Road Scholar : Home
London's Cultural Heritage

Program Number: 19320RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/26/2013 - 9/4/2013; 5/2/2016 - 5/11/2016; 6/20/2016 - 6/29/2016; 7/18/2016 - 7/27/2016; 8/8/2016 - 8/17/2016; 8/22/2016 - 8/31/2016; 10/3/2016 - 10/12/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $2,773.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Journey through the ages from medieval to modern on the streets of London, tracing the lives of great figures from London¡¯s history in the famous buildings they¡¯ve inhabited. Talk of Henry VIII at his sumptuous Hampton Court Palace, discuss Queen Victoria's Royal Albert Hall and Victoria and Albert Museum, study the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren at his churches that dot the city and relive Churchill¡¯s ¡°finest hour¡± at the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.


• Expertly led scholarly field trips to the sites of London¡¯s major historical events and eras, from the medieval city to the Victorian ¡°Albertopolis¡± to Princess Diana¡¯s Kensington Palace.
• Delve into the history of legal London at Lincoln's Inn Fields and survey some of England¡¯s greatest treasures at the British Museum.
• Take an evening tour of Sherlock Holmes¡¯ London including a visit to a local pub.

Activity Particulars

Varies by date. May 2, 2016 ©¦ Oct. 3, 2017: Easy ¨C Walking distance subject to ability but slower paced; stairs. Extensive use of coach. All other dates Active ¨C Walking up to one mile over varied terrain; stairs.

Date Specific Information


This program date ONLY is an Activity Level of "Easy." This program will involve less walking and additional coaching.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

5-2-2016, 6-20-2016, 7-18-2016, 8-8-2016, 8-22-2016, 10-3-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival London, 8 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival London
8 nights

Learn about London and the people who live there before surveying the nation¡¯s treasures in the British Museum. Take a guided walk through the City of London beginning at the Guildhall, in whose Great Hall royalty and state visitors have been entertained since 1411, before paying a visit to Wren¡¯s masterpiece in the City, St. Paul¡¯s Cathedral and learning about the legacy of Shakespeare at The Globe. Take dinner at a London restaurant before enjoying an evening theatre performance in the West End. See the Crown Jewels in the 900-year-old Tower of London and learn about medieval architecture amid monuments and tombs at the stunning Westminster Abbey. Explore Hampton Court Palace from its Tudor turrets to the classical State Apartments added by Sir Christopher Wren and its 60 acres of beautiful gardens. Visit Queen Victoria¡¯s bedroom, George I¡¯s staircase and the spectacular King¡¯s gallery in Kensington Palace, former home to Princess Diana. From there step back into the Victorian Age in Albertopolis, including the extensive Victoria & Albert Museum. Discover Dickens¡¯ London with your Course Director before visiting the British Library, home to many priceless artefacts. Explore legal London at Temple Church and study World War II at the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.


It was the seat of an empire on which the sun never set. It has been Merry, Dickensian and Victorian. It has given us common law, Shakespeare, tennis, the Rolls-Royce and the Beatles. England and its people have played an outsize role in shaping world history. It is a country whose past, politics, culture and characters never cease to captivate.

Four-star hotel that was once the London residence of the Vanderbilt family, restored to its former glory.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Kevin Flude

Kevin Flude lectures on the archaeology, history and museums at Central St Martins College (University of the Arts, London) the University of Westminster and is an Honorary Lecturer at University College London. He is also the Director of the Old Operating Theatre Museum, a fascinating Museum in Central London. Kevin serves as a study leader for Road Scholar programs, putting to use his deep and broad experience in the museum world gained during his time at the Museum of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
  London, England, UK:England 8 nights
 Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located close to West End. Was formerly Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel. Name chamge.
  Contact info: 130 Tottenham Court Road
London.,  W1T 5AY UK:England
phone: +44 20 7388 4131
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Direct dial telephone with personal phone numbers. Satellite TV, hairdryer, mini bar, in room safe, iron and trouser press, and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary wireless Internet access. US 110v sockets.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business centre, fitness room and complimentary wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBC. For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: TBC. For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
A light lunch will be provided on arrival day in the hotel at 12:30pm. A welcome meeting at 5:00pm will preceed dinner. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel. that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast in the hotel unless flight departures are earlier. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel. the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Underground and buses available. See above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London, England
  Nearest city or town:  London.
  Nearest airport:  London Heathrow and Gatwick.
  Transportation to site: The Heathrow Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes add 6 minutes from T5.) to London Paddington. An Express single costs £16.50 (2010 prices), 1st Class is £26, return is £32. Paddington Station is situated in the west end of central London. It connects to the Bakerloo, District and Circle lines on the London Underground and is also a short walk to the Hammersmith and City line. The Gatwick Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 30 minutes to London Victoria. It departs at these minutes past the hour 00 - 15 - 30 - 45. An Express single costs £16.90 (2010 prices), Express return is £28.70. With three London Underground stations - for the Victoria, District and Circle lines - getting around central London is easy and direct from London Victoria station. Victoria bus station is next door, and it’s only a short walk to the National Express coach station. From there take a taxi to the hotel. The nearest underground station is Warren Street, adjacent to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location: London, England
  Transportation from site: Reverse directions from arrival.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Monday, August 26)
 In Transit: Overnight flight from North America.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, August 27)
 Arrive To: London. Transfers to the hotel.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel for those arriving in time.
 Afternoon: At leisure. A welcome meeting at 5:00pm with your course director Kevin Flude preceeds dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Medieval London. The Guildhall.
(Wednesday, August 28)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lectures: The Medieval City and Repositories of History -Royal London. Field trip A Journey Through Time- Smithfield to the Guildhall. Smithfield (once Smoothfield) dates back to the Middle Ages when it was used for jousts and tournaments such as St Bartholomew's Fair. It was also a place of execution and in the 17th century became a cattle market.The Guildhall has been the City's powerhouse since the 12th century when the King and upper merchant class held court. Built to reflect the wealth of the rulers, the Guildhall remains a spectacular site. The medieval crypt is the largest in London and the imposing medieval Great Hall, the largest and most impressive room, is where royalty and state visitors have been entertained down the centuries since it was originally built in 1411. It is also home to the colossal figures of the famous legendary giants Gog and Magog who were said to have founded London. .
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Museum of London where you can discover prehistoric London, see how the city changed under Roman rule, and wonder at medieval London. In the newly refreshed gallery focus on the turbulent years of the the story of London from the Elizabethan times, through the ravages of the English Civil Wars, to the cataclysmic disasters of the Great Plague of 1665, and the Great Fire of 1666. In 2010 the newly opened upper galleries will tell the story of London and its people from 1666 to the present day. .
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner out in the famous Criterion Restaurant.
 Evening: Theatre performance in London's West End. 39 Steps at the Criterion Thetare. 8:00pm. Experience 100 minutes of ingenious fun and thrilling action as 4 actors play 139 roles in this gripping whodunit. Memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, The 39 Steps has been brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage. Our hero Ricard Hannay must solve 39 steps to aquit himself of murder and save King and country. Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2007, The 39 Steps is now a global hit.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.
(Thursday, August 29)
 Breakfast: Full and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the 900 year old Tower of London where you can see the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the Bloody Tower and the Medieval Palace dating back to 1220. Accesssibility notes: The Tower is an historic building with difficult stairs and passageways and cobbles in some areas. The Jewel House is completely accessible; the Constable Tower has 6 steps; the Wharf and Traitor's Gate are accessible. Access to the Towers is limited to those who can climb large numbers of stairs and spiral staircases. There is a lift to the basement level of the White Tower to the shop and basement galleries. Ask a Yeoman Warden for assistance.
 Lunch: At the Royal Armouries cafe, Tower of London.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues with a river boat transfer to Westminster to visit Westminster Abbey resting place of Britian's monarchs. The Abbey is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in London and houses a world famous collection of monuments and tombs. Styles range from the French Gothic nave to Henry VII's Tudor chapel and 18th century monuments. Accessibility notes: There are ramps for entrance and exits at Westminster Abbey. There are 5 steps to the Cloisters but these can be avoided by using the Cloister Entrance outside the Abbey. Marshals are available at all entrances to offer assistance to visitors. The Great North door can be used as an exit by those with mobility impairments.
 Dinner: Taken in an historic London pub such as Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Hampton Court Palace
(Friday, August 30)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Hampton Court Palace built for Cardinal Wolsey but handed over to Henry VIII who extended it as did William and Mary through Sir Christopher Wren. Tudor turrets and the Great Hall sit alongside Wren's Classical State Apartments surrounded by Wren's formal baroque landscape. Accessibility notes: Hampton Court is very large. It is half a mile from one side to the other. To see all the interiors and a bit of the gardens you would travel over two miles. There is a lift near the exit to the Great Fountain Garden to the first floor rooms. Ask a Warden. The lift takes you to Henry VIII's State Apartments, the Georgian Rooms and King's Apartment and on to the Cartoon Gallery, rooms of Queen Caroline and Queen's State Apartments. There are ramps to the Tudor Kitchens. Access to Wolsey Rooms and exhibitions are via four steps. All routes have places to sit.
 Lunch: Excluded. There is food available at Hampton Court in the Tiltyard Cafe or Privy Kitchen Coffee Shop.
 Afternoon: Perhaps enjoy the 60 acres of famous gardens including The Privy Garden - bthe re-creation of William of Orange’s Privy Garden, based on a design of 1702. Or the 20th Century Garden - contemporary style plantings with trees and shrubs in an informal setting that creates a place of peace and tranquillity away from the busier areas of the gardens. See also the Tiltyard Walls, the Deer Park, the Maze and "Capability" Brown's Great Vine. The coach will return mid afternoon to the hotel. Free time before dinner
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: The City and St Paul's Cathedral.
(Saturday, August 31)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Learn about Sir Christopher Wren and the Great Fire of London on a City field trip by coach from Monument, built to commemorate the Great Fire, to St Pauls' Cathedral, the medieval cathedral rebuilt after the Great Fire. The tranquil interior is majestic in its Baroque splendour. . Accessibility notes; The Cathedral has two entrances. The South Entrance is step free and there is a direct lift access to the cathedral floor and the crypt. Access to the Donme to the Whispering Gallery, Stone and Golden Galleries is by 250-530 steps. Alternative is a visit to Occulus: An eye into St Paul's (in the crypt) which has a virtual access "fly through" film of the Dome.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional lunch out in the City.
 Afternoon: The field trip of St Paul's Cathedral continues.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Kensington Palace and the British Museum.
(Sunday, September 1)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Princess Diana's Kensington Palace. Diana, the Princess of Wales, lived at Apartment 8 Kensington Palace from the time of her wedding on 29 July 1981 until her death on 31 August 1997. Kensington Palace has been enchanted. Journey through this magical experience weaving contemporary fashion, performance, dreamlike installations and tales of the princesses. At the heart of the Enchanted Palace journey is a quest for the seven princesses who once lived here all set against the backdrop of the magnificent State Apartments. Accessibility notes: Enchanted Palace is mainly located on the first floor of this historic building, so please note it is only accessible to those visitors with at least some degree of mobility up and down stairs, until the building works to improve access for all are complete in 2012.For those wheelchair users with some mobility, there are two small stone steps up into the main Enchanted Palace entrance, and there is a temporary ramp which staff are trained to use to assist visitors who need it. Enchanted Palace occupies the State Apartments on the first floor. Those wheelchair users with some mobility will be able to access Enchanted Palace either via the visitor route staircase of 23 shallow steps including two sets of winders, or via a shallow flight of 30 steps and two generous landings for resting (however these stairs do bring you to the end of the Enchanted Palace route first). There is currently no lift, as this is being constructed as part of the building works and will therefore be available in 2012. Once in the State Apartments there are no level changes.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the nation's treasures in the British Museum, home to artefacts from around the world and the oldest museum in the world. See examples from Prehistoric and Roman Britain and medieval, Renaissance and modern objects. Accessibility notes: The Great Russell Street entrance has 12 steps with handrails at each side. There are self operable lifts on both sides of the steps, with bells for visitors to call for assistance if required. The Montague Place entrance is a level entrance. Two lifts are located in the Great Court and one lift by each Museum entrance. The majority of galleries and all special exhibitions are fully accessible. Free plans of the Museum are available. Accessible toilets are located in the Great Court, the Ford Centre for Young Visitors, the Clore Education Centre and to the north of Room 66.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Dickens' London. V&A.
(Monday, September 2)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip by coach around The London of Charles Dickens to the Chatrles Dickens Museum, the only remaining London home of the renowned writer and one of the most important collections of his artefacts in the world. Charles Dickens lived in this house from 1837 until 1839 and wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby whilst living here. Manuscripts, rare editions, personal items, paintings and other visual sources as well as a research library are among the highlights of the Museum’s holdings. The Museum is based at 48 Doughty Street in the heart of Bloomsbury in Charles Dickens’s only surviving London house. We offer visitors the chance to experience what Dickens’s home would have been like when he lived here as well as learn more about the life and works of the great novelist and social commentator.
 Lunch: Lunch out.
 Afternoon: Step back into the Victorian Age with a field trip to Albertropolis: the Albert Memorial, the Royal Albert Hall and the V&A. The Victoria and Albert Museum houses one of the world's widest collections of fine and applied art, much of which stems from the British Empire. Accessibility notes: The V&A is a Grade 1 listed building, some areas of which were designed and built without considering the needs of wheelchair users. Stools are available in a range of galleries, please ask a member of staff for assistance. Maps showing lifts are available from the Grand Entrance, for lift locations. The following lifts serve the levels shown: • Lift B: levels 1, 2, 4, 6 • Lift F: levels 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 • Lift J: levels 1, 3, 4, 5 • Lift Q: levels 0, 2, 4, 6 • Lift R: levels 0, 2, 4, 6 • Lift Y: levels 0, 1 (Breckman Room)
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: Pub tour of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Homles' London.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Churchill War Rooms and Churchill Museum.
(Tuesday, September 3)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Georgian London with a field trip to Fleet Street, the Old Bailey and st Brides. Venture into legal London at Lincoln's Inn Fields, once a site of public execution in Tudor and Stuart times, now a playground for nearby lawyers. Lincoln's Inn itself is the best preserved of the Inns of Court and dates back to the 15th century. Accessibility notes: There are 5 steps up to the Soane Musuem (no ramp) and wheelchair access downstairs only. The main collections are downstairs. Alternative option is the Hunterian Museum opposite Soane's.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: See 20th century London at the Churchill War Rooms in the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. The underground warren of rooms served as Churchill's war rooms during the Second World War. See Churchill's desk and bed, strategy maps and old communications equipment. The Churchill Museum uses cutting-edge technology and multimedia displays to bring the exciting story of Winston Churchill to life. From Churchill’s childhood to his ‘finest hour’ and later years, learn more about his political exploits and also his private life, successes and failures. Accessibility notes: Churchill War Rooms is fully accessible to mobility impaired users. There is a lift to the basement level (single level display and exhibition area). Churchill War Rooms is wheelchair accessible throughout - the entire site is without stairs. Due to the historic nature of the site, there is limited seating available. There are seats in the Churchill Museum which is approximately one third of the way through the tour. There are seat. Wheelchair users please note that there are steps at the end of King Charles Street. Great George Street, therefore, is a more accessible route. The Museum has two accessible toilets.
 Dinner: Farewell meeting and dinner.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10:
(Wednesday, September 4)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer departures for airports.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Divorced, Beheaded, Died...: The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-Sized Chunks

Author: Kevin Flude

Description: Written by the course director Kevin Flude. The tales of the various monarchs of Britain are some of the most interesting in our history. From Henry VIII and his six wives and Edward VIII's abdication to some of our lesser known and mythical monarchs such as King Arthur, "Divorced, Beheaded, Died..." takes you on a gallop through the history of Britain's monarchs from the legendary King Brutus, through the houses of Tudor and Stuart, and up to the Windsors, including the major monarchs of Scotland and Wales. Discover the sticky end that befell Edward II, the story of the teenage queen of England who reigned for less than a fortnight, and find out whether Macbeth really was a king of Scotland. Presented in an accessible, chronological format, "Divorced, Beheaded, Died..." will fill all those gaps in your history knowledge, together with some fascinating and amusing facts that are guaranteed to entertain any history enthusiast.


Author: Edward Rutherfurd

Description: Available in audio-cassette form: ISBN 0679443819 - fiction but gives a real feel for the period. London has perhaps the most remarkable history of any city in the world. Now, its story has a unique voice. In this epic novel, Edward Rutherfurd takes the reader on a magnificent journey across sixteen centuries from the days of the Romans to the Victorian engineers of Tower Bridge and the era of Dockland development today. Through the lives and adventures of his colourful cast of characters, he brings all the richness of London's past unforgettably to life.

London - The Biography

Author: Peter Ackroyd

Description: Probably there is no one better placed than Ackroyd--the author of mammoth lives of Dickens and Blake, and novels such as Hawksmoor and Dan Leno and the Lime House Golem which set singular characters against the backdrop of a city constantly shifting in time--to write such a rich, sinewy account of "Infinite London". Ackroyd's London is no mere chronology. Its chapters take on such varied themes as drinking, sex, childhood, poverty, crime and punishment, sewage, food, pestilence and fire, immigration, maps, theatre and war. We learn that gin was "the demon of London for half a century", and that "it has been estimated that in the 1740s and 1750s there were 17,000 'gin-houses'." Fleet Street was an area known for its "violent delights" where "a 14-year-old boy, only 18 inches high, was to be seen in 1702 at a grocer's shop called the Eagle and Child by Shoe Lane." By the mid 19th century "London had become known as the greatest city on earth." By 1939 "one in five of the British population had become a Londoner."

London A Social History

Author: Roy Porter

Description: 'Roy Porter, a historian of formidable range, turns to urban history in this marvellously lucid, informative and passionate book... Porter's facts are always at the service of the narrative, which has a finely maintained momentum, balancing statistics with the words of historians, diarists and novelists, poets and churchmen: Pepys, Boswell, Fielding, Walpole, Blake, Mayhew, Wells, Woolf, Spark, ... a timely and brilliant book.' CLAIRE TOMALIN, EVENING STANDARD 'A vivid celebration of the city, but also an elegy for its decline, bubbling with statistics and anecdote, from Boadicea to Betjeman.' RICHARD HOLMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE YEAR

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