Alison Weir Tours






Monday, 1st May 2023 to Wednesday, 10th May 2023

9 nights at Hever Castle, Kent (5*), with breakfast included

AWT’s latest tour encompasses not just the Age of Chivalry and commanding figures such as William the Marshal and the Black Prince, but also the twin cult of courtly love, from the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine and the troubadours to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester. We’ll be learning about King Arthur, William the Conqueror, King John and Magna Carta, Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt, medieval queens, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Philip Sidney. We’ll hear about battles, murder, romance and deadly intrigue.

We will be staying at the wonderful Hever Castle throughout and visiting some of south-east England’s most iconic sites. The area is rich in history, and we are offering special interest options as alternatives to the main itinerary. There will be site choices on most days.
Hever Castle, where we are being granted privileged access to areas not open to the public, offers a magnificent setting in which we aim to recreate the country house parties of the gilded age and the early twentieth century. In keeping with that, the subsidiary theme of the tour is literature and society in those periods, and there will be options to visit beautiful key sites connected with the icons of those creative eras.   

You will be accompanied by more full-time tour historians than on previous tours: Alison Weir, Sarah Gristwood, Julian Humphrys, Nicola Tallis and Michael Jones. There will be guest speakers too, including Tracy Borman, Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, who will join the tour on several days.

There will also be more included dinners than on previous tours – eight in total. Details of six of the dinners are below. This is because Hever Castle is not a hotel and does not have a restaurant or room service. On two nights where dinner is listed as being independent, we will be organising dinners at local pubs, but Hever Castle can provide sandwiches (with sufficient notice) in the evening for guests who do not wish to go out; or you can stroll along to the King Henry VIII Inn outside the castle gates for a meal (advance booking essential). For anyone who does want to stay at Hever Castle for the day rather than go out to historical sites, the Moat café and The Guthrie Pavilion Café in the grounds are open at lunchtime and for tea. 

We will be visiting:

The Temple Church, London

Battle Abbey
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard
Bodiam Castle

Dover Castle
Rye and Great Dixter

Hampton Court Palace
Chartwell and Sissinghurst Castle

Winchester Cathedral and Winchester Castle (The Great Hall and the Round Table, Queen Eleanor’s Garden)
Scotney Castle Garden, The Kent and East Sussex Railway, with lunch on board, and
Smallhythe Place, Tenterden

Canterbury (for Canterbury Cathedral and other attractions)
Alfriston and Charleston

The Tower of London
Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks and Knole

Leeds Castle and Allington Castle (by boat from Maidstone)
Rochester Cathedral and Rochester Castle

Windsor Castle and St George’s Chapel

Included meals:
Buffet lunch at London hotel
Welcome dinner in the Long Gallery at Hever Castle
Light lunch and wine tasting at Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard
Dinner at the Brickwall Hotel, Sedlescombe
Evening barbecue at Hever Castle
Murder mystery dinner at Hever Castle
Light lunch on board the Kent and East Sussex Railway (optional)
Chef's Table Buffet dinner at Hever Castle
Dinner (and tour) at Penshurst Place
Farewell drinks reception at London hotel