways society can trick one into spending money but is fun and a great way for families to enjoy each other’s company.

In the hope that we may actually get some sun this summer and be able to venture outdoors, why not visit Southend-on-Sea in Essex – just a trip around the M25 but coming off before having to shell out for the Dartford Crossing. This destination has been recommended by our geography department who recommend Southend as a way to practise geography skills related to map reading, orienteering and observing the landscape. The visit can also lead to analysis of a vibrant, (hopefully!), and successful, (hopefully!), tourist area. Families should think about how , a UK place is catering for a wide range of tourists. If travelling abroad, how does it compare? Is there any evidence of environmental issues affecting the environment?

Closer to home is a real favourite of mine, Hamleys in London’s Regent Street, a visit recommended by Childcare – a subject rejoining the faculty after an absence of some years. Well, who doesn’t love a toy shop! This is the oldest and largest dedicated toy shop in the world. Toys stimulate the development of children under 5 and are responsible for them learning physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional kills. Some are electric, some are one-player games, some don’t even look like toys… but they are! The childcare department challenges you to treat yourself to a shopping trip and use the opportunity to explore the different skills that children could learn and practice from the many toys and hands-on experiences inside the magical world of Hamleys!

Of course, whilst in London there are many other places to visit and experience linked to the humanities and social sciences.

For politics, we would have to recommend a visit to Parliament – after all, why not see a place for real that you have seen on TV every day for the past year! Our Westminster Parliament is the heart of UK Democracy. When restrictions are lifted, it will be possible to visit Parliament and have tours of both the House of Commons and House of Lords and gain an insight into the procedures and buildings you may have seen on the news.

From Westminster, a short walk across the Thames Waterloo Bridge will take you to Southwark, (alternatively, jump onto the Jubilee line) to the law department’s recommendation: a visit to one of England’s oldest prisons. The Clink Prison Museum is really hands on and interactive, with the opportunity to handle artifacts, such as torture devices. Visitors can also experience the sights, sound and smells of the prison whilst learning about some of its most infamous inmates.

Slightly further up the Jubilee line to Finchley Road is The Freud Museum, the home of Sigmund Freud and his family after they fled Nazi occupied Vienna. The psychology department recommends this visit to provide an insight into Frued’s theories and beliefs in the impact of the subconscious mind on our behaviour. Highlights of the visit is Freud’s consulting room and the world famous psychoanalytic couch.

Central London also offers some gems to keep you interested. Near St Paul’s is the Museum of London.

The Museum holds the largest collection in the world of memorabilia relating to the Women’s Social & Political Union, in its 1850-1940s collection, including Emmeline Pankhurst’s Hunger Strike Medal. This is an ideal visit for those interested in sociology. However, whilst in the area, why not visit St Paul’s itself for some RE enrichment.

St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in London. Not only is it a Grade 1 listed building but also sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point in the City. Visit the Whispering Gallery or just wonder around the cathedral itself and soak in the impressive architecture often accompanied by Cathedral music. Once finished, nearby are loads of cafes and other eating places to enjoy before moving on to experience more religious highlights that our capital has to offer.

Near Regents ‘s Park you will find the spectacular London Central Mosque , an Islamic place of worship designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and completed in 1977. Its fantastic golden dome dominates the sky and though impressive on the outside, what is surprising is its sparseness inside. For though thirsting for more RE cultural experiences, try Neasden Temple too and the Jewish Museum. Neasden Temple is a traditional place of Hindu worship that has been designed and constructed entirely according to ancient Vedic architectural texts – using no structural steel whatsoever. The Jewish Museum is now located in Camden Town and runs tours every day of the week from Sunday to Thursday and is well worth a visit.


If all this visiting in London feels a little enclosed after lockdown, why not simply enjoy a sociological walk and take part in a two-hour walk through the life, times and ideas of Karl Marx. Visit the places in and around Soho where Marx lived and worked, and hear the extraordinary tale of this man who would change the world. During the tour, you will hear all about the life of Marx and his family, as well as his political and intellectual influence.

Finally, why not step back in time to Tudor England. The history department recommends a day trip to Suffolk to visit Kentwell Hall. This is described as “a fabulous place to visit”. A must see event is the historical recreations but the hall also features gardens and a house of great historical significance. However, the place really comes alive when costumed volunteers transport visitors back in time. This August, there is a recreation set in 1599 running from August 14th -22nd. See Family Day Out in Suffolk (

So, just a few ideas to keep you all busy over the long hols and to bring learning alive as well as fun, enjoyable and engaging.

Everyone from the humanities and social sciences faculty wishes you a safe and enjoyable summer and look forward to continuing to work with you next academic year.

Ms S Knowles

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