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Start your tour at the Ship in a Bottle statue which is located at the
southern entrance ( IE. observatory side ) to the National Maritime
Museum. See and experience Turner's magnificent painting of the Battle
of Trafalgar which he painted in the early 1820's. From there you will
continue on to the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery where you will see the
jacket that Nelson was wearing at the time he was mortally wounded on
board HMS Victory.
Visit the Trade Gallery to learn more about trade with the Far East and its origins with the East India Company. Half way through the tour, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee/tea break at the nice cafe located in the Museum.
Explore the Atlantic Slavery gallery which portrays a brutally honest history of the slave trade and England's role in that trade. Also discover more about lighthouses and their history in the UK.
Meet your guide at Temple Underground Station in London, then board a comfortable minivan and head to St Paul’s Cathedral. On arrival, show your pre-booked ticket or pay your entrance fee (depending on the option selected), and then explore the 17th-century cathedral on an independent, audio-guided tour. Take in the skyline from the dome and descend to the crypt to see the tombs of famous British figures like Sir Winston Churchill.
After roughly 1.5 hours, join back up with your guide and continue to the Mall for the Changing of the Guard. Along the way, pass showstopper sights like 10 Downing Street, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, and learn more about London's history. Hop out of your minivan in Trafalgar Square and set off on foot to Buckingham Palace. See Horse Guards Parade and other royal residences, then marvel at the pageantry of the world-famous ceremony as you march alongside the guards on the Mall.
Continue by minivan to the Tower of London, a majestic castle first built in the 11th century, stopping off on route for lunch (own expense). On arrival, opt to join a complimentary tour by one of the Beefeater guards to learn more about the tower's role in British history. Then, enjoy time at your leisure to see the Crown Jewels, White Tower, Traitor's Gate and other highlights. Alternatively, if you've not upgraded to include entrance fees, make the most of free time to explore the City of London at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the banks of the Thames River or visit nearby Tower Bridge (own expense).
Make your final stop of the day at the British Museum, which boast the largest collection of antiquities in the world, spanning two million years. Your guide helps you navigate more easily around the vast museum and sheds light on prestigious exhibits such as the Rosetta Stone. If there's any area of history you're particularly interested in, let your guide know so your visit can be tailored to suit your interests.
When the time comes, stroll to the nearest tube stop and ask for directions on how to get back to your accommodation, if required.
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Begin your half day experience by exploring the cultures and civilizations through the monumental collection at the British Museum spanning 6000 years of human history. It features items from all over the world like Samurai armor and rare Assyrian lion hunt reliefs. Your guide will take a serious but enjoyable approach towards the museum’s galleries, discussing primitive tribes and fallen empires through a carefully chosen selection of items. You’ll learn about the Mummy of Katebet, the Lewis Chessmen, and the Rosetta Stone – the actual rock, not the language learning program. Walk away with an understanding of what we humans have achieved during our short history and hopefully you’ll be proud to call yourself a part of this incredible species.
After a break for lunch, learn about the master painters whose names fill the halls of the National Gallery. You’ve heard of Seurat and da Vinci, but what do you really know about them? Learn about the painters behind the paintings as we browse our favorite works by other masters like Botticelli, Monet, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. If none of those names mean anything to you, your guide will make sure that changes by the end of the tour. The National Gallery houses paintings dating back to the 1300s all the way up through the 1900s, so there is no shortage of choice. Visit Jan van Eyck’s “The Arnolfini Portrait” or something more familiar like Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” to understand the full scope of work on display. During your tour, you'll be arm with the essential information and history needed to appreciate the more than 2300 paintings on display at one of the world’s most visited museums.
Start off your walking tour to London with an introduction to culture and civilizations at the monumental collection of the British Museum, spanning 6,000 years of human history. It features items from all over the world like Samurai armor and rare Assyrian lion hunt reliefs. Our guides will take a serious but enjoyable approach towards the museum’s galleries, discussing primitive tribes and fallen empires through a carefully chosen selection of items. You will learn about the Mummy of Katebet, the Lewis Chessmen and the original Rosetta Stone. Walk away with an understanding of what humans have achieved during our short history and hopefully you will be proud to call yourself a part of this incredible species.
After a break for lunch, continue with your guide to understand London through its history as you walk through its urban landscape. Our expert guides will peel back the layers as you walk past some of the most iconic places in central London like Trafalgar Square and the House of Parliament. Learn about Chaucer at Westminster Abbey or maybe bump into the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. The tour will pass through the sweeping green parks, bustling crowds, and quaint squares that define London. Learn about the monarchs and leaders, like Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill, while also taking advantage of your local guide, who will be more than willing to share a few of the city’s best kept secrets as you explore together.
Trade in paintings for mummies and historical artifacts on a tour of the British Museum. The enormous collection spans 6000 years of human history, featuring items from all over the world like Samurai armor and rare Assyrian lion hunt reliefs. Your guide will take a serious but enjoyable approach towards the museum’s galleries, discussing primitive tribes and fallen empires through a carefully chosen selection of items.
You’ll learn about the Mummy of Katebet, the Lewis Chessmen, and the Rosetta Stone – the actual rock, not the language learning program. Walk away with an understanding of what we humans have achieved during our short history and hopefully you’ll be proud to call yourself a part of this incredible species.
Walking along Knightsbridge, London's famous shopping center where Harrods is located, you will reach No.1 London, the name given to Apsley house. Built by Adams in 1775 for Baron Apsley and acquired by the Duke of Wellington in 1817, he aggrandized the house with the help of architect Wyatt who gave it the Corinthian temple front and faced it in gold bath stone. It became the grand mansion of the Duke of Wellington, the victor of Napoleon. You will find the treasures regaled to the Duke by the European Monarchs returned to their thrones after the defeat of Napoleon. As you enter the house in the inner hall is the nude marble statue by Canova of Napoleon in the guise of Apollo. See silver and porcelain sets, jewels and snuff boxes surrounded by the Duke's furniture. Upstairs are the paintings which he collected and the old masters from the Royal Spanish collection found in Giuseppe Bonaparte's coach as he was abandoning Madrid. These were given to Wellington by the King of Spain. Among them are paintings by Velazquez, Rubens, Murillo, Ribera and Goya.(On Mondays and Tuesdays when Apsley House is closed more time will be spent in the V&A Museum.)
This private tour is hosted by a professional guide specializing in art history. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history) at time of booking to alert our guide so that he or she can better prepare for your private tour.
Please note: Apsley House will be closed until March 31, 2015, more time will be spent at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Until the early 19th century, London did not have any hotels, only coaching inns, which looked remarkably like modern multi-story motels, the rooms opening off outdoor corridors. The last (partially) surviving coaching inn is The George Inn, though only its pub component is still active.