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View from Stirling Castle
The Tower of London
This exciting and inspiring tour that will bring Christian history to life. Our tour begins in Scotland, where we will visit places associated with Knox, Wishart and Buchanan. Heading south into England, we will learn about Cranmer, Wesley, Bunyan, C.S. Lewis and other notable Christians. The tour also includes cultural elements, such as the Bannockburn Battlefield, a cruise on the River Thames, fellowship with British Presbyterians and evensong in York Minster.
Please note this itinerary is copyrighted.
Key: IF = In Flight Meals, B= Breakfast, D = Dinner
Day 1: Monday: Flight to Edinburgh
We will set off from the USA today on our overnight flights to Edinburgh, Scotland. (IF)
Day 2: Tuesday: Edinburgh
On arrival in Edinburgh, we meet our tour director, and board our air-conditioned bus. We begin with a orientation tour of Edinburgh, before we check in to our centrally-located hotel. The afternoon is free to enjoy shopping, stroll down the Royal Mile or visit the Museum of Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Art Gallery has a very significant collection of art with a strong Biblical message. We will get to know our fellow travelers at the welcome dinner this evening. (IF/D)
Day 3: Wednesday: Edinburgh
We will start our day at Holyrood Palace, where John Knox discussed Christianity with Mary Queen of Scots. On our walking tour of Edinburgh, we will also see the John Knox House, St. Giles Kirk (including the site of Knox’s tombstone), Greyfriar’s Church, and Magdalene Chapel. At the top of the Royal Mile lies the magnificent Edinburgh Castle. Inside the castle is tiny St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh’s oldest building, which dates back to the 1100s. We will end the tour with a visit to Mary King’s Close, a fascinating view of ancient Edinburgh. The rest of the day is at leisure. Some of the group might like to visit the Free Church College, which has an extensive library. (B)
Day 4: Thursday: St. Andrews, Edinburgh
Today we take a day trip to St. Andrews, which has been a spiritual center in Scotland for centuries. During the Reformation, St. Andrews University was third in significance after Oxford and Cambridge. In the now ruined castle we see the Bottle Dungeon where George Wishart was imprisoned before being burned at the stake. We will pause at his martyrdom site and also remember fellow martyr Patrick Hamilton. St. Andrews Cathedral was once the largest church in Scotland, but fell into ruin after John Knox’s sermon inspired by Wishart’s martyrdom. In the afternoon we have free time to either play a round of golf or explore the town. We return to Edinburgh in the evening and dine at a restaurant of our choice. (B)
Day 5: Friday: Stirling, Edinburgh
This morning we travel to nearby Stirling and tour the magnificent Stirling Castle, where James VI was educated by Scottish Reformer George Buchanan. Nearby is the Church of the Holy Rude, once a royal cathedral. John Knox preached here for James VI’s baptism in 1566. Before leaving Stirling, we visit the newly-updated Bannockburn Battlefield, commemorating where Robert the Bruce won freedom from the English in Jun 1314. We will return to Edinburgh for dinner. (B/D)
Day 6: Saturday: Hadrian’s Wall, York
After bidding farewell to Scotland, we stop at Hadrian’s Wall and tour the Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum. We then continue on to York, arriving in time to attend Evensong in York Minster. The Minster is the biggest medieval church in England and has an impressive collection of medieval stained glass, including a sixteenth century rose window. The term “Minster” usually refers to a church in a monastery, but this cathedral was never part of a monastic institution, so doesn’t have cloisters. Our overnight is in Doncaster. (B/D)
Day 7: Sunday: Cambridge
This morning we drive south to Cambridge, a center of Protestant scholarship for leaders including Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and Bishops Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer. Before our tour, we enjoy a traditional roast dinner. In St. John’s College, we see an original copy of the beautifully illustrated Great Bible published in 1539 by Cranmer. We will also see King’s College Chapel. During the Reformation, the White Horse Inn was a favored meeting place and we see the plaque showing its location. This evening we will have the opportunity to worship with the Cambridge Presbyterian Church at their regular Sunday night service. (B/L)
Day 8: Monday: Bedford, Oxford
In Bedford, we learn more about John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress. He was arrested and imprisoned for 12 years, for preaching without a license from the Church of England. We see the plaque where the county gaol stood in the 17th century and tour the Bunyan Meeting Church and Museum. We continue on to Oxford, which has been a key center of learning for centuries. Famous university alumni include Charles and John Wesley, William Penn, Albert Einstein and C.S. Lewis. Founded by Cardinal Wolsey as Cardinal’s College in 1524, the twelfth-century Christ Church College is the only church in the world to be both a cathedral and a college chapel. Our tour also includes the Martyr’s Monument, Lincoln and Balliol College and Carfax Tower. We check into the Hawkwell House Hotel in Oxford in the afternoon, then have free time before dinner. (B/D)
Day 9: Tuesday: Oxford, London
On the way to London we stop at C. S. Lewis’ home and his burial site in Holy Trinity Church. The afternoon’s highlight is Hampton Court. It was here, in 1604, that James 1 commissioned the King James Version of the Bible during the Hampton Court Conference. In the Chapel Royal, we hear how Henry VIII’s decision to allow production of the Bible was influenced by his last wife, Catherine Parr. We then drive to London and check into our hotel. (B/D)
Day 10: Wednesday: London
Our first visit this morning is to the Wesley Chapel and Museum, which tells the story of British Methodism. Just across the street, we visit Bunhills Cemetery, where several evangelical leaders are buried, including John Bunyan and Isaac Watts. We will make a brief stop in Smithfield Market, to see the site commemorating over 300 Protestant martyrs. The Tower of London contains the dazzling Crown Jewels, but was also a prison for many Christians. After our tour. we will board a boat and sail down the Thames to Westminster Abbey, where most British kings and queens since 1066 have been crowned. It’s the final resting place for many monarchs, heroes and poets. Although not open to the public, we learn about historic events in the Jerusalem Chamber. After evensong in Westminster Abbey, the rest of the day is free to enjoy a London show or relax. (B)
Day 11: Thursday: London
Today is free to explore London. Suggestions include Windsor Castle, Metropolitan Tabernacle, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Harrods, All Soul’s Langham Place, Westminster Chapel and the London Eye. We meet up again in the evening for our farewell meal. (B/D)
Day 12: Friday: Depart
We will transfer to the airport for our return to the USA. Additional days in London or other cities are available on request. (B/IF)
Reformation Tours reserves the rights to alter itineraries without notice should it become necessary. While on tour, if conditions necessitate changes, or if certain features are unavailable or limited, we reserve the right to vary or substitute alternatives. All prices are calculated at the exchange rate in effect at the time of this quotation. Should currency fluctuations necessitate an adjustment in tour price the adjusted price will be reflected in the final invoice.
Our hotels are chosen for their quality, amenities and proximity to areas of interest. Whenever possible, we choose hotels in town centers, so that you are able to go off and explore in your free time. It may be necessary for us to substitute hotels for others of equal quality. You will be fully informed of any changes that affect you. Enjoy your stay!
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