English author Samuel Johnson once said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Experience the history, culture, and traditions of this compelling city during our one-week stay filled with special excursions, plus time to follow your own path.

Starting at: $4,140 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Flags along Oxford Street in London  Houses of Parliament overlooking the Thames River  Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London. Credit: London On View  St. Paul's Cathedral. Credit: Pawel Libera / London and Partners  The iconic British Museum. Credit: Pawel Libera / London and Partners  The courtyard of the British Museum. Credit: London On View  London's Tower Bridge  London's historic Westminster Abbey. Credit: London On View  London's Houses of Parliament and Big Ben Tower. Credit: London On View  Pub located in Bankside, London. Credit: Mickey Lee Photography / London Tourism  Traditional high tea  Historic Hampton Court, outside London  Entrance to Henry VIII's palace at Hampton Court  Tudor ceiling of Henry VIII's Great Hall, Hampton Court  All Souls College, Oxford  The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford  Skyline of the medieval town of Oxford  A typical village in the Cotswolds  Lobby of the historic Radisson Blu Vanderbilt Hotel, Kensington, London

London

A One-Week Stay in England

9 days from $4,140

English author Samuel Johnson once said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Experience the history, culture, and traditions of this compelling city during our one-week stay filled with special excursions, plus time to follow your own path.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt

London, United Kingdom

The Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt is an elegant four-star hotel located in the heart of South Kensington, London – close to first-class museums and fine shopping and dining. The refurbished Grade II listed building was originally home to the Vanderbilt family. Bedrooms are a good size and have a contemporary decor while the public spaces retain a historic ambiance with stained glass windows and wood paneling. Complimentary wi-fi is available throughout the hotel.

Number of nights: 7

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Week-long Cultural Stay featuring one city and hotel stay. Full-day excursions within the city but well paced. Walking tours of neighborhoods, museums, and outdoor sites. Requires use of public transportation within the city; private coach used for two full-day excursions outside the city. Hotel centrally located for easy access to museums, sites, shops, and restaurants, which is ideal for time at leisure.

 Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

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. Details regarding how you may access these options will be provided in your trip confirmation packet.

Program Includes:

  • Low fares
  • Travel dates to fit your schedule
  • Optimal air routing
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments, as offered by participating carriers (subject to availability at time of booking)
  • Ability to adjust your reservations (up to 60 days prior to departure) without penalty, including trip extensions and upgrades. Does not apply to Instant Purchase tickets.
  • Guaranteed transfers in most cases between the tour arrival airport and your hotel
  • Passenger Service Assistance in the event of a flight cancellation or delay
  • Flight insurance, up to $250,000 (Subject to policy terms)
Reading List
London Stories (Everyman's Library Pocket Classics Series)
By: Everyman s Library
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place. Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present. These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground. This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
A Traveller's History of London
By: Richard Tames
A Travellers History of London gives a full and comprehensive historical background to the capitals past and covers the period from Londons beginnings, right up to the present day. It reveals the citys hidden treasures and forgotten places.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London
By: DK Travel
Laminated London Map by Borch (English Edition)
By: Borch
Folded street and travel map in color. Scale 1:11,000/1:15,000. Legend includes museums, theatres, monuments, churches, synagogues, mosques, sights, castles/palaces, ruins, monasteries, airfields, Underground, British Rail, golf courses, bus stations, parking, nature reserves, hotels, markets. Includes inset map of Kew Gardens & Richmond (1:35,000), Central Sights (1:11,000), Greater London (1:375,000), Heathrow airport, Stansted airport, Gatwick airport and London Underground System. Climate charts show the average daily temperatures, humidity, hours of sunshine and precipitation for each month.
City Secrets London: The Essential Insider's Guide
By: Robert Kahn
City Secrets London: The Essential Insider's Guide brings together the recommendations of artists, writers, historians, architects, chefs, and other experts whose passionate opinions and highly informed perspectives illuminate well-known sites as well as overlooked treasures. These expert travel companions share with you their favorite little-known places including restaurants, cafés, art, architecture, shops, outdoor markets, strolls, daytrips, as well all manner of cultural and historic landmarks. Clothbound, elegant, and pocket-sized, City Secrets London features a subtle non-guidebook design and detailed maps. With over 175 contributors and 400 entries, City Secrets London is a valuable supplement to any guide more devoted to travel basics.A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to John Soane's Museum, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the Museum of London.
A Journey Through Tudor England: Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London to Stratford-upon-Avon and Thornbury Castle
By: Suzannah Lipscomb
Using place as a lens through which to view history, come take a vivid and captivating journey through England's most vibrant era For the armchair traveler or for those looking to take a trip back to the colorful time of Henry VIII and Thomas Moore,A Journey Through Tudor England takes you to the palaces,castles, theatres and abbeys to uncover the stories behind this famed era. Suzannah Lipscomb visits over fifty Tudor places, from the famous palace at Hampton Court, where dangerous court intrigue was rife, to less well-known houses such as Anne Boleyn’s childhood home at Hever Castle, or Tutbury Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.In the corridors of power and the courtyards of country houses, we meet the passionate but tragic Katheryn Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife; Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen; and come to understand how Sir Walter Raleigh planned his trip to the New World. Through the places that defined them, this lively and engaging book reveals the rich history of the Tudors and paints a vivid and captivating picture of what it would have been like to live in Tudor England. 16 pages of B&W and color photographs
Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
By: Lynne Olson
The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain. Each man formed close ties with Winston Churchill—so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.
Everyday Life in Medieval London: From the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors
By: Toni Mount
Our capital city has always been a thriving and colourful place, full of diverse and determined individuals developing trade and finance, exchanging gossip and doing business. Abandoned by the Romans, rebuilt by the Saxons, occupied by the Vikings and reconstructed by the Normans, London would become the largest trade and financial centre, dominating the world in later centuries. London has always been a brilliant, vibrant and eclectic place – Henry V was given a triumphal procession there after his return from Agincourt and the Lord Mayor’s river pageant was an annual medieval spectacular. William the Conqueror built the Tower, Thomas Becket was born in Cheapside, Wat Tyler led the peasants in revolt across London Bridge and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was the first book produced on Caxton’s new printing press in Westminster. But beneath the colour and pageantry lay dirt, discomfort and disease, the daily grind for ordinary folk. Like us, they had family problems, work worries, health concerns and wondered about the weather.
Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London
By: Catharine Arnold
A fascinating portrait of life in Shakespeare’s London, as seen from the theatrical perspective by popular historian Catharine Arnold.The life of William Shakespeare, Britain’s greatest dramatist, is inextricably linked with the history of London. Together, the great writer and the great city came of age and confronted triumph and tragedy. Triumph came when Shakespeare’s company, the Chamberlain’s Men, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of many of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, while London struggled against the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague. Globe takes readers on a sweeping tour of London through Shakespeare’s life and work, as Catharine Arnold recounts in fascinating detail how acting came of age. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside, and of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare’s genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare’s Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames. Arnold has created a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard’s own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist’s eye for detail with a historian’s grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a definitive and compelling portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.
Life in Roman London
By: Simon Webb
The history of Roman London approached in an entirely new way, focusing on the geography of daily life The rise and fall of one of the most important Roman cities in northern Europe is charted graphically by the use of maps and diagrams, showing at a glance the various stages in its development. Rather than focusing upon a handful of important figures such as procurators and statesmen, this book explores the lives and concerns of the ordinary citizens. Many books about Roman history seem to be preoccupied with basilicas, palaces, grand houses, statues, and mosaics; this book looks instead at the shops, houses, and streets in which the majority of the 60,000 inhabitants of the city spent their lives. In doing so, it reveals a city very different from the familiar images of a clean, white, classical metropolis.
London: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: A.N. Wilson
In its two thousand years of history, London has ruled a rainy island and a globe-spanning empire, it has endured plague and fire and bombing, it has nurtured and destroyed poets and kings, revolutionaries and financiers, geniuses and visionaries of every stripe. To distill the magic and the majesty of this infinitely enthralling city into a single brief volume would seem an impossible task–yet acclaimed biographer and novelist A. N. Wilson brilliantly accomplishes it in London: A History.Founded by the Romans, London was a flourishing provincial capital before falling into ruin with the rest of the Roman Empire. Centuries passed before the city rose to prominence once again when William the Conqueror chose to be crowned king in Westminster Abbey. In Chaucer’s day, London Bridge opened the way for expansion over the Thames. By the time Shakespeare’s plays were being mounted at the Globe, London was a dense, seething, and explosively growing metropolis–a city of brothels and taverns and delicate new palaces and pleasure gardens.With deftly sketched vignettes and memorable portraits in miniature, Wilson conjures up the essence of London through the ages–high finance and gambling during the Georgian age, John Nash’s stunning urban makeover at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the waves of building and immigration that transformed London beyond recognition during the reign of Queen Victoria, the devastation of the two world wars, the painful and corrupt postwar rebuilding effort, and finally the glamorous, polyglot, expensive, and sometimes ridiculous London of today. Every age had its heroes and villains, from church builder Christopher Wren to jail breaker Jack Sheppard, from urbane wit Samuel Johnson to wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, and Wilson places each one in the drama of London’s history.Exuberant, opinionated, surprising, often funny, A. N. Wilson’s London is the perfect match of author and subject. In a one short irresistible volume, Wilson gives us the essence of the people, the architecture, the intrigue, the art and literature and history that make London one of the most fascinating cities in the world.From the Hardcover edition.
London: A History in Maps (London Topographical Society Publication)
By: Peter Barber
Over the past 2000 years, London has developed from a small town, fitting snugly within its walls, into one of the world's largest and most dynamic cities. London: A History in Maps illustrates and helps to explain the transformation using over 400 examples of maps. Side-by-side with the great, semi-official, but sanitized images of the whole city, there are the more utilitarian maps and plans of the parts—actual and envisaged—which perhaps present more than topographical records. They all have something unique to say about the time when they were created. Peter Barber's book reveals the "inside story" behind one of the world's greatest cities.
London: A Social and Cultural History, 1550-1750
By: Robert O. Bucholz, Joseph P. Ward
Between 1550 and 1750 London became the greatest city in Europe and one of the most vibrant economic and cultural centers in the world. This book is a history of London during this crucial period of its rise to world-wide prominence, during which it dominated the economic, political, social and cultural life of the British Isles as never before nor since. London: A Social and Cultural History incorporates the best recent work in urban history, accounts by contemporary Londoners and tourists, and fictional works featuring the city in order to to trace London's rise and explore its role as a harbinger of modernity as well as how its citizens coped with those achievements. This book covers the full range of life in London, from the splendid galleries of Whitehall to the damp and sooty alleyways of the East End. Along the way, readers will brave the dangers of plague and fire, witness the spectacles of the Lord Mayor's Pageant and the hangings at Tyburn, and take refreshment in the city's pleasure gardens, coffeehouses, and taverns.
London: The Biography
By: Peter Ackroyd
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKHere are two thousand years of London’s history and folklore, its chroniclers and criminals and plain citizens, its food and drink and countless pleasures. Blackfriar’s and Charing Cross, Paddington and Bedlam. Westminster Abbey and St. Martin in the Fields. Cockneys and vagrants. Immigrants, peasants, and punks. The Plague, the Great Fire, the Blitz. London at all times of day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In well-chosen anecdotes, keen observations, and the words of hundreds of its citizens and visitors, Ackroyd reveals the ingenuity and grit and vitality of London. Through a unique thematic tour of the physical city and its inimitable soul, the city comes alive.
Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
By: Craig Taylor
Five years in the making, Londoners is a fresh and compulsively readable view of one of the world's most fascinating cities—a vibrant narrative portrait of the London of our own time, featuring unforgettable stories told by the real people who make the city hum. Acclaimed writer and editor Craig Taylor has spent years traversing every corner of the city, getting to know the most interesting Londoners, including the voice of the London Underground, a West End rickshaw driver, an East End nightclub doorperson, a mounted soldier of the Queen's Life Guard at Buckingham Palace, and a couple who fell in love at the Tower of London—and now live there. With candor and humor, this diverse cast—rich and poor, old and young, native and immigrant, men and women (and even a Sarah who used to be a George)—shares indelible tales that capture the city as never before. Together, these voices paint a vivid, epic, and wholly original portrait of twenty-first-century London in all its breadth, from Notting Hill to Brixton, from Piccadilly Circus to Canary Wharf, from an airliner flying into London Heathrow Airport to Big Ben and Tower Bridge, and down to the deepest tunnels of the London Underground. Londoners is the autobiography of one of the world's greatest cities.
Londonopolis: A Curious History of London
By: Martin Latham
From above ground and below, from the outer suburbs to the inner city, and from the medieval period to the modern day, discover the wonder that is London. Which tube station once housed the Elgin Marbles? What lies behind a Piccadilly doorway that helped Darwin launch his theory of evolution? And who named the Natural History Museum's long-tailed dinosaur Mr. Whippy? Londonopolis celebrates all the weird and the wonderful things that make London so magical, and whisks you down the rabbit hole into the warren of backstreets, landmarks, cemeteries, palaces, markets, museums, and secret gardens of the great metropolis. Meet the characters who populate the city, from cockneys to royalty, and peel back layers of time to uncover stories that grow curiouser and curiouser as they go along.
Thames: Sacred River
By: Peter Ackroyd
Displaying the same qualities as London: The Biography — scholarship, wit, anecdotes, spirit of place, narrative and character — this hugely enjoyable book will be another mammoth bestseller.Thames: Sacred River is a history of the river from source to sea from prehistoric times to the present. It covers the flora and fauna of the river, paintings and photographs inspired by the Thames, its geology, smells and colours, its literature, laws and landscape, its magic and myths, architecture, trade and weather.The reader learns about the fishes that swim in the river and the boats that ply on its surface; about floods and tides; hauntings and suicides; miasmas and sewers; locks, weirs and embankments. Here is Shelley floating on the river under poetical beech trees; Hogarth getting roaring drunk on a boat trip to Gravesend; William Morris wondering whether the same Thames water flowed past his windows in Hammersmith as flowed past his house at Kelmscott 100 miles upriver.Peter Ackroyd has a genius for digging out the most surprising and entertaining details, and for writing about them in magisterial prose, and as historian Gillian Tindall, writing in the Sunday Telegraph about the “richness and profusion of material” says “. . . there is so much to enjoy here.”
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
By: Simon Winchester
The Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary -- and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857, it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior
By: Kate Fox
Ten years later, they're still talking about the weather! Kate Fox, the social anthropologist who put the quirks and hidden conditions of the English under a microscope, is back with more biting insights about the nature of Englishness. This updated and revised edition of Watching the English--which over the last decade has become the unofficial guidebook to the English national character--features new and fresh insights on the unwritten rules and foibles of "squaddies," bikers, horse-riders, and more. Fox revisits a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and bizarre codes of behavior. She demystifies the peculiar cultural rules that baffle us: the rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid pantomime rule. Class anxiety tests. The roots of English self-mockery and many more. An international bestseller, Watching the English is a biting, affectionate, insightful and often hilarious look at the English and their society.
Art in England: The Saxons to the Tudors: 600-1600
By: Sara N. James
Art in England fills a void in the scholarship of both English and medieval art by offering the first single volume overview of artistic movements in Medieval and Early Renaissance England. Grounded in history and using the chronology of the reign of monarchs as a structure, it is contextual and comprehensive, revealing unobserved threads of continuity, patterns of intention and unique qualities that run through English art of the medieval millennium. By placing the English movement in a European context, this book brings to light many ingenious innovations that focused studies tend not to recognize and offers a fresh look at the movement as a whole. The media studied include architecture and related sculpture, both ecclesiastical and secular; tomb monuments; murals, panel paintings, altarpieces, and portraits; manuscript illuminations; textiles; and art by English artists and by foreign artists commissioned by English patrons.
David Gentleman's London
By: DAVID GENTLEMAN
No rips writing underlining or highlighting - Slightly bent corner edges -
Georgian London
By: John Summerson
In this classic of English architectural history, John Summerson provides an account of a major building period in the history of London. Encompassing the architecture of the capital from the Great Fire of 1666 through the city's early-19th-century expansion, it explores the genesis and development of Georgian London. Summerson examines the way in which building was conditioned by social, economic and financial circumstances and discusses some of Britain's most important buildings and their architects. While Summerson's text is essentially unchanged in this edition, it has been corrected in the light of new research, expanded to include a few significant buildings that were originally overlooked, and enhanced with new illustrations. The appendix of surviving Georgian buildings has also been updated.
London’s Royal Parks (Shire Library)
By: Paul Rabbitts
This book tells the history of London's royal parks and how they have evolved from private hunting grounds and gardens into public spaces and venues for great events. In some cases, the parks were royally owned as long ago as the Norman conquest, and several of them were acquired by Henry VIII during the Reformation. At this time they were kept private and there was no public access, but during the eighteenth century most of the parks were opened to the public. Landscaping work was undertaken to keep up with trends, and the parks became fashionable places to be seen out and about - witness Rotten Row in Hyde Park. The parks, Hyde Park in particular, has been used to host major events such as the Great Exhibition and various jubilee and entertainment events. It tells the story of each of the nine royal parks from their acquisition by the monarchy through to the present day, outlining their use and management and the major historical moments associated with them.
Westminster Abbey (Wonders of the World)
By: Richard Jenkyns
Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series(Part I and Part II)Westminster Abbey is the most complex church in existence. National cathedral, coronation church, royal mausoleum, burial place of poets, resting place of the great and of the Unknown Warrior, former home of parliament, backdrop to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales--this rich and extraordinary building unites many functions.Westminster Abbey is both an appreciation of an architectural masterpiece and an exploration of the building's shifting meanings. We hear the voices of those who have described its forms, moods, and ceremonies, from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Dickens and Henry James; we see how rulers have made use of it, from medieval kings to modern prime ministers. In a highly original book, classicist and cultural historian Richard Jenkyns teaches us to look at this microcosm of history with new eyes.
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599
By: James Shapiro
What accounts for Shakespeare’s transformation from talented poet and playwright to one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this gripping account, James Shapiro sets out to answer this question, "succeed[ing] where others have fallen short." (Boston Globe) 1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England. During that year, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen.James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare’s staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.
Churchill
By: Ashley Jackson
In Churchill Ashley Jackson paints an unvarnished portrait of Winston Churchill that removes the hagiography that has surrounded the myth of one of the greatest politicians of the last hundred years.Winston Churchill attracted far more criticism alive than he has since his death. He was, according to Evelyn Waugh, "always in the wrong, surrounded by crooks, a terrible father, a radio personality." To others, he was the savior of the nation, even of Western civilization, "the greatest Briton" who ever lived. Whatever one's view, Winston Churchill remains splendidly unreduced. He also remains enormous fun--a cartoonist's and caricaturist's dream on the one hand, one of the most powerful and successful statesmen in modern history on the other. Globally famed for his role as a leader during the Second World War, this study resists the temptation to conflate Churchill's post-war career with Britain's demise on the international stage. Nor does it endorse the notion that Churchill became an anachronism as he lived and continued to work, at a prodigious rate, through his seventies and eighties. As well as being Britain's most celebrated politician and war leader, Winston Churchill was a Nobel Prize-winning author. He was one of the most prolific writers of his age and his accounts of the momentous events through which he lived have indelibly marked the way in which modern British history has been conceptualized. Uniquely endowed with talent, energy and determination, Winston Churchill was, as a close wartime colleague put it, "unlike anyone you have ever met before."Ashley Jackson describes the contours and contradictions of Churchill's remarkable life and career as a solider, politician, historian, journalist, painter, amateur farmer and homemaker. From thrusting subaltern to high-flying politician, Cabinet outcast to elder statesman, this is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny.
Looking for Class: Days and Nights at Oxford and Cambridge
By: Bruce Feiler
An irresistible, entertaining peek into the privileged realm of Wordsworth and Wodehouse, Chelsea Clinton and Hugh Grant, Looking for Class offers a hilarious account of one man's year at Oxford and Cambridge -- the garden parties and formal balls, the high-minded debates and drinking Olympics. From rowing in an exclusive regatta to learning lessons in love from a Rhodes Scholar, Bruce Feiler's enlightening, eye-popping adventure will forever change your view of the British upper class, a world romanticized but rarely seen.
The Age of Shakespeare (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: Frank Kermode
In The Age of Shakespeare, Frank Kermode uses the history and culture of the Elizabethan era to enlighten us about William Shakespeare and his poetry and plays. Opening with the big picture of the religious and dynastic events that defined England in the age of the Tudors, Kermode takes the reader on a tour of Shakespeare’s England, vividly portraying London’s society, its early capitalism, its court, its bursting population, and its epidemics, as well as its arts—including, of course, its theater. Then Kermode focuses on Shakespeare himself and his career, all in the context of the time in which he lived. Kermode reads each play against the backdrop of its probable year of composition, providing new historical insights into Shakspeare’s characters, themes, and sources. The result is an important, lasting, and concise companion guide to the works of Shakespeare by one of our most eminent literary scholars.From the Hardcover edition.
84, Charing Cross Road
By: Helene Hanff
This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world. "84, Charing Cross Road will beguile and put you in tune with mankind... It will provide an emollient for the spirit and sheath for the exposed nerve." -- The New York Times"A unique, throat-lumping, side-splitting treasure." -- San Francisco Examiner
Case Histories: A Novel
By: Kate Atkinson
The first book in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie Mysteries series, called "The best mystery of the decade" by Stephen King, finds private investigator Jackson Brodie following three seemingly unconnected family mysteries in Edinburgh Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .
London: A Literary Anthology
By: Richard Fairman
"There's nowhere like London really you know," says Ginger in Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. From the innumerable books written about London or set in the city, it would seem countless other writers agree. This anthology features a wide-ranging collection of poems and scenes from novels that stretch from the 15th century to the present day. They range from Daniel Defoe hymning "the greatest, the finest, the richest city in the world" to Rudyard Kipling declaring impatiently, "I am sick of London town;" from William Makepeace Thackeray moving among "the very greatest circles of the London fashion" to Charles Dickens venturing into an "infernal gulf." Experience London for the first time with Lord Byron's Don Juan, and James Berry in his Caribbean gear "beginning in the city." Plunge into the multi-racial whirlpool described in William Wordsworth's Prelude, Hanif Kureishi's The Black Album, and Zadie Smith's White Teeth. See the ever-changing city through the eyes of Tobias Smollett, John Galsworthy, and Angela Carter. From well-known texts to others that are less familiar, here is London brought to life through the words of many of the greatest writers in the English language.
That Mighty Heart: Visions of London
By: John Elinger
In 1802 William Wordsworth, the great Romantic poet, gazed over London and claimed "Earth has not anything to show more fair". Two centuries after his famous sonnet "Upon Westminster Bridge", That Mighty Heart offers a visual and poetic tribute to a city that today has even stronger claims to be one of the greatest in the world. Designed in the form of seven walks across and around London, and radiating out in all directions from the heart of the city, this book portrays in paint and verse the buildings, parks and sights, both famous and less well-known, that have shaped its history, and contribute to its continuing fascination. The first sequence of poems and paintings focuses on Westminster, taking the reader (and walker) from Westminster Bridge via the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace. The second follows a route through the Kensington area, including Harrods, the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace. The third takes in the British Museum and Covent Garden. The fourth threads its way through the heart of London, from Piccadilly Circus to The Old Bailey, via Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and Cleopatra's Needle. The fifth crosses the City of London, finishing at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The sixth follows the towpath westwards along the south bank of the Thames: Southwark Cathedral and the Shard, the Globe Theatre and the Festival Hall, the Imperial War Museum and the London Eye. The final sequence takes in memorable outlying sites like Hampton Court, Kew Gardens Highgate Cemetery Canary Wharf, Brick Lane, the EIIR Olympic Park and Greenwich. The Introduction provides a concise description of London today and brief history of this remarkable city. Simple and clear maps make it easy for visitors to follow the walks and find their way around London. In words and images That Mighty Heart evokes a place which has gradually changed over the centuries, and yet remains timeless in its beauty and interest.
The Body in the Library: A Miss Marple Mystery (Miss Marple Mysteries)
By: Agatha Christie
The iconic Miss Marple must investigate the case of a girl found dead in Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, The Body in the Library.It’s seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library. She is wearing an evening dress and heavy makeup, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry? The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple into their home to investigate. Amid rumors of scandal, she baits a clever trap to catch a ruthless killer.
The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment (Penguin Classics)
By: Graham Greene
"A master thriller and a remarkable portrait of a twisted character." —Time   For Arthur Rowe, the trip to the charity fête was a joyful step back into adolescence, a chance to forget the nightmare of the Blitz and the aching guilt of having mercifully murdered his sick wife. He was surviving alone, outside the war, until he happened to win a cake at the fête. From that moment, he is ruthlessly hunted by Nazi agents and finds himself the prey of malign and shadowy forces. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Alan Furst.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Birds of Britain: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species of England, Scotland & Wales (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
Britain's diverse habitats are home to nearly 600 species of permanent or migratory species of birds and is the site of the world's largest annual Birding Fair. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species and includes a map featuring prominent bird-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare:  Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed. 

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation or $1,000 for a cruise reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a wait list by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.