Alison Weir Tours

Tudor Tapestry



Day 1: Tuesday
Welcome buffet lunch at the Kingsway Hall Hotel, London

This elegant Covent Garden hotel with air-conditioned rooms and a fitness centre is walking distance from the British Museum, Trafalgar Square, London’s West End and theatreland. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. The glass-panelled restaurant at Kingsway Hall serves a breakfast buffet in the morning, an afternoon tea and a selection of seasonal British dishes in the evening. To relax and unwind, guests can also visit The Lounge bar, which serves a large selection of drinks and cocktails.

After lunch, depart the Kingsway Hall Hotel, London for Hever Castle
Thirteenth-century Hever Castle, the family home of Henry VIII’s second wife, is romantic and double-moated, with a rich history stretching back over seven centuries. The Boleyns built the comfortable Tudor manor house within the earlier castle walls between c.1462 and c.1506. Henry VIII is said to have courted Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle and there are various artefacts in the castle connected with them both. In 1540, Henry gave Hever Castle to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, as part of their divorce settlement, and she sometimes stayed here before her death in 1557. The American millionaire, William Waldorf Astor, acquired Hever Castle in 1903 and spent a great deal of time, money and imagination restoring it. The interior walls are covered with magnificent carving and panelling. The rooms are filled with wonderful antiques and works of art, including a fine collection of Tudor royal portraits, including several of Anne Boleyn and most of Henry VIII’s other wives. Astor further enhanced the castle's romantic setting by creating glorious gardens. These include the unique Italian garden, the maze, the 35-acre lake and the rose garden, all of which are now fully mature and spectacular throughout the seasons. The Italian garden contains statuary and sculpture dating from Roman to Renaissance times, where it forms a magnificent sight among the glorious display of shrubs, flowers and plants. A Tudor herb garden close to the castle was opened in 1994. Visitors can also enjoy the Guthrie Collection of miniature model historic houses.
At Hever Castle, check into the private Astor Wing
Hever’s award-winning accommodation is in the luxurious Astor Wing – the ‘Tudor Village’ built by William Waldorf Astor in the early 20th century, which adjoins the castle and enjoys a stunning setting in the private grounds. There are 28 individually styled guest rooms, including 9 beautiful new rooms in the recently-opened Anne Boleyn wing, we have exclusive use of the whole Astor Wing during our 3-night stay. Guests are welcome to relax in the Music Room and the Billiards/Pool Room, or enjoy the open-air swimming pool and croquet lawn, or Hever’s beautiful gardens, and have access to the castle and grounds during opening times.
In the evening there will be private guided tours of Hever Castle, followed by a pre-dinner drinks reception in the Tudor Suite Dining Room, Inner Hall or Castle Courtyard.
Our welcome dinner will be in the Castle Dining Hall
Over coffee: Tracy Borman will speak on The Private Lives of the Tudors
Overnight: Hever Castle
Day 2: Wednesday
Depart Hever Castle for Ightham Mote, Kent, or Chartwell, Kent

Ightham Mote is a picture-perfect,14th-century timber-framed manor house, on its own little island surrounded by water. Built nearly 700 years ago, this house has seen many changes and been owned by medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high-society Victorians. The house has connections with Elizabeth Wydeville, queen of Edward IV, and with Katherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII; in 2013 the BBC drama The White Queen was filmed here. The house also has a sinister legend of a body walled in in the great hall, which features in Anya Seton’s historical novel Green Darkness. The gardens at Ightham Mote are as equally diverse as the house - a formal lawn, flower borders, secret glades and a sweetly scented cuttings garden; there are walks and views taking in lakes, an orchard, ancient bluebell woodland and Kentish farmland.

Chartwell, which is Tudor in origin, was the family home of Sir Winston Churchill; it is set in wonderful gardens with views across a private lake. An unremarkable exterior hides a comfortable family home, full of Churchill memorabilia, from cigars to paintings to war correspondence. Winston Churchill purchased Chartwell in 1922 as a country retreat from the pressures of political life in London. He needed the escape, for his political career was at a low point in the early 1920s. He couldn't afford it, but he fell in love with the property, and the wonderful view across the rolling hills of the Kentish Weald. He went ahead with the purchase without consulting his wife Clementine, which predictably caused some marital friction. Churchill called in architect Philip Tilden to transform what was essentially a villa into a cosy family home, designed to make the most of the wonderful views and the sloping site.

There will be free time at both sites for an independent lunch before we return to enjoy some free time to explore all that Hever has to offer.

In the evening there will be an included guided tour, drinks and dinner at Penshurst Place. Dating from the fourteenth century, it is one of England's finest historic houses, set in the Weald of Kent's peaceful rural landscape. The medieval house with its magnificent Baron's Hall dates from 1341 and is one of the finest examples of 14th-century architecture. Later additions have seen Penshurst Place grow into an imposing fortified manor house containing state rooms filled with a remarkable collection of tapestries, paintings, furniture, porcelain and armour.  Henry VIII owned Penshurst, and may have used it as a base for courting Anne Boleyn at nearby Hever Castle. Penshurst has been the ancestral home of the Sidney family since 1552 and successive generations have shaped its development. Penshurst's most famous son, Sir Philip Sidney, the chivalrous soldier poet, was a symbol of loyalty and bravery in the Elizabethan era. The garden is one of the oldest in private ownership. The earliest records are dated 1346, and much of the garden remains as it was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who visited Penshurst on many occasions. The room where she gave audiences is called the Queen Elizabeth Room in her honour.
Overnight: Hever Castle
Day 3: Thursday
Depart Hever Castle for Leeds Castle
Guests can opt to spend the morning at Hever Castle
Visit Leeds Castle for a private tour. and included light lunch.
Leeds Castle, the dower palace of the medieval queens of England, is set in a lake amid 500 acres of beautiful parkland. It has been called ‘the most beautiful castle in the world’. A former royal palace begun in the 12th century, Leeds has been owned by a succession of monarchs, and no fewer than six queens of England. Over nine hundred years the castle has withheld sieges, hosted the medieval and early Tudor royal courts, been a prison for witches, kings and prisoners of war, a munitions store and a hospital; and it has welcomed some of the key figures in English history, from Henry VIII to Winston Churchill. Henry VIII, the most famous of Leeds Castle's royal owners, transformed the castle in 1519 for his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. The Maidens’ Tower was constructed around 1544 to house Queen Katherine Parr's maids-of-honour. A jewel casket that once belonged to Anne Boleyn is displayed in the Heraldry room. Henry VIII visited Leeds Castle often, and stayed there on his way to his famous meeting with Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. A painting commemorating his meeting with his rival still hangs at the castle. The castle has always been a palace to entertain and impress, with every generation leaving its mark. Today’s beautiful interiors are the result of the massive refurbishment by top European designers throughout the 1920s and 1930s for its last private owner, Lady Baillie.

Guests may opt to go punting on the lake. 

In the afternoon we visit Knole, Kent. 
In 1456 Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased the 12th-century estate of Knole. Under his influence an older medieval manor was transformed into a house that probably resembles an Oxford college more than it does a typical stately home. Its situation on top of a low hill, or knoll, gave the house its name. Henry VIII dropped a broad hint to his archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, that he could quite happily live at Knole. Cranmer promptly made a gift of Knole to the covetous King. It remained in royal hands until 1566, when Elizabeth I leased it to her cousin, Thomas Sackville. In 1603 Sackville purchased the freehold outright, and the story of Knole and the Sackville families has been intertwined since that date. Knole is one of England’s most important historic houses, set in the heart of Kent’s last remaining medieval deer park.Its history is reflected its unrivalled collections of royal Stuart furniture, textiles, portraits and tapestries. The rare silver furnishings of the King’s Room proudly attest to Knole’s more prosperous past.This March saw the opening of Knole's showrooms. For one year only, the Great Hall has been transformed into a glittering treasure trove, housing some of Knole's most extraordinary objects.This is an exciting opportunity for visitors to see key pieces of Knole’s collection up close for the first time.

In the evening there will be an included dinner at the historic Plough Inn at Leigh, Kent, a traditional low-beamed country pub situated on the village green, and dating from the 14th century. We will dine in the gorgeous 17th-century barn, which has many of its original features, notably the striking wooden beams and a minstrels’ gallery.
Overnight: Hever Castle
Day 4: Friday
Check out of Hever Castle
Depart Hever Castle for Layer Marney Tower, for a guided tour followed by an included light lunch
Layer Marney is a beautiful Tudor house begun in 1523 by Henry, 1st Lord Marney, who intended to build a palatial courtyard house to rival Hampton Court, but his elaborate scheme was scarcely begun before the family line died out and construction stopped. The most impressive feature of the house is a striking red-brick gatehouse tower, probably designed by the Henry VIII's architect Guiliamo de Trevizi. The imposing tower stands 80 feet high and is dressed with terracotta and decorated with diapering patterns. The interiors retain numerous original Tudor details, including fireplaces, doorways, plasterwork ceilings, and wooden panelling. .You can ascend a spiral stair to the top of the west turret to get fabulous views over the grounds and the surrounding countryside, including St Mary's church. There are excellent views of the elaborately twisted Tudor chimney stacks from the turret roof.
Depart Layer Marney Tower for the Swan Hotel, Lavenham, Suffolk
Check into the Swan Hotel, Lavenham
In the Suffolk countryside, between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury, in the heart of historic Lavenham, lies this beautiful 15th-century hotel, which offers 4-star accommodation and a restaurant with 2 AA Rosettes for its fine food. Lavenham is one of the best-preserved Tudor villages in Britain, and The Swan Hotel & Spa is perhaps one of England's finest historic hotels. The building has been carefully restored and beautifully renovated, with ancient oak beams, large open fireplaces and a minstrel gallery. Decorated in warm, relaxing colours, the en-suite rooms combine period features with modern facilities. Each includes a flat-screen plasma TV and facilities for making tea and coffee. The on-site Weavers' House Spa has six treatment rooms, two relaxation suites, a sauna, steam room, spa boutique and an outdoor vitality pool and terrace. The Swan Hotel & Spa serves modern British cuisine in its Gallery Restaurant, made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests can also dine in the informal Brasserie and historic Old Bar. Al fresco dining is possible in the garden, as well as fine dining in the elegant Gallery Restaurant. The Airmen's Bar is full of Second World War memorabilia and signatures of air force personnel stationed at Lavenham Airfield. Take time to read the Boot Record, inscribed on the wall by members of the US Army Air Force 487th Bombardment Group, which flew 185 missions and more than 6,000 sorties whilst stationed at Lavenham during the Second World War.

In the evening there will be an included drinks reception followed by an included dinner at the Swan Hotel, Lavenham
Overnight: The Swan Hotel, Lavenham
Day 5: Saturday
Depart the Swan Hotel, Lavenham for Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Guests can opt to spend the morning in Lavenham

Visit St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds
This remarkable 14th-century church claims to be England’s third largest parish church, and to have England’s second longest aisle and its largest west window. The medieval hammerbeam roof with its angel carvings, and the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France, sister of Henry VIII, and the stained-glass windows telling her story, make it well worth visiting.
Aftewards, we will visit Moyses Hall Museum
Moyse’s Hall, overlooking the Market Place, dates back to 1180, and was used as a prison and a police station before opening as a museum in 1899. Here you can investigate local and social history, including the notorious Red Barn Murder of 1828, and see a locket containing the hair of Mary Tudor.
There will be free time for an independent lunch
Depart Bury St Edmunds for Oxburgh Hall
Visit Oxburgh Hall. Step back in time through the magnificant Tudor gatehouse into the dangerous world of Tudor politics. Oxburgh Hall has been home to the Bedingfield family since 1482. Sir Edmund Bedingfield served as gaoler to Katherine of Aragon, and his son, Sir Henry, as gaoler to the future Elizabeth I. This stunning red-brick house charts the precarious history of the family from medieval austerity to neo-Gothic Victorian comfort. As well as early Mortlake tapestries in the Queen's Room, Oxburgh houses beautiful embroidery by both Mary Queen of Scots and the famous Bess of Harwick. The rooms where Henry VII and Elizabeth of York stayed can still be seen. Panoramic views from the roof look out over the Victorian French parterre, the walled orchard, the kitchen garden and a Catholic chapel.
Dinner is independent tonight
Overnight: The Swan Hotel, Lavenham
Day 6: Sunday
Depart the Swan Hotel, Lavenham for the City of Cambridge
Visit Cambridge. Sarah Gristwood will be our guide. In the morning we will have coffee at Emmanuel College, founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth I.

Then we will visit the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, arguably the most magnificent example of late medieval English architecture in the entire country. Guidebooks run out of superlatives to describe the richness of its interior decoration and the sumptuous flowing lines of the structural elements. The Chapel was founded by Henry VI in 1441 as part of his grand scheme for creating at King's a college to take graduates of Eton College, founded the previous year. The chapel was intended to form one side of a grand court but the residential ranges planned for the other three sides of the court were never completed. Building continued until 1461, but when Henry VI was taken prisoner by the future Edward IV, workmen packed up their tools and went home. It was left to the Tudor kings, Henry VII and Henry VIII, to achieve the final, spectacular completion of the Chapel. Henry VII provided the necessary funds to turn it into a complete building. The chest which carried Henry's initial gift of money is preserved in the Chapel Exhibition in the northern side chapel. The main structure was finished in 1515, and Henry VIII funded the interior woodwork and screen. The magnificent fan vaulting was completed in just 3 years, between 1512-1515 by master mason John Wastell. The superbly carved screen between the antechapel and choir was a gift of Henry VIII. The screen bears Henry's initials twined around those of Anne Boleyn.  It is said that King’s has the finest collection of early renaissance glass in the world. Almost all the windows are original. In one window Henry VIII appears as King Solomon receiving a gift from the Queen of Sheba. There have been claims that either Anne Boleyn or Katherine Howard were the model for the Queen of Sheba. When Henry VIII died in 1547, just over a hundred years after the laying of the foundation stone, King's College Chapel was recognised as one of Europe's finest, late medieval buildings. It was in truth 'a work of kings'.

There will be free time for an independent lunch and sightseeing. Guests may wish to visit the world-famous Fitzwilliam Museum, or the 12th-century Round Church, Cambridge’s second-oldest building.
In the afternoon, there will be an option to see St John’s College, founded in 1511. Its foundation charter, dated 9 April that year, was sealed by the executors of the foundress, Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, who had died in 1509. She had begun the process of transforming the ancient hospital of St John the Evangelist, Cambridge (founded c.1200), into a college for students in the liberal arts and theology. From a small nucleus of fellows and scholars subsisting in First Court (1511-16) on the College's endowments the numbers grew by 1545 to one hundred and fifty-two. Subsequently the admission of more undergraduates paying for their own board and tuition created pressure on existing accommodation. This led eventually to the building of Second Court 1599-1601, the first major expansion of the College.
Dinner is independent tonight.
Overnight: The Swan Hotel, Lavenham
Day 7: Monday
Check out of the Swan Hotel
Depart the Swan Hotel, Lavenham for Eltham Palace, Kent
Historian Elizabeth Norton will guide us around Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace became a royal house in 1305 when Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, presented it to the future Edward II. For the next two centuries, it was only surpassed in importance and royal favour by the Palace of Westminster. The surrounding parks provided excellent hunting within easy reach of London, and its position on the route from the coast made it a popular place to receive distinguished foreign visitors. It became the custom for the court to spend Christmas at Eltham. Little can now be seen of Bishop Bek's manor house beyond his original moat wall, but his royal successors added fine suites of royal lodgings on the east and west sides of the inner court. Some of their foundations can still be seen. The building accounts give tantalising details of the rooms which include a bath-house and dancing chamber for King Richard II. The Great Hall and surviving medieval buildings date to the reign of Edward IV (1461- 83). Access to the royal apartments was from the dais end of the hall, the queen's to the right and the king's to the left, although these apartments have unfortunately now disappeared. Henry VIII spent much of his childhood here. Eltham Palace continued to be used by the Tudors, but was gradually eclipsed by nearby Greenwich Palace, which was accessible by river from Westminster. Both Henry VII and Henry VIII made further alterations to the royal apartments, with the latter also adding a new chapel to the site. The last significant royal additions were made by Queen Elizabeth and her successor, King James I. By the Civil War, the palace was in poor repair. In 1828 it was saved from demolition by an early preservation campaign in the local paper and Parliament. A thorough restoration of the roof and outer walls was carried out by the Office of Works between 1911 and 1914, and the hall was further refurbished in the 1920s and 30s, when it was incorporated into the new house built by Seely and Paget for the Courtaulds. When millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld built their Art Deco mansion, they created a masterpiece. Today Eltham Palace is one of London's most spectacular historic monuments. It boasts views across City and to the West End, and is surrounded by delightful grounds. The site is now dominated by the stylish house of the Courtaulds. Like the house, the palace’s 19 acres of gardens feature both 20th-century and medieval aspectss.

We will have an included buffet lunch in the Heritage Restaurant at the Tudor Barn, Eltham
The Tudor Barn at Eltham is a truly unique venue, and holds the distinction of being the only existing Tudor barn in London. Surrounded by thirteen acres of parkland and a medieval moat, the Tudor Barn dates back to the 16th century. With its connections to royalty, and as the location of some of history’s most celebrated marriages, including The Railway Children’s author Edith Nesbit and Hubert Bland, it is a place steeped in history and tradition.

Depart the Tudor Barn, Eltham for Oakley Hall Hotel, Hampshire
Check into Oakley Hall Hotel (where we will have private breakfasts in the Library)
With its sweeping driveway, pretty tiled hallway and an impressive walnut-panelled library, where we will have private breakfasts overlooking the large south-facing terrace, Oakley Hall Hotel truly is a hidden treasure in the rolling countryside of North Hampshire. This grand building dates back to 1795 and was formerly owned by the Bramston Family, who were close friends of Jane Austen. It is mentioned fondly in Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra at the turn of the 19th century. Oakley Hall Hotel has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, and now offers 47 elegant bedrooms in both the main house and the converted 19th-century courtyard stable block. All bedrooms have been individually designed and furnished to a very high standard complete with every modern convenience and home comfort. Some have a private terrace overlooking the landscaped gardens. The brand new, elegant 2-AA-Rosette Glasshouse restaurant and 1795 bar is where you can peruse a mouth-watering menu, based on fresh local produce. Oakley Hall Hotel  offers guests a quiet country retreat set in beautiful surroundings.

In the evening there will be an included drinks reception followed by dinner at Oakley Hall Hotel
Overnight: Oakley Hall Hotel
Day 8: Tuesday
(May) Depart Oakley Hall Hotel for Parham House, Sussex
We will spend the day in the ancient, historic city of Winchester, the old Anglo-Saxon capital of England. We will have a Tudor Tour of Winchester Cathedral, where Mary I married Philip of Spain in 114, and explore more than 1000 years of history. Discover the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings, contemporary art, the grave of Jane Austen, and the awe and wonder of this magnificent building.

We then walk to Wolvesey Castle, an important residence of the wealthy and powerful bishops of Winchester since Anglo-Saxon times. The extensive surviving ruins of the palace date largely from the 12th-century work of Bishop Henry of Blois. The last great occasion here was on 25 July 1554, when Queen Mary and Philip of Spain held their wedding breakfast in the East Hall.

Historian Ellie Woodacre will then lead two Royal Tudor Blood tours in Winchester. The tour includes entry to the Great Hall, one of the finest surviving aisled halls of the 13th century, which contains the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, King Arthur's Round Table, dating from the reign of Henry VII. The Great Hall is all that remains of Winchester Castle, originally built by William the Conqueror.

Before returning tothe hotel, we tour the Hospital of St Cross, is a beautiful group of listed buildings dating from 1132, which is home to 25 Brothers. Visitors can admire the medieval architecture, absorb the quiet calm in the fine transitional Norman church, explore the beautiful flower gardens and explore the Wayfarer's Dole, which is a small beaker of beer and a morsel of bread. The gift shop is open throughout the year, selling a selection of high quality goods from the Porter's Lodge. Tea Rooms in the medieval Hundred Men's Hall are open to serve refreshments.

Dinner is independent tonight
Overnight: Oakley Hall Hotel
Day 9: Wednesday
Depart Oakley Hall Hotel for Priors Dean Manor House for a private tour.
Priors Dean is privately owned, and its owners have very kindly agreed to showing us around. This is a glorious house with a breathtaking garden. The royal connection with the Manor of Priors Dean started with King John. Henry VIII gave the manor to Katharine Howard, as part of their marriage settlement, and it passed to Anne of Cleves after her death. There is a tiny Saxon church next door. The poet Edward Thomas wrote a wonderful poem about the house called 'Old Manor Farm'. 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of his death in the First World War.
Depart Priors Dean for Midhurst, Sussex
Free time for an independent lunch in Midhurst and perhaps visit the ruins of Cowdray House
Cowdray House, one of England’s great Tudor houses, was partially destroyed by fire in 1793. Its magnificent ruins are set in the stunning landscape of Cowdray Park, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. This was virtually a Tudor palace. Around 1488 Sir David Owen (great-uncle of Henry VIII) married the de Bohun heiress, and after her death in c.1496 acquired ‘Coudreye’. In c.1520-29 Owen gradually demolished Coudreye and began building Cowdray. In 1529 his son illegally sold it to Sir William Fitzwilliam; the latter became Earl of Southampton in 1537. Henry VIII visited Cowdray in 1538.  That year saw Sir William’s half-brother and heir, Anthony Browne, being granted Battle Abbey and a dispossessed monk cursing the family ‘by fire and by water’. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was imprisoned at Cowdray from November 1538 to September 1539. In 1539 and 1545 Henry VIII again visited Cowdray. The house was inherited by Sir Anthony Browne in 1542, and it passed to his son of the same name in 1548. In 1552 Edward VI visited Cowdray, and complained that the food was too rich. Two years later Sir Anthony Browne was ennobled as 1st Viscount Montague on the marriage of Mary I to Philip of Spain. At the time of the Spanish Armada in 1558,  he was held under house arrest at Cowdray because of his Catholicism. Elizabeth I visited Cowdray in 1591. The famous Cowdray Engravings portray Henry VIII’s campaign in France in 1544 and the Battle of the Solent in 1545. They were commissioned by Sir Anthony Browne and hung on the walls of Cowdray House. Cowdray featured in Anya Seton’s novel, 'Green Darkness'.
Depart Oakley Hall Hotel for The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
The Mary Rose is the only 16th-century warship on display anywhere in the world. The purpose-built award-winning museum reunites her with many of her artefacts and crew, capturing the moment in time when she sank over 470 years ago. Step back in time and explore Henry VIII’s favourite warship – raised from the depths of the Solent and painstakingly conserved for future generations. The story of the Mary Rose is one of the most fascinating in naval history. A tale of battles fought against the French for over 30 years before sinking off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. It’s an account of her being raised from the seabed more than 470 years later and of her meticulous conservation. The ship captured the world’s imagination when she was raised from the Solent in 1982. Her dramatic story is now revealed in full inside the purpose-built, award-winning £27million Museum, which opened its doors to visitors in May 2013.

We will have an exclusive evening tour of The Mary Rose Museum, followed by a farewell dinner in  the stunning Admiral’s Gallery. All evening events include exclusive access to the Mary Rose Museum, and to the Bridge Balcony, which makes a beautiful location to enjoy a glass of champagne and a canapé whilst looking out over Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory and Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

Overnight: Oakley Hall Hotel
Day 10: Thursday
Check out of Oakley Hall Hotel
Depart Oakley Hall Hotel for Windsor, where we will have a private guided tour of St George's Chapel, that includes very privileged access to Katherine of Aragon's Chantry above the High Altar. St George's Chapel, within the precincts of Windsor Castle, is one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England. The present building was begun by Edward IV in 1475 and was completed by Henry VIII fifty years later. It is the Chapel of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Britain's highest order of chivalry, which was founded by Edward III in 1348. Members are selected by The Sovereign and include foreign monarchs and previous Prime Ministers. Henry VIII and Jane Seymour are buried in the choir.

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years. The Castle covers an area of 13 acres and contains magnificent State Apartments furnished with priceless treasures from the Royal Collection. There will be free time to see the State Apartments, as well as Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature; and the Drawings Gallery featuring an annual exhibition of pictures and artefacts from the Royal Collection..

Depart Windsor for the Kingsway Hall Hotel, London, and a  farewell afternoon tea.
The tour ends after tea.  
Please note: All hotels are booked, and AWT aim to run this itinerary as described, but there may be changes due to circumstances beyond AWT’s control, or in the interests of affording a better experience for our guests.