18th - 23rd July 2022


Tour Details

Queen Elizabeth I, arguably the most popular Tudor monarch presided over a Golden Age in England, or did she?

On this tour we explore the Life and Times of Elizabeth I including a visit to Stratford Upon Avon, home to one of the most famous Tudors of all time, Shakespeare, and to Harvington Hall to find out what life was like for Catholics living in Elizabethan England.

We visit places key in Elizabeth's life including Kenilworth Castle, scene of the most elaborate marriage proposal in history from her darling Robert Dudley, Hatfield House where she discovered she was Queen and Hever Castle, her mother's childhood home where we stay for our final two nights.

Historian Gareth Russell accompanies us the whole time and we are joined along the way by Elizabeth I herself (Lesley Smith), Tracy Borman, Jonathan Foyle and Leanda de Lisle.

This is the tour you've been waiting for!

Tour Highlights

  • After Hours Evening Tour of Hever Castle

  • Dinner in the Castle Dining Room

  • Private use of the Tudor Suite of Hever Castle including our own private lawn next to the moat, tennis court, snooker room and outdoor pool.

  • Dual location tour in the Cotswolds and Hever Castle

  • Visiting Kenilworth Castle, Harvington Hall, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Hatfield House and Hever Castle.

  • Spa Perk - Complimentary Spa Usage at the Greenway Hotel and Spa

Historians on this Tour

Speakers Elizabeth I July 2022

Gareth Russell
Gareth Russell is the author of seven books, including the best-selling “Young and Damned and Fair,” a biography of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard. He studied History at Oxford and Queen’s University, Belfast, where his postgraduate dissertation was on the queen’s household in the 1540s. His most recent book, “The Ship of Dreams,” was named a Book of the Year by The Times and a Best History Read of 2019 by the Daily Telegraph. He was a contributor to the recent BBC series “The Boleyns: A Scandalous Family” and host of the podcast “Single Malt History”. He is currently working on a history of Hampton Court Palace and the people who lived there.
Lesley Smith
Lesley Smith has been the Curator of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire since 2000. She is a medical historian holding an M.Phil in Tudor medicine, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and is also a Member of the Society of Medical Writers. In addition to these qualifications, Lesley was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree in 2010 by the University of Derby for “Services to History in the Community”, and has 38 academic publications. She is also published in the wider community and had her own page in the local county magazine “Staffordshire Life” for eight years. Lesley has also appeared in over 120 television programmes some of which have been broadcast to 38 countries. Lesley is also well known for her highly entertaining and informative costumed portrayals of a variety of historical characters, which she gives both at the Castle and across the UK (and beyond).
Leanda De Lisle
Leanda de Lisle has written several best selling and prize winning books on Tudor and Stuart history, including the Sunday Times top ten best seller Tudor: The Family Story and White King The Tragedy of Charles I, winner of the HWA non fiction crown.
Tracey Borman
Tracy Borman is a best selling author, historian and broadcaster, specialising in the Tudor period. Her books include Elizabeth’s Women, Thomas Cromwell, The Private Lives of the Tudors and Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him. She has also written a fiction trilogy, The King’s Witch, based in the court of James I. Tracy is also joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and an honorary professor at Bishop Grosseteste University. She has presented a number of history programmes for Channel 5 and the Smithsonian Channel, including The Fall of Anne Boleyn, Inside the Tower of London and Henry VIII and the King’s Men. She is a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine and gives talks on her books across the country and abroad. Her forthcoming book, Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, will be published in November 2021.
Jonathan Foyle
Dr Jonathan Foyle was a Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court for eight years, and took his PhD on reconstructing Wolsey's Palace. Having headed a heritage charity for eight years, he is a frequent writer for the Financial Times on issues of architecture, history and craft, a consultant on historic sites and has produced six cathedral monographs. A presenter of numerous television series including BBC4's often repeated 'Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer?', his most profound interest is in the origins and meaning of the rich court culture of Henry VII- the meeting place between the Gothic and Classical traditions, at a pivotal point in the nation's history.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1 - 18th July

    Meet at our convenient London meeting point before boarding our luxury coach to our hotel on the outskirts of the Cotswolds. 

    After settling into your room we'll meet the group for our first historian expert talk, from Dr Jonathan Foyle, followed by a beautiful 3-course welcome dinner.

  • Day 2 - 19th July

    After breakfast we head to Kenilworth Castle, the bricks and mortar of the love story of Elizabeth and Dudley, where you will have time to explore the romantic ruins which witnessed 4 visits from Elizabeth I including an extended final visit in 1575.

    In the afternoon we head to Harvington Hall, an Elizabethan Manor House perfectly placed to look at the story of being Catholic in Elizabethan England.  Here we meet Elizabeth I herself (Lesley Smith)!

    As if our day couldn't get any better, we are joined by another eminent historian, the wonderful Tracy Borman for an evening talk.

  • Day 3 - 20th July

    Our day is spent in the hometown of one of the most famous Tudors of all time, Shakespeare's Stratford-Upon-Avon.

    We'll be accompanied by an expert guide and have a chance to visit the locations within the town, linked to Shakespeare.

    Before our final dinner at the Greenway Hotel, we will enjoy a talk from historian Gareth Russell.

  • Day 4 - 21st July

    After our final breakfast at the Greenway Hotel we visit Hatfield House and enjoy a private tour at the location of Elizabeth's discovery that she was now Queen of England and where she held her first council meeting.

    We rejoin our coach and continue to the magical surroundings of Hever Castle where you will be shown to your beautiful room. While we are here you will enjoy exclusive access to the entire Astor Wing with its own private heated swimming pool, tennis court, billiards room and lawn next to the moat.

    After settling into your room, we meet for a talk from historian Leanda de Lisle before enjoying our first dinner in the Tudor Suite.

  • Day 5 - 22nd July

    Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before spending the day exploring Hever Castle and its grounds. You can choose to take the short walk to St Peter's Church where the Boleyn family worshipped and see Thomas Boleyn's tomb.

    Dress as Tudor Royalty for the Day! (Optional Extra) After being dressed you can wear your outfit for the day, take as many photos as you want with Hever as a backdrop! Your outfit will be picked up the following morning so you can choose to wear it for our evening activity and dinner!

    During the evening we go on an after hours tour of Hever Castle once the castle is closed to the public.

  • Day 6 - 23rd July

    Wake up for a final time at Hever. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a walk around the grounds, perhaps even a game of croquet on the lawn, before boarding our coach back to London from where we say our final farewell!

What's Included

  • Resident historian for the tour - Gareth Russell

  • Expert History Talks from 5 top historians

  • Accommodation at the Greenway Hotel and Spa for 3 nights and Hever Castle for 2 nights

  • Private use of the Astor Wing of Hever Castle including our own Private Lawn next to the moat, Tennis Court, Billiards Room and Outdoor Heated Pool

  • All Dinners and Breakfasts included

  • All Admissions as stated in the itinerary

  • Philippa as Tour Manager

  • Luxury Coach Transfers

  • Pick up and Drop off in London

  • An Experience of a Lifetime!

Harvington Hall

Book this Tour

This tour is now SOLD OUT. We apologise for any disappointment.

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Extras on This Tour

Optional Extras Optional Extras

Optional Extras

Room Upgrades - £350

Wine and Chocolates in your room on arrival - £40

Tudor Dress Hire - £180

Tudor Dress Purchase (custom made dress)

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Greenway Hotel and Spa

Greenway Spa

Harvington Hall

Hatfield House Old Hall

Hever Castle

Shakespeare's Birthplace - Stratford Upon Avon

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