A Resource for Travel in England

Road Scholar designated England as our 2017 Destination of the Year for an endless number of reasons. Read on to find out some of the many reasons why England is a top travel destination, and take advantage of our tips, testimonials, reading list and more to help prepare you for your England travel adventure!



“I loved the blend of the better-known sites visited as well as the off-the-beaten-path experiences... I came back with a much better understanding of the history [and the] current events of the UK.”

Diane from Ann Arbor, Michigan

— Class of 2012 | Program 12187 —


“This cultural program exceeded our expectation by being educational, diverse and fun. The instructor was at all times interesting and personal. He made the entire program seem like we were visiting London with a friend who provided insights into the city’s history, its current conditions and future. For first-time visitors to London wanting perspective and depth, this is the program to take.”

Pat from Winsted, Connecticut

— Class of 2016 | Program 19320 —

England Reading List

Books about England and by English authors are endless. There are far too many to choose from! If you’re traveling on a Road Scholar learning adventure in England, check out the reading list specific to your program for the best reading recommendations, but we’ve also put together a list of some more modern favorites from our England experts and locals we know!

White Teeth” by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s first novel is a comic take on life in North London. Follow WWII friends Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, an unlikely pair, as they navigate marriage, parenthood, religion and more among the racially charged backdrop of late-20th-century London.


Lucky Jim” by Kingsley Amis

“Lucky Jim” is regarded as one of the funniest English novels in the last century. Go back to university with Professor Dixon, a history lecturer in the English Midlands, as he pursues tenure, attempts to publish his first scholarly article and struggles with his love life.


Brick Lane” by Monica Ali

Dive into the immigrant neighborhoods of East London where Nazneen has been transplanted from a Bangladeshi village after an arranged marriage to a much older man. Nearly imprisoned in a city housing project, Nazneen finds escape in an affair as her daughters struggle to find their place in a multicultural world.


The Line of Beauty” by Alan Hollinghurst

Alan Hollinghurst’s social satire revolves around 20-year-old Nick Guest, who has moved into the attic of a wealthy, conservative Notting Hill MP and his family. Follow Nick as he learns about politics, money, love (or lust, we’ll let you decide), beauty and power — bookended by two general elections.


The English: A Portrait of a People” by Jeremy Paxman 

In this nonfiction exploration, journalist Jeremy Paxman attempts to answer the question: Who are the English? Through fascinating anecdotes, Paxman paints a portrait of English culture and attitudes with humor and wit.


The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters

This piece of historical fiction takes readers back to 1940s London, following the lives of three women and a young man and their secrets, loyalties and demons. The thrilling novel takes unexpected twists with WWII as its backdrop.


The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain” by Bill Bryson

This is a list of modern English literature, but we thought adding an exploration of England from the point of view of an American and a professional traveler may help give some special context to your adventure. Join Bill Bryson on his quirky and hilarious travels off the beaten track in England.


The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Take the shotgun seat on a motoring trip through the countryside of 1950s England with Stevens, a career butler as he reflects on his decades of service, an unrealized love, two world wars and the time he has left.


Oranges are Not the Only Fruit” by Jeanette Winterson

This semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel follows the adolescence of Jeanette, an orphan who has been adopted by evangelists in central England, her religious journey and its juxtaposition to her sexuality.


Waterland” by Graham Swift

“Waterland” tells the family history of four generations and the haunting past of Tom Crick, a 52-year-old history teacher being forced into retirement, through his fragmented narrative.


The Buddha of Suburbia” by Hanif Kureishi

Described as “enchanting, provocative and original,” this comic novel full of colloquialism begins in an English suburb in the wake of Thatcherism. Nearly autobiographical, it follows the teenage life of Karim, born to English and Indian parents, as he navigates life in suburbia, New York and London in the 1970s.


The Girl Next Door” by Ruth Rendell

This mystery begins in 1944 with a group of children who play in a network of underground tunnels they’ve discovered in Loughton, Essex, England. Seventy years later, construction workers discover that same network of tunnels, along with some skeletal remains. The children are reunited to help uncover the truth behind the buried bones.


Little Bee” by Chris Cleave

This captivating novel alternates between the points of view of Little Bee, an illegal refugee and victim of the Nigerian oil conflict, and Sarah O’Rourke, a recent widow, as Sarah harbors Little Bee in her home.


More authors to check out

Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Peter Robinson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, William Shakespeare, Henry Fielding, George Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Anthony Powell, Muriel Spark, Iris Murdoch, Hilary Mantell, John Galsworthy, E.M. Forster, Henry Fielding, Ben Aaronovitch, Joseph Conrad, Ian McEwan, George Orwell, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Emily Bronte, Pat Barker, Colin Dexter, Alan Hollinghurst, Kingsley Amis, Dorothy L. Sayers, Colin Dexter, Julian Barnes and Graham Greene


“I was truly immersed: in England's geologic, political, and social history from the Jurassic era onward. But I inhabited the learning more deeply because it came partly through the stories of these five great writers ... While the learning was prodigious, the days were also extremely pleasurable: bucolic scenery, delicious food (lots of baked goods!), excellent company, and group leaders who were personable, skilled, funny, warm, and very, very smart.”

Helen from Alameda, California

— Class of 2003 | Program 20128 —


“When we travel, we like to see as much as possible. This program provided us with the perfect opportunity to do just that but at a leisurely and manageable pace. Our group leader was very knowledgeable, friendly and went out of his way to ensure that our England trip was the best it could be.”

Betsy from Worthington, Ohio

— Class of 2016 | Program 19320 —

England Blogs & Articles
Tower of London, England
Announcing Road Scholar’s Destination of the Year

There are thousands of places in the world to learn about with Road Scholar. Yet if we had to pick just one place that is the most compelling place to experience this year, what would it be? Our choice for 2017: England.

Road Scholar & Kayak
Live and Learn: 9 Educational Travel Adventures Around the World

We’re not the only ones who think England is the best destination for educational travel; Kayak.com agrees! Check out their list of top spots to learn. 

11 Reasons to Love England: Confessions of an Anglophile

Are you an Anglophile? Need persuading? Road Scholar’s Peter Spiers has compiled a list of 11 reasons why he loves England after living there in his youth.

Alumni Magazine, Road Scholar
Nothing Beats Being There: A Sense of Place in England’s Most Famous Literary Locations

If you love reading English novels and watching “Masterpiece Theater,” it’s time to step out of the page or screen and actually experience the places you love to imagine! Read about these literary locations in our Alumni Magazine.

British Clematis
Go Inside the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows with Judge Kevin Tooher

If you love flowers, you may agree that Kevin Tooher has the greatest job in the world. Get an insider’s perspective on the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows in this interview with a horticulture judge!

London Phone Booth
Top 10 Destinations for that Study-Abroad Year You Never Had … or Would Love to Do Again

Have you ever imagined packing a bag and a few favorite books and heading to another country for a year? Where would you go? Find out the top 10 picks from Road Scholar participants!


England Facts

Find out how many guests attended the Royal Wedding, what the national animal of England is and how many Road Scholars traveled to England this year!

Click the infographic to learn more:

England Facts Infographic



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