Road Scholar : Home
London's Cultural Heritage

Program Number: 19320RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2014 - 9/24/2014; 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: $2,890.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 6 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

9-15-2014, 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 Edwardian Vanderbilt
  London, England, UK:England 8 nights
 Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel was once the London residence of the Vanderbilt family. Many original features have been carefully restored to their former glory including stained glass windows, wood panelled rooms and its magnificent artistic ceiling.
  Contact info: 68-86 Cromwell Road
London,  SW7 5BT UK:England
phone: +44 20 7761 9000
  Room amenities: Each room offers a mini bar, air conditioning, hairdryer,in room safe, iron and trouser press, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary wireless Internet access. Direct dial telephone, satellite TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar. Complimentary wireless Internet access , complimentary newspaper, 24 hour front desk, 24 hour room service, currency exchange, valet service available for laundry. Fitness room. Mobile phone rental. Business centre.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  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:  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. A welcome meeting at 5:00pm will preceed dinner. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast in the hotel unless flight departures are earlier. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
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: Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to Paddington Station. Gatwick Express takes 30 minutes to Victoria Station. From there take a taxi to the hotel. The nearest underground station is Gloucester Road on the District and Circle and Piccadilly lines.
  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, September 15)
 In Transit: Overnight flight from North America.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, September 16)
 Arrive To: London. Transfers to the hotel (POP participants may take part in arrival day transfers by completing the Participant Information Form on-line, or within the preparatory materials).
 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 Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Expert lectures, the British Museum.
(Wednesday, September 17)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, enjoy lectures in the hotel from your course director on The Medieval City and Repositories of History - Royal London.
 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.
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner in the opulent Criterion Restaurant, established 1874. Enjoy the neo-Byzantine architecture, with its gold and marble shimmering alongside the mosaics, mirrors and plaques, the restaurant has an almost celestial air. If the walls could talk, they would surely whisper to you their secrets... They would tell of when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first imagined the meeting between Dr. Watson and the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes, in the Criterion Long Bar. Or the gatherings of the proud suffragettes, and how their resolute discussions changed the face of democracy. They may elaborate on the charged negotiations between Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George as the two political titans thrashed out their views. Or how about the Luncheon Clubs of the early 1920s? Perhaps they would recount the enchanting times when Edgar Wallace, Sir Hugh Walpole, G.K. Chesterton and Bertrand Russell regaled the members with enthralling anecdotes?
 Evening: Theatre performance in London's West End. 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre. 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. Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2007, The 39 Steps is now a global hit. This blissfully funny show follows the incredible adventures of our handsome hero Richard Hannay, complete with stiff-upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women. This wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller features four fearless actors, playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun and thrilling action ‘Uproariously jolly and splendidly inventive’ The Guardian ‘Dizzyingly entertaining…highly recommended’ Daily Telegraph ‘A joyous version of the Hitchcock classic’ Sunday Times Performance finishes 10:10pm.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: The City and Southwark.
(Thursday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Full and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we take a field trip to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Exhibition. Founded by the pioneering American actor/director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work, and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of education and performance. Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition explores the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived, and the theatre for which he wrote. Find out about extravagant Elizabethan costumes, Renaissance instruments and how they were used, and the dramatic stories of the first Globe crossing the Thames, and the new Globe being reconstructed on Bankside. See the costume collection which explains the process of designing, making and fitting costumes for Shakespeare’s stage, and for the productions at the new Globe. In Special Effects Touch screens bring to life the last word in Elizabethan special effects. See and hear the kinds of instruments that Feste first sang to, or those that played the dead Hamlet off the stage. See a full-size recreation of a 17th-century printing press. Enjoy some free time exploring London's vibrant Bankside, with the option to visit the Tate Modern- the gallery of international modern art. Tate Modern displays the Tate collection of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the modern day. Tate Modern is more than just an art gallery. The amazing space of the Turbine Hall - has housed a succession of installations which have caught the imagination of the public.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues to Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, the medieval cathedral rebuilt after the Great Fire. The tranquil interior is majestic in its Baroque splendour.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.
(Friday, September 19)
 Breakfast: Full English 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.
 Lunch: At the Royal Armouries Cafe, Tower of London.
 Afternoon: Take a scenic boat trip along the Thames from the Tower to Westminster. The field trip continues to Westminster Abbey, resting place of Britain'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.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hampton Court Palace.
(Saturday, September 20)
 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.
 Lunch: In the Tiltyard Café at Hampton Court.
 Afternoon: Perhaps enjoy the 60 acres of famous gardens including The Privy Garden - the 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.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Kensington Palace and the V&A.
(Sunday, September 21)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Princess Diana's Kensington Palace. Explore Queen Victoria's bedroom, George I's staircase, and the spectacular King's gallery. 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. Although her private apartments are not open to the public, the palace displays a selection of her dresses in the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. Many photos of the Princess show her at home at the palace.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Step back into the Victorian Age with a field trip to Albertopolis: see the Albert Memorial, the Royal Albert Hall and enjoy a visit to 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.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Dickens' London, the Museum of London.
(Monday, September 22)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we explore Smithfield and the Guidlhall. 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. Continmue to we take a field trip to the Dickens House Museum, the only remaining London home of the renowned writer and one of the most important collections of his artefacts in the world.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Museum of London Docklands, where you can discover the story of the world’s greatest trading city through the ten permanent galleries on display. Enjoy some free time in Docklands after the museum visit.
 Dinner: Enjoy an early dinner in a London pub, such as the Sherlock Holmes.
 Evening: After dinner venture into London's underworld with a pub tour of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes' London.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Legal London, the Churchill War Rooms and Churchill Museum.
(Tuesday, September 23)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Venture into legal London with a walk through 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. Then explore Georgian London with a field trip to the eccentric Sir John Soane's Museum where every wall and every room are filled with artefacts from Soane's lifetime collection. From the vast sarcophagus in the crypt to the series of Hogarth paintings and Classical statuary, the house is full of surprises at every turn.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: See 20th century London at the Chuchill 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.
 Dinner: Farewell meeting and dinner.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10:
(Wednesday, September 24)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer departures for airports (POP participants may take part in departure day transfers by completing the Participant Information Form on-line, or within the preparatory materials).
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


Author: Peter Ackroyd

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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