Day 1 :
Departure from your airport
- Depart from home for London:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 :
Arrive in London - Cambridge Area
Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport
We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next eight day(s).
Our base for the next two night(s) will be Cambridge (area), where breakfast and dinner will
be provided at the hotel.
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.
We will take a Walking Tour and view King’s College, Trinity College, and Magdalene
College, made famous by EM Forster, A.A Milne, and C.S. Lewis respectively.
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
Try your hand at Punting on the Cam. After taking a tour of the college 'Backs, your punt
chauffeur will teach you the noble art of punting.
Day 3 :
Day trip to Ely & Norwich - Concert Performance
- Ely & Norwich:
The small cathedral city of Ely was built on a chalk hill and is thought to have been named
after the eels in the nearby River Ouse. The hill was once an inaccessible island in the then
marshy Fens and was the last stronghold of Anglo-Saxon resistance.
Visit Ely Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in England. An abbey was founded here in the
7th century by Etheldreda, daughter of the King of the East Angles and the town of Ely
quickly grew up around it. The cathedral suffered only minor damage during the dissolution of
the monasteries and was restored shortly after.
Norwich was shaped by 1,000 years of history and is a truly English city watched over by the
gleaming spire of its dignified cathedral and wrapped in the thread of the River Wensum.
Visit Norwich Cathedral which dominates the skyline of the city. The building was started in
1096 and took nearly 200 years to complete, with stone shipped from Caen in Normandy.
After the townsfolk set fire to the cathedral in the riots of 1272, the timber roofs were
replaced with stone vaulting with carved and painted roof bosses. It is one of the finest
Cathedrals in England.
Visit Norwich Castle, founded by William the Conqueror between 1066 and 1075 and is one
of 48 castles mentioned in the Domesday Survey.
Day 4 :
Cambridge Area - Bristol - Wessex Area
Today we will travel from Cambridge to Wessex. En route, visit Bristol.
Tour the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, the tallest building in Bristol. The church was originally
constructed in the 12th century, but much of the current Gothic structure dates from the 15th
century. Particularly notable on the interior is the altarpiece triptych by William Hogarth.
For the next three night(s), our base will be in Wessex (area). Breakfast and dinner will be
included at the hotel.
Day 5 :
Day trip to Glastonbury, Wells & Bath
Glastonbury is a town shrouded in Arthurian myth and rich in mystical association. The town
was once one of the most important destinations for pilgrims in England. The most notable
and popular landmarks, Glastonbury Tor and the Abbey, are all associated with the stories of
King Arthur, the Holy Grail and Joseph of Arimathea.
Climb Glastonbury Tor, located in the area known as Avalon in Arthurian legend, where it is
said that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail.
Explore the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, reputed burial place of King Arthur and site of the
first Christian church in England. A cutting from the famous Glastonbury Thorn, said to have
miraculously sprung from the staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea, grows within the abbey
grounds and continues to astonish visitors by flowering each Christmas.
- Wells & Bath:
Wells is named after St. Andrew’s Well, the sacred spring that bubbles up from the ground
near the 14th century Bishop’s Palace, residence of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. It is
famous for its magnificent cathedral, but also has a charming museum featuring prehistoric
finds from the impressive cave complex of Wookey Hole, located nearby.
Visit beautiful Wells Cathedral, highlighted by 365 medieval statues of kings, knights and
saints on the West Facade, as well as the unique scissor arches in the interior.
We will also stroll along the Vicar’s Close, one of the oldest complete streets in Europe.
Bath is a unique and beautiful city. The Romans turned it into England’s first spa resort and
brilliant architects created the Neo-Classical facades that fill 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.
Explore the extremely well-preserved Roman Baths, first associated with the Celtic King
Bladud, and later established by the Romans in the 1st century. Step into the Pump Room, a
set of elegant chambers built above the old Roman baths. The core of the Pump Room is the
Grand Chamber, which looks down onto the old Roman Baths and we may have the
opportunity to sample some of the spa’s natural spring water.
Take a Walking Tour through historic Bath, where we will 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 6 :
Day trip to Exeter - Concert Performance
Exeter marked the southwest limit of Roman fortified settlements in Britain and was founded
in 50 A.D. After the Roman era the city came to prominence as a center of commerce and
Tudor and Stuart times.
Visit Exeter Cathedral which is arguably the finest example of Decorated Gothic, an
architectural style that thrived in England in the late 13th century. St. Boniface, who converted
northern Germany to Christianity, was here in 690 AD. In 1050, the existing minster became
a cathedral when the seat of the bishop of Devon and Cornwall was moved here. The building
of the present cathedral began in 1133 and was completed around 1400.
Day 7 :
Wessex Area - Salisbury - Winchester - London
- Salisbury and Winchester:
We continue on our journey from Wessex to London. Enroute we will stop in Salisbury and
The charming city of 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 hill-top location. Today, Salisbury has largely preserved its medieval,
Tudor and Queen Anne architecture, giving the city a delightful elegance.
Visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain. It is well-known for
having the tallest spire in the country, which we may climb if we wish. Our 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.
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 the resting place of one of Britain’s most beloved authors, Jane Austen.
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, most
notably the author Jane Austen.
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.
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.
For the next three evening(s) 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 8 :
Canterbury & London
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
Enjoy St. Martin’s Church, England’s oldest parish church to have been in continuous use. It is
believed that the church was originally the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent in the 6th
century and the unique construction borrows heavily from local Roman ruins.
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 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.
Visit St. Paul's Cathedral, 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
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 9 :
London - Concert Performance
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
Visit the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most fascinating and important historical
structures. Begun as a fortress by William the Conqueror, the Tower 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.
- Concert Performance:
Your performance is today. Venue options for choral and instrumental include the great
Southwark Cathedral. Located near London Bridge it is the oldest Cathedral in London dating
from 1106. Lancelot Andrewes leader of the translators of part of the King James Bible is
buried here, and John Harvard founder of Harvard University was baptized here in 1607.
Due to the high standard required and the venue's own thriving concert series, there is limited
availability for choirs at several world class venues, these include St. Martin-in-the-Fields in
Trafalgar Square, and the historic St. Paul's Cathedral. Choirs of high standing seeking to
perform in these venues need to book no later than twelve months in advance, and preferably
eighteen months in advance.
Options for groups that prefer a smaller venue include the Church of St. Botolph Without in
Bishopsgate, which is also used for choral and instrumental workshops; St. Gabriel's Church
in Pimlico, located in one of the elegant garden squares of Pimlico, a beautiful Gothic revival
church with a very clear acoustic and surprisingly low reverberation; St. George's Church in
Bloomsbury, near the British Museum; the Church of St. Giles Without in Cripplegate, and St.
Paul's Church Covent Garden, which has an excellent acoustic and is a popular venue with
Choral and instrumental groups and groups with a secular repertoire are welcome at the fine
18th century Christ Church Spitalfields, with its excellent acoustic and lighting system this is a
good venue for instrumental groups. Other venues suitable for choral and instrumental groups
include Union Chapel, an architectural treasure and home to a working community church and
an award winning venue; Hinde Street Methodist Church in Mayfair, where John and Charles
Wesley preached, also has an outreach program to assist the homeless and welcomes the
involvement of choral and instrumental groups, as does the historic Wesley Chapel where
John Wesley preached until his death in 1791. Wesley's London home is adjacent to the
chapel and is well worth a visit. The historic Royal Hospital Chelsea (a care home for British
Veterans) also welcomes instrumental and choral groups seeking a community venue.
For groups touring at the end of June and seeking a festival experience, the annual
Borehamwood Festival is heavily promoted by the Town Council. Performances by US groups
in particular are made very welcome at the Festival's Allum Hall. Borehamwood is about 15
miles from central London, and is home to the world famous Elstree Film Studios. The town
nevertheless has an ancient linage. In 1188 Pope Clement granted to the kitchen of the
monastery the whole land of Elstree. He also gave to the Abbey the wood of Boreham.
For groups whose performing preference is a major concert hall, Cadogan Hall in Chelsea
has hosted performances by such world class ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Choir of St. John's College Cambridge, The Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,
and such notable pianists as Leif Ove Andsnes and Angela Hewitt.
Central London has several venues suitable for groups wishing to enjoy an outdoor
performance. These include the elegant Victoria Embankment Gardens adjacent to the River
Thames in the heart of the capital, and Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath where there is a
fine panoramic view of central London.
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 10 :
Departure from London
- Depart London for home:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to
the airport on our final day.