Alison Weir Tours

The White Rose




Following 2016’s sell-out Richard III Tour, AWT have taken the highlights of that itinerary and combined them with new sites to broaden the theme so that it embraces the history of the royal House of York, the last Plantagenets to occupy the throne of England. This time, we will be staying at three luxury hotels.

The tour will be led by Alison Weir, supported by historians Sarah Gristwood and Nicola Tallis, and military historian Julian Humphrys.

From 2018, in order to enhance your experience with AWT, we are introducing a new range of choices. We are aware that many of you have travelled with us before and have seen some of the sites we will be visiting on White Rose. We have now added alternative sites to the itinerary on those days, and you can choose which ones you want to visit.

Wherever possible, we are also offering the option of a slow walking group, for those who prefer a more relaxed pace on site visits. Most days have a relaxed start, no earlier than 9am.

We have also confirmed a stunning line-up of guest historians to act as speakers and guides.

THE WHITE ROSE TOUR will last for 9 nights, from 16th to 24th May, 2018:

3 nights at the Lygon Arms, Broadway, Worcs. 4*
4 nights at the Cedar Court Hotel, York 5*
2 nights at Kilworth House Hotel, Lutterworth, Leicestershire 4*

We will be visiting:

Ludlow: St Laurence’s Church and Ludlow Castle
 OR Little Malvern Court and Priory/Worcester and Worcester Cathedral;
Tewkesbury Abbey; Site of the Battle of Tewkesbury (1471); Sudeley Castle
 OR Raglan Castle and Owlpen Manor
St John’s Church, Cirencester, Fairford and Burford, Cotswolds
The City of York
Markenfield Hall OR Fountains Abbey
Site of the Battle of Towton (1461)/Lead Church
Sandal Castle and the site of the Battle of Wakefield (1460)
Skipton Castle
Bolton Abbey
The Barden Tower
Sheriff Hutton Castle; St Helen’s Church, Sheriff Hutton; Middleham Castle
 OR Mount Grace Priory and Helmsley Castle OR Rievaulx Abbey
Pontefract Castle
Donington-le-Heath Manor House
Kirby Muxloe Castle, Leicester Cathedral and the King Richard III Visitor Centre,Leicester
 OR Rockingham Castle and Lyddington Bede House
Site of the Battle of Bosworth (1485)
The Prebendal Manor, Nassington, and Fotheringhay Castle OR Grafton Regis

Included meals:

Welcome lunch at the Bloomsbury Hotel, London
Gala welcome drinks and dinner at Warwick Castle
Lunch at the Gupshill Manor Inn OR at the Cyder House Restaurant, Owlpen Manor
Drinks and dinner at the Lygon Arms Hotel
Celebration Royal Wedding Banquet at the Lygon Arms Hotel
Afternoon tea at Markenfield Hall OR packed lunch at Fountains Abbey
Medieval Banquet at Barley Hall, York
Dinner at the Priest’s House, Bolton Abbey
Dinner at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York
Lunch at the Angel and Royal Hotel, Grantham
Lunch at Walker’s House Tea Room for those visiting Rockingham Castle
Farewell dinner at the Tithe Barn, Bosworth Battlefield
Lunch at the Falcon Inn, Fotheringhay OR at the Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne
Farewell champagne reception at the Bloomsbury Hotel, London


"This is, without question my ultimate luxury travel. Not to mention my exceptional fellow travelers and experts. I miss you all and will see you in Scotland next May. I have no way to adequately thank you Alison for all you do for all of us who join you on these magnificent "progresses" through history."

"John, I've very much appreciated the excellent care you've taken of me. You are unfailingly kind, helpful, with always a cheerful smile to welcome us. Many thanks for your attentiveness. It is quite extraordinary. As a result, you've made this, my first Alison Weir Tour, a very special experience."

"I have had another superb holiday with AWT on the White Rose Tour. I had a truly wonderful time and feel very fortunate that I was able to be part of the group. AWT has a magical and very unique way of giving you gentle guidance and support, and treat you as an individual, without ever making you feel that you are on a bus tour. What makes the difference with AWT is that you will know that you will visit some amazing places, you will stay in lovely accommodation, you will share the journey with others who also have a passion for history, you will eat delicious food and through it all everything will be so very well organised and you can truly relax and enjoy the experience, but be treated as an individual. The White Rose tour was my third AWT and I feel like I am part of the family. The staff of AWT work together so well go out of their way to welcome everyone and make them feel included and part of the group - whether we are first timers or repeating guests. Alison’s enthusiasm for history is very infectious and her knowledge of the period is brilliant. Together with the vast knowledge and different perspectives of Julian, Nicola and Sarah I feel that I have learned so much from the four of them. Yet again John and Jo did a superb job to ensure that everything went to plan and that the guests were looked after. The little guide book that would take a lot of time to put together is so useful and practical - please continue preparing this. I really believe that the AWT team truly care about all guests and they go out of their way to make sure that we are enjoying every moment and making the most of our holiday. This blend of history and organisation with the 6 staff worked brilliantly and is something that is very different to any other holiday that I have experienced. I was so very grateful for the way that the schedule was changed to allow us to watch the Royal Wedding - this was truly the experience of a lifetime. The guest speakers and guides were excellent. Each one was wonderful and bought a special perspective, and this makes such a difference to the holiday and knowledge. Having a few of them join us on the days was great. I was so very grateful that a special bus was put on to allow me to spend the morning in York and go to the Minster. Even though I missed other things on the tour, seeing the Minster was very special to me and for AWT to put on a special coach to allow me to do this I was very grateful for and it is a particularly good example of how AWT goes out of their way to ensure that guests make their most of their holiday experiences. I liked the idea of having options each day, as it allowed people to see what they want to see.
Yet again I am so very impressed with the White Rose tour and cannot thank the AWT team for all that they did to make the holiday a magical experience."

"The tour was just wonderful and the people were all charming.  It’s too bad students can’t learn history the way I did on that tour.  Two weeks with you and the other historians, and they would be hooked for life. The food and the lodging were great. It was all a lot of fun."

"I greatly enjoyed the tour.  You and your entire team went the extra mile to take care of the interests and needs of all guests.  I especially enjoyed the chance to hear from you and the other experts.  Sara, Julian and Nicola all made major contributions, and John and Jo Marston did a great job with the logistics.  The other historians who joined at various locations on the tour were also quite impressive. Thank you for all your courtesies throughout the tour.  It was a pleasure to be included."

"It was a wonderful tour and I felt particularly well looked after. The way the meals were organized was most efficient. Deciding on the menu in advance was excellent as we knew what to expect. The speakers/historians were impressive both for their speaking ability as well as for their accessibility and friendliness. I also really appreciated being introduced to speakers such as Philippa Langley. I still believe Richard killed the princes in the tower out of necessity ( I remain convinced of Alison’s carefully laid out arguments supporting this in her book The Princes in the Tower) but I respected Alison’s approach to this topic by introducing us to speakers with different points of view from my own. Visiting elegant, secluded venues and being graciously welcomed with champagne was very special indeed. The canapés at the farewell reception at The Bloomsbury were delicious, by the way, and I felt a little emotional to have to say farewell. Alison’s grace at that reception was amazing as by this point, she was quite sick. How she managed to give a brief and poised good bye speech was impressive. I loved the small itinerary book. I referred to it constantly as it was the right size for my purse and all necessary information was there. I was very impressed with Alison’s warmth and composure. Not only is she an eloquent speaker, but she is a lovely person who showed great interest in us and respect for us. Very humbling indeed. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this beautifully organized tour."

"It was the usual high standard trip with important information, professional speakers and extraordinary comfort. Later start times were great this year.
Brought cold/cough home with me but also wonderful memories."

"The tour was wonderful. The staff was so helpful and always delightful. The food, sites, and accommodations were fabulous. I loved that there were not only different lectures, but many of the presenters also had a different perspective and often placed things in a different context. I also liked the debate and the group quiz at the end. And I love the mini guide book as it is easy to carry always (not to mention key numbers in the back) and help keep us on track."

"As usual I do not have more than words of appreciation and gratitude towards the experience of living another amazing Alison Weir Tours, and the enormous quality of the staff, places, hotels, history, etc. It is amazing to know that you improve every time to enhance the experience and always have your guests' enjoyment in your mind. For example, I highly appreciate this time the options given to people like me who have been in previous tours. It gave us the opportunity to be in the tour without living exactly the same places, experiences and contents of Richard III. That is so thoughtful and it worked perfectly!!!! The hotels were perfect, the meals were fantastic and delicious, the places we visited were out of this world. The historians and guest historians are the best and they enrich and increase my interest and love for history. The staff is amazing. John and Jo really enrich the experience and they are very kind and always helpful and worried everyone is having a great time. Katie, the driver, was excellent and really nice. Thank You again for everything and I can't wait for Scotland!!!"

"The White Rose tour was the best yet!  While it was very ambitious, I can not think of any site or experience which I would have left out!  I especially enjoyed having the option to opt out of the sites I had previously visited on Richard III.  The sites which you chose in their place were all very special and very much ensured that I enjoyed this tour even more than the previous ones.  No mean feat as I have thoroughly enjoyed each of them.  My favorite days were when we visited Raglan Castle, Owlpen Manor and Grafton Regis. You have definitely raised the bar very high with White Rose! The speakers were all on the mark with their messages and I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them as they travelled with us.  They were all so interesting and it was great to have the time to speak with them individually. Mari Griffith made me want to visit Wales again, and Michael Jones was a wealth of knowledge [and] great fun as well. Special kudos to John for his travel, hotel, and meal arrangements.  They were all definitely top notch. The hotels  were each pleasantly unique in their own way  and I have to commend each of them for managing to get the luggage off the coach and to my room in record time. The meals were all delicious."

"Again, thank you again  for another wonderful experience!"

"Congratulations on another wonderful tour ! The meals, accommodations and weather were all terrific so it’s difficult to comment on what could be improved upon. The entire experience was over the top and the caliber of guest speakers incredible. Many thanks to everyone at Alison Weir Tours."

(To John Marston) "Thanks  in large measure to your efforts with the travel, hotel and meal arrangements, the White Rose tour was the grand success that it was! They were all definitely top notch! The hotels were all pleasantly unique in their own way and I have to commend each of them for managing to get the
luggage off the coach and into my room in record time. The meals were all delicious and the selections which you presented us with ensured that I had a wide variety of choices to choose from over the 10 day period. I very much appreciated having the opportunity to try so many different starters, entrees and, of course, desserts! Your diligence, attention to detail, and patience were all apparent throughout this tour and in large measure were responsible for the great
success that White Rose was! Again, thank you for being the rock upon which the entire tour rested. After all, without excellent travel arrangements, outstanding hotels, and delicious food, the tour would not have been the enjoyable experience which it was!"

"The tour was incredible! To hear from Alison and the other historians was such a joy! It was a bit surreal to actually meet Alison, after reading her books in the past. I loved her lectures on the bus and those of the others, and was impressed at the depth of knowledge and collegial consideration of differing approaches to those involved in the War of the Roses. I came away from the tour far more knowledgeable about this period in history and very interested to know more. The guest group on the tour was also great and the opportunity to discuss this history and even trade book recommendations and reading lists with them just made the tour even more interesting! AWT went to incredible effort to make our tour informative AND entertaining with lovely accommodations and charming inns and medieval castles for dining experiences. John Marston was so supportive of all of our needs, from arranging airport transfers, room considerations, and our transportation and touring needs. His help made my first tour to the UK in nearly 40 years so easy!"

"I just wanted to thank you again for such a great vacation.  From Hampton Court to the Falcon Inn, every day was super and I loved every moment."

"Thank you for a wonderful tour."

"I enjoyed the trip very much (as usual). I really appreciated the second options for those who were on Richard III. They were all interesting and worthwhile. The slow walking group idea is very thoughtful. (You are spoiling me.). The hotels were all wonderful. Thank you.  And thank you for the longer stays. I sincerely appreciate the care that John takes care of me in choosing a nice room. That is a special touch that means a lot. All in all, I really enjoyed  the trip and am so appreciative of all the care and effort AWT takes in our behalf. That and all of your staff who all feel like family."
"I had a terrific time on the tour."

"I had a marvellous time on the tour. I saw some places I’d wanted to see for over thirty years, met some fabulous people and loved every minute of it. So much so that I’m hoping to join you on another tour. The interactions with the historians was my highlight. You have a wonderful bunch of people there. I had the time of my life. Someone told me on the first day of the tour that I’d become addicted to these tours and they were right!"

"I am fortunate to have enjoyed your White Rose Tour. I've been home a week now and have so many great memories of our tour!"

"Thank you for all you [Alison] did on the tour.  All the guest speakers were fascinating, and your own experienced guiding hand was much appreciated throughout."

"I most definitely enjoyed the tour and am hooked for the future! I can't think of any tours I've done in the past that packed as much sightseeing and substantive knowledge in each day, along with a lot of entertainment and camaraderie among the participants. As one of the first-timers, I felt very welcomed by everyone. 
Thanks again to Alison, Sarah, Julian, Nicola, all of the guest historians, and John and Jo who made everything run smoothly!"

"Thank you for a wonderful time! The White Rose tour was all we hoped it would be."