Day 1 Depart USA
- A detailed look at the original “ city” of London from the times of the Romans to the modern day financial center
- Visiting the warehouses and winding alleys of Shad Thames, straight out of “Oliver Twist”
- A guided visit to the Duke of Wellington’s Townhouse “ Number One London”
- Lunch in Covent Garden followed by a theatre performance
- A hosted farewell dinner at Simpson’s-in-the Strand
You board your flight for the overnight journey to London. Day 2 Welcome to London
Upon arrival in London you will be met by your driver who will take you on a brief tour through the countryside and into London where you will see all the major sights in a brief orientation tour before arriving at your hotel. We have booked you a table for lunch which gives you the chance to unwind and discuss your upcoming experience. After lunch you have the option of taking a walk in the neighborhood (Buckingham Palace is close by) or taking a leisurely bath to re-hydrate from the flight. The evening has been left open since many people opt for a light snack and an early sleep.Day 3 The City and Saint Paul’s Cathedral
After breakfast your host will be at the hotel to take you back 2,000 years to the ancient Roman site of Londinium that grew into the city of London and eventually became the greater London that we know today. Nearby are key areas of the city of London including Fleet Street, the heart of the British Press, The Bank of England and Lloyd's Insurance. You will then take a walk through Smithfield an area renowned for its meat market as well as a history of blood and gore. After lunch you will visit St. Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. It was here that the funerals of Admiral Horatio Nelson, The Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill occurred and also where Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. After your visit to the "City", your host will bring you back to the hotel.Day 4 The Tower and the Docks of Dickens’ London
This morning your guide will meet you at the hotel and begin an exploration of London from the time of William the Conqueror to the time of Charles Dickens. Your first stop will be the Tower of London whose original tower was built by William the Conqueror and added to by many other monarchs. In addition to currently being the repository of the Crown Jewels, the Tower has also been the scene of trials, imprisonments and even executions of nobles and Queens, innocents and traitors. Your guide will bring this history to life including the name of the important, but little known American imprisoned here. After your tour you cross Tower Bridge to the south side of the Thames where you have lunch. This is an area of contradictions because one part of the area is made up of futuristic buildings holding London's Mayor's offices while the other dates back to the 18th Century. Shad Thames and Butlers Wharf will take us back into the times of Dickens. In fact, you will visit "Jacob's Island" home to Bill Sikes in Dickens' classic "Oliver Twist". You will visit Cinnamon Wharf and Cayenne Court, reminders of the exotic cargoes that were stored here during the heyday of London's Docks before returning to the hotel. This evening one of our hosts will meet you at the hotel and take you to one of their favorite London restaurants. Our hosts are savvy about London and many have a background in the arts and the theater so you will certainly get some good insights along with the good food.Day 5 The Distinguished Legacy of the English Theatre
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel to first take you to the replica of the Globe Theatre created as it would have been in Shakespeare's time. You'll have a guided tour of the current theatre and then visit excavations of original Elizabethan-era theatres now underway. You will then board a boat for a trip across the Thames to Covent Garden where the Royal Opera House is located. This was formerly the site of London's flower market and the place where Professor Higgins first encounters Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. You will have lunch in the Covent Garden area before attending a matinee performance in London's celebrated Theatre district.
Day 6 The Age of Empire
Today you will explore London as Capital of the British Empire. Your first visit will be to Apsley house given to the Duke of Wellington by a grateful nation for his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. The house is the last remaining major London townhouse in existence and the top floors are still occupied by the Wellesley family You will then be taken to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard ceremony. With costumes and bearskin hats dating back to the Napoleonic wars it is British pageantry at its finest. You will then proceed to Trafalgar Square dedicated to Lord Nelson and celebrating the Naval Victory at Trafalgar. Nelson gave his life defeating France at sea and Wellington gained victory on land and was able to enjoy the fruits of his victory into old age. Such is fate. You will then visit Whitehall, site of many ministries and 10 Downing Street famous as the home of the Prime Minister. Your last visit for the day will be the War Cabinet Rooms where Winston Churchill managed the British war effort in World War II while German bombers roared overhead. The rest of the day is at leisure.Day 7 A Traditional Day in London
We have left today open for you to pursue your own activities within London. Whether it is shopping the stores in Knightsbridge and Bond Street or taking time to visit one of London's justly famous museums and art galleries, the choice is yours. You might decide to wonder through London's many parks and take out a pedal boat on the Serpentine. Your options are many. This evening your host will meet you at the hotel for a quintessential English tradition, a dinner at Simpson's–in-the-Strand. This heritage restaurant is famous for its roast beef carved at your table from large domed trolleys. If fish is your thing the Dover Sole is also excellent. What better way to end your London visit? After dinner your host can take you back to the hotel or you may want to spend sometime clubbing in the west end.Day 8 Return to USA
After breakfast your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Available Year Round
Private Sightseeing Tour - London Through the Ages ULGB17 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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