Day 1 :
Departure from your airport
Day 2 :
Arrive in London - Oxford
- Arrive London - Transfer 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 it's 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:
Take a Walking Tour to view many of the colleges that make up Oxford, as well as the Sheldonian Theater and the Bodleian Library. Each of the buildings we pass has a long history and is associated with notable literary alumni, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis and Evelyn Waugh.
- Christ Church College:
Visit 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
Day 3 :
Day Trip to Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's Birthplace)
Situated on the banks of the Avon River, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of England's most beloved towns. It's history dates back to the Roman period, but it's current appearance is as a charming Georgian and Tudor Revival market town that eagerly embraces the era of it's most important former resident, William Shakespeare.
- Shakespeare's Birthplace:
Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace, a half-timbered house preserved to reflect family life in the
16th century. The birthplace also contains a museum dedicated to the bard's life. The modern Shakespeare Center was built next door to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard's birth. Next we will visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage. The cottage provides a rare insight into the life of a family in Shakespearean times, and many of the original furnishings are preserved inside the house.
- Holy Trinity Church:
Stop for a brief visit to 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
Day 4 :
Oxford - Canterbury
- Travel to Canterbury:
En route we will stop in Hatfield & Epping Forest.
- Hatfield House and Gardens:
Visit the celebrated Jacobean House, which stands in its own great park and was built between 1607 and 1611. View the State Rooms, rich in world-famous
paintings, fine furniture, rare tapestries and historic armor. Explore the delightful gardens, where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood and held her first Council of State in November 1558.
- Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge:
Visit Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, built by Henry VIII in 1543. The three-story timbered house has been fully restored and houses an exhibition on the history of the lodge.
- LEAP: Who Rules?:
This activity proposes a shortlist of six figures from British history and, through the process of elimination, arrives at one ‘Great Briton’. The group is encouraged to argue the various merits of the people on the list and vote out each person until a single ‘great’ figure remains.
Day 5 :
Canterbury (Roman Treasures)
Canterbury was an important Roman town because of its location on the route between London and Dover. Canterbury became a pilgrimage site in the 12th century after the murder of Thomas Becket and it became further ingrained in history and literature through Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
- Canterbury Cathedral:
This cathedral was 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 and is one of the oldest Christian churches in England. It became a major pilgrimage destination after the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket in 1170.
- Leeds Castle:
Explore Leeds Castle, complete with stone turrets and set on two islands on the River Len. It is widely considered to be the most beautiful castle in England. Our tour of the castle and it's extensive gardens will include an introductory movie, the Aviary, the Dog Collar Museum and the Maze.
Day 6 :
Canterbury - London
- Travel from Canterbury to London:
We will stop to visit Hever Castle and Hampton Court.
- Hever Castle and Gardens:
Visit the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII wooed Anne at Hever Castle and later gave the castle to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Highlights of our tour will include the Anne Boleyn Prayer Books, the Six Wives of Henry VIII exhibit and the Model Houses exhibit.
- Hampton Court Palace:
Explore the grandiose stately residence initially built for Cardinal Wolsey and then given to Henry VIII after Wolsey fell from favor. Our tour will include the Queen’s Apartments, the Tudor Chapel Royal and the Great Hall. We will also stroll through the Fountain Gardens, Pond Gardens and Baroque Maze.
- Continue on to London:
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 AD 43. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly in this exciting, contemporary city.
- London Highlights:
During our time in London we will explore the areas of Westminster and Whitehall, including Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, Parliament Square, Downing Street, St. James's Park and Buckingham Palace.
- Dinner in local restaurant:
Enjoy an evening meal with your group.
Day 7 :
London (King's and Queen's of England)
- Westminster Abbey:
Visit the location 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:
Enjoy 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.
- Tower of London:
Visit one of Britain's most fascinating and important historical structures. Our visit includes the armories, a display of instruments of torture and execution and the breathtaking Crown Jewels Exhibit.
- Dinner near Piccadilly Circus:
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.
The Tower of London
Begun as a fortress by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is now primarily associated with the legendary figures imprisoned and executed here over the centuries.
Day 8 :
London (Shakespeare & Dicken's London)
- Shakespeare Globe Theater Museum:
Visit the Shakespeare Globe Theater Museum, dedicated to the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance. The museum explores the costumes, the special effects, the music and the printing and publishing process during the Shakespearian era. We will also have the opportunity to experience a Workshop with a Globe Practitioner.
- Educational Insight - Shakespeare's Shaky Stage!:
Learn about the emergence of theater as an art form and discover the history of the Globe Theater. We will contemplate the impacts of
- Shakespeare and Dickens Walking Tour:
Enjoy a specialist-guided Walking Tour through the London of Shakespeare and Dickens.
- Dickens Museum:
Visit the Dickens Museum, housed in the simple abode where Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and finished The Pickwick Papers. It contains the world’s most important collection of materials relating to the author and social commentator, housing four floors of paintings, rare editions, manuscripts and original furniture.
- Dinner in local restaurant:
Enjoy an evening meal with your group.
- Performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company:
Shakespeare's place in English history cannot be understated, and tonight we will become part of his world (subject to
Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre in London was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s play company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Destroyed by a fire in 1613, a second Globe was built a year later. The modern Globe Theatre opened in 1997 near the site of the original.
Day 9 :
Departure from London