Camping on HMS Belfast

We cut our recent trip out in the van short in order for Little Larry to go on his latest cub camp, and what a cub camp it was! He only spent the night on HMS Belfast in London, sleeping in the quarters on the bunks previously occupied by the brave sailors defending our country in WWII.

The trip started with twenty cubs meeting at the local train station to catch the 09.41 to Euston. The thought of herding that many children onto a train then across London on the underground boggles my mind, but they did just that without incident. With rucksacks stowed aboard HMS Belfast the first activity was the Tower Bridge Experience with its new glass floor - not for the faint hearted I would imagine but incredibly exciting for a young cub. Dinner at Pizza Express was well earned after climbing the 311 steps of the Great Fire of London Monument in Pudding Lane then it was back to HMS Belfast to be assigned bunks. A quick game of battleships (what else could they play!) then lights out.

The following morning saw a breakfast of cereal or toast in the on board Walrus Cafe before heading to a learning session all about the history of HMS Belfast. The rest of the morning was spent exploring the ship, which took quite a while as there are nine decks full of exhibitions and experiences of how life was like on board during the war. A packed lunch was provided by the Walrus Cafe followed by a quick dash to parliament square before catching the 15.54 train home. The journey was not uneventful as the train broke down, which meant they had to switch trains but unfortunately the new train was full so some cubs (with adults) had to get taxi's for the remainder of their journey. Another life experience learned - the reliability of British trains.

Two years ago Little Larry camped in the grounds of Warwick Castle and we thought that experience couldn't be beat but they have done just that with HMS Belfast. I enjoyed my time as a cub but we never did anything as awesome as this. Mrs Larry and I are so grateful and thankful to the leaders for their tremendous efforts and unswerving pursuit for fantastic memories that Little Larry will never forget. Long live the Cub Scouts!


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