Alison Weir Tours

Tudor Tapestry



After a three-year gap, focussing on other periods, AWT are returning to the Tudor age for a brilliant progress visiting historical sites of Tudor England that we have (mostly) so far not explored. This tour will contain all the specialities for which AWT have become renowned: luxury historic hotels, lavish group dinners, an array of top historians and speakers, and a broad variety of historic sites, with private guided tours and privileged access to places not normally open to the public.
Responding to guest feedback, our aim is now to offer more time to enjoy the hotels, and courtesy coaches on two days, to allow guests flexibility of choice in opting for a packed itinerary of historical enrichment or a more relaxed experience.  We will be staying at just three hotels, to avoid too many change-overs and shifts of luggage, and (in response to demand) to give guests the chance to take advantage of the amenities the hotels offer.
3rd to 12th October 2017 - please note that Sarah Gristwood will be leading this tour, and Alison Weir will attend on Days 1, 9 and 10. Sarah will be accompanied by full-time historians Nicola Tallis and Julian Humphrys.

Since the tour ends on the anniversary of the birth of Edward VI, we wanted to celebrate that with those of you who are planning to stay in London for an extra night at your own cost. At no extra charge, we are offering an additional day out at Hampton Court on 13th October, with an included lunch and the opportunity of gaining privileged access to the room in which Edward VI was born. The Hampton Court day will be hosted by Alison Weir (morning) and Siobhan Clarke (all day). The timetable will be as follows: 
10.00   Arrive Hampton Court Palace (guests make their own way)
11.00   Tour the Tudor route with Alison Weir OR tour the William & Mary route with Siobhan Clarke (for those who have done the Tudor route before)
13.00   3-course lunch at the Square Olive, near the Palace, followed by free time to explore the gardens and visit the shops.
15.30   Privileged access to the room in which Prince Edward was born on 12th October 1537. (Capacity limited to 20; now full)
15.45/16.00 'Edward VI, the boy King' lecture with Siobhan Clarke* 
17.00   tea/coffee will be served.
18.00   Hampton Court Palace closes.
THE TUDOR TAPESTRY TOUR will last for nine nights, and we will be staying at:
Hever Castle, Kent (3 nights) 5*
The Swan, Lavenham, Suffolk (3 nights) 4*
Oakley Hall Hotel, Hampshire (3 nights) 4*

Included meals:
Buffet lunch at the Kingsway Hall Hotel, London
Gala welcome dinner in the Dining Hall at Hever Castle, Kent
Dinner at Penshurst Place, Hever, Kent
Lunch at Leeds Castle, Kent
Dinner at the Plough Inn, Leigh, Kent
Lunch at Layer Marney Tower, Essex
Dinner at the Swan Hotel, Lavenham, Suffolk
Lunch at the Tudor Barn, Eltham, Kent
Dinner at Oakley Hall Hotel, Hampshire
Gala farewell dinner at the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, Hampshire
Afternoon tea at the Kingsway Hall Hotel, London
Hever Castle, Kent
Ightham Mote or Chartwell, Kent
Penshurst Placw, Kent
Leeds Castle, Kent
Knole, Kent
Layer Marney Tower
Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk: St Mary’s Church and Moyses Hall Museum
Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
Cambridge, its Tudor Royal Colleges and King’s College Chapel
Eltham Palace, Kent
Winchester Cathedral, Wolvesley Palace, the Great Hall, Winchester, and the Hospital of St Cross
Priors Dean Manor House, Hampshire (privately owned, not open to the public)
The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, Hampshire
Windsor Castle

We are delighted to announce that historian Nicola Tallis and military historian Julian Humphrys will be joining us for this tour.


"The tour with Alison has been amazing. I am loving every minute of it. The gifts are lovely and very appreciated."

"This tour was spectacular, from the wondrous accommodation in the Astor wing in Hever Castle to the private Tudor mansion of Prior’s Dean and the jaw-dropping visit and dinner at the Mary Rose. Alison Weir tours are addictive."

"It was wonderful. I sincerely look forward to seeing and working with you in future".

"Thank you and your wonderful colleagues for a lovely tour."

"From the pre tours to the lovely gifts, you [Siobhan] seem to be a critical member of this fantastic team. Totally pleased with all."

"John is fantastic and a true professional!"

"[We] had an absolutely fabulous time. We felt so taken care of during the whole trip. In fact, it's sort of hard to get used to going back to taking care of ourselves. Where's John? Everything was better than we anticipated. It will take me weeks to chew over all the information I learned. Alison was just wonderful."

"The tour was made so by your [John's] attention to detail and travel expertise. Thank you [John] and Jo for making my first trip with Alison a huge success.  It will not be my last! Enjoy your much needed rest knowing you provided a unique experience for many lovers of English history."

"The tour was brilliant! (As were you and Sarah, Nicola, John, Jo & Dave). I'm more energized about the Tudors than ever!"

"We appreciated the warm welcome we received and the kindness of everyone in making us feel comfortable. Siobhan [was] always polite, professional, and encouraging. Alison made us all feel as if we were guests in her home, welcoming us with gifts at every turn, answering all of our questions, and even asking us each morning how we slept!  As I sat across from her at dinner one night, I thought about our bookshelves that are lined with Alison Weir titles and about what a renowned author she is, yet is a down-to-earth person who genuinely cares about each of her guests.  I appreciated the flexibility that Alison demonstrated when she realized a few times that too many activities were included in the day and took a vote from everyone about whether to revise the itinerary.  Also, including independent time was important for all of us.  Prior to the tour, I know she offered the option of Layer Marney as an alternative in case people felt that Cambridge would be too taxing.  It was an outstanding choice! And then there is John. And Jo. They were both so remarkable that I am having trouble finding the words to express my gratitude to them. In searching for words to express my feelings about them, I come to the words ‘comfort’ and ‘reassurance.’  We and all the guests thoroughly enjoyed the cheerful banter. I felt as if, for a brief period of time, we were a part of the Alison Weir Tours family".

"Thanks again Alison Weir, Sarah Gristwood, And Nicola Tallis! I'm quite inspired!"

"I had a great time and really enjoyed the people in your organizations. Alison went above and beyond to ensure that everyone got the most out of the trip and there could be a more accommodating person in the world than John. Jo, Nicola and Sarah were likewise very thoughtful and helpful, and I remain in awe of Dave’s skill at the wheel. For me, the best part of the Tour was listening to the insights offered by the authors that spoke on the bus trips and in the evenings. I think my favorite events were the two dinners that I sat next to Alison and could pepper her with questions. As for the places we went to, they were generally wonderful and informative. The accommodations and the food were superior and the bus rides, while long, were made interesting by the beautiful countryside and lively stories and talks. I can see why so many people come back again and again for your Tours. I hope that we get a another chance to experience Alison’s hospitality in the future."

"As always, I had a wonderful time. I appreciate the flexibility! Thanks to everyone for such a terrific trip!"

"Your tour was the dream of a lifetime for me. I had the most wonderful time. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the care and concern I felt from all of you. John & Jo, you took care of so many odd ball things for me. I felt that even if I could not, you were willing and able to handle anything I threw at you.
Alison, Nicola and Sarah, you had so much information and you were so willing to share it. I loved the lectures on the bus. We were not just sitting mindlessly. We were learning all the time. Siobhan, the excursions were just magical. I learned so much that I had missed on my first trip. You did a fantastic job and were worth every penny! While I had been to Hampton, Windsor and the Tower before, I never got so much out of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

"The tour surpassed all expectation and can't find the words to express how pleased I was. It was a life changing experience. The care, attention and details were spot on! LOVE the guest lectures and having them on the bus was splendid! Bravo Alison Weir Tours!"

"My heartfelt gratitude to you all for your patience, understanding and generous assistance during our wonderful journey together. You were always thoughtful and willing to help, You could not have been a better group with whom to travel, and with luck, I will see you all again in 2018."

"This could not have been a more wonderful experience! The entire trip was so beautifully planned and carried out, every minute was a joy. Loved the hotels, the meals, the excursions, and the company. But most of all loved the talks and tours by Alison, Sarah and Nicola. When people ask how the trip went I say - "Imagine going on tour with your favorite rock stars - priceless!" Our heartfelt thanks to Alison, Sarah, Nicola, Siobhan, John, Jo, Julian and all the wonderful guest speakers for making this the trip of a life time!"

"I’ve been racking my brain but I can’t come up with any suggestions for improvements to the Tudor Tapestry tour - In fact I hope I don’t gush too much! The abundance and remarkable sites and speakers, as well as the quality of the hotels, meals and transportation, exceeded my high expectations. 
In addition I especially liked:
-the obvious care shown by Alison and the staff who both traveled with us and who worked behind the scenes to ensure our comfort and enjoyment
-the shuttle bus offers for those who wanted more time at the hotel vs those who wanted to see everything
-the willingness and ability to smoothly change the schedule when needed
-the speakers on the bus who made the long rides fly by
-the good-humor and friendliness of everyone
-the gifts - I loved the gifts!
This tour expanded the Tudor world for me."

"I enjoyed everything! I especially appreciate the flexibility the staff showed at the end of the tour to reconsider elements (given traffic, etc.) and as a first-time visitor to London, it was especially nice to visit Windsor Castle. The sites were magnificent, and I think the lectures were a great introduction to wherever we were going, seeing, or experiencing. I also like that staff provide corrected versions of some of the guides' comments... The accommodations were great. I felt spoiled in all the right ways, and enjoyed experiencing Tudors as a living history. Instead of satiating my appetite for history, it has only increased it. My many thanks to all, who worked so tirelessly to make such a memorable and fantastic tour. They made it look and feel effortless, which I'm sure is far from the truth. Alison Weir Tours an unforgettable and magical experience."

"I am still walking on air from the experience - the sights, all the information and being in the company of such incredibly accomplished and knowledgable people. Everything about this tour surpassed any expectations I may have held. The guest speakers were terrific and David Starkey at the Mary Rose Museum the last evening was just over the top and truly unforgettable. What I really especially enjoyed and benefited from was the talks on the bus. Lstening to Alison and our guest historians enroute was entertaining and enriching.  It made the time pass quickly and was so informative. Thank you to All for this absolutely incredible experience and many new friendships."

"This trip was AMAZING. 5 stars!!! Historians were my favorite part. I felt so privileged to be able to hear from them both on the bus (loved that) and at the sites we visited. I also thoroughly enjoyed the talks after dinner. Every single talk was valuable, fascinating and appreciated. If I could change anything it would be to lengthen and have more!!! It's the combination of lectures, site briefings, the sites themselves and the chance to ask questions or discuss with historians afterward that is so fantastic and sets AWT above all else. The Tudor Dreamers troop were fantastic and so interesting. Loved everyone who spoke - especially Alison (she's why we were there after all). LOVED witnessing historians sharing their insights and different viewpoints on the tour. Ate that up!!! Had to pinch myself - such a privilege.I can't express enough the immense pleasure and privilege this tour was to experience. A HUGE thank you to everyone involved with AWT."

"Alison, you are a ROCKSTAR! Having a seat at the front of the bus gave me a true appreciation for all you and the team does to ensure a great tour. Keep doing what you do Alison! We love you. Thank you for a truly treasured experience!"

"Our Tudor Tapestry Tour was absolutely brilliant. Alison, Sarah, Nicola and guest speakers were perfect. John and Jo brilliant.  John's concern for my distilled water especially amazing. Greatly admired Dave Morph too. Loved The Swan the most because we had time to walkabout Lavenham and experience the town but also thought Hever Castle and Oakley Hall were amazing. Wouldn't change anything. Every Tudor historical stop was brilliant, I especially enjoyed the tours of personal homes Alison arranged, very special."

"Our trip this year was beyond extraordinary and the most unbelievable access to sites and people I only dreamed of seeing and meeting. Missing you and your wonderful team."

You can read Susan Breen's article, 'On Tour With Alison Weir', here: