The Globetrotter. Victorian Excursions -Tunbridge Wells branch

Ref: C3745816

In the second half of the nineteenth-century, with the popularisation of Thomas Cook and new routes opening up the 'East', a new generation of travellers embarked on excursions to India, China and Japan. Dubbed 'globetrotters' by the popular press, they traversed the East, dining on famous and unusual delicacies, such as bird's nest soup, and ventured into forbidden territory, entering tombs and temples and visiting locations with illicit reputations. Their letters and diaries as well as the objects they collected charted their own self-transformation through travel. They also conjured the East for their audiences at home both challenging and confirming Victorian perceptions of the East.

Course aim

To understand British travellers' engagement with the cultures of the 'East' - India, China, and Japan - and how in turn these impacted the way that we view these cultures today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • An understanding of British engagement with the East outside of the the constructs of Empire.
  • An understanding of the culture of India, China and Japan as it was encountered by travellers.
  • An understanding of the ways and means of cultural engagement specifically food cultures, visual cultures and spaces.
  • An understanding of the way the 'East' was represented through material tropes.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Globetrotter. Victorian Excursions -Tunbridge Wells branch


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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