Andrew Graham-Dixon is a leading art critic, writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Andrew has a long history of public service in the field of the visual arts, having judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize, and the Annual British Animation Awards, among others.
Admire the magical paintings of the Dutch Golden Age with Andrew Graham-Dixon
Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer might have only produced around 35 paintings during his life, but they are some of the most revered artworks in existence, including the iconic Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft. You'll have the chance to see both during a culture-packed six days in Holland, accompanied by the art critic, writer and Vermeer expert Andrew Graham-Dixon.
He'll join you at the Mauritshuis in The Hague for a private, out-of-hours viewing, where you'll be able to linger and take in the magnificence of Vermeer's work, as well as Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch and paintings by Rembrandt.
Andrew will also share his vast knowledge of these artists' lives during an exclusive talk, and hold a Q&A for you to ask him all your questions. A visit to Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum will give you the chance to explore its 8,000-strong collection of artworks, including The Night Watch and Isaac and Rebecca by Rembrandt, and Vermeer's The Milkmaid and Woman Reading a Letter.
You'll also have time to wander the elegant boulevards, parks and squares of The Hague, discover Gouda's vast market square and taste its famous cheese, explore the birthplace of Rembrandt - Leiden - and its ancient canals, and go on a walking tour of beautiful Delft, where you'll be staying for five nights.
Reasons to book
Exclusive events with Andrew Graham-Dixon
Rembrandt and the Rijksmuseum
Delft, Amsterdam and Leiden
Your expert guide
- Return Eurostar travel from London St Pancras to Rotterdam
- Coach transfers
- Five nights at the Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel
- Exclusive events with Andrew Graham-Dixon, including welcome drinks, talk and Q&A and private viewing of the Vermeer Room at the Mauritshuis
- Visit to the Rijksmuseum and the Rembrandt House Museum
- Walking tour of Delft
- Tours of Leiden and Gouda
- Travel Editions tour manager throughout
Day1Arrive in DelftDelft, Netherlands
Travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras direct to Rotterdam and on to Delft by coach to check in at your home for the next five nights, the Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel.
This morning, you will embark on an exclusive walking tour of Delft, the city where the 'Master of Light', Johannes Vermeer, lived his entire life. Famous for its blue and white ceramics and its jumble of old tiled houses, Delft is also known for its charming tree-lined canals and little bridges. The Prinsenhof has a collection of Golden Age paintings for you to enjoy before spending the afternoon at your leisure.
Day3Leiden and GoudaLeiden, Netherlands
In the prestigious university city of Leiden, Rembrandt's birthplace, you'll find a beautiful old town, crisscrossed by ancient canals and full of historic buildings. You will tour Leiden on foot, visiting the Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, which houses several 17th-century Dutch paintings. Gouda is famous for its cheese, of course, while its market square is the largest in the Netherlands. In the nearby St Janskerk church, you'll also find some of the finest stained glass in the world.
This evening you will be joined by art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon for a welcome reception and dinner with wine at your hotel, after which Andrew will give a fascinating talk with a Q&A.
Day4The Hague and the Mauritshuis collectionThe Hague, Netherlands
Following an early breakfast, you'll be transferred to The Hague. There you'll enjoy a 90-minute private visit to the recently reopened Mauritshuis, home to the best Dutch paintings from the 17th century. Rembrandt's career is well represented at the gallery with The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, Saul and David and Self-Portrait on display.
You will enjoy a 45-minute viewing with Andrew Graham-Dixon in the Vermeer Room, where you can admire, among others, Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft, Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch and more of Rembrandt's works. The remaining 45 minutes of your out-of-hours viewing will be spent on a guided tour of the other rooms with one of the gallery's expert guides. Witness masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck and enjoy free time to explore the fantastic collection.
Your next stop will be the nearby Panorama Mesdag. The incredible 360-degree cylindrical painting, which is more than 14m high and 120m in circumference, will transport you back to the fishing village of Scheveningen in 1881 as captured by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, one of the most important painters of The Hague School. You'll then have time to explore the fascinating seat of Dutch government, royalty and law courts with its elegant boulevards, parks and squares.
Today, you will head to the Dutch capital to wander the atmospheric lanes and canals and visit one of the world's greatest art galleries, the Rijksmuseum. Here you will enjoy works such as The Night Watch and Isaac and Rebecca by Rembrandt and Vermeer's The Milkmaid and Woman Reading a Letter. You will then pay a fascinating visit to the Rembrandt House Museum, based in the house in which the artist lived for 20 years.
Day6Rotterdam and return to UKRotterdam, Netherlands
Leaving Delft in the morning, you'll visit Rotterdam by coach before boarding Eurostar to return to London.
Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel
Modern, four-star city centre hotel with lounge bar and waterside terrace
This modern, 92-room hotel is perfectly situated close to the centre of Delft, the birthplace of Vermeer and the former home of William of Orange. Minutes from the old city centre, it's the perfect base from which to explore Delft's cultural heritage, numerous galleries, museums and churches. The hotel's cosy lounge bar has a spacious terrace overlooking the water, as well as a restaurant serving delicious food and hosting live music events.