History School Trip to Washington

Where better to study GCSE or A level American History and Politics than the capital? When you visit Washington your students can cover key study topics ranging from the Civil War, Wall Street Crash and the Depression, the Cold War, Civil Rights and Vietnam right up to the present day politics and policies of the US government.


Washington 5 days

Tour Day 1

Daytime flight to Washington and transfer to your accommodation.

Tour Day 2

Guided walking tour of the historical sites and memorials including the FDR memorial, WW2 memorial and Vietnam veterans memorial.
Free time to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

Tour Day 3

Guided walking tour of the political sites focusing on the Capitol Buildings.
Visit to the National Air and Space Museum and on to the National Archives to view the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Tour Day 4

Visit to the Museum of American History and choose from other Smithsonian Institute Museums on the Mall.
Transfer to airport for overnight return flight to the UK.

Tour Day 5

Arrive back in the UK.

New York & Washington 7 days

Tour Day 1

Daytime flight to New York and transfer to your accommodation.

Tour Day 2

Walking tour of Midtown Manhattan including Central Park, Broadway and Times Square.
Visit the UN Building for a guided tour followed by free time in Midtown Manhattan around Fifth Avenue to see a major shopping area.

Tour Day 3

Walking tour of Downtown Manhattan including financial district (Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park).
Visit Ground Zero, 9/11 Memorial and Museum and then St Paul's Church, followed by Statue Cruise to Liberty & Ellis Islands.

Tour Day 4

Transfer by coach to Washington DC. En-route guided visit around Gettysburg National Military Park.

Tour Day 5

Guided walking tour of the historical sites and memorials (including the Lincoln Memorial steps to see where Martin Luther King gave his infamous 'I Have a Dream' speech).
Free time to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

Tour Day 6

Guided walking tour of the political sites focusing on the Capitol Buildings.
Transfer to airport for overnight return flight to the UK.

Tour Day 7

Arrive in UK.

Curricular Links

A WST tour to Washington can support the study of elements of the following exam board specifications.




Period studies: America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality

Modern depth study: The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad


A level

  • The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865–1975
  • The American Dream: Reality and Illusion, 1945–1980




Modern depth study: The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad

A level

  • In search of the American Dream: the USA, c1917–96
  • The USA, c1920–55: boom, bust and recovery
  • Civil rights and race relations in the USA, 1850–2009




Period study and non-British depth study

  • The USA 1919–1948: The People and the State
  • The USA 1945–1974: The People and the State


A level

  • Civil Rights in the USA 1865–1992



Higher - European and world: Part G: USA, 1918-1968

Advanced Higher - USA: ‘a house divided’, 1850–65



Non-British Study in Depth: The USA: A Nation of Contrasts, 1910-1931

Period Study. The Development of the USA, 1929-2002



AQA - A level

  • Government and politics of the USA


Edexcel - A level

  • Comparative Politics: Government and Politics of the USA


OCR - A level

  • Government and Politics of the USA



Higher - Political systems


WJEC - A level - Government and Politics of the USA

Study Visits

Political Sites Walking Tour

Take half a day to walk around Washington and visit all the key buildings in American Politics. Your local guide will take you down Pennsylvania Avenue, The George Washington Monument, The Mall and The US Capitol – this includes; the Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. This is a fantastic introduction to influence, power and Government in the USA. 

Historical Sites And Monuments Walking Tour

A guided walking tour of the monuments and memorials of Washington tells the story of the history of the USA from the civil war to present day. This walking tour will take in the Lincoln Memorial, FDR Memorial, WW2 Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. 

Arlington Cemetery

Take time to visit the largest military graveyard in the world which tells the story of the historical events that have taken place in the US over the years. With graves from the Civil War and both World Wars along with the eternal flame burning by the grave of John F. Kennedy, this is a very emotional but also inspiring visit for your students.

US Holocaust Museum

Take your students to this remarkable museum for an unforgettable trip which explains the story of the Holocaust using film footage, artefacts and eye witness accounts. Along with telling the history of the Holocaust, the museum addresses the subject and prevention of human genocide.

Lincoln Memorial Steps

Visit the Lincoln Memorial Steps and stand in the very place that Martin Luther King gave his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963. 

National Air And Space Museum

The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. Highlights include the original Wright Brother’s ‘Spirit of St Louis’ flyer and the Apollo 11 command module. This is an ideal visit if you are studying the Cold War as students can discover more about the Space Race.

The National Archives

The National Archives Building located close to the Mall displays the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Students can take a visit to the public vaults which display original records and new interactive exhibits which allow you to explore a variety of documents. 

National Museum Of American History

This museum displays the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Throughout the year the museum runs a series of exhibitions based on a variety of subjects so always check the website to see what’s on. 

National Museum of African American History & Culture

This museum is a place where people can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience. The collection of stories there give unique insights into three key themes that  continue throughout the museum - history, culture and community of African Americans.   

The Pentagon

Secure a tour around the world’s largest office buildings. The headquarters of the Department of Defense is home to many significant moments in American history where your students can take an hour on a guided tour walking through 1 and a half miles of the huge building. The Pentagon is located approx. 4 miles outside the centre of Washington and can be easily reached by Metro. If you wish to visit the Pentagon you must apply directly to the British Embassy.

The White House

As one of the most famous political buildings in the world, the White House has been home to many of the most famous faces. It’s possible to take a self guided tour of the White House if you apply direct to the Embassy in Washington.

World Bank Visitor Center 

The Visitor Center showcases the World Bank Group’s efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity for the world’s poorest people. Guided tours can be arranged here and also a discussion with a World Bank Group expert on a specific subject matter, for example, economy, poverty, gender, private sector development.

Gettysburg National Military Park

Take a coach trip out of Washington to visit the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. Along with a visit to the museum and visitor centre, a battlefield guide will join you on your coach for a 2 hour tour of the area which will take you through the key points of the civil war and the importance of this battle.

Cultural Visits

Smithsonian Institute Museums And Galleries

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries to choose from, along with the national zoological park. Most of which are located on or near to the National Mall. Most of the Smithsonian Institute Museums are free.

The Capitol Steps 

This Capitol Steps are an American political satire group. Originally formed in 1981 by senate staff, they perform every Friday and Saturday evening at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. They dig into the headlines of the day, create song parodies and skits with their own special brand of humour. This show is more suitable for age 16+.

Crime & Punishment Museum

Described by Good Morning America as a "must see for CSI fans," this museum includes a crime lab and the filming studios for America's Most Wanted, a simulated shooting range, high-speed police-chase, and hundreds of interactives and artefacts.

Ford’s Theatre  And Petersen House

Visit these two landmarks together, just across the street from one another. Ford’s Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was shot, is a working theatre, historical monument and a world-class museum so is a must-see on your visit to Washington, DC. Petersen House is a plain red brick three-story and basement townhouse across from Ford’s Theatre is where the injured Lincoln was taken to after he was shot and where he died. The house is now a museum and recreates the interior of the house as it was at the time of Lincoln’s death. 

Mount Vernon

This is the most popular historic estate in America, and was home to Commander-in-Chief of American forces and the first President of the United States, George Washington for more than 40 years. Now, you can visit the Mansion, more than 10 original structures, Washington’s Tomb and almost 50 acres of his extensive estate.

National Spy Museum

This museum is the only one in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world which has given a global outlook on an all-but-invisible profession that has shaped history. Take a look inside the museum and see the largest collection of international espionage artefacts ever placed on public display.


The Newseum’s mission is ‘to help the public and the news media understand one another better.' The highlights here include the Berlin Wall Gallery which tells the story of how news and information helped topple a closed and oppressed society and the  9/11 Gallery, which chronicles the challenges journalists faced in reporting the news to the nation.  

Madame Tussauds

Take a day off for a leisure visit to Madame Tussauds and visit some of the most famous faces around. From music stars such as Rihanna and Beyoncé to political figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Hillary Clinton.

Shopping In Washington

The Washington, DC area has a number of great neighbourhoods for shopping. Throughout the region you’ll find multiple locations of the large national retail stores such as Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Gap, Old Navy, etc.


Georgetown is a popular Washington, DC neighbourhood for shopping. This shopping mecca appeals to the younger crowd but also has plenty of boutiques and antique stores for all ages.

Dupont Circle

The lively Washington, DC neighbourhood has an eclectic selection of bookstores, clothing boutiques, art galleries, gift shops and coffee shops. A few blocks away, along Connecticut Avenue, you'll find more traditional clothing stores.

Penn Quarter

This revitalised neighbourhood near the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC is bustling with activity among the new museums, contemporary restaurants and trendy shops.

Capitol Hill

You’ll find lots of upscale shopping at Union Station, the city’s train station and a shopping mall with more than 130 stores, several restaurants and a 9-screen movie theatre.

Potomac Mills

With over 100 stores and restaurants, Potomac Mills is a great place for everyone, with stores from Vans outlets to IKEA, Abercrombie and Fitch to Papaya, there really is something for everyone. Approx. 1 hours drive out of central Washington.


We can arrange evening meals in restaurants in the city with options to suit all tastes. Our most popular choices are:

  • Hard Rock Café
  • Buca di Beppo
  • The Fashion Center at Pentagon - Dining Dollars
  • Gordon Biersch Navy Yard
  • Bolts Burgers
  • Lucky Strike bowl & dine