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Political History & Civil Rights School Trip to Washington DC

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A politics school trip to Washington D.C. will help your students to better understand America’s political system and how it is different to that of the UK!

Washington D.C. was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In its time as the capital, Washington has experienced everything from civil war to civil rights protests

As spending increased in the capital, new government buildings, memorials and museums emerged. Its history is told through its varied architecture, with many classic designs seen in its historic and contemporary buildings, including Victorian, Queen Anne and Georgian. A rich and diverse history for your students to explore and enjoy awaits. 

Suggested Itinerary (Based on 5 days/3 nights )

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.

Visit Capitol Hill!

Home to the United States Capitol, the Senate and House office buildings, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and several other important institutions, Capitol Hill is an essential stop on your politics school trip!

Capitol Hill is not only a metonym for the United States Congress, it’s also one of the oldest and most densely populated neighbourhoods in Washington D.C.

It’s been home to the United States Congress since 1800 and was carefully selected for this role by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in his plans for the new federal capital.

Did you know?

The Capitol building is huge – it has 540 rooms with 658 windows!

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

See the Lincoln Memorial!

This impressive memorial to Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, has become a symbolic venue for the Civil Rights Movement.

The Lincoln Memorial has two of Lincoln’s most memorable speeches inscribed on its walls – the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address.

And the memorial has, of course, been the setting for other historic speeches, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, which makes it a must-see on your politics and civil rights school trip to Washington D.C.

Did you know?

The Lincoln Memorial is absolutely enormous! It’s 99 feet tall and 202 feet wide. Plus, it’s foundations stretch 66 feet underneath it, in order to support the weight of this colossal marble structure!

Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Visit the Smithsonian Institution!

The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum complex in the world, with 19 world-class museums, galleries and gardens – there’s even a zoo!

Around 30 million people visit the Smithsonian Institution every year and all are admitted completely free of charge.

The Smithsonian was founded in 1846 using funds from the estate of British scientist James Smithson. It was his wish that an institute be founded in his name for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge’.

Did you know?

The Smithsonian is nicknamed ‘the nation’s attic’ thanks to its vast, eclectic collection which consists of around 154 million items!

Day 1


Flight from UK to Washington


Transfer to accommodation on arrival


Optional evening meal at a local restaurant

Day 2


Morning visit to Capitol Hill and take a free guided tour of the Capitol Building


Explore the Mall including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial

Visit Ford's Theatre for the museum, talks and a show


Optional evening meal at a local restaurant

Day 3


Visit some of Washington's famous and free museums such as the US Holocaust Memorial Musem


Cross the Potomac River into Virginia and visit the Arlington National Cemetery


Optional evening meal at a local restaurant

Day 4


Visit the White House Visitors Center and take a photo stop outside the house


Transfer to the airport


Return flight to the UK

Day 5


Arrive back in the UK




  • tick icon3 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation
  • tick iconAirport transfers in resort
  • tick iconComprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • tick iconDetailed information pack
  • tick iconFlights inclusive of tax
  • tick iconFree staff place ratio 1:10
  • tick iconItinerary planning service
  • tick iconVAT

Educational activities and visits

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill's landmarks include not only the United States Capitol but also the Sena… Read more

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

The site of Lincoln’s assassination, Ford’s Theatre offers museum exhibits,… Read more

Holocaust Memorial Museum

Holocaust Memorial Museum

At the start of the tour, each visitor is given an identity card of a Holocaust victim tha… Read more

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial stands at the west end of the National Mall as a neoclassical monumen… Read more

Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Institution

The world's largest museum complex and research organization is composed of 19 museums… Read more

The White House

The White House

The White House is the official home and principal workplace of the President of the Uni… Read more

Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

Deliberately setting aside the controversies of the war, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ho… Read more

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is the most prominent attractions in Washington D.C. It was built… Read more


Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington

The Harrington Hotel boasts 242 guest rooms, including 26 deluxe family rooms, as well as a full service restaurant, fast food restaurant, friendly pub and a gift shop.

The Harrington is the last of its kind in Washington D.C., still owned and operated by members of the founding families and continues its 100 year tradition of providing value and convenience to visitors. 

Supporting you every step of the way!

Creating your perfect trip

We'll tailor make your school trip to meet your specific requirements

Launching your trip

Head to our resources section for FREE promotional materials

After you've booked

Your dedicated Itinerary Coordinator will work with you on the finer details of your trip

While you're away

You'll be able to reach us 24/7 during your trip if you need our help

After your trip

Head back to our resources section to continue the learning

Need help?

Don’t hesitate to contact me for any advice or further information on how your school trip can be tailored to your requirements.

We were delighted with the way the trip was organized beforehand and the support which was available once we had left school. An excellent initiation to the Halsbury experience!  — Eirias High School, September 2019

Your School Trip is Fully Protected

As a fully-accredited school travel company, booking with Halsbury Travel offers you complete peace of mind. Our accreditations are your guarantee that:

  • Your school trip will be fully financially protected
  • Your group’s safety will be prioritised
  • Your trip will be a quality educational experience

Financial protection


Our ABTA bond means all our school trips are financially protected. Plus, all air tours and flights arranged by us are also ATOL protected.

Safety prioritised

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As an Assured Member of the School Travel Forum (STF) we have an effective Safety Management System in place.

As well as reassuring you that your group's safety will be prioritised at all times, this will also help you to meet your due diligence and reduces the amount of External Provider paperwork required.

Quality educational experiences


The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge is your reassurance that Halsbury Travel is committed to offering LOtC activities that are safe and beneficial to learning.

The Halsbury Difference

School trips by teachers for teachers

School trips designed by teachers for teachers

Founded by teachers in 1986 and with several former teachers in our team, we understand the pressures on you as Group Leader and work hard to relieve them.

Tailor-made school trips

Trips tailored to your curriculum and learning objectives

We’ll design your trip around your specific learning objectives and curriculum, to ensure it meets your particular requirements.

Loyalty scheme

Rewarding loyalty scheme

Earn loyalty points from your very first trip which can be used towards a trip discount or free gift for your school.