with Peter Medhurst

For a small region of Europe – which in the 17th century was famous for having no great composers except for Pieter Sweelinck, who died in 1621 – The Netherlands produced an extraordinarily wide range of pictures showing people making music.  Why this should be so and how it relates to the most fascinating moment in Dutch history is the theme of this tour.

Gerard’s Mistress Anon c1663, played on the virginals by Peter Medhurst

This tour is organised by Peter Medhurst for


17th – 23rd June 2016

Test Valley DFAS will be accompanied throughout the tour by Peter Medhurst. Peter is an experienced lecturer and tour leader who specialises in music and the visual arts. During the progress of the tour he build up a picture of 17th century Dutch history, architecture, art and music – a period which is arguably the most important moment in Holland’s complex history.

See below for booking details




Day 1

We depart by private coach from Hampshire to Ebbsfleet to board the Eurostar to Brussels. On arrival in Brussels we travel by private coach to our hotel in Delft (approx. 2 hours) and this is followed by an optional walking tour around Delft. The day concludes with a Welcome Drink and Dinner at the hotel (included)

 Day 2

9.00am – Lecture by Peter Medhurst.  This is the first of daily lectures given by Peter which prepares us for the places to be visited.

This morning we will take a guided walk with Peter and Tom around Delft, which will include visits to the Nieuwe Church in the Market Square, Vermeer’s birthplace, and the Vermeer Centre. After lunch (not included) we will visit the Paul Tetar van Elven museum and finish the day with an optional wander around the Oude Church, where Vermeer is buried. Dinner included at a local restaurant.

 Day 3

9.00 am Lecture by Peter Medhurst

Today will be a full day spent in The Hague. In the morning we will visit the Panorama Mesdag to view the immense panorama of Scheveningen (above), which was painted in the late 19th century by Hendrik Willem Mesdag. Following this we will travel on to view and walk on the beach at Scheveningen (the subject of the Mesdag’s panorama) and lunch will be included today at a local fish restaurant.

In the afternoon we will visit the Mauritshuis, a 17th century house containing masterpieces from the Golden Age of Dutch art. The permanant collection includes The Bull by Potter, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt (above), The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Evening at leisure.

 Day 4

9.00 am Lecture by Peter Medhurst

Today we will have a morning visit to the Prinsenhof Museum (above). This museum tells the story of William of Orange and his role in the creation of the Dutch Republic. Here you will see a collection of 17th century art and handicrafts depicting Delft in the Golden Age. Afternoon is at leisure and dinner will be served at a local restaurant (included).

Day 5

9.00 am Lecture by Peter Medhurst


Today we travel by private coach to Leiden, which is one of the most beautiful ‘canal’ cities in the whole country. Leiden is famous for having the oldest university in Holland, having been founded in 1575. Our first port of call will be the Museum Boerhaave (below) which houses a fascinating collection of historical scientific instruments from all disciplines, but mainly from medicine, physics, and astronomy.

Museum BoerhaaveLunch will be at leisure, after which there will be time to take a boat trip along the canals (approx. 1 hour). There will also be a chance to visit the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal (municipal museum of fine arts), which possesses a fine collection of Medieval and 17th century Lowland’s art. Late afternoon return to Delft and dinner (included) at a local restaurant.

 Day 6

9.00 am Lecture by Peter Medhurst

Travelling along the Vliet Canal by private boat from Delft, our first visit of the day is to the Hofwijck (above), a small moated country house belonging to the 17th century diplomat, poet and amateur musician, Constantiyn Huygens.

A highlight of the tour will be an organ recital this afternoon by Peter Medhurst on the 17th century chamber organ and on the large 19th century organ (above) in Voorburg’s parish church. He will play music by Sweelinck, Steenwick and Pachelbel.   This will be followed by a private reception at a 17th century house, a short distance from the church (to be confirmed). Farewell Dinner included this evening.

Day 7  After an early departure from Delft, we will travel to Antwerp where we will have a short guided tour of Antwerp Market Square before visiting the Vleeshuis collection of Musical Instruments. The Vleeshuis Museum houses one of Europe’s most important collections of early musical instruments. One of the Vleeshuis’ finest exhibits is a virginals of the type that is depicted in Vermeer’s paintings. There will be time for lunch before visiting Antwerp Cathedral (below), one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Cathedral is an iconic treasury with an impressive collection of major art works including a series of paintings by Rubens.

After our time in Antwerp, we transfer to Brussels Station to take the Eurostar back to Ebbsfleet and then private coach transfer to Hampshire.


The Hotel

Hampshire Delft Centre Hotel, Delft
This family-owned three-star hotel is located in the heart of Delft, on a canal just behind the New Church, within a few minutes’ walk of the main square and all the main sights. With stylish and modern public areas, facilities here include a bar, restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with private bath or shower, TV and telephone. Please visit www.hoteldelftcentre.nl for more information

Peter Medhurst is well-known in the world of the arts as a singer, pianist, scholar and lecturer, who in addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs.  His particular interests are centred on the music, art and history of Vienna, Salzburg (with its strong Mozart link), Berlin, Halle (Handel’s birthplace), Dresden, Venice (Vivaldi’s birthplace), Rome, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has been associated with a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Success Tours, Heritage Travel, Tailored Travel, and Voyages to Antiquity.