London Summer Program
As part of the program we will visit many of the sites listed below, though the opportunity will exist to visit a host of other places of historical and political significance as well.
The Banqueting House
The last remaining part of Henry VIII’s Palace of Whitehall, the Banqueting House was both a venue for the celebration of the Divine Right of Kings and the location of Charles I’s execution in January 1649.
For almost a thousand years this has been the traditional site for the coronation, and in many cases the burial, of English and then British monarchs.
The Palace of Westminster (aka Houses of Parliament)
The House of Commons (lower house) and House of Lords (upper house) are both located within the Palace of Westminster, the oldest part of which, Westminster Hall, dates back to the late 11th century.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace was a Royal Palace from the time of Henry VIII until the late 18th century, different parts of which are preserved as they were during the reigns of Henry VIII, William III and George I and George II.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was the first castle to be built in England. It has historically housed high value prisoners (and seen many executions). Today it is home to the Crown Jewels, which include some of the largest diamonds in the world.
Checkout one of the many military museums in London – Imperial War Museum, Royal Air Force Museum, Guards Museum, Household Cavalry Museum, and others. A visit to the National Army Museum in 2017.
Dating back to the 11th century, Windsor Castle is the longest occupied Royal Palace in Europe and remains the weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth and a principal venue for hosting state visits.
A reconstruction of the 17th century Globe Theatre, constructed by Shakespeare’s playing company. We will attend a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays at the Globe.
Churchill War Rooms
The underground network of rooms and tunnels that hosted Churchill’s cabinet for most of the Second World War, and has been preserved as it was at the end of the war.
An easy day trip out of London can take you to the best known Neolithic monument in the UK, the stone circle at Stonehenge.
On a day trip out of London we will visit the City of Bath, named after Roman baths that became a popular attraction for wealthy Britons in the 18th century.
Come and see a well-known 19th century political philosopher. Not his grave, his memorial, his statue, but himself, in the (well preserved) flesh!
The Temple Church
Built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century, this round church houses the remains of many knights including a number of impressive effigies.
The Royal Courts of Justice
One of the largest courts in Europe and Britain’s foremost appeals court for civil cases. The Royal Courts of Justice is worth a visit for its history, architecture and too see the law in action – students can sit in on a case and observe the bewigged judges and barristers at work.
The Magna Carta
Drawn up more than eight hundred years ago, Magna Carta was the earliest written attempt to constrain the powers of the Monarch, and a foundational document in the subsequent development of governance across the globe.
The Prime Meridian
Go truly global, with a foot simultaneously in the west and the east, by straddling the Prime Meridian outside the Greenwich Observatory, as students did in 2017.
The State Opening of Parliament usually takes place in May or June each year, and, if it occurs during our visit and is feasible, we will attend the preceding procession from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament, as we were able to do in 2016 (see pic).