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  • Choose from a selection of themed walks and field trips in Oxford and London to explore landmarks including the Globe Theater, British Library and more.
  • Savor an Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner with food historian Anne Menzies in honor of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece.
  • Join Dr. Steve Parissien, director of Compton Verney, for a morning at this 18th-century mansion, and admire its architecture, art galleries and exquisite grounds.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

England & Scotland

The Cotswolds England Walking Tour

England, Wales & Scotland


The best of the U.K. meets the best of Road Scholar as some of our finest instructors offer their personal perspectives into the worlds of theater, intelligence and the monarchy! Join our experts in Oxford and London for a truly delightful and personal look into British life and culture as Road Scholar celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. Enjoy an opportunity to customize your adventure as you choose from an exciting array of field trips that lead into the heart of landmarks such as the Churchill War Rooms, Westminster Cathedral and Trinity College, Oxford.

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Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
Celebrating 40 Years - The Best of Road Scholar in the UK

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Does Not Recommend


  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
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Operator Road Scholar


Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar



Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar



A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar



Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar


Day 1

In Transit Overnight: Flights from North America.

Day 2: Reception and Gala Dinner, St Hugh's.          

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Arrive To: London. Transfers by private car from London Heathrow Airport to Oxford.

Lunch: Excluded.

Afternoon: Welcome meeting by course facilitator, John Harris, former Steward of Christ Church Oxford. A reception in St Hugh's lovely college grounds follows at 6:30pm. St Hugh's has one of the largest college grounds of any in Oxford. The College grounds have sometimes been called 'the island site' because of their size and tranquility.

Dinner: A welcome three course dinner with wine is held in St Hugh's.

Evening: At leisure. Mingle with other participants.

Day 3: Experts on Oxford University/Oxford and College W...              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in St Hugh's dining room. Your choice of eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato, baked beans, cereals, toast, yoghurt, juice, tea and coffee.

Morning: The celebrations commence with talks on Oxford University and the collegiate system by Dr Steve Parissien and John Harris. After mid-morning refreshments Giles Ramsay talks about The Peculiarities and History of the English Public School System.

Lunch: Hot and cold fork buffet in the college dining room.

Afternoon: This afternoon you have the choice of three expert-led college walks. One walk will visit St John's, Balliol and Trinity colleges. Another will visit iconic sites in central Oxford: The Sheldonian Theatre, the Divinity School and Brasenose College. The third will visit the Oxford Botanic Gardens- oldest Botanic Garden in Britain. The Botanic Garden is the most compact, yet diverse collection of plants in the world right in the heart of the city centre. Continue across the road to Magdalen College and deer park.

Dinner: Three course served dinner in the college dining room.

Evening: After dinner join John Harris for an enjoyable and educational whisky tasting session. Learn to distinguish between blended and single malts, peaty whisky from Isla and smoother Highland malts. The question is "do you add water or ice or drink straight?". Find out the Connoisseur's way.

Day 4: Inspector Morse's Oxford/Christ Church

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Inspector Morse's Oxford/Christ Church/ Historic Banquet The Queen's College.

Breakfast: Full breakfast in college.

Morning: An expert-led lecture explores the varied history of Christ Church college and Cathedral. This famous college-the largest of the 39 colleges- has been home to 13 Prime Ministers and numerous Cabinet ministers, Bishops and civil servants. Founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in 1525, it was re-founded in 1546 to incorporate the cathedral for the Diocese of Oxford. John and Charles Wesley were undergraduates at the college, and a memorial stone in the floor commemorates that both were ordained in the cathedral. Rev Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was a mathematics tutor here in the 19th century and wrote Alice in Wonderland about Alice Liddell, daughter of the then Dean. More recently, scenes from Harry Potter were filmed on the hall stairs. After morning refreshments, Anthony Richards explores the important association between author Colin Dexter and his fictional creation Inspector Morse.

Lunch: Buffet in St Hugh's.

Afternoon: Take an Inspector Morse walk in central Oxford followed by some free time before a guided walk around Christ Church. Discover the "secret garden", the Jaberwocky tree, Tom Quad, Wolsey's Tudor kitchen, the Cathedral and the Great Hall so famously reproduced as Hogwarts hall in the Harry Potter films. Dependent on the weather a reception will be held in Tom Quad or the Cathedral grounds or ante room.

Dinner: Food historian, Anne Menzies, recreates an historic gala dinner honoring the 150th anniversary of the first edition of Alice in Wonderland. In Through the Looking Glass, Alice was told that when she became a Queen she would have to put on a college banquet. The theme of the dinner is therefore Alice’s Banquet in Wonderland. Other celebrity chefs have used this theme as a basis for wild imaginary food. While the mood might be colourful, bizarre, we nevertheless have to stick to the accuracy of the text. The event will be a literary celebration to Charles Dodgson. The event will be held in The Queen's College, Oxford, founded in 1341. Depending on participant numbers, the dinner will be taken in The Hall, a magnificent 18th century venue. Drinks may be held in the Fellows Garden or College Garden. Expect surprises!

Day 5: Historic Compton Verney.       

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: St Hugh's College

Breakfast: In St Hugh's.

Morning: Mid morning, journey through the Cotswold and Warwickshire countryside to Compton Verney where Director Dr Steve Parissien will welcome us. The 18th century country mansion is home to the award-winning Compton Verney Art Gallery. Compton Verney is now a unique place where art, architecture, landscape and learning fuse. The gallery is set in 120 acres of Grade 2 listed classical parkland, landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the most eminent landscape architect of the eighteenth-century. Today the grounds still reflect his 'pleasure grounds' of sweeping grassland, ornamental lake and Cedars of Lebanon for which Capability Brown is famous.

Lunch: In Compton Verney.

Afternoon: The field trip continues with tours of the permanent collections and exhibitions. Enjoy a reception before returning to St Hugh's.

Dinner: In St Hugh's.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Hear from a Nationally renowned journalist                

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street

Hear from a Nationally renowned journalist and theatre professional Giles Ramsay.

Breakfast: In St Hugh's.

Morning: Transfer by coach to London.

Lunch: Excluded so that you can explore local fare.

Afternoon: After some free time return to the hotel to hear independent theatre producer, award-winning playwright, Giles Ramsay, in conversation with a national journalist who discusses the state of the nation and other topics. Journalists who have adressed our groups include Steve Richards and Paddy O'Connell.

Dinner: The group will be divided into two with one group having a pre-theatre dinner and theatre performance while the other group is at leisure. Monday evening the second group enjoys the dinner and performance and the other group is at leisure.

Evening: Theatre perfromance.

Day 7: Giles Ramsay on the British Theatre Scene     

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakast in the hotel.

Morning: Giles Ramsay discusses British theatre.

Lunch: Traditional Sunday lunch in the hotel.

Afternoon: There will be four different expertly led walks to choose from this afternoon. You may stay with Giles Ramsay or Malcolm Jones and explore Shakespeare's Globe theatre and exhibiton. Or choose to follow garden historian Jane London at the Chesea Physic Garden. Others may choose to visit Dickens House Museum with historian Kevin Flude. Nigel West will lead you on a spy walk and visit to Churchill's War Rooms and Museum.

Dinner: Is excluded so that you can sample local fare or perhaps indulge in one of London's fine Indian restaurants. Your group leader will have suggestions to help you choose.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: An Intelligence Day with leading analysts.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning one of the world's experts on spies and intelligence, Nigel West explores US-UK intelligence collaboration. After a break Nigel is joined by Glenmore Trenear-Harvey, intelligence analyst, who talks about Russian Intelligence, Litvinenko, the Siloviki and a return to the Cold War? Russian and British espionage the assassination of Glenmore's friend Alexander Litvinenko, and how the rise of Putin and the Siloviki could result in a return to the Cold War.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: This afternoon Professor Richard Aldrich considers the issues raised by Edward Snowden and the NSA. After a break we take a trip above London as we venture up the Shard, Europe's first vertical city with a 360degree view over London.

Dinner: The remaining half of the group have a pre-theatre dinner followed by a theatre performance. The other half are at leisure.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Ken Wharfe After-Dinner Talk on Princess Diana        

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Choose from three field trips: A River cruise on the Thames from the Tower to Westminster where we explore Westminster Abbey; Walk legal London at the Inns of Court, Middle Temple and Temple Church; At the British Library learn more of the celebrated document Magna Carta which changed the course of history in England and laid the foundation for the US Constitution.

Lunch: Excluded.

Afternoon: Giles Ramsay and journalist and theatre critic Kate Bassett discuss the role of the theatre critic in the UK. Royal Editor Robert Jobson and former Press Secretary to the Queen, Charles Anson discuss the New Monarchy.

Dinner: Private dinner.

Evening: After dinner Ken Wharfe, former Royal Protection Officer to William and Harry and then Princess Diana, reveals his time with the Royal Family.

Day 10: Field Trips/After Dinner Talk by Sir John Lister-Kaye            

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Choose one of three field trips: Kensington Palace with Ken Wharfe; The Churchill War Rooms with Nigel West or a trip on the London Eye.

Lunch: Excluded.

Afternoon: Free time until 5:00pm when Dawn Kelly, Director of the UK office and Kevin Hickey, Director of EIL who run Road Scholar programmes in Ireland, talk about the big conference Easter Rising 1916-a hundred years on to be held in Dublin in 2016.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel.

Evening: Sir John Lister-Kaye, author, conservationist and founder of Aigas Field Centre speaks after-dinner.

Day 11

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: A full English and continental breakfast in the hotel dining room. Some transfers may depart before breakfast is available.

Morning: Transfers to London's Heathrow Airport.

Dates & Pricing

Price From


Price Per Day:

NA per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 9 nights of accommodations
  • 21 meals: 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 15 Expert-led lectures
  • 8 Field trips
  • 3 Hands-on experiences
  • 1 Performances
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices
Trip Excludes
  • International flights
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Passport and Visa expenses
Meals Included:

9 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Trip ID#: CelYeaRoa


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