DAY 1 LONDON
Arrival in London and meeting with the accompanying guide. Panoramic tour of London, where we can contemplate Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square. Lunch. Tour of the Tower of London. For more than 900 years the Tower of London was a synonym with terror ddue to the fact that it was the place where those who offended the monarch were locked up. There were many personages of great relevance who had the que tuvieron the misfortune of suffering between the walls of the Tower of London, among whome were included some dethroned kings, aristocrats and clerics accused of treason. Some of the most noteworthy of them who were executed in the green tower were the Queen Consort Anne Bolyn, or the thinker and writer Thomas More. Then, tour of Westminster Abbey, the most famous and oldest temple in London. Chose as seat for the royal coronations, the Abbey also houses the tombs of the monarchs and historic British figures from the last thousand years. The walls of the Abbey hold some of the best examples of London medieval architecture. The Abbey has numerous places of interest in its interior, such as: Lady Chapel, one of the most impressive chapels in the Abbey, with a somber roof and choir stalls from the year 1512; the “Poets Corner”, which houses the tombs and Mausoleums of grandes geniuses of literature like Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Samuel Johnson and Rudyard Kipling; the throne of Saint Edward, from the 11th century, and where the soverigns sit to be crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Cloisters, constructed between the 13th and 14th centuries and that unite the Church of the Abbey with the rest of the annexes; the Chapter House, with an octagonal structure, that still conserves the mosaic floors from the 12th century; the Garden Collage, more than 900 years old, is the oldest park in England. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 2 LONDON
Tour of the neighborhood of Bloomsbury, origin of Bloomsbury Circle, an association of intellectuals, artists and writers who shared a liberal ideology and a critical vision of Victorian religion and morality. They had great importance in British cultural life during the first decades of the 20th century. Among its most prominent members are included writers like Virginia Woolf, Edward Morgan Foster, Leonard Woolf (husband of Virginia), artists like Dora Carrington, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell (sister of Virginia), and art critics like Clive Bell and Duncan Grant. The meetings were held on Thursdays at number 46 Gordon Square, then property of the Stephen Sisters (Virginia Wolf and Vanesa Bell). In the streets and adjacent squares to Bloomsbury Square various blue plaques render homage to the members of the group that lived in the neighborhood. Lunch. Departure to visit the Charles Dickens House-Museum. Charles Dickens is, along with the distinguished William Shakespeare, one of the most emblematic writers in England. In London there is a museum dedicated to this figure in the district of Holborn He lived in the family house for almost three years, from 1837 to 1839. It is a Georgain style building with four floors where this still have all types of objects and manuscripts from the writer, such as pens, letters, furniture, an interesting collection of paintings or original editions. It was also here where Charles Dickens wrote works like “Oliver Twist” and “Nicholas Nickelby”. He also finished “The Pickwick Papers”, and began to write “Barnaby Rudge”. After staying in this house for three years, Dickens and his family moved to a much more luxious house, but the only building connected with the novelista that remains standing is this that houses the museum. In the Victorian period, London became the center of the world. As capital of the British Empire, it boasted impressive and opulent buildings. But the other side of the coin was the poverty of the slums. A world that Dickens, who on occasion signed under the pseudonym Boz, considered by many as the the spokesman for the disenfranchised, denounced in Oliver Twist. In fact, this master of the narrative genre was not Abel to go to school until he was nine, something that his detractors used as an argument to undervalue the novelist. The prolific author that he was, Charles Dickens made references to numerous places in London. We will begin the foute following the steps of the writer. After visiting the Dickens Museum, we will stroll through Clerkenwell, today a cosmopolitan enclave replete with designer locales, it was considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in London. Saffron Hill, plagued by thieves, murderes and alcoholic women who stole the clothing from children, was known as the “small hell”. Some transvestites and corners like Bartholomew Passage or the popular pub Jerusalem Tavern, can transport us to the Victorian mirk. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 3 LONDON – KENT – PORTSMOUTH
Breakfast. Departure for the County of Kent, to visit the places that inspired some of the most famous passages of Dickens’ work. “Great Expectations” includes some unforgettable descriptionss of the marshes of Kent. And in the cementery of the small Church of St James, in Cooling, the autor imagined the protagonist Pip visiting the tombs of his family in one of the most chilling episodes of the novel. Some 8 kilometers from there is “Gad’s Hill”, the house, today a school, that Dickens fell in love with as a child, managed to buy when he was a successful writer, and where he died in 1870. In the area we can also see Dicken’s World, a great themepart that meticulously reproduces the atmosphere of the city in the 19th century and is situated in Chatham Shipyard. The most popular attractions in the park are the boat ride, based on the novel “Great Expectations”, “The Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge”, the protagonist of “A Christmas Carol”. Another attraction is “Boathouse Peggotty”, that is inspired by the House of Daniel Peggotty in “David Copperfield”. Rochester is the “Dickensian” capital of the region. Each year the city organizes a festival dedicated to the writer. In the city there is Restoration House, the building served as the model for Satis House, the house of the character Miss Havisham in “Great Expectations”, a wealthy woman who walked around in tattered wedding dress after being abandoned at the altar. Lunch. Departure for Portsmouth, birthplace of Dickens in 1812. The house has been restored and carefully furnished, with furniture from the period. We will be able to see the bedroom or pieces such as the ver green velvet sofaon which he died, in Gads Hill, in 1870. It should be said that, the furniture as well as the ceramic, glass and the rest of the objects in the house, for the most part, are recreations in that style, but they bring a certain realism to the place. There are three furnished rooms: the salon, the dining room and the bedroom. The exhibition room features a series of objects, this time real, such as the the writer’s tobacco box, the ink well, and a paper knife. Free time to visit the city, or continue the “Millenium Promenade” Route, with information panels that point out where we are going and the necessary information to knowwhat it is that we are seeing and from what period the monumnets date. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 4 PORTSMOUTH – EXETER
Breakfast and departure for Exeter, in the County of Devon. Lunch. Panoramic tour of the city, the capital of Devon. It is built on a plateau over the Exe River and contains remains of Roman and medieval walls. This city was founded by the Celtas, but in the year 50 D.C the Romans settled. The most important monuments in this city are the Anglican Cathedral, founded in the year 1050 and dedicated to Saint Peter, the ruins of Rougemont Castle, that for the most part dates from the 14th century, Parliament Street, a street that is so narrow that two people cannot pass at the same time and various medieval churches, like the Church of St Mary Steps. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 5 EXETER – TORQUAY – GALMPTON – BATH
Breakfast. Departure for Torquay and Galmpton. In Torquay we will take a walk through the city where Agatha Christie was born. In Galmpton we will visit the Agatha Christie House, Greenway House. The Summer residence of the writer, today it is a museum dedicated to its former owner. We will be able to visit the salons and the rooms, scenery of some of the history of Christie. In this house Agatha Christie used to read to her friends the chapters of the novels that she was writing, hoping that one of them would discover who was the murderer, surrounded by objects very dear to her, collected over her life. In fact, the rooms maintain the appearance and the fascination of when she lived there. All in its place, the elegant furniture and the books on the shelves. There is no desk or study, since the house was a place of relaxation, an occasion to enjoy the calm of the family, Friends and the landscape of the Dart River. Agatha aquired Greenway House along with Max Mallowan, her second husband, and defined it as the most beautiful place in the world. It is a Georgian-style Residence, facing the Dart River, that is filled with all kinds of souvenirs: leather trunks, ceramics and archaeological objects, epecially from Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and objects that appear in some of her tales. Here she spent each summer from 1938 until her death in 1976. In 1943 the Allied Forces requisitioned the town and set up a base in which they prepared the Normandy Landings. The novelist died, at 85, in her Residence in Wallingford. Lunch. Departure for the city of Bath. Panoramic tour of the city, famous for its thermal spas fed by three springs. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 6 BATH – CHAWTON
Breakfast. Tour of the Spa of Bath, place that inspired scenery to Jane Austen for two of her six published novels: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Then we will visit apartament number 4 at Sydney Place, place where Jane lived with her family and began to write her first stories and where she wrote the first draft of her most famous work “Sense and Sensibility”. Then we will visit the Jane Austen Center, where we can visit the celebration salons in the Georgian period that inspired the writer in various of her works. Lunch. Departure for Chawton. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 7 CHAWTON – LONDON
Breakfast and departure to take an excursion to Chawton, a town of deep English taste where we will visit the Jane Austen house museum. The writer lived In this country house between 1809 and 1817. Surrounded by a garden, it houses a museum set in her period, where we can see personal objects including her writing table, some of her jewels, furniture, letters manuscripts, many of her music books with pieces transcribed with her own hand, the patchwork quilt made by Jane, her mother and her sister Cassandra. Continuation to Winchester. Lunch. Departure for London. Tour of the House of John Keats, in Hampstead. Keats was one of the best known poets of English Romanticism and, in his short life (1795-1821), he managed to leave a literary legacy with poems that marked a period. During his life, his work was the object of constant attacks and he was revindicated much after his death. The house where the writer lived between 1818 and 1820, is a museum from 1925. In this Regency-style house, where Keats wrote works such “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode to a Nightengale” and where he lived his love for Fanny Brawne, we will be able to see original decoration in addition to a collection of writings, drawings, letters and two very personal elements: the engagement ring that the poet gave to his beloved and his death mask. The poet died in Rome and is buried there, in the Protestant Cementery. Lunch. Then we will see on the outside The Globe Theater, situated on the southern bank the Thames. Although Shakespeare was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, he lived several years in London. His works were presented in this theater, demolished in 1644 (Shakespeare had died in 1616). In 1993 they began the reconstruction of the building, which opened its doors in 1997 under the name of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The enclosure is a faithful reproduction of a theater from the 16th century. Remainder of the afternoon free. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 8 LONDON – EXC. STRADTFORD UPON AVON
Breakfast and departure to take an excursion with lunch to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare, where we will continue in his steps. First we will visit his house, sacred terrain for fans of literature and history. The “cottage”, with Tudor-style wooden framework, has been furnished how it would have looked in Shakespeare’s time and it will transport us to the past of England. We will also visit the gardens. Then, and a short distance from Stratford, we will visit the farm of Mary Arden, mother of the poet, in the English countryside of Wilmcote. This spectacular wooden Tudor farm is still standing and it now houses the Shakespeare Countryside Museum. It is a fantastic place, since it offers a great variety of activities, from falconry exhibitions to iron forging demostrations, traveling through clases Tudor-style archery. Then we will visit the country House of Anne Hathaway, wife of the poet. Anne Hathaway lived in an idyllic “cottage” within walking distance of the center of Stratford and there Shakespeare visited her during their courtship. It is a spectacular example of a Tudor farm and still contains the furniture that belonged to the Hathaway family. The gardens are beautiful. Once we have visited these places, we will go to Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptized in 1564 and where he is buried. His last home is famous for its inscription which, it is said, the poet himself wrote and that curses all those who dare to move his bones. The verse says: “Good friend for Jesus sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones”. H died in 1616, in the Residence that he bought in 1597, when he returned from London. The original building original, from the Tudor period, was destroyed in 1759 and its foundations serve as a base for the garden. Return to London. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 9 LONDON
Breakfast and departure to visit the Museum of Sherlock Holmes. Accroding to the stories by Conan Doyle, the Victorian house located on Baker Street, which the museum occupies, was the home of the main characters of the las novels, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and the housekeeper, Miss Hudson. The House with three floors where the detectives lived between 1881 and 1904 is in the same conditions that the stories describe, replete with furniture and decorative objects that filled each one of the rooms more than 100 years ago. The first floor is one of the most striking because is where the bedroom de Sherlock Holmes is, in addition to the office that he shared with Watson to combat crime. On the second floor of the building are the rooms of Doctor Watson and the housekeeper, where we can observe the belongings of the characters with everything prepared, as if they might return at any moment. The third floor there is occupied by diverse was figures that represent some of the characters of the most important cases that the detectived faced. Number 221B at first was a ficticious number, since at that time Baker Street ended at number 85. In 1930 the street was amplified, and number 221 was assigned to the bank building, that later was given to the International Sherlock Holmes Society. Lunch. After lunch, departure for the Warner Brothers Studios, situated 30 km from the heart of London, the origin of the eight Harry Potter films and the place where they all were created. The Tour of Studios promises to be a grand experience for Harry Potter fans, lovers of film in general, and for those people who want to do something different. To explore the magic of the Harry Potter films, this unique experience puts us behind the cameras and allows us to enjoy lovely decorattions and the vestuary and other props. In addition, we will discover well-kept secrets about the speical efects or the animatronics that gave world fame to the films. We will be able to see the authentic Grand Dining room, Dumbledore Study and get to know treasures never seen before now, the icionic elements from the films like the Nimbus 2000 broom or Hagrid’s flying motorcycle. We will also be able to discover how they gave life to the creatures in the films through speical effects with green screens, animatronics and life-size models, relive other mythical set from the films like the Gryffindor Common Room. Upon returning to London, yo may vist, on your own, the metro station at King’s Cross, a very visited place, and concretely the space that exists between platforms 9 and 10: platform 9 and ¾, famous because of the las adventures of Harry Potter, etc. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 10 LONDON
Breakfast and END OF TRIP