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Houses of Parliament

Gwyneth Jones
Photo Gallery

English Astronomers
August 6 - 13, 2013

Sirs Halley, Harrison, Herschel, Wren

Years of astronomical study and research have brought the rich discoveries we share today. Join Astronomy magazine as we return to the paths and sites where once the greatest scientific researchers once lived and worked. We will also enjoy the heritage offered in London and surrounding towns of Bath and Oxford with a special visit to Greenwich Observatory and the Maritime Museum.

Buckingham Palace

© Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

Prime meridian

Wren's St Paul's Cathedral

Your Tour Includes:

  • Airport/hotel transfers
  • 6-nights accommodations at 4-Star Copthorne Tara – Kensington, Including VAT
  • Baggage handling for one bag
  • Meals: English breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, 2 Afternoon Teas
  • Astronomy lecturer: Dave Eicher, editor, Astronomy magazine
  • Admissions and Guided Sightseeing:
    • Full day London tour includes Tower, Changing of the Guard, River Thames cruise and St. Paul’s Cathedral, High Tea at Harrods
    • Stonehenge and Bath
    • Royal Observatory & Maritime Museum
    • Oxford
  • Optional theatre tickets

Tuesday/Wednesday, August 6/7, 2013 • USA - London
Transatlantic flight takes you to London’s Heathrow Airport. Upon arrival will be transferred to your centrally located Copthorne Tara in Kensington.
Copthorne Tara
Thursday, August 8, 2013 • London
This morning meet the Yeoman Warder on the drawbridge at the Tower of London. Our Beefeater will take us on a private guided tour explaining the history behind this fortress of imprisonment. We will enter before it is open to the public and be the first group to see the Crown Jewels.

Departing the Tower we head to The Mall where ‘they’re Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace’. Watch the Queen’s Household Regiments march from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace dressed in their world famous tunics and busbies.

Next we take a short cruise on the River Thames to enjoy excellent views of St. Paul's Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe before heading for a traditional pub lunch in Whitehall, close to Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister. After lunch we have a photo stop at Westminster Abbey. The afternoon we will visit Sir Christopher Wren’s 17th century masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral. We explore with a professional guide, taking time to listen to the 1695 organ that Mendelssohn once played and visit the tombs of Nelson and Wellington. There will also be the chance to test the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery (not normally visited by other tour groups.).

Afterwards we head through Knightsbridge to Harrods, where we finish our day with afternoon tea served in the Georgian restaurant. Enjoy sandwiches, pastries, and tea and scones served with jam and clotted cream. The tour ends at Harrods leaving you free time to explore the store at your leisure - why not visit the fabulous food halls?   
B/L/High Tea
Friday, August 9, 2013 • Royal Observatory & Maritime Museum
This afternoon Astronomy magazine editor, Dave Eicher, will lead us to the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The Observatory was built on the site of Greenwich Castle, which originally was a guesthouse and hunting lodge by Henry VIII. We will visit Flamsteed House, the original Observatory building at Greenwich, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 on the instructions of King Charles II.

Later we will visit the Maritime Museum where we will view brilliance of Sir John Harrison. Tonight we will dine at 16 Seconds West. Since the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, there have been fourteen including Sir Edmund Halley.   
Saturday, August 10, 2013 • London
Today is at leisure to enjoy London town from the Palace to Piccadilly. Visit the British Museum or pay homage to the greats of letters and science at Westminster Abbey or select from the many choices of theatrical performances.
Sunday, August 11, 2013 • Oxford
We begin our day travelling across the Chiltern Hills to Oxford, the 'City of Dreaming Spires,' whose hushed courtyards have inspired generations of scholars and writers, Lewis Carroll who wrote 'Alice in Wonderland', C.S. Lewis who wrote 'Chronicles of Narnia' and the immortal J.R.R. Tolkien. On the walking tour we'll visit Christ Church College, see the Bodleian Library and the picture-perfect college courtyards for which Oxford is justifiably famous.   
Monday, August 12, 2013 • Bath & Stonehenge
The most famous prehistoric monument in the world, and now a world heritage site, Stonehenge stands alone in the vast empty tract of Salisbury plain. The home to pagan religion and spiritual worship, its origins date back nearly 5,000 years. Was this collection of stones an observatory of the moon, a temple to the sun, or an elaborate cemetery? Who were the people who transported and carved these 40-ton rocks?

Next we head to Bath, a beautiful Georgian city and Sir William Herschel’s home. We will visit the Roman Baths that were built nearly 2,000 years ago. There is time to explore the Jane Austen Centre and the elegant Assembly Rooms built in 1771 before taking afternoon tea in the Pump Room.
B/High Tea
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 • Homeward
Journey homeward or extend your stay for more of London town or the countryside.