Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to London:
Relax and enjoy your flight to London.
Day 2 :
Arrive in London head to Oxford
- Land 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 eight day(s).
- Head 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:
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.
- Visit Christ Church College:
Oxford’s largest and grandest Renaissance College was founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey. The college’s Christ Church Cathedral is the smallest in England.
- Hotel check in:
We will continue to Oxford (area), our base for the next two night(s). Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 3 :
Day Trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon
- A little history...:
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.
- Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace:
A half-timbered house that is preserved to reflect family life in the 16th century. The birthplace also contains a museum dedicated to the bard’s life. The modern Shakespeare Centre was built next door to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard's birth.
- 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.
- Visit to Holy Trinity Church:
This is 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 Stratford. Venue options include Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried, Stratford Upon Avon Baptist Church and many local schools.
Day 4 :
Travel from Oxford to Canterbury
- Stop in Hatfield & Epping:
Visit Hatfield House and Gardens, a 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.
- Visit Queen Elizabeth's Hunt 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.
- Hotel check in:
Our base for the next two nights will be Canterbury (area), where breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel.
Day 5 :
Day trip to Canterbury
- 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.
- Explore Leeds Castle:
Complete with stone turrets and set on two islands on the River Len, Leeds Castle is widely considered to be the most beautiful castle in England. Our tour of the castle and its extensive will include an introductory movie, the Aviary, the Dog Collar Museum and the Maze.
- Second concert performance:
Day 6 :
Canterbury to London
- Visit Hever Castle and Gardens:
On our way to London we will stop to visit Hever Castle and Gardens, 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.
- Explore the grandiose Hampton Court Palace:
It is a 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.
- Check in hotel:
For the next three evening(s) we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located London hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
Enjoy local London fare at a restaurant this evening.
Day 7 :
The Kings and Queens of England
- Learn about London:
It is the largest city in Europe which is quite a feat, considering London's 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 1st century. London is filled with countless historic and cultural treasures that meld seamlessly in this exciting, contemporary city.
- Visit Westminster Abbey:
The place 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.
- Enjoy a 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 was 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.
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 :
Shakespeare and Dickens London
- 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 member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Visit the Dickens Museum:
The museum is 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.
We will enjoy our evening meal at a local restaurant.
- Third concert performance:
Your concert performance in London is today. Venue options include St. Martin-in-the-Field 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 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, Kings 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.
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.