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The Government Art Collection – Behind the Scenes

Lunch at Middle Temple and tour of Royal Courts of Justice
A visit to The Worshipful Company of Vintner’s
Temple Church and Royal Academy of Arts
Charles I: King and Collector
From the Cavendish Hotel, St James
Wednesday 21 – Friday 23 March 2018 (two nights)

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A mid-week tour staying for two nights at the luxury Cavendish Hotel in the heart of Mayfair. The tour starts early evening on Wednesday 21 March with a visit to the department responsible for looking after the Government Art Collection.  These are works of art collected over the last hundred years to display in British Government buildings around the world.  You will see a selection of works, hear about the history and role of the collection and get a behind-the-scenes look at pieces they are preparing for display – this is a rare opportunity, as there are always very limited slots.

On Thursday a morning visit to one of the twelve great City of London Livery Companies – The Worshipful Company of Vintners.   With its origins steeped in the history of the City of London and the import, regulation and sale of wine, the Company continues to maintain strong links with the UK Wine Trade.  Vintners' Hall is known as the Trade's "spiritual home".

Then continuing to Middle Temple, one of the four ancient Inns of Court, to enjoy a three course lunch in the historic Middle Temple Hall, one of the finest Elizabethan halls in the country with its magnificent double-hammer beam roof virtually unaltered since its completion in 1570.   Depending on time and services permitting, before lunch a short visit to Temple Church – one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London built by the Knights Templar.   After lunch a visit to the Royal Courts of Justice:  Two of the highest civil courts in the land sit in these imposing neo-Gothic buildings: the High Court and the Appeals Court; justice at its most bewigged and ermine-robed. The building is reminiscent of a cathedral in both style and scale. Soaring arches and beautiful stained glass windows ornamented with the coats of arms of Lord Chancellors and keepers of the Great Seal combine with a mosaic marble floor to create a majestic setting.  This tour and talk will give an insight into the history, architecture and workings of this historic building.

Friday 23th March - check out of the Cavendish Hotel before your timed exhibition tickets (11am) for The Royal Academy -   Charles I amassed one of the most extraordinary art collections of his age, acquiring works by some of the finest artists of the past – Titian, Mantegna, Holbein, Dürer – and commissioning leading contemporary artists such as Van Dyck and Rubens.  Charles I: King and Collector will reunite the greatest masterpieces of this magnificent collection for the first time.   For this London tour, stay at the luxury Cavendish Hotel, St James’s.   As ever very popular with all our clients for its ideal location for galleries, theatres and shops in the heart of London’s West End. Numbers on this tour are limited so reserve your place early to avoid disappointment.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 2 nights’ accommodation and breakfast Cavendish hotel superior rooms.
  • Entry, tours, timed tickets and donations to the above mentioned venues.
  • Lunch Middle Temple.
  • Taxi transfers to the various venues outlined in the details.
  • Heritage Touring Representative.


Price per person: £490
Non-refundable deposit: £150 pp
Single supplement: £70 per night (mid-week rates)
(double room for sole occupancy)

If you wish to arrange theatres on Wednesday there is time after the GAC.
We are looking at tickets for 42nd Street for the Thursday evening.

Cavendish Hotel, St James’s

Each tour, unless stated otherwise in the tour details, includes welcome reception, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast, entry fees, guided tours and tickets where appropriate,  lunches and refreshments where stated, professional guide and executive coaching. 

You are asked to make your own travel arrangements to join each break at the hotel listed.  We are happy to give advice and where possible organise shared taxis from a rail station to the hotel and where appropriate the coach will finish a tour at the station. However we cannot take responsibility for individual travel bookings.

We strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance for protection against any cancellation charges, loss of deposit and other eventualities even for holidays in the United Kingdom and for emergency medical expenses and injury, death, repatriation home if travelling abroad.   Heritage Touring does not offer or sell insurance but can give assistance in locating travel insurance companies. Travel insurance is mandatory for all passengers travelling abroad.