Cox & Kings, which celebrates its 260th anniversary in 2018, has launched its new collection of expert-led Arts & Culture tours

Building on its existing art tours programme, a special feature of the new collection is meeting with locals who bring the contemporary culture to life: designers, chefs, wine producers, gardeners, artisans, perfumers, and even nuns. This collection includes tours which cover wider cultural themes such as food, drink and design, as well as art and architecture, to give participants a real sense of place.

All the tours are accompanied by specialist lecturers, who work with Cox & Kings’ in-house specialists to design these itineraries and, in many cases, they are able to open doors that are closed to the general public. These tours, which have a maximum group size of 16, are open to anyone with a love for the arts, appealing to experts and enthusiasts alike.

The 3-night Ravenna: Mosaics & Marbles remains one of the most consistently popular tours in the collection and is the lead-in tour with a price of £1,195 per person. There are 22 expert-led art tours in the portfolio, of which nine are new for 2018. Here is a taster:

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Carnival mask-making, Venice, Italy( iStock)

Venice: Art & Artisans – This new tour combines visits to important works of art, often in the original locations, with meeting artisans continuing artistic traditions. It reveals some of Venice’s lesser-known gems beyond the regular tourist trail. Discover how handmade Venetian mirrors are made in a family workshop on Murano; taste wine made from the rare Dorona grape that survives high tides on the island of Mazzorbo; and watch weavers produce intricate jacquard fabric on 18th century looms. Sample Venetian chocolate and try an aperitivo and cicchetti in a traditional bacarobar. Five days (21-25 March and 28 November-2 December 2018 with Thomas Abbott) from £1,995 per person.

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View of Mole Antonelliana, Turin, Italy (Shutterstock)

Turin: Art & Aperitivos, Slow Food & Truffles – Home of the Slow Food Movement, this tour celebrates the food, art and architecture of Turin. A day trip to Alba reveals the secrets of truffle hunting and includes visit to the world renowned white truffle fair. Other highlights include a tour of Porta Palazzo food market – Europe’s largest covered market – with a local chef, a meeting with an artisan chocolate producer and a cocktail masterclass at Casa Martini to learn about Turin’s famed aperitivo, usually made with Martini Rosso’s vermouth. Visit the 1920s-designed Lingotto building, the former Fiat factory, and the first EATALY food hall, which is dedicated to Italian produce. A private, after-hours tour of the Museum Accorsi-Ornetto with the director has also been arranged. Five days (10-14 October 2018 with Stephen Nelson) from £2,195 per person.

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Erasmus bridge over the River Meuse, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Shutterstock)

Rotterdam: Modern Art & Architecture – Distinct from other Dutch towns, Rotterdam has constantly reinvented itself over the past century with different architectural styles. This new tour stays in the Hotel Pincoffs, a converted waterfront customs house in the new architectural district. Guided tours with a curator or architect have been arranged by special appointment of the light-filled 1920s Van Nelle factory and Sonneveld House, as well as a special insider’s tour of the city with a local designer. Discover the 1970s Cube Houses designed by Piet Blom to resemble a forest of tree houses, and have lunch at the indoor market that sits under the horseshoe-shaped De Markthal. See Piet Mondrian’s works in the art deco Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag and tour of the capital’s old and new architecture. A stop will be made in Delft, a typical Dutch canal city with its distinctive tall and narrow buildings; a stark contrast with the modern city of Rotterdam. Five days (6-10 June and 1-5 September 2018 with Thomas Abbott) from £2,195 per person.

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Abstract modern architecture cube houses, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Shutterstock)

Germany: Bauhaus – Design for Living – 2019 sees the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement and this new tour will visit the most significant buildings and schools associated with it: a curator of the Bauhaus 100 centenary celebrations will accompany a visit to the Bauhaus school in Weimar.  An exclusive tour of the privately owned Haus Auerbach near Jena is being arranged, and in Berlin visit Mies van der Rohe’s Haus Perl and Haus Werner. Special lunches will be included at the Mensa canteen in Dessau’s Bauhaus school and at Villa Esche, designed in 1902-03 by Henry van de Velde to embody the modern with its ideal of the ‘total work of art’. Seven days (14-20 May and 17-23 September 2019 with Thomas Abbott) from £2,375 per person.

Stockholm: Nordic Art & Scandi Design – This new tour experiences contemporary Scandi lifestyle and food following the origin of modern design to the clean, cool lines of Nordic interiors. A tour of SoFo – named by Vogue as one of the ‘coolest street-style neighbourhoods’ – explores the design shops and cafés that have transformed the area; a food tour discovers culinary classics in the many stylish bars and cafes; and a private tour of ArkDes finds out how architecture and design shape Scandi style. Stay at the boutique Miss Clara hotel, which was built in 1910 as a girls’ school and today retains its art nouveau features after a contemporary renovation. Five days (16-20 May and 3-7 October 2018 with Dr Anne Anderson) from £2,395 per person.

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Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche near Nice, Cote d’Azur, France (Shutterstock)

Côte d’Azur: Art, Design, Fragrance & Wine – Staying in the 5-star Le Mas Candille, this tour captures the magical elements of summer in the south of France. Among the tour’s highlights are visits to the Musee d’Art Classique and Espace de l’Art Concret, as well as a tour of the private terraced gardens of La Mouissone carved from an olive grove to discover fragrant ingredients with a perfumer. The tour explores the wooded Esterel valley to visit the sculpture parks of Bernar Venet and Jean-Gabriel Mitterand, as well as Ch’teau Sainte Roseline, where the chapel has a Marc Chagall mosaic and Alberto Giacometti bas-relief. A special visit is made at the end of the tour to Eileen Gray’s E-1027 villa, a striking modern 1920s home designed as a flexible living space with chrome and glass furnishings, and Le Corbusier’s neighbouring Cabanon. Eight days (1-8 September 2018 with Mary Lynn Riley) from £4,325 per person.

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Iconic little lighthouse in Hyannis Harbour, Cape Cod. This is a replica of the Brant Point lighthouse on nearby Nantucket Island

Boston: American Art & Architecture – Staying at the luxury Taj Boston, visit Harvard University to see the art museums displaying vast and eclectic collections and buildings designed by Le Corbusier and Renzo Piano. In Boston, tour the Museum of Fine Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Collection. Drive out to Cape Cod to see the landscapes that inspired Edward Hopper and discover the lifestyle of the early Puritan settlers in the Hancock Shaker Village. See the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, displayed in beautiful galleries designed by Tadao Ando, and view the collections of contemporary art in the former mill buildings at MASS MoCA. Nine days (30 June – 8 July 2018 with Mary Lynn Riley) from £5,195 per person.

All tours include international flights, transfers, sightseeing escorted by English-speaking guides, accommodation with breakfast daily and other meals as specified and are accompanied throughout by an expert lecturer. For the full range of tours see here

RESERVATIONS: 020 7873 5000 or visit

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