Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Homestay in Penrith!

I spent the last weekend in January on a homestay in Penrith, a town in the northern English county of Cumbria, along with a number of other people on the IFSA-Butler program. Every IFSA-Butler student here at the University of Edinburgh goes on a homestay, where they stay with a British family in their home over the weekend. While some families will host many students, my hosts had just me and my friend Katie. On Friday afternoon, we boarded a bus that took us on the two and a half hour drive to Penrith. Our host family picked us up from the town center. They lived in a flat about ten minutes outside of the town center. Once we got there, we ate a quick meal and then headed to bed.

After breakfast the next morning, we walked into the town center. Penrith is home to St. Andrew’s Church, parts of which were constructed in the 12th century, while it was completed in the 1700s. The churchyard also contains two monuments from the 10th century, the Giant’s Grave and the Giant’s Thumb. After seeing the church, we walked to the ruins of Penrith Castle. It was built in the 15th century and was granted to the future Richard the Third in 1471. After his death, the castle passed through a number of owners and eventually fell into ruin. We also visited a small museum in the local visitor’s center that had everything from ancient artifacts from the area up through displays about Penrith during the World Wars.

After that, we had a relaxing night. Katie and I completed a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle of Tower Bridge. Later, we went to a nearby pub called Cross Keys for a pint. The next morning, Katie made breakfast and I did the dishes, then we packed up and walked into town to catch the bus back to Edinburgh. All in all, it was nice to get out of the city for a weekend. I definitely recommend the homestay to future IFSA-Butler students. That’s all from me, and I’ll see you next time!


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