We visit Gainsborough Old Hall, a magnificent medieval manor house and our bridge between week 1 and week 2 of our Journey. Richard III stayed here, and later Henry VIII.
We visit Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon to learn, not only about Shakespeare but also the dissolution of the monastries.
We end the Tudor period at the magnificent remains of Kenilworth Castle, once owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Queen Elizabeth I stayed here with him in 1575, which led to Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Kenilworth.
Our first three nights are spent at our hotel in Melton Mowbray.
English Civil War
We head to Newark. This attractive market town is now home to the National Civil War Museum and a splendid place to learn about what lead to the battles between the Parliamentarians (“Roundheads”) and the Royalists (“Cavaliers“).
1642 was the year that Isaac Newton was born, so we’ll call in on his house and garden where the apple that fell led to his discovery of gravity.
This period was also the time of the Black Death, the great plague that swept the country. We will end it with a trip to the Plague Village of Eyam. It is impossible to visit this unspoilt Derbyshire village in the beautiful Peak District and not be moved by the tragic events that took place there almost 350 years ago.
We will spend the next two nights on the edge of the Peak District where you will be able to enjoy this beautiful countryside.
Empire and Seas
This period saw the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo, the rise of the British Empire, the abolition of the slave trade and the start of the industrial revolution. What a lot to cover, but we let you experience it through the perfect contrast of Georgian splendour at Kedleston Hall and the amazing story of the first factory production line at Arkwright’s cotton mill.
We go to the heart of industrial Britain to spend the day at the Black Country Living Museum. Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region. You can watch artisans at work, travel on a tram or on a canal boat and watch Victorian folk go about their business. You will probably even find yourself saying “oh I remember that ….!”
We return to our hotel in Melton Mowbray for the last two nights as we prepare to bring ourselves up to date in modern Britain.
What a different country this might have been if the outcome of the world wars had been different. We go to Bletchley Park to explore and experience the top-secret world of WW2 code-breaking and its importance to future of Britain.
2016 Journey dates
Choose from an English spring time journey in June when the countryside is lush, or an Autumn journey with its glorious red and golden colours.
June 2016 – Booking now closed
Week 1 Saturday 11th June to Friday 17th June – Week 2 Saturday 18th June to Friday 24th June
Week 1 Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th October – Week 2 Saturday 8th October to Friday 14th October