Important commentary on Covid-19

For all travellers joining an Odyssey small group tour we ask for respect for all member of the group and yourself and the communities we are visiting and that:

  1. If requested by Odyssey Traveller you will undertake to take a Covid-19 test and share the result with Odyssey no more than 72 hours before a tour commences.
  2. You respect the communities you are visiting and the Covid-19 directions issued including social distancing.
  3. You will advise your program leader/Odyssey of any underlying change in your health whilst on tour and up to 14 days after the tour.
  4. Odyssey and its suppliers will observe as a minimum the WTTC guidelines and those of the region you are visiting their Covid-19 requirements, the higher standard of the two instructions will be applied for a small group tour.
  5. We remain aware, vigilant and empathetic to the need to change arrangements in response to the challenges of managing Covid-19 before and during a small group tour for the benefit of all in the internal and external Odyssey Traveller community.

Travellers should also familiarise themselves with our Peace of mind travel policy for Covid-19 as well as the terms and conditions applicable at the time of booking.

Victorian Britain Summer School course

This Victorian Britain summer school program looks at the different aspects of life, and some of the extraordinary changes that took place during the Victorian era.

This was an era of enormous change, change which occurred in almost all areas of life. Developments in technology, science, medicine, politics, art and architecture changed the way people of all social classes lived and paved the foundations for the way we live today.

Victoria came to the throne in 1837 and remained there until her death in 1901. During this time the British Empire expanded to its greatest extent. Goods poured in from every corner of the globe. Railway tracks criss-crossed the country. Gas lighting was introduced for domestic use and then superseded by electricity. Charles Darwin wrote his revolutionary ‘On the Origin of Species” and the right to vote was extended to all adult male householders, though women had to wait quite a bit longer. Women were, however, given at an extension of rights during the period and it became possible for them to attend university.

By the time Victoria died there were bicycles, motor cars and even aeroplanes, the telephone was in use and photography had become commonplace. Clean water, better hygiene and new sanitation methods had dramatically increased life expectancy. Anaesthetics had been introduced and Florence Nightingale did her bit to improve conditions in hospitals.

Queen Victoria did not necessarily approve of all of these changes but change went on, with or without her approval. During the week of the course we will begin with an examination of Britain in 1837 and then go on to look at developments in a number of fields.

Articles about Victoria Britain published by Odyssey Traveller

The following list of articles published by Odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of the course.

For all the articles published on Britain by Odyssey Traveller, please click through on this link to view.

Summer School classes  for mature and senior travellers

Odyssey offers a collection of week-long learning programs offered each January in Hobart, Tasmania. Our 2021 classes will be held in Leura, Blue Mountains, NSW (due to Covid-19 border restrictions). Courses are refreshed for each year’s programs. Classes are limited to 15 people.

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School Program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Summer school learning programs for mature and senior travellers who are and remain curious about the world. Read more about our philosophy of the Odyssey Summer Schools.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: The Summer school program  begins with a welcome reception and dinner.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview: This morning we will look at Queen Victoria herself and how she came to the throne. From there we’ll look at the Britain that existed when the 18 year old Victoria succeeded her uncle, William IV.

In the afternoon we’ll concentrate on developments in technology, science and engineering, particularly in manufacturing and sanitation.  Factories continued to introduce new methods, increasing production. Industrial cities grew even bigger because of this, with all of the associated problems. Time will be spent examining how different manufacturers responded.

We’ll look at the work of engineers such as Joseph Bazalgette and his remarkable improvements to London sanitation.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview:  Our second day will continue with an examination of developments in science and technology, particularly in relation to transport.

This was an era when the railways spread right across Britain and we’ll look particularly at the contribution of the Stephensons, father and son, as well as at the work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

In the afternoon we’ll examine the life and work of Charles Darwin.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview: This day concentrates on Victorian literature and art. We look at a number of the most famous of the Victorian writers including Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters and Elizabeth Gaskell.

In the afternoon we’ll spend some time examining the way that painting developed over the period. Many  painters who were household names during the Victorian era have now been virtually forgotten and we’ll attempt to see why this is so.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview: Continuing on from art we’ll look at changes in architecture, particularly at the influence of Gothic Revival architecture, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The afternoon will be devoted to changes in education and the political system.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview: The final day will be devoted to an examination of the lives four extraordinary Victorians, some now little known, but of great significance during the period.

John Patrick Crichton Stuart, third marquess of Bute.
William Lever, first Lord Leverhulme.
John Ruskin
Florence Nightingale.

In the evening we conclude our course with a farewell dinner, starting at 6:30pm.

Accommodation: Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Overview: The course will end after breakfast.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 6 nights in full en suite accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Costs of a personal nature.
Victorian Britain
Victorian Britain