The Great Literary Tour of Britain

  • 
                      The Great Literary Tour of Britain
  • 
                      The Great Literary Tour of Britain
  • 
                      The Great Literary Tour of Britain

The Concept

Incorporating all the key Shakespeare locations in and around Stratford-upon-Avon, this tour is a must for teachers looking to provide students with an insight into some of the great literary minds in history.

·  Geoffrey Chaucer

·  TS Eliot

·  Dickens

·  Jane Austin

·  Agatha Christie

·  JK Rowling

Aimed at secondary school students in English and English Literature, students will be inspired, and build on their love of literature through experiencing the surroundings and influences on the author.This program also allows plenty of time to experience English culture and history from castles to small towns and major cities.

Itinerary Day By Day

DAY 1 AUSTRALIA - LONDON

Check in for your flight from Australia to London.

DAY 2 LONDON (D)

On arrival in London you will be met and assisted to the coach for transfer to your hotel in the literary heart of London- Bloomsbury After check in, take a leisurely walk around Bloomsbury to learn about the unparalleled literary heritage of the area. Visit Russell Square, where T. S. Eliot worked for 40 years; Bloomsbury Square (where a plaque commemorates the bohemian and avant-garde members of the Bloomsbury Group) and Bedford Square, site of the Dickens House Museum where Charles Dickens briefly lived (48 Doughty Street) and completed the hugely popular Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. A 3 course dinner has been included tonight.

DAY 3 LONDON (B, D)

Full day in London. In addition to a panoramic tour of the famous sites (Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey) visit three of London’s major attractions.
First stop is St. Paul’s Cathedral. As the Cathedral of the capital city, St Paul’s is the spiritual focus for the Nation. This is where people and events of overwhelming importance to the country have been celebrated, mourned and commemorated since the first Service took place in 1697.
After an independent lunch, proceed to the Tower of London to learn about its fascinating (and often bloody) history. Work commenced on this riverside fortress 900 years ago and the structure we see today was completed in the 14th Century. The Tower was the refuge of Richard II during the Peasants’ Revolt, the prison of Sir Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh and the future Queen Elizabeth, and the execution place of Lady Jane Grey (British sovereign for 9 days), Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s second and fourth queens. Today, the Tower is home to the priceless Crown Jewels and it is now possible to view them at close quarters. The White Tower, Royal Armouries and Traitor’s Gate give an insight into the turbulent medieval history of the city and the Royal Chapel is the resting place of many of the Tower’s victims. The Yeoman Warders (often called Beefeaters) and ravens (whose desertion of the Tower is thought to herald the fall of the British monarchy) are all part of the tradition.
Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote is a faithful reconstruction of the original theatre. You will have a 30 minutes guided tour of the theatre revealing the story of its reconstruction and giving an exciting insight into how the ‘wooden O’ works today as an imaginative and experimental theatrical space.
In the evening 3 course pre-theatre dinner followed by an evening performance at the London’s West End theatre or similar, subject to programme and availability.

DAY 4 LONDON – CANTERBURY – ROCHESTER – LONDON (B, D)

After breakfast at your hotel you will be taken on a full day excursion into Kent, ‘the Garden of England’, and East Sussex, which has a literary heritage of its own. Drive to Canterbury and meet your local guide before visiting its stunning Cathedral which was a major centre of medieval Christianity and the destination of Chaucer’s pilgrims. After visiting the Cathedral you will have free time in Canterbury to explore this ancient city. En route back to London you will visit Rochester. The town was for many years a favourite of Charles Dickens, who lived nearby and based many of his novels in the area. You will have free time to spend at leisure in Rochester. Dinner is included at your hotel this evening.

DAY 5 LONDON – WINCHESTER – PORTSMOUTH (B, D)

Check out after breakfast this morning then board the coach bound for Jane Austen’s Hampshire.
First, visit the simple and charming village of Steventon and the 12th century Steventon Church where Jane worshiped. Whilst she lived at Steventon, Jane attended many dances at nearby large country houses including The Vyne.

It was at the Steventon Rectory that Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 and where she was to remain for the first twenty five years of her life. Her father was the vicar at Stevenson. The church remains today, however the rectory is no longer standing.

Here you will see a bronze plaque dedicated to Jane Austen. When Jane’s father retired, her eldest brother took over as vicar. His grave, along with other relatives, can be found in the churchyard.

The village of Steventon itself lies nestled in a quiet spot between two main thoroughfares from Basingstoke: the Andover road at Deane to the north, where stage coaches to and from London halted twice a day and the Winchester road to the south near Dummer, which was known as Popham Lane. Like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, Jane was a keen walker and often walked to Popham Lane where the family collected their letters at what is now known as the Wheatsheaf Inn.

Afterwards continue to Winchester, where Jane moved to in early 1817 when she became ill and where she died on 18th July, at the age of 41. Visit the magnificent Winchester Cathedral where you will find Jane’s tomb in the north aisle together with a brass plaque and memorial window.

Proceed to Southampton/Portsmouth area and check into your hotel.
Dinner at hotel.

Accommodation for the next 2 nights is at our preferred accommodation in Portsmouth.

DAY 6 PORTSMOUTH – SALISBURY (B, D)

Enjoy an English breakfast at your hotel followed by check out. The historic township of Portsmouth offers many wonderful experiences. Visit the historic dockyard, climb aboard the Lord Nelson and Victory Warrior. You will also get to see many of the artefacts from Henry VIII’s famous ship - The Mary Rose. The HMS Victory is the Royal Navy's most famous warship. She is the world's oldest commissioned ship and a proud memorial to Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain's greatest Naval hero. The Mary Rose was one of the earliest ships to carry heavy guns. She was a favorite of King Henry VIII and sank off Portsmouth in 1545 during an engagement with a French invasion fleet, in full view of the King, the screams of the men onboard, ringing in his ears.
Travel to the town of Salisbury to visit the Gothic cathedral, which is also home to The Magna Carta. Climb the tower and enjoy the views from this magnificent cathedral. Dinner at your hotel.

DAY 7 SALISBURY – STONEHENGE – BATH (B, D)

After breakfast and checkout, travel by coach to Bath, visiting the mystical and monumental site of Stonehenge en route (subject to availability of a school group booking). 5,000-year-old Stonehenge is Europe’s most famous prehistoric site and though we know from the stones’ alignment that worship of the sun and moon took place here, the rituals themselves are still shrouded in mystery. The ancient city of Bath retains so much of its Georgian charm that Austen fans will recognise many streets and squares from her novels. View the magnificent Royal Crescent - perhaps the most attractive street in the country - and take afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms (as described in Austen’s Northanger Abbey), which adjoin the beautifully preserved and fascinating Roman Baths. Proceed to your hotel and check in. Dinner is included at your hotel this evening.

DAY 8 BATH – OXFORD – STRATFORD UPON AVON/COVENTRY AREA (B, D)

Leave Bath after breakfast at your hotel starting with a short visit to the 13th century Lacock Abbey, the location of many Harry Potter movie scenes.
The Abbey was founded in 1232 and has spectacular medieval cloisters, chapter house and sacristy. Extensive filming was undertaken here including the Mrs. Norris cat scenes filmed in the cloisters; Professor Snape’s laboratory in the sacristy; the nunnery for many of the scenes from ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone’, the nun’s warming room which was transformed in to a classroom and the chapter house where Harry first saw his mother and father in the Mirror of Erised.
to Oxford. The ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ is famous the world over for its University and its place in history. For over 800 years it has been a home to royalty, scholars and writers. It has been an established town since the 9th century, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years. Nowadays, it is a bustling, cosmopolitan town. You will have the opportunity to visit Christ Church - one of the largest colleges in the University of Oxford - and recently the location where scenes from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter films were shot. Visit the dining hall (the dining room at Hogwart’s) and also see the magnificent Cathedral. Later, continue on to Stratford-upon-Avon. Dinner at your hotel.
This evening, you can make an optional visit to the theatre for a Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) performance (subject to availability).

DAY 9 STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (B, D)

This morning you will visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Discover the exciting story of William Shakespeare's early years and see where he spent the first five years with his new wife. Stroll around the house where he was born and grew up.

Then go on to visit Guildhall (subject to opening times) where William Shakespeare was educated and where he first witnessed professional theatre. The upper part of the building, known as Big School, is still used for lessons today. But below it on the ground floor of the building, the Guild Hall (or Feast Hall) and the adjoining Agreeing Room, are to be restored and opened.

In the afternoon you will visit the New Place (Nash House), the site of Shakespeare’s last home and where he died in 1616. Thanks to a confirmed grant of £1,815,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the site is set to become a major new landmark attraction. Shakespeare’s New Place re-opened for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on 23rd April 2016.
Dinner included at your hotel tonight.

DAY 10 STRATFORD-UPON-AVON (B, D)

After breakfast at the hotel, students will participate in a customized full day workshop at The Clore Learning Centre, Stratford upon Avon (preferably 10.00am – 3.30pm; max 30 students per workshop).Play title: any Shakespeare play of your choice.

Join a public tour (subject to time slots) of the Other Place (Costume Store at Royal Shakespeare Company).
Dinner tonight is at your hotel.

DAY 11 STRATFORD-UPON-AVON- LONDON (B,D)

Breakfast at hotel followed by check out. Return to London by coach and say goodbye to your coach driver. Check into your accommodation. Remainder of the day free at teacher's discretion for some last minute sightseeing and/or shopping.
Dinner included.

DAY 12 ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Check out after breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Australia.

DAY 13 ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Arrive Australia (subject to airline schedules).

Inclusions
  • Return international economy airfares including pre-paid taxes and charges
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at a 2 star hotel in London, including breakfast and dinner
  • 2 nights’ accommodation at a 3 star hotel in Portsmouth/Southampton area including breakfast and dinner
  • 1 night’s accommodation at 3 star hotel in the Salisbury area
  • 1 night’s accommodation at 3 star hotel in the Bath area
  • 2 nights’ accommodation at 3 star hotel in the Coventry area
  • 1 night’s accommodation at 2 star hotel in London including
  • All accommodations in twin/triple share rooms with private facilities with daily breakfast and dinner (hostel accommodation in London possible on request and subject to availability)
  • Coach transfers: London airport – accommodation (meet & greet included), London accommodation - airport
  • 1 full day coach hire for sightseeing of London
  • 1 full day coach hire for excursion to Canterbury
  • 7 day touring coach for days 5-11
  • Half day Blue Badge guide for day 3
  • Entrances and guided tours: Globe Theatre Tour & Exhibition; Canterbury Cathedral; Salisbury Cathedral and Tower Tour, The Other Place (RSC Costume Store) in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Entrances: Charles Dickens Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London; Ticket for mid-week Westend Musical; Winchester Cathedral; Portsmouth Historic Dockyard; Roman Bath; Christ Church College; Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare New Place (Nash House)
  • Full Day Workshop The Clore Learning Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon on a Shakespeare play (maximum of 30 students)
  • Traditional afternoon Tea in the Pump Room Restaurant in Bath