Day 1 :
Departure from Home
- Departure from home airport:
Relax and enjoy your scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 :
Begin your Literary Tour of Southern England
- Upon arrival:
Your 24-hour Tour Director will meet you at the airport and remain with your group until your final airport departure. Your group will have a private coach and driver while touring for the next four days.
- Continue on your journey from London to Wessex via Chawton and Winchester.:
- Jane Austen’s home:
Visit Jane Austen’s home at Chawton, where she penned some of her most beloved works, including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. The house is preserved as it would have been in Austen’s day, and memorabilia, first editions, and even the writer’s donkey cart help recreate her life here.
Winchester was once the capital of ancient Wessex as well as the administrative center for the Anglo-Saxon kings until the Norman Conquest. The city is connected with Arthurian legend and is where one of Britain’s most beloved authors, Jane Austen, is buried.
- Winchester Cathedral:
Visit Winchester Cathedral, a historic medieval cathedral possessing the longest nave in Britain. This incredible structure is the resting place of many important British figures, including the author Jane Austen.
- Winchester Castle:
Visit the remains of Winchester Castle where a round oak table, King Arthur’s Round Table, is attached to the wall.
For the next two nights, your base will be in the Wessex area. Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
- Daily reflection and group discussion:
"We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience." - John Dewey
Every evening of the program, we’ll set time aside to update your Reflection Journal and share thoughts and impressions that have come up during the day.
Day 3 :
Salisbury and Stonehenge
- Continue on your journey:
This morning, you’ll begin touring a bit earlier than normal as your group will travel to Bath from Wessex. You’ll stop in Salisbury and Stonehenge along the way.
Salisbury was founded in the 13th century after the settlement of Old
Sarum was abandoned. The surrounding lush fields and rivers were a marked improvement over the former arid, hilltop location. Today, Salisbury has largely preserved its medieval, Tudor, and Queen Anne architecture, giving the city a delightful elegance.
- Salisbury Cathedral:
Visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain. It’s well-known for having the tallest spire in the country, which you may climb if you wish. Your visit will be highlighted by the cathedral’s 13th-century octagonal Chapter House, which displays the finest of four surviving original texts of the Magna Carta.
Visit mysterious Stonehenge, a large circle of stone lintels and megalithic pillars and one of the most impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain. Constructed approximately 5,000 years ago, Stonehenge symbolizes mystery, power, and endurance.
- Continue on your journey from Stonehenge to Bath:
Bath is a special, beautiful city. The Romans turned it into England’s first spa resort, and brilliant architects created the Neo-Classical facades that decorate the city and recall its Georgian and Victorian golden age. Jane Austen lived here and the peaceful beauty of the city inspired several of her works.
- Jane Austen Center:
Discover the Jane Austen Center, a permanent exhibition located in a Georgian townhouse dedicated to the life of Bath’s most famous and beloved resident. Austen made the city her home and her love for it is reflected in two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, which are largely set in Bath.
- Take a walking tour through historic Bath:
On this tour, you’ll see the spectacular façade of Bath Abbey; Pulteney Bridge, featuring wonderful views of the city and the River Avon; the Circus; and the Royal Crescent, one of Britain’s finest streets.
Day 4 :
- Continue on your journey:
Continue to the Stratford-upon-Avon area, which will be your base for the night. While here, you’ll enjoy both dinner and breakfast at the hotel.
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 it resembles a charming, Georgian and Tudor-Revival market town, eagerly embracing the era of its most well-known former resident, William Shakespeare.
- Shakespeare’s birthplace:
Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, a half-timbered house preserved to reflect family life in the 16th century that also contains a museum dedicated to his life. The modern Shakespeare Centre was built next door to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard's birth. Next, you’ll visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage. The cottage provides insight into the life of a family in Shakespearean times and many of the original furnishings are preserved inside.
- 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’s located in an attractive setting on the banks of the River Avon.
- Evening at the theater:
This evening, you’ll watch a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Day 5 :
Onward to London
- Continue to the final stop of your literary journey:
Today, your group will travel from the Stratford area to London. For the next four evenings, you’ll enjoy the convenience of a centrally located London hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
- London in brief:
London is the largest city in Europe: quite a feat, considering it’s on a relatively small island. Its location is perfect for an administrative, communications, and trade center, as the Romans realized when they founded their city here in AD 43. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly into an exciting, contemporary city. In London, the cost of public transport is included for all group sightseeing. Escorted by your Tour Director, you’ll be able to experience the city in the same manner as the locals.
- Sherlock Holmes Museum:
Explore the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Located at 221b Baker Street, this was the home of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson from 1881¬-1904 and is arranged as it’s described in the novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- King’s Cross Station:
Explore King’s Cross Station, the train station that has inspired many books, movies, and songs. It’s currently most famous as the starting point of the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter book series.
- Dinner in a local restaurant:
Enjoy dinner this evening in Covent Garden, home to some of the city’s liveliest restaurants, pubs, and cafés.
Day 6 :
The Bard and Dickens in London
- The Globe Theatre and Museum:
Visit and take a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Museum, housed in a reconstruction of the original theater that closed in 1642 and dedicated to the experience and international understanding of Shakespearean performance. The museum explores the costumes, special effects, music, printing, and publishing process during the Shakespearean era.
- The Globe Theatre:
Tour the Globe Theatre and get to know the Bard in his original venue. Sonnets and soliloquies will come to life as you gain insight into Shakespeare’s language and characters.
- Guided walking tour:
Enjoy a specialist-guided walking tour through the London of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, followed by a visit to the simple abode in which Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, finished The Pickwick Papers, and now houses the Dickens Museum.
- Dickens Museum:
Visit the Dickens Museum, which contains the world’s most important collection of materials relating to the author and social commentator. It houses four floors of paintings, rare editions, manuscripts, and original furniture.
- Dinner in a local restaurant:
This evening, dine in a restaurant near Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, two of London’s most vibrant and lively areas.
- Evening at the theater:
Enjoy a performance at the Globe.
Day 7 :
Day Trip to Canterbury and Rochester
- Full-day excursion:
A private coach and driver will accompany your group today on a trip outside the city.
Canterbury was an important Roman town because of its location between London and Dover. Canterbury became a pilgrimage site in the 12th century after the murder of Thomas Becket and was further ingrained into history and literature through Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
- Canterbury Cathedral:
Visit Canterbury Cathedral, a place of pilgrimage for over 800 years. Founded in the 6th century by St. Augustine, it remains one of the oldest standing Anglo-Saxon churches in the world as well as one of England’s oldest Christian churches.
- The Canterbury Tales:
Step back in time over 600 years at The Canterbury Tales. Join Geoffrey Chaucer and his colorful characters on their pilgrimage from London to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, in a stunningly accurate recreation of medieval life.
- West Gate Towers Museum:
Walk to West Gate Towers Museum, once one of the main portals in the medieval city’s walls.
- Group dinner:
Enjoy an evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 8 :
London Zoo and Warner Bros. Studios
- Half-day excursion:
Today, you’ll have a private coach and driver accompany your group for a half-day excursion outside the city.
- Warner Brothers Studio:
Experience the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London and explore the magic of the Harry Potter films. This unique walking tour takes you behind the scenes and showcases a huge array of beautiful sets, costumes, and props. It also reveals some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and animatronics that made these films so hugely popular all over the world.
- London Zoo:
Explore the London Zoo, one of the oldest in the world. It was originally founded in 1828 as a collection for scientific study but was eventually opened to the public. There are currently over 750 species of animals here, and those who are fans of Harry Potter will recognize the Reptile House as the location in the film where he discovers he can speak to snakes.
- Group dinner:
Enjoy your evening meal as a group in a local restaurant.
- Final reflection and discussion session:
This evening, you’ll make the final entries in your Reflection Journal and share some of the most significant observations and perspectives that have taken shape throughout your British Literature Tour. We’ll also discuss how these experiences may be most relevant for us all as we return home.
Day 9 :
Departure from London
Your rewarding and enjoyable British Literature Tour of Southern England comes to an end as your Tour Director accompanies your group to the airport on your final day.