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The Spirit of Oxford

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Road Scholar
Program #20703RJ

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12 Days | 11 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Marianne from Jacksonville Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
Our Oxford trip was our first Road Scholar experience and it exceeded our expectations. Carol, our leader, was charming, patient, and aimed to please. John Hudson, veteran instructor, provided excellent overviews of Oxford, the colleges, art, literature, and historical sites. Other guides shared expertise in specific areas. The hotel was comforatable and convenient. We enjoyed breakfast and several dinners at the hotel, and had delicious meals with our congenial group at other unique venues, also. Field trips were superb. We look forward to another Road Scholar adventure.

Margaret from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 26
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
We participated in The Spirit of Oxford for the second time in September, 9 to 18, 2015. It was our 27th Elderhostel/RoadScholar program. We repeated it because we had enjoyed it so much the first time. The two leaders, John Hudson and Carole Flynn, are excellent. John has put much thought into the content of the program, the remarkable result being that while it is various, from Colin Dexter to the PreRaphaelites, from architecture to rivers, it draws together to truly evoke the Spirit of Oxford. The visiting speakers are stimulating and erudite. The setting itself, the lovely city of Oxford, is part of the charm. The visits to Cotswold villages and Blenheim add to that. The hotel is good, with pleasant rooms, a charming garden, and fine food. Something in the nature of this program seems to draw the participants together, and our two groups have been most congenial. The mix and variety of activities holds interest, making the time pass all too quickly. And one learns afresh, even on a second take. My wife and I are hoping we have the chance to take this program again and renew acquaintances with John, Carole and Oxford. Peter, Minneapolis.

Sally from San Carlos, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
The Spirit of Oxford was so enjoyable and educational that I cannot stop thinking about all I learned (and adding to it at home). John Hudson was responsible for most of the teaching and Carole Flynn was a great group leader. I would take this program again in a heart beat if there were not so many other places I need to visit with Road Scholar.

Susan K. from Sarasota, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
The Spirit of Oxford was one of the very best programs I have ever attended in the many years I have been travelling. John Hudson and Carole were excellent in terms of information, caring and good will. This was my first Road Scholar program and I am "hooked." I am almost templed to repeat the program but I will try another experience. My felloiw participants were a joy to be with and a pleasure to travel with.Thanks you John for all your wonderful information and lectures and Carole for your support and caring.

Betty from Pilot Mountain, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
The Spirit of Oxford study tour was a thoroughly enjoyable, intellectually stimulating and energizing program. The staff was excellent; the lecturers of high caliber and the venue of Oxford and surrounding countryside was magical. The group of interesting and congenial fellow travelers was a bonus! It was a special experience. Betty Flinchum

Lois from Blacksburg, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
Wonderful combination of the pleasures of tourism and the joy of learning provided by a first class educator, coordinator and guest speakers.

Bonnie from Lincoln, NE Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
"The Spirit of Oxford" provides varied topics and presentations, exceptionally well- organized arrangements, many meals in special settings (including a private dining room at Blenheim Palace), and very caring leaders. It was a privilege to participate in this program.

Donna from Laguna Niguel, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
I can't recommend Spirit of Oxford highly enough. From quality lectures, to site visits, to meals at a variety of locations, the program, under the direction of John Hudson, truly offers the flavor and spirit of this exceptional city.

Robin from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/07/15 - 09/18/15
This delightful program allowed us to explore the colleges for which Oxford is most famous, but it also took us to some lesser-known locations such as the Jericho district and the Oxford canal. There was also plenty of free time to explore on your own. The field trips outside Oxford to towns in the Cotswolds were a highlight, as were the presenters.

Leslie from Hinsdale, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/15/15 - 06/26/15
I looked online and found quite a few tours of Oxford offered. I chose the Road Scholar tour because of the very wide array of knowledge and experience it offered: architecture, the Arts and Crafts movement, the pre-Raphaelites, 20th century English literature, Winston Churchill at Blenheim, the English countryside, gardens everywhere, all the history of Oxford and England you could imagine, Inspector Morse's world, a little bit of Downton Abbey, and--best of all for me--Kelmscott Manor. John Hudson is superbly smart and patient. John Garrod keeps everyone organized and on time. Highly recommended if these mirror your interests.

Francis from Mystic, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/15/15 - 06/26/15
Whether you're interested in the artists, authors or architecture, the Spirit of Oxford is A+. The program was fantastic. John Hudson and the other lecturers were knowledgeable, well prepared and excellent speakers. Handouts provided an opportunity for participants to complete background reading prior to the presentations and tours.

Mary Jo from Rancho Murieta, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/11/15 - 05/22/15
Outstanding program about a delightful corner of England and the artists, authors, architects and designers who were influenced by its greatness. If your interests include Inspector Morse and Lewis, Downton Abbey, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, the City of Oxford, the Cotswolds, William Morris, and the Pre-Raphaelites, then this is the program for you! Just outstanding!

Robert from West Palm Beach, FL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/19/14
This is the best planned and executed of the excellent programs we have attended with your organization. John Hudson and Geoff Morgan each contributed from their wealth of knowledge, experience and concern for the needs of all participants to produce a worthwhile educational opportunity. We highly recommend The Spirit of Oxford to all Scholars. Florence & Bob Turner

Dina from Eugene, OR Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/19/14
"The Spirit of Oxford" is the best trip I've taken in many years, both with Road Scholar and on my own. John Hudson and Geoff Morgan were outstanding leaders, and the people who wanted to go on this trip were a very congenial group. I learned a lot, but also just enjoyed being in Oxford and the surrounding countryside. It's a great trip--don't miss it!

Barbara from Colusa, CA Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 09/08/14 - 09/19/14
Spirit of Oxford was even better than I had hoped. With two knowledgeable and personable leaders our small group learned about history, architecture, art, literature, and even some TV shows set in or near this beautiful city. Thank you, John Hudson, Geoff Morgan, and Road Scholar for an exhilarating experience.

Salvatore from Unionville, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/16/14 - 06/27/14
I thoroughly enjoyed The Spirit of Oxford program. Oxford is a wonderful small city. Our group leaders and lecturers were all so knowledgeable and accommodating. The excursion and field trip were well-organized. And the other participants were interesting and enjoyable people. I would very much recommend this program!

Carolyn from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/16/14 - 06/27/14
I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in spending time in and learning about Oxford. The program is well organized, the lectures were excellent, and the field trips added to the quality of the program.

Phyllis from Georgetown, TX Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 06/16/14 - 06/27/14
Great program with very well informed presenters. A must for those interested in Oxford. Be prepared for considerably more walking than you might expect to get the most from the program.

Deborah from Warrenville, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/16/14 - 06/27/14
The Spirit of Oxford: on this trip you will become immersed in the history of the University and become acquainted with its memorable figures, Dons, Fellows, Professors, writers, thinkers, and artists. You will study the unusual architecture of the colleges, its hold on the middle ages, its hidden delights, the wonderful gardens and the rivers, among them. All this comes to you by means of a wonderful group of lecturers and daily excursions.

Anthony from Tenafly, NJ Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 05/26/14 - 06/06/14
‘The Spirit of Oxford’ is amongst the best of the many courses my wife and I have attended through Road Scholar. The organization of ‘The Spirit of Oxford’ deserves five stars. Lectures were prompt, and transport for field visits was always on time, thanks to John Garrod, who paid meticulous attention to detail. The successful presentation was a triumph for the course organizer, John Hudson. His thematic presentation of ‘The Spirit of Oxford’ embraced many aspects of the city and its characters. Analyses of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were counterbalanced by humorous coverage of Inspector Morse, at which Dr. Antony Richards excelled. The Pre-Raphaelites were covered extensively by the senior curator of European art the Ashmolean Museum (followed by a superb dinner in the rooftop restaurant!). Field trips were all first rate. Visits to Christ Church, Keble, Exeter, and New College (my old alma mater!) were complemented by a tour of the Bodleian Library, the medieval roots of the University. A tour of Jericho, conducted by Mark Davies, gave us a feel of the old working-class area. Visits farther afield were most enjoyable. The 16th century village of Bibury was delightful and Blenheim Palace was awe-inspiring. Nor were our creature comforts neglected. The hotel was comfortable, with friendly, helpful staff and with a lovely garden and bountiful breakfasts. The lecture room was small for our group of twenty-two. Other delights included gastronomical treats at famous pubs – the Mitre (somewhat crowded), the Eagle and Child, and the Bookbinders Arms in Jericho – all topped by a delicious farewell dinner at the Cherwell Boathouse on the river. John Hudson’s final presentation, bringing together all the themes, was a veritable tour de force. Perhaps the spirit of Oxford is medieval, backward-looking intellectual arrogance and conservatism. But you will enjoy this top-notch course which comes all too soon to an end. Our thanks to the organizers. Well done!

Alana from Novato, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/26/14 - 06/06/14
The logistics of this program were very well-organized and very smooth. John Garrod made it look easy--but we know that organizing transportation around a city for almost 25 people takes a lot of skill. John Hudson, the program director, was extremely knowledgeable, and all of his presentations were very interesting. The guest speakers were uniformly excellent and added depth to the program. We particularly enjoyed the three field trips outside of Oxford: to Blenheim, the Cotswolds, and Kelmscott Manor. Seeing the English countryside enriched the experience. The food was excellent, and the venues were very much on topic, like The Eagle and Child pub and the Ashmolean Dining Room. All in all, it was a great experience and showed us many diverse aspects of Oxford.

Mary Catherine from Aurora, IL Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 05/26/14 - 06/06/14
This program lives up to its description. It is a superb learning experience in a beautiful city.

David from Morristown, NJ Number of programs attended: 19
Date attended: 05/26/14 - 06/06/14
This was among the best of the 18 programs we have attended. The course content and its sequencing, the speakers' style and subject matter knowledge, the field trips and meals away from the hotel were all outstanding. Oxford is a truly beautiful small city and this program provided enough time within the program and enough free time to appreciate its architecture and gardens. C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were discussed as scholars not merely as authors of fantasy novel. We gained an appreciation for pre-Raphaelite art, a genre we had previously avoided. Trips to the Cotswolds (particularly to William Morris' Kelmscott Manor) gave a good flavor of the countryside that inspired the designers and writers discussed in this program. The course leaders, John Hudson and John Garrod, kept the group on track without "spoiling the fun."

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
5 Hands-on experiences


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