For this year’s Gallery Tour, our lucky Sixth Form got to experience the wonders of Amsterdam and The Hague. We enjoyed a whirlwind tour of eight galleries over four days.

Arriving eye-wateringly early to Gatwick on Thursday morning we were all in high spirits to explore the sights and sounds of Amsterdam, after finding our very modern and well equipped hostel we set off to find some waffles, cheesy chips and catch a boat along the canal ways. Right from day one the students were drawing and photographing the beautiful streets and buildings.

Friday was a show stopping day starting with a tour of the phenomenal Van Gogh museum, followed by two photography museums – one of which was in a traditional Amsterdam house – an eye opener into the lives of an affluent Amsterdamer! This was topped off by an amazing evening in Escape World – split into teams with Miss Holland paired with the Upper Sixth and Mr Nairne with the Lower Sixth, we were locked in rooms and given 60 minutes to find the clues to escape! It was exhilarating and hilarious…Only Mr Nairne’s group managed to escape (with the help of a little cheating and a lot of hints!) but everyone enjoyed themselves.

Saturday we were up early again, jumping on a train to Den Haag – transport in Amsterdam was amazingly efficient and easy to use – we were spoilt for choice of masterpieces to see here from Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring to Rembrandt, to MC Escher to Mondrian we were bombarded with quality and it was inspiring to see the students working directly into their sketchbooks in response. Our last night was spent back in Amsterdam, bellies full of Wagamama’s, we walked the streets of Amsterdam absorbing the culture. 

Sad to leave, we had a much slower start to Sunday morning and made the short journey to the Rijksmuseum which is filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling with wonderful artworks. It is overwhelming and inspiring all at once. A quick dash to the Stedelijk Museum across the square was an apt end as discussions around race, heritage, nationalism and tolerance were had in response to more contemporary works.

The group of students were a testament to Cranleigh, they were polite, thoughtful, hardworking and lots of fun. It was a whirlwind tour, but one which everyone gained greatly from!

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