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Highlights
  • Journey through the Dickensian London of gas lamps and alleys, Hardy’s picturesque Wessex and the atmospheric Dartmoor of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Search for clues on an Agatha Christie-inspired field trip and stay at her favorite hotel.
  • Enjoy a field trip to quaint Lacock, where the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” and parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Heroines like Elizabeth Bennet and heroes like Oliver Twist. Bedeviling mysteries solved by Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple. The “merely realistic dream country” of Wessex created by Thomas Hardy. English literature has given us beloved characters, engrossing stories and indelible scenery. Gain entry to the world of great British authors in the places where they lived, worked, dined and found inspiration.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Travel Theme
Countries
  • N/A
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

29
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
90% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
Value
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.4 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
English Literature on Location

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • 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
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • 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

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • 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

WE

Recommends

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

4.0
  • 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

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Bath.

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: The Bailbrook House Hotel

Lunch: In the hotel dining room for those arriving by lunchtime. A light lunch with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

Day 3: Roman Baths & Afternoon Tea, Bath.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Bailbrook House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. A breakfast buffet with a range of hot and cold items, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: We begin our educational adventure in the hotel with a pair of lectures from your Study Leader. Relax with a cup of tea and enjoy as we discuss “Literary Landscapes & Sense of Place” and “Jane Austen: Bath, Balls & Bonnets”.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: This afternoon we venture into Bath, crossing the iconic Pulteney Bridge – one of only four bridges in the world with shops fully lining both sides – before continuing on to the Roman Baths. The Baths, for which the city is named, are a magnificent temple and building complex, constructed around one of Britain’s only natural hot springs and still flow with hot water today. We’ll walk in the footsteps of the ancient Romans as we explore the facility, before calling into The Pump Room. For many years the Pump Room was regarded as the social heart of Bath, and we’ll be fortunate enough to experience a musical trio as we enjoy a thoroughly British afternoon tea.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore Bath.

Day 4: Georgian & Jane Austen’s Bath, Bath.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: The Bailbrook House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we’ll enjoy an expert led walk of Georgian and Jane Austen’s Bath. In the early 18th Century, Bath was seen as a premier destination for fashionable members of society to gather, take the waters and enjoy the city’s varied cultural offerings. Jane Austen was able to draw on her experiences of Bath at this time in her writings, and we’ll explore her time here at the Jane Austen Centre. We’ll continue on to explore The Royal Crescent, often described as one of the finest surviving examples of Georgian architecture in Europe. Commanding spectacular views down over the city, one of the houses has been lavishly and accurately restored to the style enjoyed by its former residents, who once included the Duke of York, and now serves as a museum. To finish off this morning we’ll visit the Assembly Rooms, the sumptuous meeting place of the gentry, and the Bath Fashion Museum where we’ll get an insight into popular styles of the time.

Lunch: Taken out at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time for you to pursue your own interests in this bustling spa town.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Free time.

Day 5: Medieval Lacock and Lacock Abbey, Bath.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Bailbrook House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we board the motor coach for a field trip to the National Trust’s medieval Lacock, a charming rural village untouched by modern development. The village, dating back to the 13th Century, is home to a variety of picturesque limewashed, half-timbered and stone houses. It thrived from the Middle Ages to the 18th Century as a centre of the wool trade, but is better known these days for its appearances in film and television – the village is prominently featured in productions including Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Moll Flanders and, most recently, Harry Potter. We’ll explore the village, before we take a closer look at Lacock Abbey. Located at the heart of the village within expansive grounds, Lacock Abbey is actually a country house presenting an interesting clash of architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery.

Lunch: Taken out at a traditional Lacock inn.

Afternoon: The field trip continues, before we return to Bath.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 6: Stonehenge & Salisbury, Bath.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Bailbrook House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: The day begins as we follow in the footsteps of Tess d’Urberville with a field trip across Salisbury Plains to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Stonehenge. Stonehenge has a world class visitor centre, housing quality permanent exhibitions as well as the opportunity to walk close to the stones themselves and take in the immense sense of ancient history.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We continue by motor coach to the cathedral city of Salisbury, featuring the tallest spire in England. We’ll explore the tranquil close surrounding the Cathedral, and the handsomely furnished Mompesson House, where you can get a sense of the life of its inhabitants in the 18th Century. We’ll round off the day with an expert led visit to historic Salisbury Cathedral, home to the oldest working clock in the world, as well as the fictional workplace of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 7: Transfer to Torquay: Dartmoor & Agatha Christie, Torquay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Torquay

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we board the motor coach and transfer to Torquay, via the dark and sinister romanticism of Dartmoor – inspiration to Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. We’ll take a short walk over the moor to experience the brooding landscapes painted by Doyle in The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as the landscape surrounding the “large, dreary” Moorland Hotel where Agatha Christie finished her first novel.

Lunch: A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a drink or similar will be provided to make the most of this busy transfer day.

Afternoon: We arrive in Torquay, on the English Riviera in Devon, for a field trip to 12th Century Torre Abbey and Poison Gardens. An impressive horticultural curiosity, the Poison Gardens are made up entirely of plants that appear in Agatha Christie’s novels, and a fantastic place to learn about the deadly secrets of some of the most common garden flowers. We then continue on the motor coach as we explore the Agatha Christie Mile – stopping for tea and biscuits along the way – before finishing up at All Saints Church, where Christie was baptised.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Relax and enjoy an Agatha Christie reading or film.

Day 8: Dartmouth & Greenway, Torquay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Torquay

Activity note: Steep slope to Greenway house.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today’s full day field trip sees us board the motor coach and head to Dartmouth, where we will take the ferry to the National Trust’s Greenway – the private holiday home of Agatha Christie and her family. She described Greenway as “the loveliest place in the world” and the house still sits as it would have during the 1950’s, containing many of the family’s varied collections. We’ll investigate the intriguing interiors, before taking some time to amble through its large and romantic woodland garden.

Lunch: Taken at Greenway.

Afternoon: The field trip continues before a ferry journey back to Dartmouth, and onwards to Torquay on the motor coach.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 9: Transfer to Dorchester: Lyme Regis & The Jurassic Coast, Dorchester

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we board the motor coach for our transfer to Dorchester, via the ancient sea port of Lyme Regis. Surrounded by dramatic coastlines and rolling hills, Lyme Regis has been awarded World Heritage Site status for the quality of its geology and fossil finds. The area also has significant literary connections; Jane Austen was a frequent visitor and its harbour, known as “The Cobb”, was heavily featured in the film adaptation of The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Following our time in Lyme Regis, we’ll take a journey along another World Heritage Site: The Jurassic Coast. Documenting 180 million years of the Earth’s history, the Jurassic Coast is an unbroken area of truly stunning coastline stretching 96 miles. As we work our way along the coast we’ll pay a visit to Abbotsbury Swannery, first established by Benedictine Monks in the 1040’s, before continuing on to Dorchester – the heart of Thomas Hardy’s life and work.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 10: Hardy’s Casterbridge, Dorchester

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: The Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Begin by enjoying a lecture on “Far From The Madding Crowd: Hardy’s Wessex” with your Study Leader. Following the lecture we’ll take an expert led walk around Dorchester – better known as Casterbridge in Hardy’s works – following the Hardy Trail.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free to explore Dorchester at your leisure.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: This evening we’ll be treated to a Guest Speaker.

Day 11: Hardy’s Wessex, Dorchester

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: The Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester

Breakfast: Full English breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Dorset was Thomas Hardy’s land and proved to be the inspiration for his writing, where it became known as Wessex. Today we’ll board the motor coach and take a field trip around the county he created – from Puddletown to Cerne Abbas (home to the famous Cerne Abbas Giant), to Sherborne and on to Sturminster Newton. It was here that Hardy wrote Return of the Native.

Lunch: Taken out in a traditional Dorset pub.

Afternoon: Our field trip continues with a visit to Hardy’s birthplace in Higher Brockhampton. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in this small thatch cottage, built by his great-grandfather and now largely unaltered since this time; it was here where Hardy wrote Under The Greenwood Tree and Far From The Madding Crowd. We’ll then continue our journey through Hardy’s life with a visit to Stinsford Church, where Hardy requested he be buried. Upon his death his ashes were actually interred at Westminster Cathedral, however his heart was removed and here it remains – buried in the grave of his wife. Our last stop for the day will be at Max Gate, the house Hardy both designed and lived in from 1885 to 1928. It was here that he wrote some of his most important works: The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and numerous poems and short stories.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 12: Transfer to London: Winchester Cathedral & Jane Austen

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we transfer by motor coach to London, with time to explore the historic city of Winchester along the way. Here your Study Leader will lead you on a walk around Winchester Cathedral, as well as helping you explore the city streets as Jane Austen would have known them during her last days here.

Lunch: A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a drink or similar will be provided to make the most of this busy transfer day.

Afternoon: On departing Winchester we’ll visit Steventon Church, where Austen’s father, brother and later her nephews served as Rectors. The church, first built in the 12th Century, stands almost unchanged from those days and is home to memorial tablets and graves dedicated to Austen’s relatives. We’ll also visit Chawton, where Jane Austen spent her last eight years and finished her greatest work. Here we’ll find the Jane Austen House Museum, which tells the story of the family’s life and Jane’s works.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 13: Dickens’ London

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We begin our look at literary London with a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, before exploring the London of Charles Dickens by motor coach.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken out at the Sherlock Holmes pub.

Afternoon: The field trip continues after lunch as we travel to New Square and Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Dickens’ friend and biographer John Forster lived here and Dickens used it as the home of Mr. Tulkinghorn in Bleak House. It was also here that Dickens gave private readings to Forster, Thomas Carlyle and Daniel Maclise. Our day will then culminate in a visit to the Dickens House Museum, the only one of Dickens’ London houses to still survive today. He lived in the Georgian house between 1837 and 1839, writing his first three novels on the way to becoming the most famous author of the 19th Century. Four floors are filled with the most important collection of Dickens’ material anywhere in the world.

Dinner: A farewell dinner in the hotel – time to say goodbye to your new found friends.

Evening: Free time.

Day 14: Program Concludes, London, England

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 4,875

Price Per Day:

$ 348 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
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.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 12 nights of accommodations
  • 4 expert-led lectures
  • 17 expert-led field trips
  • 2 hands-on experiences
  • 1 performance
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

31 Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 11 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

The Bailbrook House Hotel: 5 nights  Bath, Somerset

Bailbrook House is a Grade II listed property, set within 20 acres of private grounds, with commanding views towards central Bath and the countryside.            

 

Grand Hotel Torquay: 2 nights  Devon

The Grand is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, a short drive from Dartmoor National Park. The Grand Hotel dominates one side of the sweeping arc of Tor Bay in Torquay, heart of the English Riviera. Its location is ideal, looking out towards Torquay harbour and Corbyn Head. Once the favourite hotel of Agatha Christie.

 

The Wessex Royale Hotel, Dorchester: 3 nights  Dorchester, Dorset

The hotel building is a delightful Georgian era hotel located in the centre of the town. With classically designed rooms and an excellent central location, The Wessex Royale is ideal for a relaxing break. The original hotel building was built in 1756 and stood as an old coaching inn.

 

Radisson Edwardian Vanderbilt: 2 nights  London

The hotel was once the London residence of the Vanderbilt family. Many original features have been carefully restored to their former glory including stained glass windows, wood panelled rooms and its magnificent artistic ceiling.

Start City
Bath
End City
London

Trip ID#: EngLitRoa

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