The Oxford Experience: A Summer Learning Program

Hall of Residence

And that sweet City with her dreaming spires, She needs not June for beauty’s heightening, Lovely all times she lies, lovely to-night! “Thyrsis,” Matthew Arnold, April 1866 A century after Arnold penned those words about the city of Oxford a latter-day pop manifesto urges us to “Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people.” If you think you are ready for some time under the ... Read Full Article

Touring the New BBC Broadcasting House

We enter the BBC Broadcasting House through a wide courtyard, thirty meters across, and 60 meters deep.

In March 2013, the venerated BBC consolidated its news, Online, TV and Radio branches and brand new technology in London into one center, the new BBC Broadcasting House on Portland Place. All of the BBC’s newscasters came together in this new studio, now London’s headquarters. A 1.5-hour tour of this new facility is now offered, and in July I was able to squeeze this tour into my London ... Read Full Article

Windsor Great Park: 5,000 Acres of History

Autumn view of Virginia Water

Even on a cold winter’s morning, the hedges of rhododendron in Windsor Great Park are jungle green and glossy. Ducks tread over the wafer-thin ice of Wick Pond and coots bob along, unfazed by the frigid waters. Most visitors come to Windsor for the castle, spilling off trains and coaches for history’s sake. They jostle their way up the High Street, perhaps pausing for a glance at Wren’s Guildhall ... Read Full Article

A Tour of London’s Street Art

Crane by Belgian artist Roa

Next time you're in the East End, take a moment to soak up London's street art. It's bold, witty and often subversive, much like the city itself. The works of artists who revel in pseudonyms like Jimmy C, Stik, Ronzo and, of course, Banksy, have turned the formerly mean streets of Spitalfields and Shoreditch into a continually evolving open air art gallery. Once, not so long ago, the East ... Read Full Article

A Victorian Valhalla: Meeting London’s Famous Dead at Highgate Cemetery

Visitors come to a dead stop when they first see the gateway to Egyptian Avenue. Flanked by two pairs of columns with lotus bud capitals and a forbidding overhead archway, it leads to the “Street of the Dead”.

London’s renowned Highgate Cemetery exudes its own distinct spirit as you stroll through its long, narrow winding gravel paths. Shaded by a forest canopy of ancient, leafy, towering oaks, alders, willows, and silver birch and chestnut trees, you can see all of England’s quintessential natural beauty within the 37-acre confines of this park-like necropolis. At Highgate, nature’s ground cover ... Read Full Article

York’s Medieval Streets Resound With History

Yorkshire Museum. Although this museum is last on my list, it’s definitely not the least!

  The Romans knew it as Eboracum. To the Saxons it was Eoforwick. Then the Vikings named it Jorvik. Today we know it as York, England. In Roman times York became such a well-established political and commercial center that people lived on here for millennia afterwards. The city still bears evidence of all its eras and occupations.   Due to the numerous uncovered artifacts ... Read Full Article

Eight Ways to Beat Jet Lag in London

Up at the O2 Arena

Thanks to free museums and stunning architecture, London is frequently the first stop for many travelers going to Europe. This means that London is also where many travelers face jet lag. Thankfully, this dynamic city offers plenty of fun and surprising activities to keep you awake, from climbing to the top of its O2 Arena for a bird’s-eye view to sipping some of the best coffee in the world. Here ... Read Full Article

The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

17th century house

You’ve got to hand it to the English—they do a marvelous job of preserving their heritage, especially in museums. But the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum has taken preservation of ancient buildings to a whole new level. In the middle of the rolling green hills of rural Sussex, about 50 miles southwest of London, you’ll find an enormous 50-acre farm dotted with 45 historic homes, farms, and ... Read Full Article

Tarry a While at England’s Medieval Festival, Herstmonceaux Castle, East Sussex

women

  Drawing on their authentic medieval heritage, the British do a superb job of re-enacting the life and times of their forebears. And no re-enactment is better than England’s Medieval Festival, held in late August every year, near the tiny village of Herstmonceaux in East Sussex, a 1.5-hour drive southeast of London. Two things make this event especially noteworthy. It’s the largest such ... Read Full Article

Top 5 Coastal Walks in Cornwall

Lizard Point

  With its miles of stunning coastline and rolling hills, it’s not surprising that an estimated 5 milllion tourists visit Britain’s most south westerly county each year. Along with the surfers, sunbathers and stag parties come thousands of ramblers to take advantage of the many beautiful walks in Cornwall. Twelve separate regions of Cornwall have been named as official ‘Areas of ... Read Full Article