British Fantasy Fiction, Travel

British Fantasy Fiction

AIFS Flight Dates

Outbound: Thursday, June 29 to Manchester* | Inbound: Saturday, July 22 from London*

British Fantasy Fiction

Academic Program: June 30 - July 21

Thursday, June 29

Optional overnight flight from the U.S. to Manchester.*

Friday, June 30

Arrive Manchester. Transfer to student residence at Bangor University.* Balance of day free to relax.
Bangor is a small city situated between the mountains of Snowdonia National Park and the sea. Founded in 1884, Bangor University is in the top 5 percent of universities in the world, and was voted the best university setting in the UK by The Independent. It is safe, walkable, and affordable city, and is also the center for all things King Arthur! Neolithic and Roman ruins around every corner, sheep and ponies dotting the hillsides, and the Welsh language (said by some to be the inspiration for Elvish) is spoken by nearly 90 percent of the population.

Saturday, July 1

Morning orientation with AIFS staff. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Bangor including entrance to Bangor Cathedral, the location of the very first written mention of King Arthur by the monk Nennius in the 9th century. Group dinner and traditional Welsh dancing (called a Twmpath) in the evening.

Sunday, July 2

Free Day

Monday, July 3

Morning class. Afternoon excursion to Snowdonia National Park. This landscape inspired Tolkien and Lewis writing, and the mountains are full of Arthurian legends, including the Lady of the Lake and finding Excalibur. Visit Dinas Emrys to discover the legend of the fighting dragons and why the Welsh flag has a red dragon on it.

Tuesday, July 4

Morning class. Afternoon guest lecture on Arthurian Legends and influence on fantasy fiction.

Wednesday. July 5

Morning class. Afternoon excursion to Chester and nearby Holywell associated with the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight.

Thursday, July 6

Morning class. Afternoon excursion exploring the castles and prehistoric monuments and burial chambers. Visit Segontium, a Roman fort, where Merlin is supposed to have advised Arthurís troops. Fish and chip supper at Beaumaris.

Friday, July 7

Morning class. Free afternoon.

Saturday, July 8

Morning departure from Bangor to Gloucester with stops en-route in the Welsh countryside and Hay-on-Wye, home to the famous literature festival.

Sunday, July 9

Morning visit to Gloucester Cathedral featured in the Harry Potter movies. Afternoon departure to Oxford. Rest of the day free to explore Oxford.

Monday, July 10

Morning walking tour of Oxford with entrances to Oxford University Colleges. Group pub lunch at The Eagle and Child. Discover the stomping grounds of the Inklings (Lewis & Tolkien), absorb the atmosphere and see how other writers such as Wilde, Pullman and Rowling were inspired by this town. Afternoon class.

Tuesday, July 11

Morning excursion to C.S. Lewisís house The Kilns. Afternoon exploration of Oxford and related authors.

Wednesday, July 12

Morning departure to Bath. Tour of the Roman Baths. Afternoon walking tour of Jane Austenís Bath and entrance to the Jane Austen Centre.

Thursday, July 13

Full-day excursion to Stonehenge, Avebury and other prehistoric sites. These sites are linked to the legend of Waylaid Smith and St. George in addition to being UNESCO World Heritage site and impressive in their own right.

Friday, July 14

Morning departure to Tintagel. Visit to Tintagel Castle, birthplace of King Arthur, Dozmary Pool, claimed to be home to the Lady of the Lake and exploration of the local countryside.

Saturday, July 15

Morning departure to Glastonbury, said to be the site of King Arthurís death. Hike up Glastonbury Tor. Group pub lunch at one of the most haunted buildings in England. Entrance to Glastonbury Abbey. Late afternoon transfer to London.

Sunday, July 16

Morning orientation to London. Afternoon sightseeing tour of London.

Monday, July 17

Morning class. Afternoon visit to the British Library to see firsthand the Beowulf manuscript.

Tuesday, July 18

Morning class. Afternoon workshop at Shakespeareís Globe Theatre. Evening theater performance.

Wednesday, July 19

Morning class. Afternoon excursion to Strawberry Hill gothic castle.

Thursday, July 20

Morning class. Afternoon class. Alice in Wonderland inspired Afternoon Tea.

Friday, July 21

Full day excursion to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Saturday, July 22

Program ends. Optional return flight to the U.S.*

AIFS reserves the right to modify the itinerary.

* Included for students on the AIFS Flight Package only.