This website may ask your browser to store cookies. See our Cookies Policy for more information about our use of cookies.

Back to news index

We open more doors than Casanova

posted on 18/09/18

With MRT you are not just superbly informed by expert lecturers, you are guaranteed privileged moments in unforgettable places. Our cultural tours have the edge with unrivalled access to undiscovered and rarely-seen locations. In Venice, for instance, we visit some outstanding private palazzi by arrangement with their owners, and enjoy St Mark’s Basilica all to ourselves on an out-of-hours visit; in Moscow, a leading Russian string quartet plays exclusively for us; and in India we explore one of Rajasthan’s finest forts with its custodian. We could go on. Here are the pick of our forthcoming tours with special arrangements:


The Indian Mutiny – Delhi, Meerut, Lucknow, Gwalior, Agra
24 October–5 November 2018

India’s first war of independence, or an ill-conceived and anarchic rebellion? Whatever your view, there is little doubt that the events of 1857 rocked the British Empire, and plunged northern India into a year of chaos. Military historian Patrick Mercer, who spent 25 years in the British army, leads our tour, providing invaluable insight into the trajectory of the conflict – from the flashpoint at Meerut to the defeat of warrior queen Rani Lakshmibai at Gwalior. In Meerut we visit St John’ Church, Parade Ground and the Cemetery by special arrangement – they are within the cantonment area which remains a military compound.

Led by Patrick Mercer OBE.

Read our news piece 'Living history and the Indian Mutiny'


The Cathedrals of England – Ely, Lincoln, Durham, York, Coventry, Gloucester, Bristol, Wells, Salisbury, Winchester
24 October–1 November 2018, 8–16 May & 18–26 September 2019

Our itinerary sweeps across England and delves deep into the history of ten marvellous buildings – and the people, techniques and religious convictions that gave rise to them. The cathedrals in question are: Ely, Lincoln, Durham, York Minster, Coventry (the sole modern example), Gloucester, Bristol, Wells, Salisbury and Winchester. There are organ recitals and other special arrangements, with free time to enjoy not just the cathedrals but the congenial cities that surround them.

Led by Jon Cannon, leading religious architectural historian and co-writer and presenter of the BBC’s 'How to Build a Cathedral'.


Venice Revisited – from prison to palazzo: art and life in historic Venice
13–18 November 2018

An after-hours visit to the St Mark's Basilica is just one of the remarkable experiences on offer in this tour, designed for those already familiar with the main buildings and museums of Venice. The itinerary unlocks areas of the Palazzo Ducale that are not usually open to the public, where prison cells lie adjacent to the Doge’s apartments, while another highlight – also by special arrangement – is the Palazzo Albrizzi, which has some of the finest stucco decoration in Venice.

Led by Dr Susan Steer, art historian specialising in Venice who lives near the city.


Danish Castles & Gardens – North Sealand & the Danish Riviera
1–7 July 2019

This six-night tour of North Sealand offers not only privileged access to some of Denmark’s greatest royal houses but the unique opportunity to meet some of the head gardeners responsible for their impressive grounds. The itinerary takes in Copenhagen and Elsinore (of Hamlet fame), and the ‘Danish Riviera’ in between, with in-depth visits to castles, such as Fredensborg, the most popular current royal residence, and a boat excursion to Sweden.

Led by garden historian Dr Margrethe Floryan, curator at the Thorvaldsen Museum.

Connoisseur’s Prague – art, architecture & design, with privileged access
10–16 September 2019

The best-known sights of the Czech capital are not omitted on this 7-day stay, though through private access we uncover far more than can usually be seen. This includes (state occasion permitting) an opportunity to explore the wonderful halls of the Royal Palace, dating from the 1570s to the 1930s, a special tour of the National Theatre (1869–83) to which all the leading Czech artists of the time contributed, and special access to the two magnificent library halls of Strahov Monastery.

Led by Richard Bassett.

Le Corbusier – through France & Switzerland
19–27 October 2019

This wide-ranging tour travels through France and Switzerland and takes in many of the Modernist master’s most important buildings. At Firminy-Vert we see a rare example of Corbusian town planning; at Ronchamp the prophetic, sculptural chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut and at Marseille his ground-breaking Unité d’Habitation apartment blocks. We attain a more personal insight into his career with private access to the Villas Jeanneret (built in 1912, for his own family), where classicism, rationalism and modern building techniques came together. All serve to illustrate a central theme: that Corbusier’s work was never dogmatic, but subtle, varied and – above all – beautiful.

Led by Dr Richard Plant.


More tours for small groups with special arrangements

Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana – from formal to frivolous in spectacular settings
8–13 April 2019
Led by Dr Katie Campbell.

Moscow & St Petersburg – cultural highlights of Russia’s greatest cities
2–10 September 2019
Led by Dr Alexey Makhrov.

Mughals and Rajputs – Delhi, Agra & Rajasthan
16–28 November 2019
Led by Dr Giles Tillotson, expert on the Rajput courts of Rajasthan and on the Mughal cities of Delhi and Agra.


Special arrangements on London Days

Wellington in London – with private access to Apsley House
18 September 2018

Unfurling the history of Wellington’s life and times, this London Day is led by the Keeper of the Wellington Collection at Apsley House, where the day ends with a special out-of-hours visit. Memorial statues and the Wellington Arch (location of an English Heritage exhibition on Waterloo) are also visited, together with The National Gallery, Guards and Household Cavalry Museums.

Led by Josephine Oxley.


By Lucy Stickling, Marketing Assistant.


View all tours with special arrangements

Order a brochure