A little more information…

Sarah and John ThomasonConsultants and co-founders

John – has a background in Hotel Management (HCIMA), catering for HRH Prince Charles and other dignitaries at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

It was he who conceived of the idea for a specialist Classics School Travel Company whilst assisting Sarah on one of her own School Trips!

He now spends his time experimenting with fusion cuisine, driving Sarah to obscure archaeological locations and Auditing Hotels.

Sarah – misappropriated a piece of Roman Mortar from Caerleon Amphitheatre (aged 5yrs), unearthed her first skeleton at the age of 13yrs, spent a glorious week excavating on Delos as a young teacher and several years as Senior Examiner for OCR. Lucky enough to have been able to indulge her passion by teaching Ancient History & Classics and creating & guiding overseas trips for many decades, Sarah now spends most of her time seeking out alternative Classical venues and advising on Itineraries.

A ‘Comfort Classics Interview‘ with Dr. Cora Beth Knowles (‎@drcorabeth) of Classical Studies Support.


Claudia Willocks
Originally from Guatemala, I’ve been living in the UK for nearly 25 years! After working in the logistics sector for 12 years I followed my passion for travel and have since been in Educational Travel for over 10 years. I am a Linguist, but I have always been fascinated by Classics and Ancient History. I have been lucky to accompany groups of students on tour and have seen first-hand the impact it has on their learning journeys. It is a wonderful feeling to contribute to the development of young people and extremely rewarding working closely with teachers to make these trips happen!

Kerry Phelan(BA European Studies, MA Classics, & PhD Classics) – Kerry has been hooked on ancient history ever since she read Terry Deary’s Groovy Greeks as a young girl. Unfortunately, Classics wasn’t available as a subject at her secondary school and she had to wait until third level to explore the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome. Kerry completed her MA in Classics at Maynooth University, and was subsequently awarded a John & Pat Hume Research Scholarship to complete her PhD in Classics in Athenian social history. Her doctoral thesis was a commentary on Demosthenes’ Against Euboulides, which will be published by Liverpool University Press as part of the Aris & Phillips Greek Orators Series (forthcoming).

Kerry first travelled to Greece when she was granted a Student Travel Bursary from the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens in 2009, in order to complete her research for her final-year undergraduate essay. She had her own ‘aha!’ moment in the Athenian agora and decided, then and there, that she wanted to pursue a career which would allow her to follow her unwavering passion for all things Greek. As such, she understands the enormous impact that actually visiting an ancient site can have on individual learning.

After completing her PhD in 2016, Kerry taught at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and her alma mater Maynooth University for several years. In 2020, she co-led the first Ancient Classics Department study trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples for Maynooth students as part of their studies. Kerry continues to engage with potential Classicists of all ages by teaching Ancient Greek language and Classical Civilization modules at the HM Classics Academy. Teaching Greek drama is always a favourite of hers, since Aristophanes’ jokes never fail to make her laugh out loud in class!

In her spare time, Kerry loves visiting bookshops and adding books to her ‘to be read’ pile(s), and she enjoys lots of walks with her bossy lemon beagle, Jesse.
A ‘Comfort Classics Interview’ with Dr. Cora Beth Knowles (‎@drcorabeth) of Classical Studies Support.

James Heath

James Heath – (BA Class Civ & MA City of Rome)

Living on the island the Romans called Vectis (the Isle of Wight), James has previously helped lay a reproduction mosaic at Butser Ancient Farm, and has both studied and worked in the Eternal City, having a fantastic experience both times. His time working in Rome was spent meeting and interacting with clients, from school groups to 6 Nations rugby fans.
A complete Romanophile, he is constantly adding to his collection of Roman-themed books, and his Imperial Roman coin collection. Having returned from his time in Rome (and subsequent trips) with over 24,000 photos, he has set up a Flickr account, creating a FREE photo database for scholars and schools. The side project of working on all 412 albums, writing photo names and descriptions, continues. 

Coincidentally, Jamie first visited Greece in VI Form – on one of Sarah and John’s early Trips! 

A ‘Comfort Classics Interview‘ with Dr. Cora Beth Knowles (‎@drcorabeth) of Classical Studies Support.

Manuela Pinna – CEO of Sardinia Pass Par Tours

Having completed her University Degree in Political Sciences, Sardinian born & bred Manu worked in France & UK for various Educational Tour Operators and Historic Royal Palaces.

As a mother, she returned home to create her Best Tour Operator in Sardinia Award winning Company specialising in cultural, archaeological, slow food and wine tours.

Now living in a countryside house not far from the seaside with her lovely two boys and husband, Manu is well versed in connecting Classics Teachers with the Nuraghic predecessors of Etruria, Greece & Rome!


Loredana Marianecci & Sabrina Ippoloto – CEO of Castelli Romani Turismo
Loredana grew up with scattered debris from a Temple to Diana in her back garden! A Hotel & Tourism professional, Lory teamed up with Sabrina nearly ten years ago. CEO Sabrina studied Latin, Greek & Ancient Art at a Classical & Linguistic experimental High School and now works with Italian Schools offering educational trips both within Italy and abroad.

Living in Castelli Romani, an area saturated in Ancient History (Lake Nemi & Caligula’s ‘pleasure barges’ / Ariccia & Hippolytus Virbio as Rex Nemorensis) how could they not become cultural Tour Operators?! Both are heavily involved in the local arts & music scene but love to travel for “curiosity & discovery, comparison & revelation”. As Loredana says “Travelling is a kind of Art”.

Castelli Romani Turismo by Vip tour.

Gill Greef

Gill Greef – has a degree in Classics and has taught Classics and Classical Civilisation in both Independent schools and Further Education colleges.

She has been leading tours to Classical sites around the Mediterranean for over 25 years. 

Her guidebooks for the popular student tours were originally written for her own students but have since sold to many schools, colleges and individuals.

The succinct format used in the guides has always proved popular, enabling the reader to discover the key points of the sites visited without getting lost in pages of detail. She hopes today’s students will be as excited by their exploration of the Classical world as she still is herself.

Further details of the guides can be found at www.gillgreef.com

Goran Radivojevic – CEO of Destination Essence

Originally the Pula Tourism Officer, our multilingual friend Goran lives a mere 7 mins walk from the Amphitheatre and leads an enthusiastic team of local professionals creating individually curated programs within the beautiful Balkan region.

His extensive experience in dealing with eccentric archaeologists and classics teachers, together with his renowned hospitality, ensures he stands head and shoulders above the rest!

Amoratis Travel – Nikos Amoratis, Claire and Yiannis
Our long-standing friends and Greek Agents.
We have known the family for ever……….

Amoratis Travel Tour Operators: www.amoratistravel.com

Carolyn Perry

Carolyn Perry – Carolyn has worked in the education and museum sectors for over 30 years and has taught across all age groups up to University level.

Her global museum experience starts from her ground-breaking role as Arab World Education Officer at The British Museum to consultancy roles in Europe and the Middle East. Carolyn’s archaeological experience includes excavations in Italy, Spain and Oman.

For more than 20 years Carolyn has been accompanying cultural heritage tours as a lecturer and has designed and led tours to Greece, Albania, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Carolyn now lives in Durrës (ancient Dyrrachium) in Albania.

Twitter: @carolynpperry
Instagram: caropperry

Jo Lashly
Hi, I am doing the odd ad hoc piece of work for Sarah (who twists arms in the nicest possible way) when she needs a powerpoint for school presentations.

Great fun, and I get to see all the wonderful places the schools will visit.

I have been teaching Classics for over 20 years now, mainly in a Shropshire school but now from my dining room table! Sarah came into my life many years ago when she and John organised our first school trip to Greece and it was amazing! (So was the trip …).

Hellene (School) Travel have been a big part of my life for most of my teaching career and I feel part of their large and diverse family. So, here’s to Classics teachers everywhere who want to take their pupils on a life-changing trip! jolashly@gmail.com


Dr Cora Beth

Dr. Cora Beth Fraser – Cora Beth has a PhD in Classics and several degrees in Education.

She’s an award-winning teacher at The Open University, and has also taught in schools, community centres and prisons around the North of England.

In 2022 Cora Beth won the Classical Association Prize for Outreach, for her work making Classics accessible to all. She spends a lot of time playing with Lego and Playmobil, using her son as an excuse!

Much of her teaching work these days has moved online, so she is always delighted to show people around her favourite Hadrian’s Wall sites in real life – whatever the weather!


Nidhi Shah – Operations
Nidhi has a BA in English literature and a Master’s degree in Linguistics. She has over 5 years of experience in the travel industry and is an IATA certified “Best Performer” for GDS fares and ticketing.

During her travels to Ladakh (visiting the Monasteries of Lord Buddha and other Gods of Buddhism), Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and interacting with local communities, Nidhi has enjoyed learning about different cultural practices and beliefs.

Nidhi is now exploring the cross fertilisation between Indian and Greco-Hellenistic sculpture and  also the Indo-Roman Trade. However, she expresses serious personal doubts about the influence of Greek Literature and similarities between the Mahabharatha and Trojan War!

Vishal Verma

Vishal Verma – Finance Director
Vishal – a qualified accountant with extensive board-level experience in business management, governance and financial reporting. Vishal served as an Executive for Ernst & Young LLP and board director for a large educational group, which specialised in providing educational tours for schools, colleges and universities.

Having travelled the UK, Asia, Europe and Middle East, he has a real passion for international travel and education and is already pondering the logistics of our first Indio/Greco/Bactrian/ Romano School Trip!


Glenn Burtenshaw – Marketing and Web Design
Based in the UK, Glenn has spent the bulk of his working life promoting classical, cultural and historical educational tours throughout the world.

Glenn has been working with Sarah and John for the past 18+ years – exercising the utmost understanding, patience and forbearance!

Click to view full biographies


A Centre for Hellenic Studies

The British School at Athens – Founded in 1886, this educational charity forms part of the network of British International Research Institutes supported by the British Academy. The School exists to promote research of international excellence in all disciplines pertaining to Greek lands.

We are proud to be associated with the BSA; our Groups have benefitted greatly from their support and guidance.


The Classics Library

The Classics Library – An essential Web Site for all teachers of the Classics.

We are delighted to be associated with such an excellent platform dedicated to Classics teachers sharing news, views and resources.

Hellene School Travel