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Celebrate a charming English Christmas amid the Victorian splendor of London. Enjoy festive performances, learn local Christmas traditions, explore Hampton Court Palace and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 22535RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,399
England

Christmas in London

Celebrate a charming English Christmas amid the Victorian splendor of London. Enjoy festive performances, learn local Christmas traditions, explore Hampton Court Palace and more!
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,399
Program No. 22535 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Join your fellow Road Scholars for a holiday celebration among the shining lights and merry ambience of London. Discover how Hampton Court Palace would have looked in its festive heyday, get in the holiday spirit with three seasonal performances, and explore Christmas through the ages at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn local holiday traditions and enjoy independent time to discover London’s holiday spirit and Victorian beauty. Finally, celebrate Christmas Day with a mouth-watering feast in the company of new friends.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting 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 ...

  • Explore the history of London’s Christmas traditions from Victorian splendor to modern grandeur.
  • Discover historic Hampton Court Palace decorated for the holidays, and experience a traditional riverside Christmas market.
  • Enjoy three festive theater and caroling performances, and explore the Christmas collection at the world-renowned Victoria and Albert Museum.

General Notes

Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with "New Year’s Eve in Paris" (#22476) for even more holiday learning adventures in Europe! We’ll even transfer you by train from one program to the other.
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8 days
7 nights
14 meals
6 B 2 L 6 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive London, Check In, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
London, England
D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in from 3:00 p.m.

Morning: If you arrive before rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the concierge and go out for a bit of exploring on your own or relax and wait in the hotel until check in time.

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: Arrivals continue. After you check in and get your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. 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. This is a Road Scholar INDEPENDENT program. It is designed for participants who want high-level Road Scholar instruction, a few group activities, and who are capable and comfortable setting out on their own for a significant part of the day/night. There will be several hours each day of educational content, a number of meals on your own (excluded from the program cost) to enjoy what you like, and substantial free time for personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. 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: In the hotel dining, we will have a plated and served dinner including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Christmas at Hampton Court Palace, V&A, Performance
London, England
B,D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Activity note: Walking and standing up to 3 hours, opportunities to sit. Most of Hampton Court Palace is accessible; docents will assist in accessing elevators.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers a range of hot and cold items plus milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: This morning we board the motor coach and travel to Hampton Court Palace. It is often associated with Henry VIII — his royal standard still flies above the gatehouse today — but the transformation of Hampton Court from a relatively modest manor house to a palace fit for a cardinal was the work of Henry’s chief minister, Thomas Wolsey, who began work on it in 1515. As Wolsey fell from power, Henry acquired the property and embarked upon a series of extensive and ostentatious building program, transforming it into a much grander palace fit for a king. It was here that scandal, romance, and intrigue continued to erupt. History can be found around every corner as we explore its varied rooms and spectacular gardens. During the holiday season the Palace is decorated to reflect how Christmas would have looked during its heyday, as well as wonderfully lit to celebrate the festive period.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the cafés and restaurant in the Palace grounds.

Afternoon: Our exploration of Hampton Court continues. You may even wish to stretch your legs on its outdoor ice rink! We will then regroup and travel by coach to the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 1843 the museum’s founding director sent the world’s first Christmas card, and the facility holds a vast collection of Christmas-related items to this day. The wider museum houses the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design, some 4.5 million objects from all over the world. We’ll take some time to explore with our Study Leader.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy a performance in one of London's many fine theatres. Full details will be available in your second set of Preparatory Materials.

DAY
4
British Museum, Performance
London, England
B,L,D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After an optional excursion to the exquisite treasures of the British Museum, we’ll have a presentation on the English tradition of the Pantomime — “panto” for short — a musical comedy play traditionally performed at Christmas. Pantomime has its own set of tropes, traditions, and conventions. It’s a very participatory form of theatre and our lecturer will make sure we’re fully enlightened on all of these!

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: Enjoy a matinee performance in one of London's many fine theatres. Full details will be available in your second set of Preparatory Materials.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Performance. This evening we will attend a traditional Christmas Carol concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The Christmas Carol as we know it today was first widely popularized in 1833 by William Sandys, a London solicitor who published a compendium of collected and personally authored works. Following the concert you will also have the option of attending a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

DAY
5
Christmas Day
London, England
B,L,D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free Time. Enjoy Christmas morning in your own way. We will then gather in a relaxed atmosphere for pre-lunch drinks.

Lunch: At the hotel, enjoy a traditional English Christmas lunch of roast turkey and side dishes such as stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and other seasonal vegetables, plus Christmas pudding.

Afternoon: After lingering over our festive lunch, the remainder of the afternoon is free. While virtually nothing will be open, including public transport, you might like to walk about and view the Christmas lights and decorations in a much quieter than usual atmosphere with few people on the streets. The Queen’s Christmas broadcast will be on both television and radio mid-afternoon.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Boxing Day
London, England
B,D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Boxing Day is a peculiarly English tradition. Historically, this was the day when servants would receive gifts from their masters — as well as the day off! It is now a public holiday held in almost as high regard as Christmas Day itself. The day is free for you to explore London, which will be bustling with friends catching up, families enjoying the city together, and the more acquisitive residents diving into the Boxing Day Sales.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Christmas Traditions, The South Bank, Carol Concert
London, England
B,D
The Guoman Tower Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will continue our festive adventure with a presentation by our Study Leader on Christmas traditions past and present and learn how the Victorians shaped the Christmas we celebrate today. We’ll move on to the vibrant Southbank Centre Winter Festival, home to one of London’s largest Christmas markets. Bathed in the glow of the London Eye next to the bustling Thames, the traditional wooden chalets offer food, crafts, and plenty of Christmas cheer. Make sure to warm yourself with a glass of mulled wine as you explore the market!

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Following our exploration of the South Bank, we'll we'll join our Study Leader for a panoramic journey through London by foot and by motor coach. We'll discuss Dickens' Christmas Carol, the places that inspired it and how he worked tirelessly to capture the spirit of this magnificent city at Christmas.

Dinner: In the hotel. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m. See your program's travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: In the hotel depending on departure times. 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!






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