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England

Independent London: Roman Walls and Historic Royal Palaces

Program No. 20935RJ
From its Roman beginnings to its contemporary role as a world-class city, learn about the many faces of London alongside experts as you explore museums, monuments, art and architecture.

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At a Glance

The City of London began when the Romans founded a settlement on the River Thames in A.D. 43 and named it Londinium. In the two millennia since, rulers and dynasties have come and gone, leaving their mark on the architecture, art and the way of life of Londoners themselves. Join us for a fascinating close-up look at the complex history of one of the world’s most storied cities. We’ll find ancient remains, royal intrigue, iconic landmarks and still leave plenty of time for you to make your own discoveries along the way.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking is the best way to get to know a new place. I’m energetic and enjoy a good physical challenge, so I’m always ready to spend the day on the move. Whether it’s public transit, city streets or village cobblestones, I’m game.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting substantial independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn what daily life was like in London when it was a wealthy Roman provincial capital as an expert leads you on a walk revealing the walls, streets and archaeological sites of this period.
  • Delve into the lives of the Tudors and examine the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.
  • Most afternoons are yours to explore London’s cultural, historic and architectural treasures on your own.

General Notes

Included in the Program Only Price: Seven nights hotel accommodation, London Underground passes, all breakfasts, three dinners, six expert lectures, six escorted field trips and an option to join additional escorted excursions at no additional charge. Not included: Airport transfers.
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.
Divorced, Beheaded, Died...: The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-Sized Chunks
by Kevin Flude
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.
London
by Edward Rutherfurd
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 A Social History
by Roy Porter
'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
London - The Biography
by Peter Ackroyd
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."





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