I’m counting down the days to the magazine’s trip to England to explore haunts of English astronomers and scientists — Herschel, Halley, Newton, Harrison, Wren, and others. I’ll be delighted to go along as a tour guide and speaker; the trip details are being handled by Astronomy magazine’s tour partner, MWT Associates.
The Palace of Westminster // Photo by David Iliff (License CC-BY-SA 3.0)
The trip departs Tuesday, August 6, with flights to Heathrow, and we will spend the remainder of the next day resting and adjusting to the new time zone. On Thursday, August 8, our group will undertake a full London city tour, with a tour of the Tower of London’s rich history, the Crown Jewels, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a cruise on the Thames, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and high tea at Harrod’s in Knightsbridge.
On Friday, August 9, I’ll deliver a lecture, “Comets: Visitors from Deep Space,” at our hotel in Kensington before we head out to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum. There we’ll see the prime meridian of the world, the original John Flamsteed House constructed as a research facility in 1675, and many instruments, including John Harrison’s famous marine chronometer.
Saturday, August 10, will provide guests with a free day in London to do the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, the Museum of London, or a hundred other things.
On Sunday, August 11, our group will hit the road to Oxford, the intellectual city and university town, where we’ll see the Bodleian Library, Christchurch College, and the Museum of the History of Science.
The following day will see us in the countryside again as we travel to Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire that dates to around 3000 B.C. Having seen the spectacular stones, we’ll then continue to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Bath, England, to visit the Herschel House and Museum. Here, in 1781, William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus from his backyard garden. We’ll then tour the Roman baths, some 2,000 years old that have drawn tourists for a long time. Tea at the Roman baths will cap off the day.
While most travelers will then be homeward bound, I’ll be staying in London for a couple more days doing some research for the magazine at museums and science centers. I’ll return home August 16, no doubt filled with many new adventures to share.