Henry VIII at Hampton Court
Henry VIII at Hampton Court

Archaeological Tours

NEW FOR 2020

England: Henry VIII & his Wives

Everyone knows the popular rhyme, “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived”, which refers to the six wives of Henry VIII. The lives of the six women who had the misfortune to marry him are less well-known than their ultimate fates. Catherine of Aragon, who arrived in England to marry Henry’s older brother, failed to bear a healthy son. She ended her life, discarded at Kimbolton Castle. Catherine was supplanted by Anne Boleyn, who also failed to produce a male heir and was beheaded in the Tower of London on trumped up charges of adultery. Jane Seymour, who had been a lady in waiting to both her predecessors, gave birth to a son at Hampton Court, but died 12 days later. Following Jane Seymour’s death, few wanted to venture into matrimony with Henry VIII. In December 1539, Anne of Cleves arrived to marry the king, but he took an instant dislike to her upon their first meeting at Rochester Castle. His fifth marriage, to Catherine Howard, also ended on the executioner’s block, with the queen reputedly entertaining a lover in the summer of 1541. Lastly, twice-widowed Catherine Parr married the king, but she died 18 months after Henry at Sudeley Castle. This tour tells the story of Henry’s queens through the places associated with them.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  A/C coach
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag

Led by...

Elizabeth Norton

Elizabeth Norton

Historian, academic and trained archaeologist Elizabeth Norton is a meticulous researcher of the Tudor period. With thirteen books to her name, she has developed a particularly strong reputation as an expert in the queens of England.

Full Price
$8,375

Today's Price
$8,125

Saving
$250

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,650

Tour highlights:

  • Stay overnight at the historic Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn
  • Fall in love with the splendid surroundings of Hampton Court and visit the state apartments, chapel royal and the gallery supposedly haunted by Catherine Howard
  • Discover the magnificent Mary Rose Museum in the coastal city of Portsmouth, where the story behind this mighty vessel can be explored
  • Spend time at the legendary Windsor Castle, home to Britain’s royal family
  • Visit the graves of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard at the iconic Tower of London

Tour details

Dates June 16 2020 - June 29 2020
Duration 14 days
Cost
Full Price
$8,375
Today's Price
$8,125
Saving
$250
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,650 Balance due by March 24 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20HEN

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

June 16 2020: Itinerary

Upon arrival into London, we transfer to our hotel and enjoy our first group dinner.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: The Tower A Guoman Hotel

After breakfast this morning, we make our way to London’s fantastic National Portrait Gallery and spend time wandering among its magnificent collections. Our afternoon is spent at Westminster Abbey. From here, we make the drive to Hever and enjoy an overnight stay at the historic Hever Castle – Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, which also boasts delightful gardens.

All meals included

Hotel: Hever Castle

Following breakfast this morning we explore our glorious surroundings here at Hever Castle. Dating back to the 13th century, this royal building houses tapestries, fine furnishings and an astonishing collection of important Tudor portraits. We will also find two prayer books here that once belonged to Anne Boleyn, and they still contain her inscriptions and signature. From here, we drive 15 minutes to Penshurst Place. One of England’s largest and most palatial stately homes, it was granted to Anne of Cleves following the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII. The house was later home to the quintessential Elizabethan poet and courtier, Sir Philip Sidney. Our next stay will be next to Hampton Court Palace, so we leave the picturesque Penshurst behind and start the 80-minute drive to our hotel.

All meals included

Hotel: Mitre Hotel, Richmond-upon-Thames

Our first stop of the day is Eltham Palace. A wonderful fusion of medieval and Tudor, this palace was transformed into an Art Deco haven by its millionaire owners in the 1930s. Here, we find a great medieval hall with a hammer-beam roof, which was built for Edward IV over 500 years ago. In the afternoon, we move on to Rochester Castle in Kent, where Henry VIII met his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, for the first time. Rumor has it that he declared that he had been brought a ‘Flanders Mare’ instead of a woman, when he first met his bride. After our visit here, we drive to our hotel in Teddington/Hampton Court.

All meals included

Hotel: Mitre Hotel, Richmond-upon-Thames

Traveling through the Thames Valley, we will spend the day in the splendid surroundings of Hampton Court, one of Henry VIII’s favorite palaces after he wrested it from the reluctant grasp of the man who built it: his chief minister Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Henry spent time there with all of his six wives, with his last five particularly associated with the palace. In the palace, we will tour the spectacular Tudor state apartments, including the haunted gallery which the screaming ghost of the doomed Catherine Howard is reputed to haunt. We will also visit the chapel royal, where the King received confirmation of Catherine’s infidelity and where Prince Edward - son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour - was christened. We return to Teddington for the night.

All meals included

Hotel: Mitre Hotel, Richmond-upon-Thames

After a drive of just over one hour, we arrive at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth’s historic dockyard. Our morning is spent discovering the story behind this magnificent vessel. In the afternoon, we visit the ruins of Titchfield Abbey – one of Queen Elizabeth’s stops during her Royal Progress of 1591. Once we’ve finished exploring this 13th century site, we make our way back to our hotel.

All meals included

Hotel: Mitre Hotel, Richmond-upon-Thames

This morning will be spent at Windsor Castle, the oldest continuously occupied castle in the world, and home of Britain’s Royal family to this very day. Henry VIII is buried here with Jane Seymour, probably his favorite wife, and he also spent time with his other spouses in the castle. In the afternoon, we drive on to The Vyne, another location that hosted Queen Elizabeth during her progress. It is a particularly fine example of a Tudor manor house with original wood panels and stained glass dating from Henry VIII’s reign. Our hotel for the night is the Tudor residence of Thornbury Castle.

All meals included

Hotel: Thornbury Castle

This morning, we take a tour of our hotel – the magnificent Thornbury Castle, confiscated by Henry following its owner’s execution — at the king’s orders — in 1521. We enjoy lunch together as a group, before having some free time this afternoon.

All meals included

Hotel: Thornbury Castle

The historic Sudeley Castle awaits our discovery this morning. The final home of Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, this is where she died in September 1548, after the birth of her only child. From here, we travel to Lincoln, stopping at the Bosworth Battlefield Center, which witnessed the birth of the Tudor dynasty in 1485 after Henry’s father, Henry VII, killed and defeated Richard III here. Tonight we stay in Lincoln ahead of tomorrow’s visits.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln

We will drive over to Gainsborough Old Hall in the morning, the well-preserved home of Catherine Parr during her first marriage to Edward Burgh. In the afternoon, we will visit the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace at Lincoln, where Henry VIII and Catherine Howard stayed in 1541. This was one of the places that Catherine secretly met with her lover, Thomas Culpeper. There will also be time to explore Lincoln Cathedral.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln

In the morning, we drive southwards to Peterborough Cathedral, to visit the final resting place of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. We then enjoy a tour of Buckden Towers in Cambridgeshire, which was home to Catherine shortly before her death in 1536, which took place in the nearby Kimbolton Castle. Our overnight stay is in Cambridge.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Tamburlaine Hotel, Cambridge

Hatfield House, Queen Elizabeth I’s childhood home and the place that she was staying when she learned of her accession in 1558, is first on our itinerary today. This residence was also home to all three of Henry VIII’s children and during our visit, we explore both the remains of the Old Palace, inhabited by Elizabeth, as well as the Jacobean mansion that now currently occupies the site. Before we return to our hotel in Cambridge, we head into the city for a walking tour.

All meals included

Hotel: Tamburlaine Hotel, Cambridge

After driving to London, we end our tour at the Tower of London, where both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were executed. We will visit the scaffold site as well as the graves of the two queens in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower. We stay in London overnight ahead of our departures home tomorrow.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: The Tower A Guoman Hotel

Today we return to the airport for our independent flights home or onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

June 16 2020: Additional Info

June 16 2020: Accommodation

Nestled between the River Thames and St Katherine’s Dock, and next to Tower Bridge, The Tower Hotel offers ideal location, a restaurant, a bar and a fitness center. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Each room at The Tower has a flat-screen TV with Freeview channels and a desk.

The on-site restaurant offers freshly prepared modern fusion cuisine. The bar features an extensive drinks menu, and boasts stunning views of the famous Tower Bridge and the Shard skyscraper.

This 4-stars hotel is just 8 minutes’ stroll away from Tower Hill Tube Station, and offers easy access to central London and the West End in just a 20-minute journey. London City Airport is only 30 minutes away by DLR. Thames Clippers service St Katherine’s Pier is a mere 2 minutes’ walk away, connecting the area with the city via the River Thames.

Set in 125 acres of formal gardens, this 13th-century double-moated castleoffers luxurious yet modern bedrooms with free Wi-Fi. Access is via the private gated entrance and guests have free parking in a private car park.

The rooms at Hever Castle are beautifully appointed and individually styled with some rich fabrics and antique furnishing. They are located in the Astor Wing and the Anne Boleyn Wing of the castle and set apart from the area's the day visitors have access to.

The Moat Restaurant serves lunch on days when the castle is open to the public. It offers a choice of hot and cold food, and a variety of freshly made sandwiches and castle-baked cakes are also available. There is a wonderful pub within walking distance for evening meals. Breakfast is served to guests in the Astor Wing or the Anne Boleyn Wing.

The castle has historic 16th century portraits, paintings, furniture and tapestries. Access is included in the bed and breakfast rate and the gardens can also be privately enjoyed by guests outside of opening times.

Located on the banks of the River Thames and opposite Hampton Court Palace, The Mitre Hotel offers guests large luxurious rooms, riverside dining and limited parking. Hampton Court Rail Station is also a 2-minute walk away.

Originally dating back to 1665, the 4-star Mitre now provides the modern day traveler with well-equipped rooms complete with flat screen TV’s, tea and coffee making facilities and a complimentary newspaper in the morning. Some rooms also offer beautiful views overlooking the Palace or access to a tranquil private courtyard.

The hotel’s Restaurant serves a well priced, modern European menu and offers panoramic views across the River Thames. Weather permitting, guests are also able to dine outside on the riverside sun terrace.

King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn slept in one of the bedchambers and walked through the ancient gardens at Thornbury Castle, a Tudor castle near the Cotswolds and Welsh Borders.

Thornbury Castle resonates with history and is the only Tudor Castle in England to be opened as a hotel. There has been a vineyard within its walls for over 500 years, from which Thornbury Castle wine is still produced.

At the castle you will discover atmospheric bedchambers, delicious Sunday lunches, free broadband, roaring fires and many historic features including suits of armour.

With a waterfront location, this 4-star hotel has a rooftop restaurant and a bar, both with views across Lincoln’s skyline and cathedral. Free Wi-Fi is available and a glass lift with panoramic city views features at the front of the building.

A LED TV with Freeview, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer are also provided in every room. All rooms have a private bathroom with shower facilities.

The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurant is located on the fifth floor, and guests can relax with a drink in the modern Electric Bar.

Lincoln’s city center and the rail station can both be reached after a 10-minute walk. Lincoln’s 11th-century castle is within 15 minutes’ walk of the hotel, and the A1 is a 30-minute drive away. The nearest airport is East Midlands Airport, 51 miles from DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln.

Tamburlaine is situated in the vibrant new city quarter of Cambridge, 1-minute walk from the railway station and 1 miles from the city center. Tamburlaine boasts a double height lobby area with a feature staircase, leading to a library on the first floor.

The hotel has 155 bedrooms individually designed with sumptuous King Koil beds, dark wooden headboards, colorful patterned soft furnishings and marble bathrooms. Free WiFi is available at this hotel.

Tamburlaine has a brasserie-style restaurant, which serves locally sourced seasonal dishes in an informal style. The horse-shoe shaped bar offers classic cocktails. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning.

June 16 2020: Enquiries

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