This one-of-a-kind mystery tour explores the landscape of British mysteries from Devon and Dartmoor to Oxford and London!

Starting at: $6,295 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Landscape of Dartmoor  The coast of Devon  Classic Mystery Lover's England  The beautiful Oxford skyline  All Souls College, Oxford  View near Oxford's Main Street  Bridge of Sighs landmark, Oxford University  Sculptural detail found in Oxford  Typical village in the Cotswolds  Big Ben and Parliament, London  London's Tower Bridge

Classic Mystery Lover's England

Featuring Devon, Oxford, and London

9 days from $6,295

This one-of-a-kind mystery tour explores the landscape of British mysteries from Devon and Dartmoor to Oxford and London!

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This is my second mystery tour, and it was absolutely amazing. I came away with new favorite authors, wonderful memories and new friends who share my mystery addiction! 

- Lourdes F.

The tour was excellent, and the trio of ladies who led us are also excellent. Actually seeing where authors have located their stories makes reading the mysteries more enjoyable, adds another dimension to the story. 

- Kathy C.

You can't see it all on one or even two trips so having knowledgeable leaders and an overall theme provided focus and made the selection of sights and cultural experiences relevant. We saw sights and gained insights that you just don't get on the average sightseeing tour. There was not a single "ok, that's nice" moment. 

- Wayne B.

If you like to learn and have fun at the same time, take a Smithsonian tour. 

- Irma C.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

The Imperial Hotel Torquay

Torquay, Devon, United Kingdom

The Imperial Hotel is an elegant Victorian hotel set on a cliff top with sweeping panoramic views of the South Devon coastline. The hotel features elegant décor and period furnishings that will take you back to the period of Agatha Christie's books. In fact, this hotel was the inspiration for the “Majestic Hotel,” featured in Agatha Christie's novels The Body in the Library and Peril at End House. Bedrooms are bright and spacious, and furnished in traditional style. The hotel has both outdoor and heated indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna, and lovely gardens surrounding the building.

Number of nights: 2

The Minster Mill Hotel

Whitchurch on Thames, United Kingdom

The Minster Mill Hotel Hotel is a historic hotel located in the picturesque town of Minster Lovell. Refurbished in 2019, the hotel has been updated and stylishly decorated, while still recalling it’s historic mid-century roots. Bedrooms vary in size and offer either twin beds or a double bed. Rooms amenities include Dyson hair dryers and Nespresso tea and coffee-making service.

Number of nights: 3

Melia White House

London, United Kingdom

Located next to Regent Park, and only a short walk from Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street, The Melia White House Hotel will be sure to make your stay in London exceptional. Housed in a historic building, the hotel has been a London landmark since the 1930s. All guestrooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi, hairdryer, UK/EU/US sockets (so you will always be able to charge your electronic devices), coffee and tea-making facilities and a mini-bar. You will sleep soundly and wake up refreshed on extra long beds.Dine at The Place Restaurant, which features international cuisine and take-away, for all your meals.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: Longer tour with mostly full-day excursions by motor coach, with three hotel stays. Full-day excursions entail daily activity of up to six hours and walking up to four miles. Travelers will spend much of their days on their feet, walking and standing during walking tours, museum visits, and indoor/outdoor sites and activities. Walking may entail uneven terrain, cobblestones, city hills, stairs (some without handrails), and absence of elevators; some longer walks to get to city centers or venues where coaches are prohibited. This tour features a train ride aboard a historic steam train and a river cruise, which require good balance to navigate and possibly climbing steep steps to board the train. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This is my second mystery tour, and it was absolutely amazing. I came away with new favorite authors, wonderful memories and new friends who share my mystery addiction! 

- Lourdes F.

The tour was excellent, and the trio of ladies who led us are also excellent. Actually seeing where authors have located their stories makes reading the mysteries more enjoyable, adds another dimension to the story. 

- Kathy C.

You can't see it all on one or even two trips so having knowledgeable leaders and an overall theme provided focus and made the selection of sights and cultural experiences relevant. We saw sights and gained insights that you just don't get on the average sightseeing tour. There was not a single "ok, that's nice" moment. 

- Wayne B.

If you like to learn and have fun at the same time, take a Smithsonian tour. 

- Irma C.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Cotswold Killing (Cotswold Mysteries)
By: Tope, Rebecca
The Rough Guide to Devon & Cornwall (Rough Guides)
By: Robert Andrews
The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall is the perfect companion to your trip to this captivating peninsula, introducing you to the charms of gentle, pastoral Devon and wild, craggy Cornwall. Both counties will tempt you outside to enjoy their mild climate, with everything from hikes over Dartmoor and surfing off Newquay to puffin-spotting on Lundy Island. But it's not all about the great outdoors, with awe-inspiring cathedrals, innovative galleries and a well-established local food scene to explore (not to mention an even longer-established cider-drinking tradition).The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall includes honest reviews from our expert author of what to do and where to eat, drink and sleep in the region, alongside detailed full-colour maps and inspiring photography.Whether you want to visit a rock-hewn theatre or a witchcraft museum, a stately home or a vegan café, The Rough Guide to Devon and Cornwall will help you make the most of your time in these beautiful counties.
Original Sin
By: P. D. James
Adam Dalgliesh takes on a baffling murder in the rarefied world of London book publishing in this masterful mystery from one of our finest novelists. Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of impenetrable complexity. A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies—a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again.
In Search Of England
By: H. V. Morton, Jan Morris
Currently in its 40th printing with its original publisher in the UK, this is the book that one British newspaper has called "travel writing at its best. Bill Bryson must weep when he reads it." Whether describing ruined gothic arches at Glastonbury or hilarious encounters with the inhabitants of Norfolk, Morton recalls a way of life far from gone even at the beginning of a new century.
Fodor's London 25 Best 2020 (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides

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Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages 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 around them. 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 Provided With Your Tour

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour management throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Meals as indicated on the tour page, including special welcome and farewell dinners (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling for one bag plus one carry-on bag per person.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • Round-trip international airfare and air and departure taxes.
  • Transfers to and from your home to the program site and transfers to and from the airports, unless specifically noted
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Room service and valet/laundry service.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included.  
  • Optional Travel Insurance 

Registration

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.

To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm.

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information
For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov). In the event, an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments
Deposit of $500 per person, per tour, is required to reserve a space on a tour program. The deposit may be made by credit card or check to Smithsonian Journeys and is applied to the final payment of the program price. 

Balance due upon invoicing at least 95 days prior to the program. If 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 a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $500 per person, then payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and 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 program within the designated late registration period for that program.

For additional information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. 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 waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm or SJReservations@si.edu. 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

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking: entire deposit retained.
  • Final payment due: 95 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations made less than 95 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Air Service

For tour packages 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.

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

Neither Smithsonian Journeys nor the tour operator has any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in international gateways, travel dates, or airline schedule changes. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
A designated group flight is not included on most tours. However, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.

Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Tours also can be canceled due to low enrollments. Neither 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

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details. 

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents

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 in this catalog. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. You are responsible for obtaining these documents. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

Physical and Medical Considerations

Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition. You must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers 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. Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which are noted on the Tour Information link

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Accommodations

Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers; 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 apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, 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. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged. 

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements
Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel. Please note that the tour operator can assist you in making post-tour arrangements only. We regret that we are unable to help with pre-tour arrangements.

Photography
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at 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.

Preparing for Your Journey

Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both general and tour specific information to help you prepare for your travel experience. These bulletins will include:

  • Passport and visa instructions
  • Flight information
  • Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
  • A suggested reading list
  • General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions, and currency.
  • Information about your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour staff
  • Baggage tag(s) and name badge(s)
  • Final itinerary
  • Participant list  

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 including, but not limited to, weather, flooding, and high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, 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.

By Registering For A Smithsonian Journey, The Participant Agrees To The Responsibility Statement And Liability Disclaimer And The Terms And Conditions Herein. Updated April, 2019. ©2019, Smithsonian Institution