The Tudor Society
  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 8 – Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Portrait Gallery

    I can’t believe that today was our last full day on the tour and that I will soon be saying goodbye to these lovely lords and ladies. We have gelled so much and I know that we have made friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s wonderful that Tudor history can bring us together like this.

    After another delicious breakfast, this time at the Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London, we headed out for the day. Although it was raining – well, we did have to give our group the true British experience! – we decided to stop off at the Tower Hill scaffold site to explain its relevance, as many people miss this entirely. So many important Tudor personalities lost their lives there, so it was good to visit and remember them. We then made our way down to the River Thames, at Tower Wharf, right where Anne Boleyn disembarked on 2nd May 1536 when she was taken to the Tower to be imprisoned, to catch the Clipper, the river bus service that would take us to Bankside, where Shakespeare’s Globe is located. It was wonderful seeing lots of London sights from the river and in just a few short minutes we were at Bankside.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 6 – Kenilworth Castle and Bosworth

    After another yummy breakfast the Arden Hotel’s veggie cooked breakfast is delicious, by the way – we headed off to spend the morning at Kenilworth Castle.

    Kenilworth Castle dates back to the 12th century, but for us Tudor history lovers it’s the link with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, that gets us excited. Leicester, who was of course Elizabeth I’s good friend and favourite, and, I believe, the love of her life, was granted the castle in 1563. In 1575, the Queen visited Kenilworth Castle for 19 days, the longest visit she made to any courtier, and Leicester made many changes to the castle in anticipation of her visit, including creating a chase, building a gatehouse and bridge over the mere, building a four-storey block of state apartments, and creating a beautiful privy garden. He also commissioned special entertainments for the queen in a last-ditch attempt to woo her.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 5 – Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon

    I grew up near Stratford-upon-Avon so today was a special day for me, seeing my home area through the eyes of others and also seeing places that had been on my doorstep for years but that I’d taken for granted and never visited, or that hadn’t been open when I lived here.

    As a huge Shakespeare fan, I had ben waiting for this day of the tour with bated breath and as good luck would have it, it came round quickly. The weather forecast predicted that the day might not be for the faint-hearted, with rain and drizzle forecast, but all’s well that ends well and the day really was such stuff as dreams are made on. Sorry, that’s too much of a good thing and I think I’ll stop the Shakespeare phrases and get on with the diary entry!

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour Day 3: Hampton Court Palace

    Today was our Hampton Court Palace day and although I have been many many times, I always learn something new and I always enjoy my time there. It was a perfect day.

    We had a two-hour private guided tour from Siobhan, who focused on the Tudor side of things – the history of the original palace built for Cardinal Wolsey, the Tudor kitchens, the Great Hall, Presence Chamber, Haunted Gallery, the Chapel Royal, the Tudor Garden with Edward VI’s nursery… – and then we had free time to enjoy lunch and to visit other parts of the palace. Philippa and I visited the Young Henry VIII exhibition, the William and Mary State Apartments, the Royal Tennis Court and the Cumberland Art Gallery whose rooms are on the footprint of what was Henry VIII’s apartments (there are still some Tudor doorways, stairs and a tower room). We had a fabulous time.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour – Day 2: Windsor

    After a breakfast spent gazing out of the hotel window at Windsor Castle opposite, our group had a guided tour of Windsor Castle. Our guide, Amanda, gave us a Tudor-focused tour, giving us an overview of the castle’s history and then pointing out the parts built by our very favourite dynasty. She also pointed out parts that we all saw on TV back in May when Prince Harry married Meghan – we walked where George Clooney walked – ha!

    We couldn’t have asked for a better day as it was lovely and sunny. I think my favourite part was visiting the chapel and saying hello to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, as well as Charles Brandon, Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, Henry VI and a few others, and also seeing the stall plates of some of my favourite Tudor Knights of the Garter. It really is a jaw-droppingly beautiful place.

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  • Discover the Tudors Tour – Day 1

    As promised, here is my diary entry for day 1 of the Discover the Tudors tour..

    I didn’t get much sleep last night as I was buzzing. I was so excited about the tour. I took the train to London early so that I had time to do a bit of shopping and get some lunch before meeting Philippa and the group. I met up with Philippa, my co-leader, for a coffee to catch up and then we headed off to meet the tour group.

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  • Just 10 places left on our Discover the Tudors Tour!

    Tour manager Philippa Lacey Brewell has informed me that there are now just 10 places left on our September 2018 Discover the Tudors tour so do act quickly if you’d like to join us! You can click here to secure your place now and to find out more.

    9 days of talking Tudor, 12 stunning historical attractions to visit, accommodation in luxury 4-star hotels, two full-time tour leaders and three expert speakers – what more could you ask for?! I’m very excited about being one of the leaders and I’m looking forward to meeting some of you on it.

    The Discover the Tudors tour runs from 16-24 September 2018 and the attractions visited are:

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  • William Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church

    Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

    As Philippa and I are visiting Holy Trinity Church, the resting place of William Shakespeare and members of his family, as part of the Discover the Tudors tour in September, I dug out the talk I did on it for the Tudor Society a couple of years ago. New members might not have had a chance to see it as the archives are huge, so here’s the version Tim has just edited up for the tour. I hope you enjoy it.

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  • Discover the Tudors – last few discount tickets available

    If you’ve been thinking about coming on the Discover Tudors Tour, now is the time to book your tickets. The last few discount tickets where you can save £300 per person are only available for a few more days – until 7th February – so BOOK NOW!

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  • Discover the Tudors tour – Last few Early Bird tickets

    I posted about this new luxury Tudor tour last month but Philippa has just let me know that there are still some Early Bird tickets available (saving of £300 per person) so I wanted to let you know.

    I’m really excited about this tour because it doesn’t just focus on the well-known London Tudor attractions, it also takes participants to Windsor, Hatfield, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth and Bosworth, all with private guided tours. One of my very favourite historians, Leanda de Lisle, has just confirmed that she’ll be speaking to our group too!

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