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The Spirit of Oxford

Program Number: 20703RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/26/2014 - 6/6/2014; 5/16/2016 - 5/27/2016; 6/13/2016 - 6/24/2016; 9/5/2016 - 9/16/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $2,435.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 29; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Home to the oldest English-speaking university in the world, the city of Oxford is nothing if not a hub of scholarship and tradition. World-class writers — the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Caroll — studied and were inspired here, while seven of England’s prime ministers were members of the local student union. With scholars and local experts, go behind the scenes of Oxford’s iconic colleges and museums and visit the homes of some of its renowned residents — then, enjoy opportunities for independent exploration and study, a key to experiencing the true spirit of Oxford.


• Walk in the footsteps of literary legends such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Colin Dexter, Lewis Carroll and more.
• Admire the architecture of St. Barnabas Church, the Divinity School, and Sheldonian Theater, some of Oxford’s most notable landmarks.
• Go on behind-the-scenes explorations of Christ Church, Keble College and the Ashmolean Museum.

Activity Particulars

Moderate walking, some stairs in historic buildings.

Date Specific Information

5-26-2014, 5-16-2016, 6-13-2016, 9-5-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Oxford, 10 nights; departure.

Days 1-12:
Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Oxford (England)
10 nights

Begin your Oxford experience with a field trip to the Jericho area of the city, home to quaint shops and cafes, the Oxford University Press and the massive Church of St. Barnabas. Enjoy an excursion to the Trout Inn in Godstow, a location featured in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse books and television series, and marvel at the interior of the Divinity School, Convocation Church and Duke Humfrey's Library during an expert-led exploration in Oxford. Journey through the countryside to Kelmscott Manor — the home of craftsman William Morris — and spend an afternoon in Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford. At Blenheim Palace, learn about the history of Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace and its role as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in the grandeur of Henry VIII's Christ Church, and enjoy private explorations of the Oxford Union, Keble College and the Ashmolean 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.

Comfortable hotel located in North Oxford.

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

As principal of the College of International Education, John Hudson has been sharing “magical” Oxford with Road Scholar participants since 2007. A resident of Oxford since 1966, John recognizes the impact of the city on writers, thinkers, artists and architects throughout the ages. He has extensive experience in education, having been deputy head of an upper comprehensive school for many years, as well as a teacher of history, philosophy and politics at one of the UK’s top boarding schools.
Meals and Lodgings
   Linton Lodge Hotel.
  Oxford, UK:England 10 nights
 Linton Lodge Hotel.
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Set in a residential area of North Oxford with a pleasant garden and croquet lawn.
  Contact info: Linton Road.
Oxford.,  OX2 6UJ. UK:England
phone: +44 1865 553461.
  Room amenities: TV, direct dial telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities. Free WiFi
  Facility amenities: Room Service. Restaurant, lounge and bar. Free WiFi in public areas and bedrooms
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Price 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: Price 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 is served in the hotel for those arriving by lunchtime 12:30pm. Welcome meeting at 5:00pm in the hotel before dinner. You will be staying at Linton Lodge Hotel. that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. Breakfast ends at 10:00am.Some early departures may leave before breakfast. Check-out time is 11:00am. You will be staying at Linton Lodge Hotel. the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains run between Oxford and London. Coaches also available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Oxford
  Nearest city or town:  Oxford
  Nearest airport:  London Heathrow
  Transportation to site: Trains run from London Paddington to Oxford. The Oxford Tube is a convenient way of travelling from Grosvenor Gardens adjacent to Victoria Station in London to Oxford's Gloucester Green Bus Station. Buses run every 10-15 minutes and take about 2 hours depending on traffic. The single cost is GBP14. From there take a taxi.
  From End of Program
  Location: Oxford
  Transportation from site: Reverse from arrival instructions.
    (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, May 26)
 In Transit Overnight: Overnight flight to London Heathrow Airport.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, May 27)
 Arrive To: London Heathrow and transfer to Oxford.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is at leisure after you have checked in. There will be a welcome meeting with course director, John Hudson, before dinner in the hotel.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: After dinner take an orientation walk.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Tolkien and the Jericho area of Oxford.
(Wednesday, May 28)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture on the Oxford Don, and author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: A field trip explores the Jericho area of Oxford - an area between Walton Street and the Oxford canal which was developed for print workers. It is here that the hero of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure lodged. The Oxford University Press is located in this area. With individual shops and cafes, the area has a close community spirit and bohemian air. Most famous is the massive Church of St Barnabas, built by the canal in 1868, with impressive high Anglican gilt interior.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: This evening watch a DVD of the "Dead of Jericho" the Inspector Morse novel featuring an American tourist group and a mysterious death.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Inspector Morse, Christ Church and the Ashmolean.
(Thursday, May 29)
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, guest lecturer Dr Anthony Richards lectures on the subject of Inspector Morse.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: This afternoon's field trip reveals the grandeur of Henry VIII's Christ Church. Founded in 1546 and one of the largest of Oxford's colleges, Henry's Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey planned the impressive Great Quadrangle, the Tudor kitchen and Great Hall. Subsequent centuries have added to this architectural heritage. Christ Church is, uniquely, the Cathedral seat of Oxford and occupies a 150 acre site in the centre of Oxford. This includes the Meadow, a tranquil area of pasture bounded by the Rivers Isis and Cherwell. The field trip continues to Oxford's world famous museum of art and archaeology, the Ashmolean.
 Dinner: Taken in the Old Bookbinders Ale House , a Jericho institution since 1869.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Classical and Gothic Oxford.
(Friday, May 30)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Your Course Director John Hudson lectures on "The Architecture of Oxford". We then depart the hotel for a tour of the Bodleian Library.
 Lunch: Taken out, in Oxford.
 Afternoon: Take a walk of Classical and Gothic Oxford. Enjoy a guided walk of the centre of Oxford showing examples of Gothic and Classical styles and explaining not only the differences between them but the reasons for them. Mention would also be made of the Codrington library at All Souls which has a Gothic exterior and a classical interior. Buildings visited would include the Radcliffe Camera, Sheldonian theatre, Clarendon Building, Divinity School, St Mary's Church. This of course will be linked to visits to the Ashmolean, and to the Oxford movement (Keble College and St Barnabas). Radcliffe square is surrounded by one of the most amazing collection of Gothic and Classical buildings which somehow seem to harmonise.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy a DVD "Desperate Romantics"-a drama about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The Pre-Raphaelites. Exeter and Keble Colleges. Dinner in the Ashmolean Museum.
(Saturday, May 31)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Lectures in the hotel on "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Pre-Raphaelites".
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: University and College walk. Explore the quadrangles and courtyards of famous Oxford colleges, Exeter and Victorian Gothic Keble College. Exeter's exquisite Chapel, tranquil Fellows' Garden and terrace overlooking Radcliffe Square are famously beautiful. The College is full of history. J.R.R. Tolkien was an undergraduate here, as were Alan Bennett, Martin Amis, and former President Kufuor of Ghana. Other former students include two Supreme Court judges (one from Australia and another from Canada) and Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner. Philip Pullman, another Exonian, based Jordan College on Exeter. The fictitious Inspector Morse collapsed on the lawn in the front quad. Today may also include visits to University and Magdalen colleges. University College claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, dating back to 872. In 1842 the so-called New Building was erected to the designs of Charles Barry, and a Library was built in 1861. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries also saw a great rise in organised student activities: the College first produced a rowing team in 1827; and a Music Society was founded in 1930, which gave the first Oxford Magdalen College-550 years of rich and eventful history have left Magdalen with some of the most picturesque sights in Oxford, making it a must-see for the Oxford visitor. Yet the College is so much more than a mere collection of splendid buildings and inspiring gardens that have survived the test of time. It has been a place of study and inspiration for no fewer than nine Nobel prize winners and several other famous alumni, under the leadership of 42 presidents. Please note the University and Magdalen college visits may take place on a different day depending on time and the opening hours of the colleges. The afternoon continues to the Ashmolean Museum, for a private gallery lecture before dinner.
 Dinner: Take a special dinner in the world famous Ashmolean Museum.
 Evening: Free, after the museum dinner.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Blenheim Palace.
(Sunday, June 1)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Field trip to the home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site. Blenheim Palace was a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough following his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. Visit the gilded State Rooms, which house one of the finest collections in Europe, and the fascinating visitor experience, ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’. The Churchill Exhibition includes the room where Sir Winston Churchill was born 1874. Situated in Woodstock, just 8 miles from Oxford, Blenheim Palace is surrounded by over 2,000 acres of 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland, the great lake, and beautiful formal gardens.
 Lunch: Taken in Blenheim Palace.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: DVD showing of "Shadowlands", a 1993 British biographical film about the love-relationship between Oxford academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her tragic death from cancer, and how this challenged Lewis' Christian faith. It is directed by Richard Attenborough with a screenplay by William Nicholson
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Lecture on C.S Lewis, dinner at The Eagle and Child.
(Monday, June 2)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Lecture on The Inklings, Oxford and C.S.Lewis.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon, to explore Oxford at leisure.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner out in the Eagle and Child, the pub renowned for the meetings of the Inklings.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: The Cotswolds, Burford and Bibury.
(Tuesday, June 3)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Field trip out of Oxford into the picturesque Cotswolds' countryside including the villages of Burford and Bibury, called by William Morris "the prettiest village in England".
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Kelmscott Manor.
(Wednesday, June 4)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Today we have a full day field trip to Bampton and Kelmscott Manor. Travel through the Oxfordshire countryside to William Morris' Thames-side home. The interior is furnished with his own textiles, wallpapers and a portrait of his wife Jane, painted by Rossetti. Morris was a student of Exeter College, Oxford and became part of a group known as the "Pembroke set". He went on to be associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement.
 Lunch: Packed lunch.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy a DVD showing of "Morse's Oxford".
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Farewell Dinner in the Cherwell Boathouse.
(Thursday, June 5)
 Breakfast: Full English breakfast.
 Morning: Lecture: "The Spirit of Oxford".
 Lunch: Excluded to give you more free time in your last day in this great city.
 Afternoon: Free time.
 Dinner: Dinner out the Cherwell Boathouse.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Linton Lodge Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12:
(Friday, June 6)
 Depart From: London Heathrow.
 Breakfast: In the hotel unless transfers are early.
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

Henrietta Garnett

Author: Wives and Stunners.

Cotswolds & The Spirit of the Cotswolds

Author: Susan Hill

Gaudy Nights: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers

Description: Or any in the Peter Wimsey series set in Oxford. ‘I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail’ (Ruth Rendell ). ‘She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.’ (P. D. James ).

His Dark Materials Trilogy: Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass: "Northern Lights", "Subtle Knife", "Amber Spyglass" ... Lights", "Subtle Knife", "Amber Spyglass"

Author: Philip Pullman

Description: Acclaimed series from Oxford author Philip Pullman. See also The Golden Compass DVD. The storyis primarily that of 12-year old Lyra, who is in search of her friend who has been kidnapped. Naturally, this proves to be quite a challenging adventure, not least because it’s through Pullman’s vividly imagined world, crossing dimensions as Lyra travels. The film, while toning down some elements of the source material, stays quite close to the book, and it proves to be a good, if not Lord Of The Rings-standard, adaptation.

Oxford Book of Oxford

Author: Jan Morris

Description: 'Few cities,' Jan Morris observes, 'have been much more loved, loathed, and celebrated.' This book has become a classic account of the character, history, mores, buildings, climate, and people of one of Britain's most fascinating cities. 'A book of outstanding excellence, with a sweep of knowledge and a distinction of style such as I have never before encountered in a work of this sort ... Brilliant alike in observation and imagination ... brings the very stones of Oxford to life' Sunday Telegraph

Oxford Insight Compact Guide

Author: Apa

Description: This Insight Compact Guide is the ideal companion for your trip to the famous university city of Oxford. The top 10 sights are highlighted to help you plan your visit and include Christ Church College, the Botanic Garden and the Sheldonian Theatre. Clear, colour-coded sections cover everything from history and culture, to entertainment, food and drink in an easy-to-read format. Sights are cross-referenced on detailed full-colour maps throughout, providing instant orientation and allowing you to tailor your chosen routes exactly to the places you most want to visit. Full-colour photographs throughout the guide provide a visual introduction to this architecturally attractive city and enable you to recognise sights, such as the famous colleges, whilst out and about.

Oxford – An Architectural Guide

Author: Geoffrey Tyack

Description: Few cities have a greater concentration of significant architecture than Oxford. Within a city of only 130,000 inhabitants there are important buildings, many of them of great beauty, from every period from the 11th century down to the present. Geoffrey Tyack chronicles the architectural development of Oxford - both University and City - from its origins to the late-20th century, explaining the idiosyncracies of Oxford's architectural history, and placing the buildings within their historical context. His approach is chronological, and his emphasis on what can actually be seen

The Cotswolds - Life and Traditions

Author: June Lewis


The Dead of Jericho

Author: Colin Dexter

Description: Or any Inspector Morse novel or TV series.

The Narnia Chronicles

Author: C.S.Lewis

Description: Boxed set. If reading only one-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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