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The Tudors; Monarchs, Mistresses & Martyrs

The Tudors; Monarchs, Mistresses & Martyrs

The Tudors ruled from 1485 to 1603, often considered as one of the most exciting and significant periods in English history.

The England of the Tudors comes alive on this tour; a time of great change, and events which ultimately changed the course of English history forever.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in London

Arrival into London and transfer to Kent. Visit Knole, a stately home set in a magnificent deer park, followed by a visit to Leeds Castle, often described as ‘the loveliest castle in the word’ and used by Henry VIII as his retreat.

Day 2 - Kent

Visit Ightham Mote, near Sevenoaks, rebuilt by Sir Richard Clement one of Henry’s favourite servants who had the rather dubious honour of taking care of the King’s personal hygiene.

Later today, visit Penshurst Place, where Henry VIII lived while he secretly courted Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle. Since 1552, Penshurst has been the ancestral home of the Sidney family who helped draft the Constitution for Pennsylvania – later the basis of the US Constitution - and is still a much-loved family home today. See the Great Hall where nothing has changed since Henry’s time.

Day 3 - Kent

Visit Hever Castle, the childhood home of the two Boleyn girls and perhaps the most romantic reason for Henry’s frequent visits to Kent. Later, travel to Lullingstone Castle, a historic family mansion dating back to the time of Domesday, and thought to be visited frequently by Anne Boleyn and Henry, and still owned by descendants of the original owners.

Day 4 - Kent

Today, visit Rochester to see Rochester Castle where Henry first met Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife, in the timbered “Old Hall’. In the afternoon, continue to Canterbury to visit the Cathedral. In Henry’s time Canterbury Cathedral was one of the most important religious centres in the world, but the King’s break from the Roman Catholic Church to form his own Church of England caused widespread upheaval.

Day 5 - Kent

Start the day with a visit to Dover Castle, one of the largest castles in England, strategically located at the shortest crossing point to continental Europe.

No fortress in the country boasts a longer history than Dover Castle, stretching back to Roman times. Henry VIII, a scheming diplomat as well as fearless warrior, faced the threat of invasion from France and Spain, so built a string of coastal fortifications using money gained from the dissolution of the monasteries.

In the afternoon visit coastal fortresses at Deal and Walmer Castles where Henry utilised his best architects and builders using stone taken from local quarries and disused religious buildings. Built very close together, they are symmetrical in design and form the Tudor rose shape.

Day 6 - Kent / London

Transfer from Kent to London. En-route, visit Hampton Court Palace. Set in sixty acres of world famous gardens, the Palace is a living tapestry of history from Henry VIII to George II.

Day 7 - London

Morning visit to the Tower of London, over 900 years old and the refuge of Richard II during the Peasants’ Revolt, the prison of Sir Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh and the future Queen Elizabeth I, and the execution place of Lady Jane Grey (British sovereign for 9 days), Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s second and fourth queens.

Afternoon visit to the historic neighbourhood of Greenwich. Conveniently situated beside the River Thames, Greenwich was extremely popular with the Tudor royal family and includes many sites of interest.

Day 8 - Departure from London

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

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