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The Development of Educational Tourism

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Sources: The information has been culled from many sources from comprehensive chronologies to newspaper articles and conference papers. Most are easily verifiable from published material, but the reference to Butler and Wooldridge came from a conference paper for which the academic concerned was unable to give a source, and efforts to trace it since by myself proved fruitless. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who can corroborate the note, or indeed to add, or correct, information.

Useful sources include:

Feifer, Maxine (1985) Going Places: The Ways of the Tourist From Imperial Rome to the Present Day, London, Macmillan: general tourism history

Pimlott, J A R (1947, reprint of 1977) The Englishman’s Holiday: A Social History, reprint by Hassocks (Sussex), Harvester Press

Strager, James (1992) The People’s Chronology, London, Aurum Press: an encyclopaedic work covering general historical material.

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385 AD
St Jerome records the visit of travellers to Jerusalem. They are shown places with Biblical associations. A Roman lady, Paula, takes away pebbles from some of the sites, reads aloud from a Bible, and shows great emotions at Calvary.
Pope Damasius arranges for a signposting system to be installed in the catacombs of Rome.

Pilgrims to Rome are able to buy a guide to a route around the main churches of Rome. The term "pilgrim" derives from the Latin "peregrinus" meaning foreigner or stranger, and by association becomes for a time a general word meaning traveller.

The supposed body of St James the Apostle is "discovered" at Compostela in north-west Spain. A shrine is built and he becomes known there as St James of Compostela.

The monastery of St Maximin in Provence claims to have the body of Mary Magdalene in a sarcophagus. The Count of Provence holds a gala ceremony to display the relic and Pope Boniface VIII grants an indulgence on it. The cathedral of Vezelay in Burgundy had long claimed to have the body, but its boast was soon discounted in favour of St Maximin.

c13 C
The journey to Rome is made by the Church into part of a credit system towards so many years of pardon for sins: eg one journey followed by 395 high masses gives ninety-two years' pardon.

First licence is issued to an English 'pilgrim shipper' to sail from Plymouth to La Corunna, taking pilgrims travelling to Compostela. The journey took four days' sailing and a few hours' walk.

By 1428
925 pilgrim boats are operating from England to Spain. They often returned with wine as an additional cargo.

Sir Philip Sydney commences a Grand Tour, paid for by Queen Elizabeth I, in order to learn continental methods of government. Returns in 1575.

Sydney visits bi-annual Frankfurt Book Fair, an international gathering of publishers, scholars and authors. The city population tripled during that time. The Book Fair is still held.

Fynes Moryson sets out on a Grand Tour paid for by Queen Elizabeth I, to study law, and also receives 20 for each of two years from Peterhouse College, Cambridge - about 1,000 per year at 1980 prices.

(May) First known 'Herbarizing' excursion organised by the Society of Apothecaries, when apprentices were taught to recognise the 'simples' or drug plants during a visit to the country. The Society later appointed a 'Demonstrator of Plants' who stood in the Chelsea Physic Garden on the last Wednesday in each month to expound the names of plants. Herbarizings finally ceased in 1834 when it was decided that London had grown too big to organise practicable excursions.

Samuel Pepys records a visit to Hatfield House and a guided tour by the Earl of Shaftesbury's gardener.

First use of the term 'Grand Tour'.

The Temple Coffee House Botanic Club is formed as a social group meeting on Friday evenings, with excursions on Sundays and some summer holidays to places round London.

Joseph Addison sets out on a Grand Tour to write a new guidebook to Europe based on the writings of Horace and Virgil.

Cost of lodging in Rome, per week, 4 (? 100 at modern prices). Cost of three-volume guidebook to Rome, Antica and Moderna, 10/- (1980 prices ? 13.50).

The 'Annual Register' classifies the reasons for foreign travel as "polite education, the love of variety, the pursuit of health" (cf 1768).

William Buckland, Reader in Geology at Oxford, holds one of his famous "Geological Rides" for the British Association meeting in Oxford. Meets in carriages or on horseback on the London Road and proceed to Shotover Hill where refreshments are taken in tents, fossils are purchased from local labourers, and Buckland lectures.

Adam Sedgwick starts "Geological Rides" from Cambridge. they prove instantly popular - up to seventy students on horseback follow him across the fens and hear five lectures in a day, the last usually being on fen drainage, delivered on the cathedral roof at Ely.

The first guidebook is published by Baedeker: in due course it will lead to a series of leading European guides.

Thomas Cook's first excursion takes 570 people by train from Leicester to Loughborough for an event in the open air with speeches, entertainment and food. Cook's purpose is stated to be "to unite man with man, and man with God" (Cook's "Physical, Moral and Social Aspects of Excursions and Tours"). The event is notable for the quality and detail of the arrangements.

Thomas Cook organises a public trip to Liverpool which does not have any motive other than to have an enjoyable time - ie the 1841 excursion was aimed at promoting teetotalism. Cook checks all hotels and restaurants in advance for his 350 participants. Afterwards he writes a "Handbook of the Trip to Liverpool" - the first guidebook of its kind. As this tour included transport, meals, accommodation and 'the services of a tour manager' as we would now say, it qualifies as the first-ever leisure package tour, over a century before the first aircraft-based trips to the Mediterranean. The previous Loughborough visit was a day excursion only.

Thomas Cook's first European Tour.

Thomas Cook's first tour of the USA.

Thomas Cook's first world tour.
Foundation of the Polytechnic Touring Association under the influence of Quentin Hogg.

The Reverend T A Leonard takes a party from Colne in Ambleside for four days at a cost of 21/- a head. This leads to the formation of the Co-operative Holidays Association as a company in 1897.

The CHA puts funds into starting the Free Holiday Movement, with members nominating poor people for free holidays. The following year the CHA refers to members as "Sons of Faith, Nature and Comradeship".

An Act of Parliament is passed setting up the National Trust in its present form.
Richard Schirmann, in Germany, opens his school to slum children, and begins the "wandervogel" movement. It is anti-militarist, anti-machinery, pro country life. The origins of youth hostelling are usually traced to this date, though the Swedish Touring Club had provided low-cost accommodation in simple shelters.

Baden-Powell's first scout camp is held on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour from 9 August. Of twenty boys taking part, nine were members of the Boys' Brigade. In September, Robert Young forms a Glasgow Schools' Officer Training Corps, and is later persuaded by Baden-Powell to introduce Scout training.

The Boy Scouts' Movement is begun officially by Baden-Powell. "Scouting for Boys" begins to be issued fortnightly at 4d a copy from January. In May, the first Scout Camp is held by a Sunderland troop under Colonel Vaux, camping for a month. Many participants were newsboys and received 5/- a week from Colonel Vaux to cover lost earnings. Halfway through they were joined by the Kangaroo Patrol of the 1st Hampstead Troop.

Steve Mather of US National Parks Service observes Lake Tahoe Guides interpreting the area to visitors. Their organisers, Mr and Mrs Goethe, had drawn inspiration from a British field teacher using heuristic methods at the Lake of the Four Cantons in Switzerland. [No known link with T C Horsfall, c1875].

The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry founded by Ernest Westlake. It will use outdoor activities as an educational strategy - similar to the Boy Scouts and other movements.

Horace M Albright of the US National Parks Service hires a Park Ranger to give lectures, guided walks and field trips, produce a bulletin and operate a museum. He later recalls that in the early 1900s interpretive techniques were in use at Yosemite, Yellowstone, and in Arizona.

Gordonstoun School is evacuated to Plas Dinan, Merionethshire for the duration of the war. Kurt Hahn obtains financial help from Lawrence holt of the Blue Funnel Line to start the Outward Bound school at Aberdovey, which he does in the following year. His Moray Badge scheme of character training had been tried by local authorities under the title of the County Badge scheme, but it was not successful until modified as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award post-war. Hahn's wish to pursue adventure training was directed into the Aberdovey venture meanwhile.

c 1940 HMI Schools Inspector Francis Butler identifies the cultural gap between urban and rural children, as shown during the evacuation. He joins with Professor Wooldridge in advocating field studies.

Aberdovey Outward Bound School opens: first purpose-built educational centre to concentrate on education within the countryside.

The first Field Studies Centre is opened at Flatford Mill in Suffolk.

White Hall, Derbyshire County Council's country pursuits centre, opens near Buxton. Main drive behind it is Sir Jack Longland, who had been on the 1933 Everest Expedition, was on the Board of the Outward Bound Trust and had connections with Abbotsholme.

Gerard Blitz founds the Club Mediterranee as a way of allowing visitors an environment in which they can get back to nature. The first centre is in Majorca. In the 1970s a changed economic situation will lead to a growth of its distinctive holiday camps, especially with centres in the Caribbean for the North American market. An image will then be created of holidays for young adults with a frisson of intimate fun. By 1994 the chain will stretch to 80 centres in 24 countries.

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