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Medical Humanities Tour of England

6 - 15 Jun 2023
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Take a journey through medical history that wends from ancient Britain to the Romans, through the medieval period into the Renaissance and Enlightenment, ending in the modern day. This fascinating tour traces the many connections between England and America, from medical travellers and scientific exchanges to maritime connections and trade.

Learn about developments in medicine, the people behind them and aspects of modern healthcare through a series of specialist visits and talks. As well as London, the tour also visits some of England's most attractive and historic towns and cities, including Bath, Bristol, Worcester and Oxford, all at a beautiful time of year.

This tour has been developed in collaboration with the Worcester District Medical Society.

Stay in Worcester, which is twinned with Worcester MA and is where the British Medical Association was founded in 1832. In 2022 Worcester MA is celebrating their 300th anniversary and last year Worcester UK celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Charter issues by King James 1. While in Worcester meet with local doctors and medical historians.

The tour also looks at some notable medics, from Dr Jenner to Dr John Hall (Shakespeare's son in law), Dr Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) and the father of the dictionary, Dr Johnson. Alongside the medical visits there is a full range of cultural tours, memorable dining experiences and a partner programme.

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Medical Humanities Tour of England

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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: London (Tues, 6 June) Arrive and transfer to the Copthorne Tara Hotel. Introductions and overview of the tour. Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 2: London (Wed, 7 June) Take part in a medical history tour of London followed by a visit to the Royal College of Physicians for a guided tour of its collections. Talk: "A Brief Medical History of England" by Dr Rosalind Stanwell-Smith, a physician and lecturer at the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. At leisure with optional visits to specialist medical museums OR take a specialist tour of the Royal Warrant Holders shops, favoured by royalty. Welcome dinner.
  • Day 3: London (Thurs, 8 June) Visit the Pathology Museum at St Bartholomew's Hospital, which celebrates its 900th anniversary in 2023 and houses over 4,000 medical specimens in an atmospheric Victorian building. Cross the River Thames to the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret, a museum of surgical history containing one of the oldest surviving operating theatres. Lunch at the George Inn, which dates back to 1540 and is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn.Visit the Florence Nightingale Museum for a curated tour. Optional ride on the London Eye for spectacular early evening views of the city or at leisure.
  • Day 4: London (Fri, 9 June) Visit the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, a City livery company, or guild, incorporated by royal charter from James I on 6 December 1617 in recognition of apothecaries' specialist skills in compounding and dispensing medicines. Visit the Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum with a curator led tour. Partner programme: Highlights of the Victorian and Albert Museum, focusing on art and design.
  • Day 5: London / Bath / Bristol (Sat, 10 June) Travel to historic, beautiful Bath. Built for pleasure, healing and relaxation, Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. In the company of specialist guide Fred Mawer, see the ancient Roman Baths and the Assembly Rooms frequented by Jane Austin and take a walking tour through the beautiful Georgian streets, past Pulteney Bridge, the Abbey, Royal Crescent and the Royal Mineral Water Hospital. Take the train to the port of Bristol while the bus takes your luggage to the hotel. Cruise in a private boat from the station across the harbour to your hotel with commentary on the city's many American links. Overnight in the Bristol Hotel.
  • Day 6: Bristol / Worcester (Sun, 11 June) Visit an 18th century building famed as the home of Edward Jenner FRS, physician, surgeon and pioneer of smallpox vaccination; today a museum. Visit the house, museum and attractive gardens. Continue to Worcester and at leisure. Overnight at the Diglis House Hotel with the option of visiting the Cathedral for Evensong.
  • Day 7: Worcester (Mon, 12 June) Worcester in the UK shares much with its American sister city. Learn about the history of Worcester on a walking tour. Take part in a medical history tour of Worcester, including visits to the Old Infirmary and the George Marshall Medical Museum. There is also a meeting with Worcester’s local doctors. Partner program: visit Royal Worcester, famed for its porcelain or at leisure to further explore. Private dinner with local doctors, health care workers and dignitaries.
  • Day 8: Worcester / Oxford (Tues, 13 June) Drive to Lichfield and visit the home of Dr Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin and leading 18th century doctor, scientist, botanist, inventor and poet. See the birthplace of Dr Samuel Johnson, the great man of letters famous for writing 'A Dictionary of the English Language' in 1755. Travel to Stratford upon Avon and see Shakespeare's birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Mary Arden's home. See Hall's Croft, the home of physician Dr John Hall and his wife Susanna (the daughter of William Shakespeare) and visit the medical garden. Continue to Oxford, famous city of dreaming spires. Home to some of the world's most prestigious universities, Oxford is also steeped in medical history. Overnight in the VOCO Oxford Spires Hotel.
  • Day 9: Oxford / London (Wed, 14 June) Medicine has been studied at Oxford for over 800 years. Take a walking tour to explore history that includes world shaping discoveries, Britain’s first Physic Garden (founded in 1621), the famous Oxford colleges, Radcliffe Square and the Radcliffe Camera 1749, the Bodleian Library and the Old Ashmolean Museum (History of Science Museum.) Return to London for a farewell dinner.
  • Day 10: London (Thurs, 15 June) Depart for flight home or extend in London.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour is USD $3,846 per person sharing. The cost of the tour is USD $4,740 with a room to yourself.