ALL TOURS

KENWOOD HOUSE TOUR

The famous C18th architect Robert Adam was asked to glorify an early C17th country house off Hampstead Heath. The result is an elegant, neo-classical villa with all the attributes of “grand living” in the C18th. It is filled with outstanding pictures by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer and top class furniture, some formerly in The White House.

NEW LONDON SKYLINE

London has become a wonderful place to look at new, exciting architecture. There is a great sense of dynamism and race to have the tallest, most inspiring and luxurious buildings. The way of living is also changing rapidly, in contrast to before when the Thames was smelly and dirty, people see closeness to the river as a great premium.

chandeliers at VandAINTRODUCING THE V&A TOUR

This introductory tour begins by explaining how the V&A was founded after the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851. We’ll discover how diversified the V&A collection is in its geography, medium, technique and craftsmen. In light of the constant rejuvenation of the displays, we’ll explore how the gallery is refreshed, curated and designed for a C21st museum visitor. Finally we’ll visit the historic cast courts, Islamic and Mughal art, architecture and contemporary work such as the famous glass chandelier by American artist Dale Chihuly.

vase-savoy Scandinavian design20TH CENTURY SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN

Scandinavian design has long been described as the most important design movement since WWII. We will look at 20th century Scandinavian design icons such as Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase, Stig Lindberg ceramics, the Verner Panton chair, Poul Henningsen’s Artichoke Lamp and Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Series 7′ chair made famous by Christine Keeler.

oriental art V&ATHE EXQUISITE LINES OF ORIENTAL ART

Towards the end of the C19th, when Japan emerged from a 200-year-long slumber, everyone – especially the Victorian artists – were transfixed by what they saw. Our new tour explores the treasures of Oriental art and design; exquisitely dyed and embroidered silk kimonos; the charming and intricate work found on netsuke and inro; and the Mazarin Chest, the V&A’s most important lacquer treasure, made with incredible technique and skill.

persian carpet tourA WALK THROUGH THE WORLD’S FINEST CARPETS

Many of the world’s most famous carpets can be found in the V&A’s incredible collection. Our new tour looks at Indian, Persian and Ottoman carpets, studying the production and comparing the designs of these beautiful examples. We explain how techniques travelled from the Middle East via Moorish Spain to Europe, and we also reveal why the Ardabil is the most famous carpet in the world.

Decorative arts tour londonDECORATIVE ARTS FROM HENRY VIII TO QUEEN VICTORIA

Our tour of the famous British Galleries follows the story of how the Kings and Queens of Britain initially emulated the decorative arts of rival countries such as France and Italy, and how our technique for producing decorative objects became the most advanced in the world during the Victorian era. We’ll see how fashion and tastes changed dramatically over the 400 years leading up to the time of Queen Victoria, the story culminating in a ‘visit’ to the Great Exhibition of 1851.

medieval renaissance treasure tourMEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE TREASURES

Exploring the highlights of the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, our tour encompasses masterpieces from 300AD to 1600. These include the famous Becket Casket made in Limoges in the C12th, exquisite C15th hunting tapestries, a wax model made by Michelangelo illustrating his creative process, rare C16th Medici porcelain, and the da Vinci notebook showing his fascinating working methods.

Iznik VaseTHE ELEGANCE OF ISLAMIC DECORATIVE ART

Focusing on similarities of ornament used by the different Muslim dynasties, our tour of the Jameel Gallery looks at court art such as a fabulous 1000-year-old rock crystal ewer and elegant C16th Iznik ceramics. We’ll explore both religious and secular Islamic art and different examples of figurative approaches. The tour culminates in the British Galleries, where we consider the influence of Islamic art on William Morris and the V&A itself.

Mughal jewels london guided tour V&A artTHE SPLENDOUR OF THE MUGHALS

The Nehru Gallery houses a collection of Indian art which is unrivalled outside of India. Our tour will provide a taste of the brilliance of the Mughal court, looking at spectacular gem encrusted jewels and elegant jade objects, as well as finely carved architectural details, costumes and carpets.

London guided tour GreenwichGREENWICH

Half an hour’s boat journey from central London and closely associated with Greenwich Mean Time and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich is a perfect outing with plenty of museums and palaces to visit. The famous tea clipper Cutty Sark is located next to the charming Georgian town center. There are many royal associations, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were both born there and Russian Tsar Peter the Great learnt ship building nearby.

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Consecrated in 1065, this majestic abbey occupies a unique position in British history, as the place where most English monarchs have been crowned and buried. The abbey also houses the famous Poets’ Corner, burial place of renowned writers including Dickens, Kipling and Hardy. Small wonder that it’s where Prince William and Kate Middleton recently held their wedding.

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London guided tour St PaulsST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

After the Great Fire of London in 1666, the authorities turned to Sir Christopher Wren to build a new cathedral. His building became a landmark on the London skyline, and a symbol of British life. Now filled with stunning mosaics and monuments, it has hosted many important ceremonial events, including the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and the funeral of Winston Churchill.

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tower of london guided tourTHE TOWER OF LONDON

Now almost a thousand years old, this famous landmark is steeped in history and has borne witness to many bloody episodes over the years. It contains the Bloody Tower, Traitors’ Gate and of course the famous Crown Jewels. And once you’ve enjoyed the Tower experience you can cross nearby Tower Bridge and take lunch at Pont de la Tour, the riverside restaurant offering fabulous views of the Tower.

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hampton court palace tourHAMPTON COURT PALACE

Most closely associated with flamboyant Henry VIII, this majestic Tudor palace was among the most impressive royal residences in Europe at the time. In fact, it is now really two palaces in one, with the original Tudor building having been augmented by the baroque palace built by Sir Christopher Wren in the C17th for King William III and Queen Mary II. As such, it holds many treasures from across two centuries.

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Windsor castle tourWINDSOR CASTLE

The oldest and largest still inhabited royal castle in the world, Windsor has been home to the monarchs for 900 years. It’s the Queen’s favourite home, and when she’s in residence the Royal Standard flag flies above the Castle. It’s also home to the magnificent State Apartments and the exceptional Gothic architecture of St George’s chapel, which houses the tombs of ten sovereigns.

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British national gallery guided tour london-sNATIONAL GALLERY

Quite simply one of the finest collections of art in the world, The National Gallery is filled with more than 2,500 priceless paintings belonging to the nation. The wealth and diversity of the gallery is astonishing, with the collection featuring masterpieces from the C13th to the C19th, including important works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Vermeer and Van Gogh.

British Museum guided tour smallBRITISH MUSEUM

One of the world’s most famous museums, the British Museum features more than seven million objects, including some of history’s greatest treasures such as the Egyptian mummies, and the Parthenon Marbles. Many of the objects on display have been key to understanding world civilizations and unlocking history, and the museum offers an unparalleled insight into the ancient world.

Wallace collection tour smallWALLACE COLLECTION

Sometimes described as the ‘hidden jewel’ of London’s art galleries, The Wallace Collection is one of the world’s finest private collections of art. Its gloriously eclectic collection was built up by five generations of the Marquises of Hertford, and is renowned for its collection of C18th French art at its most refined and sensuous.

National Portrait Gallery London tourNATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

We will take a journey in British history through portraits, starting with the fabulous Ditchley portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and ending with the stimulating work by contemporary artists such as Marc Quinn and Sam Taylor-Johnson.

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