Quintessential Britain

Find out why Britain has fascinated generations of travelers as you explore Roman ruins in London, castles in North Wales, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon and iconic Christ Church.
Rating (4.79)
Program No. 12187RJ
19 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

Piece together storied histories, rivalries and landscapes to experience quintessential Britain — from London to Bath, the villages of the Cotswolds to the dreaming spires of Oxford, the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. In each city and village, uncover the surrounding history, geography, culture, literature, houses and gardens, cathedrals and castles with local experts.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles; standing on city sidewalks. Stairs in historic buildings.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • View the recently rediscovered amphitheatre and ruins of Roman London.
  • Explore the castles and history of mountainous Snowdonia in North Wales.
  • Visit Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland
by Neal Ascherson
Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait.
Londoners, The Days and Nights of London Now As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Have Left It, and Long for It
by Craig Taylor
Drawing on the unforgettable stories of nearly 100 Londoners, Taylor provides a rich and vivid kaleidoscopic view of modern-day London through the diverse voices of the city's citizens who, regardless of whether they love or hate it, capture the heart and soul of one of the world's greatest cities.
Exploring English Castles, Evocative, Romantic and Mysterious True Tales of the Kings and Queens of the British Isles
by Edd Morris
A picturesque, coffee-table tour through the grandest castles in England, including Bodiam, Framlingham and Kenilworth. Morris' color photos are accompanied by legends and tales about each structure.
A Traveller's History of Oxford
by Richard Tames
A compact history of Oxford from settlement to the present, including its importance in medieval England, founding of the different colleges and brief period as Royalist capital. Tames also discusses the architecture of the colleges and includes biographies of illustrious alumni.
Rob Roy
by Sir Walter Scott
Adventure in the highlands of 18th-century Scotland starring the dashing outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Part of the "Penguin Classics" series, this book contains explanatory notes and an introduction that sets it in its historical context.
A Writer's House in Wales
by Jan Morris
In this extended essay, Morris uses her much-loved 18th-century house as a point of departure for a meditation on Welsh identity.
101 Beautiful Small Towns Britain
by Tom Aiken
A lavishly illustrated and informative tour of Britain's beautiful and historic towns.
A Journey Through Tudor England
by Suzannah Lipscomb
Through visits to Tudor England’s historic palaces, castles, theaters and abbeys, Suzannah Lipscomb brings to life the rich history of the Tudors.
Westminster Abbey
by Richard Jenkyns, Mary Beard (Editor)
In a highly original pocket book, classicist and cultural historian Richard Jenkyns looks afresh at the celebrated church complex -- national cathedral, coronation church, royal mausoleum, burial place of poets, resting place of the great and of the Unknown Warrior, former home of parliament, place of Princess Diana's funeral.
The Highland Clans
by Alistair Moffat
This excellent compact history of the Scottish Highland clans brings to life their leaders, traditions, families and heroic deeds with color illustrations, photos, a clan map and an alphabetical family list.
Notes from a Small Island
by Bill Bryson
A farewell walking tour of England by an American expatriate who has decided to return home after two decades. Like all of Bryson's books, it's full of rich conversations, humorous anecdotes and amusing interactions.
The Age of Shakespeare
by Frank Kermode
A remarkably concise, elegant overview of the world of Shakespeare in the Modern Library Chronicles series by the eminent British critic and scholar.
The Brontes, Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family
by Juliet Barker
Hailed as the first distinctive account of the Brontes, this tome incorporates information gleaned from manuscripts and never-before-used historical documents to present an accurate and fascinating portrait of one of England’s most famous literary families.
Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster
by William W. Starr
Beginning and ending in Edinburgh and making stops at Glasgow, Culloden, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and more, William Starr follows hilariously in the footsteps of Boswell and Johnson across Scotland.
The Story of England
by Christopher Hibbert
Beautifully illustrated with color pictures, chronological charts, royal genealogies and maps, this popular history of English politics, economics and culture from the Neolithic Age to the 1990s is an excellent travel companion.

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