During the summer of 1926, Cram & Ferguson sponsored a trip for Roger and Betty to study gothic architecture in Europe. The two spent a month in both England and France, a week each in Venice and Florence, about three days in Siena and ten in Rome. For six months they planned for the trip and knew fairly well beforehand what they intended to see. Roger filled up two books during the journey with beautiful drawings, sketches and watercolors of well-aged buildings and gothic cathedrals. Betty kept notes for most of their trip, beginning with their departure on the ship Berengaria from New York City to their arrival and stay in Florence.
After a seven-day journey across the Atlantic, the Haywards landed at Southampton, England and took a train to Wells, where Roger made a sketch of the Cathedral Garth. They took a bus to Glastonbury on the day of their anniversary before moving on to Gloucester, Cirencester and Fairford, where Roger sketched more cathedrals, churches, an old mill, various doorways and sagging roofs. The two visited colleges and churches in Oxford, Cambridge and Ely, but, Betty noted, “not much available to the tourist in Oxford. Everything is so exclusive.” They spent about ten days in London where, among many iconic destinations, they visited Westminster Abbey, St. Bartholomew’s, Hampton Court Palace and the ruins of the old Royal Palace. Three days were spent in Canterbury before Roger and Betty crossed the English Channel at Folkestone.
The couple arrived in Boulogne, France around noon before taking a train to Amiens, where they visited several cathedrals and the Palais de Justice. On October 3, Roger and Betty rode a train to Paris and spent eleven days walking around the city, visiting the Luxembourg Gardens, Notre Dame, the Rodin Museum and the Louvre. Afterwards they moved on to Ponterson, making several day trips to Mt. St. Michel, where Roger sketched and painted a watercolor. The pair traveled to Chartres and Bourges, visiting various cathedrals, and Roger made measurements of the cathedral in Bourges for Cram & Ferguson before leaving for Italy. The Haywards arrived in Milan by train and then moved on to Verona and Venice, where Roger sketched the Baptistry of St. Mark's. They rode a gondola to Murano and watched glassblowing before taking a boat to Burano and thence by gondola to Torcello, where they watched a Fascisti parade “(nothing else to do).” The two then spent many days in Florence before Betty’s notes started to grow scarce. Her final note for the trip on Thursday, November 4 reads, “Another Holiday. Everything closed. Fascisti parading.” Of the long journey Roger would later remark, “We were quite happy to return after three months. For us sightseeing was a self-limiting experience.”