- Seeing sites that inspired “ Great Expectations” in Dickens’ Rochester
- A tour of “ Casterbridge” through the eyes of Thomas Hardy
- Seeing a performance of a Shakespeare play in his birthplace
- Reliving “ The Lord of the Rings”, Alice in Wonderland” and “ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” in the hallowed halls of Oxford
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your Business Class flight for the overnight trip to London and the beginning of your exploration of the world of English Literature
Day 2 Arrival in Britain
You arrive in the morning and after completing customs formalities you are met by your driver and taken to the city of Dover where you see the famous White Cliffs and take a tour of Dover Castle before having a light lunch at a local pub. You are then driven to your hotel near Dover where you have a chance to relax before dinner.
Day 3 Pip and Miss Faversham in Dickens’ Rochester
After breakfast your driver will take you to the town of Rochester where you meet up with a local Dickens expert. Rochester was Dickens' home and the location of many of the scenes in his novels. Your first stop will be the Hoo peninsula, the marshes where Pip met Magwitch in "Great Expectations", and the church where Pip's family were buried. You return to Rochester to view Restoration House which was the model for Miss Faversham's house, also in Great Expectations. You will see other places with Dickens connections and have lunch at The Leather Bottle Pub which is full of Dickens' memorabilia. You will spend some time at the Dickens center before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 4 Tales of Canterbury
Today you head to Canterbury, long associated with Geoffrey Chaucer who's "Canterbury Tales" were written towards the end of the fourteenth century and portray the funny and sometimes ribald nature of the pilgrimages to Becket's tomb. Becket was an Archbishop who was assassinated in 1170 by four knights due, in part to the power struggle between archbishops, the abbots from a nearby Benedictine Abbey and King Henry II. The cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England and the seat of the Primate of all of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury. This position is also the titular head of all Anglicans and, in America, Episcopalians. After touring the Cathedral including Becket's tomb you will head to the Kentish coast for lunch and a drive around the peninsula before returning to your hotel.
Day 5 Winchester, Stonehenge and Salisbury Plain
This morning you are met by your driver and taken, initially, to the city of Winchester and its remarkable Cathedral, which you take time to visit. You then head out to Salisbury Plain where you have a chance to view Stonehenge that enigmatic circle of massive stone pillars before heading to the coast and Bournemouth. Your hotel is right on the beach and will be your home for the next two nights.
Day 6 “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and other stories
After breakfast you are picked up by your driver and taken to the town of Dorchester which is featured as "Casterbridge" in so many Hardy novels. For fans of "The Mayor of Casterbridge" we will see key locations central to the book including St. Peter's Church, The King's Arms Hotel, Grey's Bridge, the Antelope Hotel and The Corn Exchange. After lunch you will visit the Dorset County Museum where you see a reconstruction of Hardy's study from his house at Max Gate. We will also visit Stinsford ("Mellstock") where Hardy's heart is buried adjacent to the grave of his first wife and other members of his family.
Day 7 A Scenic Drive through the Cotswolds
After breakfast we drive through some of the backroads of the Cotswolds passing through (and stopping at, if you choose) picturesque towns with delightful names such as Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh. Your destination is Nottinghamshire and specifically in the area of Stratford-Upon-Avon long revered as Shakespeare's birthplace You will stop for lunch in a scenic inn before arriving at your hotel which dates back to Shakespeare's time and two hundred years earlier!
Day 8 “The Play’s the Thing”
Today you will visit the town where Shakespeare was born and where his future wife was also born. After visiting his birthplace and the home of Anne Hathaway, his future wife, you will visit the Royal Shakespeare Company complex where we have set up a backstage tour. After lunch you will attend a matinee performance of one of Shakespeare's plays before returning to your hotel.
Day 9 A Leisurely Drive to Oxford
We have left this morning free for you to relax and enjoy the grounds of Fawsley Hall laid out by "Capability" Brown. The Cedar of Lebanon tree is not to be missed. In early afternoon your driver will be at the hotel to take you back through the scenic Cotswolds to the city of Oxford. Upon arrival you have a chance to stroll around the town near our hotel before you enjoy dinner.
Day 10 The Literary Heritage of Oxford
Today you will have a privately guided tour of the main areas of the University. Dubbed the "City of Dreaming Spires", the university has always had an ethereal air. As an example, for the ten miles that the Thames flows through Oxford it is named the "Isis." The University can be excused its eccentricity, however since it has graduated 5 Kings, 40 Nobel Prize Winners and 25 British Prime Ministers. Either as students or dons (or both) the school embraced Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll. During your tour you will visit the Ashmolean Museum, founded in 1683 and the Bodleian Library which, while established in 1602 has certain buildings dating back to 1488. In more modern times, the film "Shadowlands" (about C.S. Lewis) and parts of the Harry Potter series have been filmed here.
Day 11 Return to USA
Your driver will be ready to drive you to the airport for your return flight to the US
Available year round
Literary Tour of the English Countryside - England Private Culture Tour ULGB11 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Dover, Bournemouth, Daventry, Oxford
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)