Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to London:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America to London.
Day 2 :
- Arrive in London:
Our 24-hour tour director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next seven day(s).
- Journey to Oxford:
Oxford has long been an important stopping point on central routes from the north of England to London, but it is more well-known as the home of England’s first university. With its spectacular architecture and famous scholars, including some of the world’s most important writers, the university is a uniquely integral part of Oxford and of England as a whole.
- Walking Tour of Oxford Colleges:
We will take a Literary Walking Tour through the many colleges that make up Oxford, highlighted by St. John’s College, Trinity College, the Sheldonian Theater, Bodleian Library, and Queen's College. Visit Christ Church College, Oxford’s largest and grandest Renaissance College, which was founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey. The college’s Christ Church Cathedral is the smallest in England.
- Travel to Stratford:
Situated on the banks of the Avon River, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of England’s most beloved towns. Its history dates back to the Roman period, but its current appearance is as a charming Georgian and Tudor Revival market town that eagerly embraces the era of its most important former resident, William Shakespeare.
- Hotel check-in:
The Stratford-upon-Avon area will be our base for the next two nights. While here, we will enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 :
- Half Day Trip to Warwick:
Warwick, the county town of Warwickshire, lies upon the River Avon. According to tradition, it was founded in AD 914 and the name ‘Warwick’ means ‘dwellings by the weir.’ The most popular landmark is Warwick Castle, although the town center is also known for its historic architecture, which includes a mixture of Tudor and 17th century dwellings.
- Warwick Castle:
Visit imposing Warwick Castle, surrounded by gardens, lawns, and woodland where peacocks roam freely. This is one of England’s finest castles and our tour will include the State Rooms, Great Hall, armory, dungeons, torture chamber, ramparts, and a ghost tower.
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace:
Explore Shakespeare’s Birthplace, a carefully restored 16th century house where The Bard was born on April 23, 1564. After touring the property, along with its period-correct gardens, we will visit the Shakespeare-related exhibits in the adjoining Shakespeare Center, built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s birth.
- Holy Trinity Church:
Stop for a brief visit to Holy Trinity Church, the parish church where both Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway, are buried. It is located in an attractive setting on the banks of the River Avon.
- First Concert Performance:
Your concert performance is today in Warwick. Venue options include St. Mary’s Church, St. Nicholas’s Church, and Lord Leycester’s Hospital.
Day 4 :
Journey from Stratford to Yorkshire
- Walking Tour of York:
Visiting York is like walking through a living museum. Its medieval structures are impressively preserved in its timbered houses and winding, cobbled streets, surrounded by the remains of the city walls. Founded by the Romans in AD 71, York was, for a long time, a strategic point used by both Saxons and Vikings. Take a walking tour of York through the medieval and historic parts of the city.
- York Minster:
Visit York Minster, which traces its origins from the early 7th century and features stunning stained glass from the Middle Ages.
- The Shambles:
Take a walk through the Shambles, Europe's best preserved medieval street, although the name is also used to refer collectively to the surrounding maze of narrow, twisting lanes and alleys as well. The street itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book, so we know that it has been in continuous existence for over 900 years.
- Hotel check-in:
For the next two night(s), our base will be in the York area. Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 5 :
Trip to Haworth
- Arrive in Haworth:
The Haworth Village is situated at the edge of the Pennine moors in West Yorkshire, the area known as Brontë country. The village of Haworth is internationally famous for its connections with the Brontë sisters. The majority of their works were written during the time they lived in the village parsonage.
- Tour the Brontë Parsonage:
Home of the Brontë family during the mid-1800s. The home now houses the Brontë Parsonage Museum, decorated as it was during the 1850s and containing letters, manuscripts, books, furniture, and personal treasures of the famous literary family.
- Second Concert Performance:
Your second concert performance is today in York. Venue options include York Minster, The Church of St. John, St. Sampson’s Centre, All Saints Church, St. Michael le Belfrey, and the National Centre for Early Music. Castle Howard is also a rewarding concert setting for high level choirs and instrumental groups.
Day 6 :
Journey from Yorkshire to Cambridge to London
Cambridge was an important Roman town because of its location at the first navigable point on the River Cam. Today, the river is more popular for punting than for trade, usually by the students at the city’s famed university.
London is the largest city in Europe: quite a feat, considering its location on a relatively small island. London's location is perfect for an administrative, communications, and trade center, as the Romans realized when they founded their city in the 1st century AD. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly in this exciting, contemporary city.
- Walking tour of Ancient Colleges:
We will take a walking tour and view King’s College, Trinity College, and Magdalene College, made famous by E.M. Forrester, A.A Milne, and C.S. Lewis respectively.
- King’s College:
Visit King’s College which was founded in 1441 by Henry VI (1421-71) and is one of the 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge. King’s has an outstanding academic record and is also world famous for its Chapel and choir. We will visit the Chapel, famous for its glorious fan vaulted ceiling and considered the most elegant example of perpendicular architecture in England.
- Walking Tour of Westminster:
During our time in London we will exploring the areas of Westminster and Whitehall, including Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Parliament Square, Downing Street, St. James’s Park, and Buckingham Palace.
- Hotel check-in:
For the next three evenings, we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located London hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 7 :
- Westminster Abbey:
Visit Westminster Abbey, where English kings and queens have been crowned since 1066. Our Blue-Badge Guided Tour will include the Royal Chapels, containing the tombs of the English monarchs, as well as Poets’ Corner, featuring memorials to many famous British literary figures.
- Thames River Cruise:
A relaxing way to view many of London’s most magnificent sights. Our trip will take us past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and under the famous Tower Bridge.
- Visit the Tower of London:
One of Britain’s most fascinating and important historical structures, the Tower of London began as a fortress by William the Conqueror, and is now primarily associated with the legendary figures imprisoned and executed here over the centuries. Our visit includes the armories, a display of instruments of torture and execution, and the breathtaking Crown Jewels Exhibit.
This evening we will dine in a local restaurant near to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, two of London’s most vibrant and lively areas.
Day 8 :
- Explore the British Museum:
The British Museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections of art and artifacts in the world. Highlights of our visit will include the Rosetta Stone, the discovery of which led to the deciphering of hieroglyphs, the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, and the Sutton Hoo Treasure.
- Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral:
Enjoy Sir Christopher Wren’s Renaissance-style masterpiece. Our visit will include an ascent to the Whispering Gallery, an acoustic marvel in which the faintest whisper can be heard clearly on the opposite side, plus time at the American Memorial Chapel. If we are lucky, we will be here when the massive organ fills the entire cathedral with breathtaking music.
- Third Concert Performance:
Your concert performance in London is today. Venue options include St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar, St. James in Piccadilly, and St. Sepulchers, all of which are excellent musical venues for sacred repertoire. For groups that prefer a smaller ecclesiastical venue, options include the Church of St. Anne & St Agnes, St. Dunstan’s College, Dulwich College, Ruislip Garden School, Branch Hill House Residential Home, the North Hall at Covent Garden, Ingestre Residential Home, the great Southwark Cathedral, Royal Hospital Chelsea, American School, King’s College School, Kneller Hall, Royal Military School of Music, George Inn, Hinde Street Methodist Church, Chelsea and Westminster Arts, St. George’s Church in Tolworth, Blackheath Halls, St. John’s Hospice, and Holy Trinity Church on Prince Consort Road. Outdoor venues include Tower Bridge Park Parade, Parliament Square, or Covent Garden.
We will enjoy British fare at a local restaurant.
Day 9 :
- Departure from London:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our tour director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.