By Tamas Mondovics

As the British people were awaiting their country’s moment in history, eight Bell Creek Academy Cambridge program students, three chaperones and BCA Assistant Principal Marlee Strawn were making their own by arriving in Shannon, Ireland earlier this summer.

The small group was ready for the trip of a lifetime facing a 10-day journey of Ireland, Wales and England.

Strawn said that for many of the students the trip was their first time leaving Florida, which began visiting the first of many castles on the trip in Bunratty Park, before reaching Killarney, Ireland, a small picturesque town with one of the oldest Cathedrals in Ireland.

“We took a horse and carriage ride throughout three lakes national park that was previously owned by Queen Victoria,” she said.

The visit included a scenic coastal drive on the Ring of Kerry, with classic views of the Irish countryside. The journey to Dublin took the group to Blarney Castle, then a visit to a 1,000 year old ancient Celtic pagan church and to an Irish “football” game to feel the spirit and camaraderie that European Football brings to Ireland.

Historic sites such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Book of Kells, the National Museum of Ireland and National Library were all on the to-see-list, before a ferry took the group to Wales to explore the Beaumaris Castle, and enjoy some fish and chips before a stop at Anne Hathaway’s cottage and William Shakespeare family home and business. 

The last stop, London, included all the biggies such as The National Gallery of Art to observe the works of DiVinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. 

A bird’s eye view of the historic Big Ben, Parliament building, and Westminster’s Abby, while riding the London Eye were not left out either, while a tour of Windsor Castle and witnessing the changing of the guards rounded up the trip.

“This was an amazing trip for the students and a nice reward for their hard work throughout the year,” Strawn said.

BCA, located at 13221 Boyette Rd. in Riverview, hopes to make such trips available for its Cambridge program students a tradition. The school’s Cambridge program is an international, pre-university program with a highly rigorous curriculum developed by the University of Cambridge in England.

For more on Bell Creek Academy, visit

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