Clergy Familiarization tour of England
After arriving at London Airport, we meet our driver and guide, and then we transfer to London City Centre, where we will enjoy a panoramic tour of London. We discover the iconic landmarks, architectural and cultural diversity, and fascinating history that makes London the most visited city in the world, with recognizable landmarks, including The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column, and Marble Arch and much more. Then we check into our hotel in the London area for dinner and overnight. This morning we visit Westminster Abbey with such highlights as the Coronation Chair, the medieval Lady Chapel, museum containing a collection of royal effigies, and the Abbey Gardens which whisk you away from the hubbub of the city. Afterwards, we enjoy a walking tour of the historic sites of London. Later in the afternoon, we visit St. Paul’s Cathedral and enjoy evensong. St Paul’s Cathedral is the most recognizable feature of the London skyline. We can climb into the iconic dome for stunning views across London, try out the acoustics of the Whispering Gallery, and head down to the crypt to see the tombs of heavyweight historical figures like Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Tonight, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Then, we return to our hotel in the London area for overnight. Today, we enjoy a full-day excursion to Canterbury. First, we visit the Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 602 by St. Augustine and is one of the oldest Christian sites in England. Then, we visit St Augustine’s Abbey, originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent, this impressive abbey is an important part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site. We then visit St Martin’s Church, which is the oldest church in continuous use in the English-speaking world. It was here that St. Augustine set up his mission when he arrived from Rome in 597 A.D. to convert the English. This evening, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, and then we return to our hotel in the London area for overnight.
Visiting the 900-Year-Old Ely Cathedral
Today, we depart London for Cambridge and on arrival we visit King’s College Chapel and attend a special church service. Over the centuries the college educated some of the finest minds in literature, politics and economics, including novelist E.M Forster and economist John Maynard Keynes and a guided tour shows you where they lived, studied and were inspired. The highlight of Kings College is unarguably the late-gothic King’s Chapel – an ornate masterwork of English craftsmanship. Afterwards, we enjoy a walking tour of Cambridge to discover why this beautiful city is known and respected throughout the world. Then, we will pass Trinity College, Round Church, and Holy Trinity Church, to visit Ely Cathedral. This magnificent, 900-year-old cathedral began as a monastery set up by Queen Etheldreda in the 7th century and over the centuries was a pilgrimage site to the Queen despite being destroyed and rebuilt as an abbey and eventually a cathedral in the 11th century. After we check into our hotel in the Cambridge area, dinner is on your own this evening, and overnight is back at the hotel. Today, we depart Cambridge for York and visit Lincoln Cathedral, with stunning views from the roof and tower and intricate design inside. With the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century, William the Conqueror commissioned the building of Lincoln Cathedral and in 1092 it was consecrated, becoming the head of the largest diocese in England – extending from the Humber to the Thames. On arrival in York, we visit York Minster. The Minster is now the seat of the Archbishop of York, the Head of the Northern Province of the Church of England and second only to the Queen. It is also possible to ascend the 275 steps of the Central Tower for stunning views of the city. Services and evensong take place daily. Then we check into our hotel in Leeds in time for dinner and overnight.
Exploring the UK’s Public Art
This morning, we depart York for Newcastle. Then, we visit Beamish Open-Air Museum where we can touch, taste, hear, see, and smell history on an unforgettable journey into the past at England’s largest open-air museum. Set in 300 acres of beautiful Durham countryside, Beamish – The Living Museum of the North brings 200 years of English history to life. We will hop on a tram and make our way around the vast museum: visiting the 1900s town and watching traditional sweets being made in the sweet shop. You can try a tasty treat from the Edwardian Bakery or a pint at the Sun Inn Pub (not included), then we step even further back in time to the 1800s and take a steam train ride through the Georgian landscape on replica locomotives. Immerse yourself in the 1900s at the Pit Village by going down a real mine and enjoying a traditional fish and chips (not included). Then, we visit Pit Hill Chapel – which once stood in nearby Beamish village – which is a typical early-1900s Wesleyan Methodist chapel, hosting choirs, services, and community events. Upon arrival in the Newcastle area, we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. Today, we depart Newcastle for Oxford, and we will enjoy a photo stop at the Angel of the North, which North is the UK’s most famous piece of public art. The Angel of the North is believed to be the largest angel sculpture in the world. Afterwards, we visit Fountains Abbey. Then, we arrive in Oxford area and check-in at our hotel. This evening, we enjoy dinner at the Eagle and Child Pub (or similar). We return to our hotel in the Oxford area for overnight. After breakfast at our hotel, we visit Christ Church College, which is the largest college in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. With over 500 years of history, it is linked to some of the great historical figures in the spheres of religion, philosophy, and politics, including: John Wesley, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, and no less than 13 British Prime Ministers. Then, we continue our journey to Oxford, and on arrival we visit Magdalene College. Though spelt in the biblical and continental way, ‘Magdalene’, the College name is pronounced ‘Maudlyn’. When the College was re-founded by Lord Audley in 1542, it was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Afterwards, we spend leisure time at Martyr’s Square, before journeying to London for time at leisure time to explore. Then, we check into our hotel in the London area. Tonight we enjoy a special farewell dinner together.