22535
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!
Rating (5)
Program No. 22535RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,649
Flights start at
800
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8 days
7 nights
16 meals
6 B 4 L 6 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive London, Check In, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
London, England
D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street 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. After our Orientation meeting, our Study Leader will deliver 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!

Dinner: In the hotel, 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
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street 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: Performance: A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic Theatre. Matthew Warchus’ big-hearted, smash hit production of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol returns to The Old Vic from 27 Nov, joyously adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne. Filling the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, music and merriment, a unique staging immerses the audience in this uplifting story.

DAY
4
British Museum, Performance
London, England
B,L,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we board the motorcoach 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.

Lunch: At the British Museum.

Afternoon: Performance: Aladdin at the Hackney Empire Theatre. All the way in Ha-Ka-Ney, young Aladdin dreams of finding love and making his fortune. When he discovers an enchanted lamp and meets a mysterious genie, it looks like all his wishes are about to come true – with the help of tap-dancing pandas and his larger-than-life mum, can he win the hand of his Princess? Or will an evil magician, some madcapped policemen and a very large pile of laundry stand in his way?

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Christmas Traditions, Borough Market, Carol Concert
London, England
B,L,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street 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 by motorcoach to vibrant Borough Market at the southern end of London Bridge, overlooked by Southwark Cathedral. There has been a market on this site for more than a thousand years, as attested by a mention in a Norse saga of 1014 CE. For most of the 20th century Borough Market served as London’s main wholesale food market. The market today is hub of activity for artisan food producers from across the UK and beyond, and has a multitude of ever-changing street food stalls beloved by Londoners. The atmosphere in the days leading up to Christmas is particularly festive, as people come to search for the perfect foodie gift amid steaming urns of mulled wine and cider!

Lunch: At Borough Market.

Afternoon: We’ll enjoy a stroll along the riverside led by our Study Leader, before boarding the motorcoach to make our way to the Royal Albert Hall for a traditional Christmas Carol concert. 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. After the concert we’ll travel back to the hotel on our motorcoach along a route with some of London’s most spectacular displays of Christmas lights.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. You will also have the option of attending a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

DAY
6
Christmas Day
London, England
B,L,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street 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
7
Boxing Day
London, England
B,L,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street 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. 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. As this is an Independent program, transfers are not included.

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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