Explore thousands of years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora shaped the London culture of today.

Starting at: $4,890 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 London's iconic Trafalgar Square.  Enjoy walking tours of London's iconic sites.  Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. Credit: London On View  Art on view at the National Gallery. Credit: London On View  St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Credit: London On View  Enjoy a toe-tapping jazz performance.  Credit: Jorge Zapata  London's Tower Bridge  Houses of Parliament overlooking the Thames River  London and the River Thames. Credit: Julian Lovel, London and Partners  Lobby of the historic Radisson Blu Vanderbilt Hotel, Kensington, London

London: The African Diaspora

9 days from $4,890

Explore thousands of years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora shaped the London culture of today.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by September 25, 2020!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Gather in the vibrant city of London to explore in depth the history and remarkable resilience of the African communities of this capital city. You’ll visit museums and neighborhoods related to the African diaspora in London and focus on the history, culture, and legacy of these communities. Stay at the elegant Radisson Blue Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, centrally located in Kensington.

Highlights Include

  • ​Museums: At the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, explore the collections of this important national heritage center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people. Visit the notable exhibition “London, Sugar & Slavery” at the Museum of London Docklands, which explores London’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. And at the National Gallery, a local expert offers insight into works of art illustrating the Black presence in London.
  • Neighborhood Discoveries: Follow hundreds of years of fascinating Black history during a panoramic tour of London. In Soho, learn about the neighborhood’s African-Caribbean history during a walking tour that showcases the musical scene of blues and jazz as well as important figures that include Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and Ivan Van Sertima. Experience lively Brixton with its colorful arcades that showcase African-Caribbean culture. Discover important links between the African, Indian, and Caribbean communities as you explore Trafalgar Square. Plus, enjoy a leisurely Thames River cruise.
  • Discussions with Local Experts: Watch a poignant film that reveals the struggles against racism in the United Kingdom, followed by a discussion comparing the civil rights movements in Britain and the U.S. Gather for a presentation on the legacies of notable African American figures who lived in London for a time, including James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and Phillis Wheatley. Attend an engaging discussion about London’s current political, economic, and social status within the context of the city’s Black communities.
  • Music: Enjoy a special jazz performance at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho.

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 – Depart the U.S., Arrive London

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to LondonAfter arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport, transfer to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, located within walking distance of many of London’s famous highlights.

Upon arrival at the hotel, you will receive a Welcome Package with information about London as well as a map of the city. You will also receive a London Transport Oyster pass, good for travel on London’s Underground, its iconic double-decker buses, and so much more. You'll learn how to use local transportation by traveling as a group to London sites. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available throughout the program for suggestions regarding theater, restaurants, and independent activities.

This afternoon, gather for a walking tour of the neighborhood around your hotel. This evening join fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 – London

Watch a poignant film screening that reveals the struggles against racism in the United Kingdom, followed by a discussion comparing the Black British Civil Rights Movement to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Then follow thousands of years of fascinating Black history during a panoramic tour of London. View famous landmarks, including the Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus, through the African Caribbean perspective. See spaces integral to London’s Black communities, and learn about prominent historical figures and their significant contributions to London’s culture. This evening, gather at a local pub for a festive dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 – London

At the National Gallery, a local expert joins you to offer insight into works of art illustrating the Black presence in London from the 15th to 19th centuries. After an included lunch, spend time exploring Trafalgar Square and discover the rich history of this section of London and its important links between the African, Indian, and Caribbean communities. In the early evening, gather at a local pub for a Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner and an opportunity to share insights. (B,L)

Day 5 – London

Gather for a presentation by a local expert on the legacies of notable African American figures, including James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and Phillis Wheatley.

Then depart on a walking tour of Soho to learn about the hundreds of years of African-Caribbean history in this neighborhood, and the presence of blues and jazz in its musical scene. Discuss key events and important figures such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. This afternoon is free for you to explore London on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will offer guidance on using the London Tube to access the city. This evening is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 6 – London

Travel by London’s Tube to one of the city’s oldest areas. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, known for its splendid dome, and the Roman Amphitheatre, discovered in 1988. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, travel to the southern neighborhood of Brixton to visit the Black Cultural Archives, the only national heritage center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Then visit the neighborhood of Brixton and experience the colorful, buzzing arcades of Brixton Market, a hub of activity with stalls selling everything from coffee and textiles to jewelry and African-Caribbean cuisine.

This evening, return to Soho to enjoy a festive dinner followed by a toe-tapping jazz show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – London

This morning, take a cruise on the iconic Thames, which meanders through the heart of London. Pass by the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, and other important sites.

This afternoon, travel beyond the city along the Thames to the Museum of London Docklands, situated in a former sugar warehouse, which features a notable permanent exhibition entitled "London, Sugar & Slavery" that explores London's role in the transatlantic slave trade. Discover how the trade in enslaved Africans and sugar shaped London. In the early evening gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to informally discuss the day’s events. (B)

Day 8 – London

After breakfast attend an engaging discussion about London’s current political, economic, and social status within the context of the city’s Black communities. Then enjoy time at leisure to explore London further independently. This evening gather for a festive farewell reception followed by dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 9 - Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast check out of the hotel. A group transfer is provided to London’s Heathrow Airport for flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)