Posted by: marymarthatours | July 28, 2014

London in Miniature Tour – 13-21 May 2015

At the May 2014 meeting of the Midwest Miniature Guild, a number of  Guild members expressed an interest in our proposed 2015 London in Miniature Tour.  We can now announce that the tour is a definite “Go”.

Blackfriars tube sta, PD

We will depart on May 13, 2015, arriving at Heathrow Airport, London, on the 14th.  After our shuttle delivers us to our hotel, we will offer the traditional “Mary & Martha Tube Tutorial” to any of the travelers who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the London transit system.  Because we are staying at one hotel in the Kensington area of London for the entire week, this tour will be “coach-less”; we will rely on public transportation – the tube, city buses, and the train – to get around.  At the “Tube Tutorial”, we will purchase 7-day London Travelcards for all the group members, show everyone how to read the underground and bus maps to plan their journeys, and take a practice run that includes both the tube and a city bus.

Geffrye museum, PD

On Friday morning we will visit the wonderful Geffrye Museum, home of an impressive series of decorated rooms covering hundreds of years of English interior design.  Just the thing to delight and inspire any dollshouse enthusiast.  That afternoon, we will host a private event with one of the exhibitors from the Kensington Dollshouse Festival.  The topic is a surprise for our tour participants (and is even a surprise for Martha and me at this point).

The Kensington Dollshouse Festival on the weekend of May 16-17 was the motivating factor for the design and timing of this tour.  One of the foremost shows in the UK, you can read more about it here.  The two-day ticket is included in the tour price, but, of course, if people prefer to do other things on one or both days, that’s just fine with us.  One of the hallmarks of a Mary & Martha tour is the flexibility that we offer to our travelers.

Two great visits are planned for Monday.  First we will walk to the nearby Linley Sambourne House to see this Victorian Aesthetic masterpiece.  In the afternoon, it’s off to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood.  With the serendipity that often accompanies our tours, the Museum’s feature exhibition will be “Small Stories: At Home in a Dollshouse”.  Here is what the Museum’s website says about the exhibition:

Mus.Childhood, Cristian Bortes, cca2.0   mus.childhood4, Cristian Bortes,cca2.0

Dollshouses at the V&A Museum of Childhood

“This exhibition will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses, taking you on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships. The small stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years will be brought to life by the characters that live or work there. Come and meet the residents, and discover tales of marriages and parties, politics and crime.
– See more at:

London 3 PD

What will people do with their totally free day on Tuesday?  There’s so much to see and do in London.  Martha and I will be available to help people decide on the best plan for their interests, energy, and pocket books.  For London newcomers, we like to suggest a ride on one of London’s double decker sightseeing buses.  For art fans, many of London’s fabulous museums and galleries are free of charge.  And, of course, there is the theatre with everything from Shakespeare to the most contemporary dramas, comedies, and musicals.

We’ve saved the best for last with a day-trip to Windsor on our last day of the tour.  We’ll take the train from Paddington Station (keep you eyes open for a bear with a tag) and have a whole day to explore the town of Windsor, see the Castle, and spend time marveling at the magnificent Queen Mary’s Dollshouse.

QM's DH, Rob Sangster, ccasa2.0

For further details of the London in Miniature Tour, see the tour brochure and registration here.  The tour is strictly limited to 14 travelers, with a waiting list for those who would like to go if there is a cancellation.  We’d love to have you with us.

(by Mary)

photo credits:  2 dollshouses at Museum of Childhood copyright by Cristian Bortes and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license; Queen Mary’s Dollshouse copyright Rob Sangster and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license; all other photos are in the public domain.


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