rhode island

Rhode Island, Cape Cod & Nantucket

POSTPONED Monday 25 May – Tuesday 2 June 2020

Since the founding of “Providence Plantation” by Roger Williams in 1636, Rhode Island, the smallest State in the Union, has become a focus for the culture of New England. Providence was given its name by Roger Williams after his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his unconventional religious views. Renowned as the first district to secede from Great Britain in 1776, Rhode Island’s Brown University became the first in the United States to reject slavery and the first to accept students regardless of religious affiliation.  Rhode Island has preserved its pride in its religious and political freedoms ever since. It was the first Union State to respond to Lincoln’s call to arms in the civil war and one of the first to engage in the industrial revolution.

Culturally it has preserved remarkable traditions: the Redwood Library and Athenaeum are the oldest such institutions still to occupy their original premises in the United States, dating back to 1741. Rhode Island’s art collections are historic, rich and wide-ranging, as well known internationally as the Newport ‘cottages’, that is, the gloriously-decorated mansions of the East Coast rich, such as the Vanderbilts. Not for nothing were ‘High Society’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’ filmed here. 2020 sees the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower near Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. We pay homage with a visit to the Rock and the Pilgrim Monument on Cape Cod, and extend our understanding of the depths of East Coast culture with a boat trip to Nantucket, subject of major poems by Robert Lowell and William Carlos Williams.

Situated atop Newport’s Historic Hill, Viking Hotel is an elegant historic hotel surrounded by Newport’s iconic mansions and five minutes from the waterfront. The hotel was named in tribute to the area’s original Scandinavian settlers and is as much of an institution in the seaside town as its neighboring mansions. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has hosted notable American “royalty,” including the Vanderbilts, Kennedys and Astors.

The brick Georgian Colonial opened to an awestruck public in May 1926.  Nestled in what is now the famed Bellevue Avenue Historic District, within walking distance from the harbor and downtown Newport. The Hotel’s 208 guestrooms and suites offer classically restored rooms, featuring beautiful period-inspired furniture and the rich décor of Newport’s Gilded Age. The One Bellevue restaurant run by Rhode Island’s chef of the year 2018 serves fresh seafood and afternoon tea. Their spa provides massages, facials, and body treatments. Complimentary amenities include a heated swimming pool and hot tub so, please, do include a swimming costume!

All lectures, tuition and pastoral care, gallery and museum visits and transportation during the tour, seven nights with breakfasts, all lunches and dinners with wine, all coffees and teas: £3495 members, £3545 non-members, £595 single room supplement, £300 deposit . Please note that this cost excludes flights. We are happy to help you book these if you wish. At the time of writing (14 January 2020) there is a British Airways flight from Heathrow – Boston for £257 on Skyscanner.