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Spring Break 2024 in England

This program is an opportunity for eighth-grade and high school honors students and interested adults to spend eight days (March 29 - April 7, 2024) learning about the history, culture, and people of England. Sponsored by The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University, the program provides a carefully structured experience. Twenty-five qualified applicants will be accompanied by the program director.


Applications are closed.

A nonrefundable $500deposit and passport-sized photograph will need to beuploaded when you apply. Passport expiration must not be within 6 months of travel. The deposit is not refundable.NOTE:The group is capped at 25; eligible participants will be admitted in the order in which applications are received. The deposit will be returned if the tour reaches capacity.


The program cost of $4,600 includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare from Nashville, TN;
  • Accommodations in double rooms (an adult may request a single room for an additional charge);
  • Breakfast each day at the hotel;
  • Admission to historic sites, museums, and other points of interest listed on the itinerary; and
  • Travel by motor coach for excursions.

NOTE: Cost is subject to change should there be changes in airfares, monetary exchange rates, or service costs. The itinerary is subject to minor changes in daily activities.

Payment schedule:

  • $500 deposit and a passport-sized photo are due with the application
  • $2,050 due December 1, 2023
  • $2,050 due February 1, 2024


Friday, March 29 - Depart Nashville on a direct flight to London on British Airways.

Saturday, March 30 - Arrive at London Heathrow and travel by private motor coach to visit Stonehengeand Avebury, England’s most famous prehistoric standing stones. Travel to London in the late afternoon and check into the hotel.

Sunday, March 31 - Attend Easter service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren. In the afternoon, visit the Museum of London, which presents the story of the city and its people from prehistoric times to the present. End the afternoon with a visit to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.

Monday, April 1 - Begina full-day excursion with a visit to the great medieval castle at Warwick built by the first Earls of Warwick. Spend the afternoon in Stratford-upon-Avon, visiting Anne Hathaway’s cottage, Shakespeare’s birthplace, and Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried. Return to London in the early evening.

Tuesday, April 2 - In the morning, visit Kensington Palace and Gardens. After the palace visit, travel by motor coach to Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden to experience The Making of Harry Potter tour at the studio where the Harry Potter films were made. Return to London. Have dinner and see the shops and sights at Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square before attending a theater performance in the evening.

Wednesday, April 3 - Depart by motor coach for a morning visit to Hampton Court, one of Henry VIII’s favoriteresidences. This palace was given to Henry as a gift by Cardinal Wolsey. In the afternoon, tour Windsor Castle, one of England’s largest walled castles. Windsor is the royal family’s second residence in the London area. Return to London in the late afternoon.

Thursday, April 4 - Visit the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone, the “Bog Man,” the Elgin Marbles (statuary from the Parthenon), and other famous objects. Then go into the old city of London to tour the Tower of London. This fortress prison, the site of imprisonment for Anne Boleyn and Sir Walter Raleigh, among others,houses the Crown Jewels.

Friday, April 5 - Take a guided tour of the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral. then cross the Millennium Bridge to visit the replica of the Globe Theater on the south bank of the Thames. End the afternoon with a stroll down Whitehall and Pall Mall to see the Horse Guard Barracks, Number 10 Downing Street, the Banqueting Hall, and Buckingham Palace. In the evening, enjoy a theater performance.

Saturday, April 6 - Take a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and then tour Westminster Abbey. In the afternoon, visit the Churchill Museum and the War Rooms used by Churchill during WW II. Close out the day with a ride on the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel at 433 feet high. The panoramic view of London from the Eye will provide a wonderful end to our week.

Sunday, April 7 - Depart London for Nashville.



Each spring and fall, The Center offers eighth-grade and high school honors students and interested adults the opportunity to experience a new culture through travel abroad. These Travel/Study Tours take about twenty participants to a selected international city or country of cultural and historical significance. Led by Julia and Dick Roberts, who have organized trips for The Center since 1987, the group spends a week immersed in the landscape, traditions, art, and language of their destination. The Travel/Study Program is designed to challenge, excite, and enrich the lives and minds of participants while fostering awareness and appreciation of other cultures. Past tours have traveled to Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Spain. 

Travel is an important opportunity for gifted and talented young people because it enables them to engage with new viewpoints, gain confidence in exploring the unfamiliar, and discover interests they may want to pursue later in life, whether academically or personally. As Dick Roberts says, “The chance to visit other countries will forever change how you view your own country and its relationship to the world as a whole.”

 See past and upcoming trip itineraries and photos using the links in the sidebar, and read below what past participants have to say about our Travel/Study Tours:

Ethan Tate, Belgium and the Netherlands 2015, Ireland 2016, Italy 2017, London 2018, France 2019: "I was able to see so many museums, statues, and paintings that I had studied in school. I also was exposed to an amazing amount of history that allowed me to understand the culture of the countries. I learned more on each of my trips than I do in months of a history class. I travelled to different countries over five times with The Center and could not have loved it more. Not only did I learn about the history and cultures of where I went, but I also grew as a person on each trip."

Susan Summers, parent to travelers Sara (see below) and Paul (London 2006 and Paris 2007) and traveler to London 2010, Italy 2011, Scotland 2012, Germany 2013, Spain 2014, Belgium 2015, Ireland 2016, Italy 2017, and Greece 2017: "Our children have returned home with a new-found confidence and enthusiasm for exploring, and they loved the very hands-on approach to learning about historical places and events. Each adventure was so very well planned and executed yet flexible enough to be able to take in spontaneous events when the opportunity arose. It’s such fun to travel with the students as they explore, learn, make new friends, and experience so many once-in-a-lifetime memories."

Eden Casebier, Ireland 2016: “My favorite part of the trip was getting to go exploring. Sometimes when you go on trips you stay near the hotel the entire time, or the group requires you to stay with them 24/7 and gives you no free time. However, this trip let us walk around and explore. We also got to see many interesting places like the castles, beautiful landscapes, historical sites, and the cliffs. I made new friends on this trip, too.”

Sara SummersParis 2009, London 2010, Italy 2011, and Belgium and the Netherlands 2015: “Educationally, I learned just as much, if not more, on one of these trips than I did in a semester-long class. You are immersed in the history and culture, and you get to see it with your own eyes. Walking through the Sistine Chapel is a remarkable experience that cannot compare to a textbook.”

Peter Guthrie, Belgium and Netherlands 2015: “The highlight of the trip was getting to know a foreign culture and history. From the Grand Place in Brussels to the Hidden Attic Church in Amsterdam, I felt a sort of intimacy with the country. The Rijksmuseum is my favorite of all the museums I’ve ever been to – from Rembrandt to Napoleon’s pianoforte, it brought to life such a neat part of humanity.”

Weston Loy, London 2015: “It was a tremendous experience to see all of these places and things you only ever hear or read about. To have a real, physical memory of a country on the other side of the world is beyond anything I could imagine.”

Ellis Johnston, London 2010: “Because my sister and I were traveling without our parents, the trip helped me become more confident in my independence and in my own abilities. It also forced me to make new friends, which enhanced my enjoyment level. Plus, Dr. Roberts showed us amazing sights all around London. I know the experience touched my life in the best way possible.”


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 Last Modified 12/8/23