19320
England
London's Cultural Heritage
On an exploration of London alongside experts, learn about major historical events, British royalty, the legacy of Shakespeare and the city's most iconic monuments.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19320RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
2,599
Flights start at
700
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10 days
9 nights
17 meals
8 B 3 L 6 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Day
London, England
L,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Lunch: In the hotel dining room for those arriving by lunchtime. A light lunch with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

DAY
3
The British Museum
London, England
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: The British Museum 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. There is also a smaller, level entrance. Two elevators are located in the Great Court and there is one elevator by each Museum entrance. The majority of galleries and all special exhibitions are fully accessible. Accessible restroom facilities are also available.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: We begin our program with a pair of lectures from your Study Leader. Relax and enjoy as you experience an Introduction to London and learn about the history of London and Royalty.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: This afternoon we board the motor coach for a field trip to the British Museum, home to a collection of over 8 million objects – one of the most comprehensive in the world. Your Study Leader will guide you through the museum, as well as giving you time to explore the exhibits at your own pace. Expect to see fascinating examples of prehistoric Britain, Roman and Medieval Britain and the wider classical world.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore London.

DAY
4
The Tower of London, The City
London, England
B,L,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: The Tower of London is an historic building with difficult stairs and passageways and cobbles in some areas. The Jewel House is completely accessible. There is an elevator to the basement level of the White Tower. St. Paul’s Cathedral has a step free entrance and there is a direct elevator access to the cathedral floor and the crypt. Access to the Whispering Gallery, Stone and Golden Galleries is by 250-530 steps, but this is an optional part of the experience.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We travel by motor coach to the Tower of London, the city’s ancient defensive centre. Built at the behest of William the Conqueror in 1078, the White Tower still stands guard over the Thames. It is here that monarchs, importunate princes and lesser mortals were imprisoned and beheaded. Now the Tower is best known as the repository of the world famous Crown Jewels, including the Koh-I-Noor and Cullinan Diamonds – two of the world’s most famous diamonds and worn in the crown of Queen Victoria. The Crown Jewels were remade for Charles II after the originals were melted down in the Civil War and provide a spectacular insight into the wealth and power of the Royal Family throughout history.

Lunch: Taken at the Tower of London.

Afternoon: Just down the river from the Tower lies St. Paul’s Cathedral, an unmissable silhouette on the London skyline and often considered to be Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece. It has been standing in its current form since 1711 and its tranquil interior is majestic in its Baroque splendour – your Study Leader will take you through its turbulent and fascinating history as we explore its magnificent three domed structure. From St. Paul’s we will take a gentle walk through the city to Guildhall – the administrative powerhouse of the city since medieval times.

Dinner: We will take a pre-theatre dinner in the Phoenix Artist's Club, one of the most unique venues in London and situated in the former changing rooms of the Phoenix Theatre.

Evening: Enjoy a performance in one of London’s leading theatres. Performance details will be available in your second set of preparatory materials.

DAY
5
The Globe Theatre, Westminster Abbey
London, England
B
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: The Globe Theatre can be accessed via a ramp, and there are elevators inside. Accessible restroom facilities are also available. Westminster Abbey has ramps for entrance and exit. There are 5 steps to the Cloisters but these can be avoided by using the Cloister Entrance outside the Abbey.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We travel by motor coach into the very heart of London, beginning at the Globe Theatre. Originally associated with William Shakespeare and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the rebuilt Globe is an international resource dedicated to Shakespeare’s work. Your Study Leader will help you consider the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived and the public for which he wrote before we enjoy an expert-led exploration of the Globe Theatre itself. Following this we will have some free time for you to experience London’s vibrant Bankside, once home to a lengthy list of London’s literary luminaries.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will travel by boat along the Thames to Westminster, the centre of British Political power. Here we will see the exterior of the Houses of Parliament, and maybe even hear the chimes of “Big Ben”. We then continue on to an expert-led field trip inside Westminster Abbey. Raised from the foundations of several previous churches on this site, the Abbey as you see it today was first begun in 1245 by Henry III and was granted cathedral status by Henry VIII in 1540.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
6
Hampton Court Palace
London, England
B,L
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: Hampton Court is very large; half a mile from one side to the other. To see all the interiors and gardens you would travel over two miles. There is elevator access to 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.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we board the motor coach for a field trip to Hampton Court Palace. Often associated with Henry VIII – his royal standard still flies above the gatehouse today – Hampton Court was actually built by Thomas Wolsey in 1515. As Wolsey fell from power, Henry acquired the property and embarked upon a series of extensive and ostentatious building programmes, transforming it into a palace fit for a King. It was here that scandal, romance and intrigue has erupted ever since and history can be found around every corner as you explore its varied rooms and spectacular gardens.

Lunch: Taken at Hampton Court.

Afternoon: Further time to explore Hampton Court.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
7
Kensington Palace, The Victoria and Albert Museum
London, England
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: Kensington Palace is fully accessible and has an elevator to all floors. There are many opportunities to sit down, and fully accessible restrooms. The V&A has step-free access and elevators to all floors, as well as gallery stools should a participant need to sit down.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We continue our exploration of royal themes as we board the motor coach for Kensington Palace, the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall as well as Prince Harry. We’ll be able to explore Queen Victoria’s bedroom, George I’s staircase and the spectacular King’s Gallery amongst other fascinating snippets of history. The palace was also home to Princess Diana, and there remains a selection of her famous dresses in the Royal Ceremonial Dress collection.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Following Kensington Palace and its links with Queen Victoria, we’ll travel by motor coach through Albertopolis – so named for its large number of cultural and educational sites spearheaded by and named after Prince Albert, spouse of Queen Victoria. Our final destination is the Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, holding a collection of some 4.5 million objects from all over the world.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
8
Literary London, The Museum of London
London, England
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: The British Library has step-free access and elevators. The Museum of London is fully accessible.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We spend this morning putting London’s literary history under our microscope. We begin by boarding the motor coach for a visit to the British Library – the national Library of Britain and home to over 170 million books and manuscripts from all over the world. Here we’ll explore the exhibitions and learn of the priceless artefacts held within the library itself.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll explore the Museum of London, which tells the tale of this fascinating city from prehistoric to modern times.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Join your Study Leader for a pub tour of Sherlock Holmes’ London – perhaps enjoying a swift pint or two along the way!

DAY
9
Legal London, The Churchill War Rooms
London, England
B,D
Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Activity note: Temple Church is fully accessible with minimal steps. Churchill War Rooms is accessible throughout, although there is limited seating and participants should be aware that, due to the historic and subterranean nature of the building, some corridors are narrow.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we explore the legal side of London, as we board the motor coach and travel to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, taking in the Old Bailey along the way before your Study Leader introduces you to Temple Church. Originally built for the Knight’s Templar as their English headquarters, the church has since been used as a home for two Inns of the Court. Eagle eyed participants may also recognise it from its appearance in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like..

Afternoon: The shadow of World War II still hangs almost imperceptibly over London today – strangely absent buildings and incongruous lakes tell a silent story of the devastation the city suffered in the Blitz – and this afternoon we’ll be able to explore this period further at the Churchill War Rooms. It was here that Churchill’s government sheltered during the worst of the bombing, and the conditions of the time are faithfully recreated in this subterranean maze. The facility also houses the Churchill Museum, which brings to life the exciting story of Churchill’s life – from his childhood to his “finest hour”.

Dinner: A farewell dinner in the hotel – time to say goodbye to your new found friends.

Evening: Free time.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Transfer to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) for onward flights. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!