BANQUETING HOUSE
The only remainder of the 17c. Whitehall Palace, with its perfect classical interior and sumptuous painted ceiling by Rubens. Full of history, and the site from which Charles I went to the scaffold (entry charge) (Could be combined with a walk round Whitehall area).

BRITISH MUSEUM – BURIED TREASURE
Highlights of the collection, the impressive Norman Foster Great Court and legendary Reading Room.
1. Normal day-time tour.
2. Fri. evening tour followed by supper in a local restaurant (supper extra)

BRITISH MUSEUM  – ‘HISTORY OF WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS’.  Highlights
See a selection (approx 20) of the 100 objects featured in the ground-breaking BBC Radio 4 series covering 2 million years of human ingenuity. The selection concentrates on the less frequented galleries, and shows you objects both beautiful and bizarre from all corners of the world.

DEATH ON THE NILE – Full day immersion in Egyptology
Tour of the Egyptian Galleries of British Museum, lunch in the Great Court, afternoon visit to Petrie Museum (see below).

FOUNDLINGS AND FINE ART – Tour of the Foundling Museum, preceded by short child-poverty themed walk
London’s first home for abandoned children, raised its money through art and music, now immortalised in the play ‘Coram Boy’. Works by Hogarth, Gainsborough and Reynolds are still displayed in the original Rococo surroundings. There is also a small foundling museum including amongst other exhibits the heart-rending mothers’ tokens left with the babies. The tour is preceded by a short walk concentrating on the darker aspects of 18c and 19c London – the plight of ‘foundlings’ i.e abandoned children (entry charge).

KENSAL GREEN CEMETERY – VICTORIAN WAY OF DEATH
London’s first great necropolis, posher in its time than Highgate. Dramatic mausolea, famous names (Brunel, Thackeray, WH Smith), colourful characters and peaceful setting. Microcosm of an era when everything was possible.

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY – A BRITISH HISTORY THROUGH FACES
Almost 500 years of portraiture, images of those who have contributed to every aspect of British life. Not always great art, but always fascinating people with intriguing stories. Portraits also cast light not only on the sitter but the artist and the values of the time in which he/she lived.
1. Can be normal day-time tour
2. Or Thurs. evening followed by supper in local restaurant (supper extra)

PETRIE MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY (Tues-Sat. pm)
One of the greatest collections of Egyptian artefacts in the world. Petrie was interested in the small objects of everyday ancient Egyptian life. Still partly displayed in Edwardian glass cases, it is a treasure-house of eclectic, obscure, fascinating and beautiful objects.

SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL
With its connections with Shakespeare (his brother is buried here) and John Harvard, this tranquil cathedral boasts architecture earlier than Westminster Abbey (entry charge) (Could be combined with a walk around Bankside/Borough).

STEPNEY + VICTORIAN PHILANTHROPY incl. visit Ragged School Museum
A walk (approx 1 ¼ hrs) through Stepney, with its impressive examples of Victorian social housing, designed to give context to a visit to the Ragged School Museum housed in a pair of canal-side warehouses purchased by Dr. Barnardo in 1876 for his ‘ragged’ school.  The walk will also pass traces of the older Stepney, a medieval parish church, 18c. merchants’ houses and remnants of the Jewish East End. (Weds. and Thurs. only).

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE’S HIDDEN TREASURES
UCL founded in 1826 built fascinating collections as early teaching aids. The Grant Museum of Zoology is one of the oldest natural history collections in the country, some still displayed in their ‘1851 Great Exhibition’ cases. The Petrie Museum of Egyptology,  also partly displayed in old-fashioned cases reflects Petrie’s interest in the small objects of everyday life, and is a treasure-house of eclectic objects.  En route we will pass (univ. term time only) the Jeremy Benthams’s bizarre ‘auto-icon’.

VICTORIAN ARTISTS OF KENSINGTON AND THEIR HOUSES (Tour of Leighton House preceded by a walk through Holland Park)
Walk through Holland Park to Melbury Road, in the late 19c.the residence of a group of ‘society’ artists including GF Watts and Luke Fildes. See their grand houses by architects such as Norman Shaw, Burges and Philip Webb.  The walk is followed by a tour of Leighton House, the home and studio of Lord Leighton. Famous for its Arab Hall with its priceless collection of over 1,000 Islamic tiles (entry charge).

WELLINGTON ARCH AND APSLEY HOUSE
Tracing the life and achievements of the Iron Duke -visiting the Wellington Arch erected in his honour, and Apsley House, Number 1 London, the Duke of Wellington’s London home and still the London residence of the current Duke of Wellington (entry charge).

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