Perhaps you’ve been to London several times, and feel like you’ve already seen all there is to see. It’s time to think again. We have developed a series of unique experiences for clients who have been to London before and want to experience the city well beyond the beaten path. Whether it’s exploring a familiar place with new eyes, or uncovering a previously unknown corner, we have developed several itineraries that should please even the most experienced travelers.
Following the Tudors For real history buffs, we’ve developed a four-day itinerary exploring the life, the tragedies, and the achievements of the most famous member of the Tudor family: Henry VIII. The itinerary takes us to Greenwich–Henry’s birthplace–where we visit the Inigo Jones Queen’s House. Next, we move on to Westminster and the National Portrait Gallery, where we step into the world of Henry VIII as depicted by King’s Painter Holbein in the magnificent Tudor Galleries. The itinerary continues with the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Hever Castle–the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, to which Henry VIII was a regular visitor during their courtship. Hever Castle later became the property of the King, and he actually used it as part of his divorce settlement with his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. The castle houses historic 16th century Tudor portraits, furniture, and tapestries, as well as two magnificent Books of Hours (prayer books), both signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn.
A different view of the British Museum While the British Museum is most often associated with the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone, a client challenged us to approach the vast collections of the museum from a different angle–Jewish history. The resulting walk follows the story of the Jews from the beginning (Abraham around 1812 BC) through to the Persian Empire and the rebuilding of the second temple. Some of the highlights include: Ramses II (widely-recognized as the biblical Pharaoh), Assyria and the famous Lachish battle, the Stela of Shalmaneser III (first ever depiction of a Jewish king), the Jericho tomb (which backs up the biblical story of the destruction of Jericho), and various artifacts from the palace of Darius I, father-in-law of Esther.
A Maritime Empire Getting a sense of how the British Empire grew and functioned can be challenging at times, especially since many of the institutions linked to the Empire have now been dismantled. For this reason, we have created a special itinerary that takes in all of the aspects of the Empire: from the commercial, to the human, to the social. Using the River Thames as a tool to understand the rise of maritime London, we travel along its docks as we look at how the exchange of goods by sea influenced so much of Britain’s tastes. Once we’ve arrived in Greenwich, we explore the Royal Observatory and the Maritime Museum, finishing off with a private dinner in the newly reopened Cutty Sark.
A Historical Feast What’s better than sharing a special meal together? Perhaps dining like a king? Working with our food historian, we’ve organized a customized annotated meal that brings back stories, menus, and traditions from the times of Henry VIII. The meal can be a dinner or lunch, reflecting culinary preferences of the family, while creating a Tudor London setting.
Do you have a special itinerary you’d like to see developed in London? Let us know in the comments.