Worst school trips ever

Mumsnetters recall the days when school trips were truly character-building

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1. The outstandingly boring

"My children's infant school once left it a little late to organise a proper school trip, so instead they had a school trip to... another infant school."

"My ex-husband got taken on a coach trip down the M54 on the day it opened. The idea was that they could see for themselves what a boon this tarmac would be to their local economy, and how it would link their brave new town to the rest of the world. He wasn't impressed."

2. The ones where you learn literally nothing

"Our worst school trip was a jaunt to Brussels, where we all got hammered in an Irish bar every night and went shopping during the day. The most educational thing anyone did was to get escorted by security out of the EU buildings."

3. The sort of disgusting

"I once got taken to a reservoir and then to the local sewage works (year 8 science trip). We got to eat our packed lunches at the sewage works surrounded by dead flies."

"The very worst is Sellafield visitors centre. It's about the size of my living room and you grow an extra head while you're there."

4. The simply horrifying

"My dad got taken to an abattoir when he was four! He's never eaten meat his whole life and blames that trip."

"Not me, thank goodness, but my friend and the rest of the A-level art class at our school went on a trip to a lovely secluded beach to do some sketching and found a dead and severely decomposed body washed up by the tide."

5. The "explorations" of the local neighbourhood

"I went to school in South Africa. We lived in a small mining town, which had a police station that doubled as a jail as well. We went there on a trip, circa 1988. We got to walk past the prison cells, where the inmates tried to grab and scare most of us. We were shown the evidence room which had bags and bags of drugs which you could smell even before you entered the room. We got to handle the police officers’ weapons, which had live ammunition in them. I doubt very much that this would pass a risk assessment these days."

6. The charmingly low budget

"My daughter's school used to take them on fabulously mad school trips when they were in reception; they went to the Spar up the road (to buy some healthy foods and add up the change), to the Post Office to see the post box being opened and the post taken out, and to the local bus depot - they walked there, and got to choose a bus to be taken home in. I don't know if it's standard these days, but I thought it was inspired, mostly zero budget and they absolutely loved them."

7. The frankly mendacious

"My dad told me about when he went camping with his school. They drove them around for an hour in a coach to trick the kids, but it was actually the woods behind the school. How crap is that?!"

8. The disastrously exotic

"My brother-in-law went on a school trip to Russia way, way back in the days of the USSR. For some reason, the two teachers leading the trip thought it was a fine idea to take advantage of the unofficial currency exchange options that were rife at the time. Unfortunately, the bloke they (stupidly) chose to hand their dosh over to turned out to be under close observation by the secret police. The teachers were swiftly banged up in a Moscow prison and a load of fifteen-year-olds left to fend for themselves! Luckily the British consul intervened."

"My son went on a school trip to Iraq. Worst school trip from my point of view but he had a whale of a time."

9. And, every so often, the best blooming day of your life

"My best trip was probably the teachers’ worst one. It was the leavers trip (and significantly ours was the last one). We were from an all-girls school, a bunch of sixteen-year-olds, and we went to London. They took us to Knightsbridge and told us we were free to roam the area but under no circumstances to get on a bus or tube. They suggested various shops and a museum we could visit and told us to return in five hours.

“We scattered like toddlers in a soft play area. My mate and I immediately got the tube to Covent Garden, purchased a bottle of Cinzano (it was 1985) and drank the lot. We bought another bottle and then wandered about before going to get our hair cut. We then headed back still drinking and spent the rest of the afternoon lurching about outside Topshop.

“We had a bottle of wine on the coach back, which was very warm. I (and several others) threw up everywhere, and nearly everyone was crying.

“I left the house that morning with shoulder-length curly hair and returned home with it shaved up the back, barely able to walk in a straight line, puffy-eyed and stinking of vomit. It was a bloody fantastic day."

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Last updated: over 2 years ago