Historical Trips launch new 2016 tours ensuring the past never gets old

From religious orders in Medieval Italy, to Sugar Barons in the Caribbean and an alternate history tour examining the Nazi invasion that never was – The Historical Trips 2016 programme of new tours explores a broad span of history across the continents and centuries, giving a different slant on what has gone before.

There are 30 tours to choose from exploring 1000 years of history split into four periods: Medieval, Renaissance, Early Modern and 20th Century history.

Each Historical Trips tour features an extremely knowledgeable historian as a guide. They share the cultural, social and political contexts, as well as the personal stories, behind each event – bringing the past to life. The Expert Guide roster features some of Britain’s most renowned historians and includes familiar faces from the worlds of politics and entertainment. These experts have also arranged privileged access on many of the tours: from out-of-hours access to the Palace of Versailles; to a drinks reception at the beautiful Venetian Church of the Madonna Dell’Orto; and an exclusive wine tasting at one of the finest wineries in Umbria.

We’ve included some examples of the top new tours below:

20th Century tours in 2016:

In 2016 Historical Trips will pay their respects to those lost during Verdun and the Somme – standing in their front-line trenches 100 years to the day of the battles. They also take an alternative look at operation Sea Lion, shed light on ‘Churchill’s Warriors’ – the Women of SOE; follow in the footsteps of Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution and join Paddy Ashdown, one of the country’s best-known and respected political figures, on a co-hosted trip to the south of France uncovering the ‘Secret War.’

New: Red Heat – The Cuban Revolution

The new rules and eased restrictions on travel and access to Cuba have raised questions and concerns on the impact this will have on the country’s old world charm and character. Historical Trips explores what made Cuba this way. From the Bay of Pigs to Old Havana – this tour will trace the history of the guerrilla revolution through iconic sites and breath-taking landscapes. Guests will travel through the picturesque Sierra del Escambray Mountains to Trinidad, discussing pre-1950 US and Cuban history en route and stopping for a drink in the Floridita, Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bar in Havana, before touring the Partagas Tobacco Factory. The tour will follow in the footsteps of Fidel Castro, one of the most divisive figures in history, led by expert guide and travel writer, Alex von Tunzelmann.

The 9-day tour is priced at £3295 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 21st November 2016

New: Operation Sea Lion – The Nazi Invasion of Britain, 1940

Would Sea Lion have worked? The evidence suggests that Hitler was deadly serious about making the attempt to invade Britain. While we can never have a definitive answer, in 1974 a high level kriegspiel (map wargame) was produced. Using data from 1940 and involving senior British and German officers, it demonstrated that in all probability the invasion would have failed. This Historical Trips tour is based on the findings of the 1974 exercise and explores a series of locations in Kent. It’s led by Professor Gary Sheffield, one of the leading authorities on the First World War and an expert on Operation Sea Lion.

The 3-day tour is priced at £795, and includes expert Guide Lecturer Professor Gary Sheffield, Historical Trips tour manager, 4* hotel accommodations, local transfers, lectures, entrance fees and tips and all meals and wine with dinner. The tour departs 5th May 2016.

New: Secret War – The French Resistance in the South with Paddy Ashdown and Martyn Cox

During the Second World War, some of the most beautiful areas of France became the focus of clandestine warfare. The French Resistance, along with British Special Operations Executive Agents, fought a secret war against the German army and the SS. Occasionally, this undercover struggle erupted into open conflict as the resistors took on the full might of the German army. This Historical Trips tour journeys through the stunning scenery of South West and South East France, visiting places associated with this struggle. French Resistance expert, Martyn Cox guides the tour alongside Liberal Democrat Peer Paddy Ashdown whose book, ‘The Cruel Victory,’ marked the 70th anniversary of the Vercors Tragedy.

The 8-day tour is priced at £2495, and includes expert Guide Lecturers: Paddy Ashdown and Martyn Cox, Historical Trips tour manager, 4* hotel accommodations, local transfers, lectures, entrance fees and tips and all meals (with wine with dinner). The tour departs 8th June 2016

Early Modern tours in 2016

From Renaissance to Revolution, Historical Trips examines all aspects of the Early Modern world with tours to Austria, South Africa, USA and Barbados. Guests can enjoy a private tour of the sumptuous Palace of Versailles; meet a cast of kings, princes, officers and ordinary soldiers on both sides of the Zulu conflict; discover more about the rich political and art history of Vienna; uncover the secrets of the Sugar Barons in Barbados and explore ‘A House Divided’ by the American Revolution.

New: The Sugar Barons – Profit & Plunder in the Caribbean

Guests on this tour will discover the historic heart of Barbados, the first ‘jewel in the crown’ of the British Empire. They will experience the island’s unique culture, food and music before unearthing the secrets of the slave trade. Delving deeper to the limestone caves where the island’s earliest population have left traces, this humbling tour of Barbados’ history concludes as Matthew Parker sheds light on the slave resistance and rebellions that brought about emancipation and the island’s independence.

The 9-day tour is priced at £3995 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 8 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 10th November 2016.

New: City of Dreams – A History of Vienna

Expert Nigel Jones (historian, journalist and broadcaster) will guide this historic tour of the revered and the feared. The tour will stop at churches, museums, galleries and palaces, for guests to glimpse relics of Vienna’s glorious past. They will dine at Café Central, a Viennese eatery that satisfied the hungers of Lenin, Trotsky and Hitler and tour the Stephansdom, where Mozart’s unfinished masterpiece, Requiem Mass in D minor, was first performed. On the tour, guests will immerse themselves in the ‘birthplace of psychoanalysis’ during a visit to Sigmund Freud’s home and consulting room, which have been transformed into a museum dedicated to his life and work. They will be surrounded by Vienna’s culture which has been immortalised in music by Mozart and Mahler; committed to canvas by Klimt and Kokoschka; and preserved in print by Kafka and Musil.

The 5-day tour is priced at £1995 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 4 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 3rd June 2016.

Renaissance tours in 2016

No period has been more discussed, dissected and argued over than the Renaissance and with good reason. Historical Trips invites enthusiasts to join them as they discover the land of La Convivencia, where followers of the world’s three main religions lived harmoniously side by side; uncover the initial

Darts of Love that Henry VIII felt for each of his six wives; go back to where it all began with an introduction to Art, Love & War in the Renaissance; get an insider’s guide to the city of Venice and follow In the Footsteps of Cortes across the ancient Aztec empire.

New: The Darts of Love – The Six Wives of Henry VIII

One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII is best known as England’s most married monarch. This tour tells the story of Henry’s six unfortunate queens. Historian and author Elizabeth Norton will take guests to tour the Tower of London, to visit the Chapel Royal and Hampton Court’s haunted gallery as well as other sites most associated with the tragic tales of these wives.

The 8-day tour is priced at £2295 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 20th September 2016.

New: I Giganti – Art, Love & War in the Renaissance

The cultural rebirth of Italy was a remarkable period in world history; a time of unprecedented cultural change and achievement. This tour will encourage guests to examine how art, philosophy and government developed across Italy – influenced by the rediscovery of the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome. Guests will find themselves among the greatest concentration of artists that Europe has ever known. They will discover the striking Salimbeni frescoes in the oratory of San Giovanni Battista, alongside Brandani’s incredible life-sized stucco Nativity. Anton Gill will explain both the creativity and brutality of the Renaissance mind as he leads the tour through Milan, Mantua, Urbino and Florence, four of the most interesting Renaissance cities.

The 8-day tour is priced at £2495 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 18th April 2016

Medieval tours in 2016 – Shining light on the dark ages

This era is one of the most intriguing yet misrepresented periods of history. Historical Trips shines light on the dark ages with their new range of tours. Guests can travel to the Ends of the Earth following the exact route through France and Spain taken by pilgrims; they can discover the enthralling story of the rise and fall of The City of the Great King; learn about the Warriors of Christ in France; Explore Jerusalem, the Holy Land and visit ornate Medieval palaces and basilicas in central Italy.

New: Popes, Power and Purity – Religious orders in Medieval Italy

This journey through Italy and its history will take guests to monuments of the glory days of papal power. Tourists will gaze upon ornate basilicas, abbeys and monasteries which bare witness to the story of 12th and 13th century popes who rose from their Early-Medieval place as titular heads of the Church, to become official shepherds of the souls of Western Christendom. They will visit the Roman forum, under whose arches the popes processed in dramatic fashion to proclaim their imperial heritage. Expert Dr Sophie Ambler will tell this story against the stunning backdrop of central Italy, and guests can celebrate their new-found knowledge by enjoying a wine tasting at one of the finest wineries in Umbria, at Spoleto!

The 8-day tour is priced at £2495 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 22nd May 2016

New: To the Ends of the Earth – The Medieval Pilgrimage

Guided by expert Jason Webster and following the exact route of the medieval pilgrims, this tour will journey from Roncesvalles, at the heart of the Pyrenees, to Estella, home of the Monastery of Irache, where pilgrims would stop to sate themselves with the wine flowing from a tap in the back wall. En route, guests will view churches and cathedrals where pilgrims would seek refuge, and explore the medieval towns of Northern Spain. The tour ends at Finisterre -the ‘End of the Earth’ which pilgrims viewed as a symbol for their journey to the afterlife.

The 8-day tour is priced at £2245 and includes expert guide lecturer, professional tour manager, return flights, 7 nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, local travel, all meals (with wine at dinner), all site entries, excursions and tips, and field notes. Trip departs 13th June 2016.

Visit: www.historicaltrips.com or call +44 (0) 1722 713 820 for more information.

If you are interested in any of the Historical Trips new tours it may be possible to arrange for a journalist to join a recce trip to get an exclusive look in advance of the tour date. Please let me know if you require any further information or images.

ENDS

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