Postponed to 2022

Stockholm is an inspiring mix of past, present and future; beautiful old cobbled streets and gabled buildings mix with modern design and contemporary architecture. The paintings we will study range from Old Masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Goya, the Impressionists, much loved Swedish artists Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn. We shall travel by boat to visit the Summer Palace with beautiful grounds and Chinese Pavilion and see a wonderful galleon (in far better condition than our Mary Rose).

Not only is there a wealth of culture to visit, but throughout the fourteen islands fabulous shops line up beside excellent restaurants, renowned for their fresh produce. Our hotel is a perfect mix of Swedish style and hospitality with views over the bay. Join us for this new exciting venture.

Arriving late morning, we will settle into our hotel before heading straight out for a light lunch and to find our bearings. We will talk about the origins of Stockholm and get to know Gamla Stan, ‘the Old Town’, the most scenic and atmospheric part of the city. We will meet some Swedish kings and, outside the Royal Palace, see how the structure of medieval Stockholm is reflected in modern-day Sweden. In the evening we will eat at a relaxed restaurant close to the hotel.

We will continue our discussion of the history of Stockholm by focusing on two churches – the Storkyrken, or Cathedral, and the Riddarholmskyrkan on the adjacent island. The former, a medieval structure, has been regularly refurbished but contains one of the most remarkable 15th century sculptures you will never have heard of, Berndt Notke’s St George and the Dragon. The latter served as the burial place for many of Sweden’s Kings and Queens, an ideal chance to meet a few more. Between the two we will introduce the concept of fika – a Swedish institution – by sitting down for a nice chat over a cup of coffee and possibly even a cinnamon bun.

After lunch in Gamla Stan we will take a short stroll to the Nationalmuseum, which has only recently re-opened after the 3-year refurbishment. The light and spacious interior is the ideal place to compare Western European Old Master paintings with the work of equivalent Scandinavian artists, including Anders Zorn. Often mentioned in the same breath as Sorolla and Singer Sargent, you can expect a similar rich use of paint, wonderful colours and glamorous imagery. In the evening will return to Gamla Stan for dinner.

Having already seen the outside of the Royal Palace the day before, will have a day trip to the delightful Summer Palace at Drottningholm, travelling there and back by boat. Once there we can explore the richly appointed palace interiors and elegantly laid-out grounds, making a beeline for the enchanting Chinese Pavillion. Originally a birthday present for Queen Louisa Ulrike in 1753, the structure wasn’t meant to last, but was rebuilt very soon to become a highpoint of rococo chinoiserie. We will also have a tour of the Court Theatre, which was put to sleep after Gustav III’s untimely death in 1792, only to be reawakened, perfectly preserved with its working 18thcentury scenery in the 1920s.

Returning to Stockholm, we will take the short walk to the ‘City’ district for a stylish, and extremely tasty, dinner.

By now we will know the importance of travelling by sea for the people of Stockholm – and Sweden as a whole – and this will be driven home by visiting one of the city’s most remarkable sites, The Vasamuseum. If you think the Mary Rose is impressive, wait until you see the Vasa! Although it travelled less than a mile before sinking on its maiden voyage in 1628, its location was lost until 1956. When it was finally salvaged and brought ashore, the Swedes built a museum around it. The level of preservation is impressive, and the size and scale of this ship is astonishing, perhaps the clearest demonstration we will see of the wealth and power of a people who are now sometimes unjustly seen as a backwater of world culture.

After an early lunch at a nearby brasserie, we will have time for a brief visit to the wonderful Hallwylska Museum – a family home, with a private collection, described as ‘the house that time forgot – one of Stockholm’s most eccentric and engaging museums’. It is just a short walk from here back to the hotel, where our minibus will be waiting to take us to the airport.

Further Details


Dr Richard Stemp will lead the trip. Richard is one of our most experienced tutors and has led courses for Dilettante for many years.


We will stay at The Radisson Collection Strand Hotel on the beautiful Nybroviken Waterfront. The hotel was designed in 1912 for the Olympic Games and has a great bar overlooking the harbour. It has a perfect location, within easy reach of all the main sites, restaurants, cafes and also the boat stops. All our rooms are premium and have a sea view.

Radisson Collection Strand Hotel Website


We do not book the flights thus allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates. We recommend buying the following flights with Scandinavian Airlines

London Heathrow 10.35 – 14.10 Stockholm Arlanda SK526
Stockholm Arlanda 18.15 – 19.55 London Heathrow SK533


There will be a private coach for the airport transfer to meet the recommended flights.  We will mostly walk but will also catch public boats.


There is quite a bit of walking on this trip, as well as uneven terrain.  There is also stepping on and off boats.  As is the case for all our courses, there is a lot of standing while we discuss the works we are looking at.


The fees are £1620 which includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches, transfers for the recommended flight, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, tuition, reading lists and local advice.  The single occupancy room supplement is £120 (double room for single use).  Please state on the form if you would be happy to share.  Not included are the flights, all other suppers and travel insurance.  The group will not exceed 10 people.

The application form should be returned with a deposit of £600.00. Please note all deposits will be refunded if the current travel disruption continues due to Covid-19.  Please call 01379 871800 or email if you have any queries.

NB you must buy your own flights.

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