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  • Meeting the Heroes & Villains of History: Get face-to-face with a rogue’s gallery from the past at the National Portrait Gallery, where faces seem to watch you across time with a sparkle in their eye. The gang’s all here, from a supercilious Henry VIII to a pugnacious Hogarth to a kind-eyed Princess Diana, already fading into a memory.

  • Taking a Tour of Royal London: From palaces and parks to the royal art collections, history, geography, and culture have been shaped—or owned—by centuries of aristocratic rule. You can see the best of it in a day, including the queen’s favorite grocer, Fortnum & Mason , plus any one of 800 other Royal Warrant holders. Roam the very rooms used in daily life by kings and queens at Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, and Windsor Castle.

  • Peering into a Time Capsule: Some museums preserve scenes that were frozen in time. No reconstructions or fakery here: You’ll gaze upon authentic World War II military operations at the Churchill War Rooms; admire the graves of great artists and the location of epic rituals at Westminster Abbey; see the home that made Charles Darwin want to stop traveling; and marvel at the treasure-crammed townhouse of a 19th-century collector (Sir John Soane Museum).

  • Shopping in the Grandest Department Stores of Them All: And, no, it’s not Harrods. Liberty of London, founded in 1875 and moved to its current half-timbered, mock-Tudor home in 1924, and Selfridges, both designed and built by Americans, redefined sales methods and played crucial roles in world history.

  • Imagining Domestic Life Through the Ages: At the Geffrye Museum period re-creations of interiors from the spartan 1630s to the flashy 1990s allow visitors to understand how home life has changed. But nothing immerses you in the past quite like the brain-bending role-playing of a night visit to Dennis Severs’ House.

 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.