All the team at Alison Weir Tours would like to wish our guests, past and future, a very happy and joyous Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to seeing some of you on our Great Queens Tour in June 2015. In the meantime, enjoy these lovely images of Hever Castle lit up and decorated for Christmas.
Please note that our office is closed from Christmas Day until 5th January.
The Richard III Tour (which runs from 16th to 25th April 2016) is sold out. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for places, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is sufficient demand we may run a second tour in the autumn of 2016.
AWT's Great Queens Tour (June 2015) is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for cancellations, please email email@example.com.
Please visit our DAY TOURS page for details of an afternoon tour, with Alison, of the Old Palace, Croydon.
For illustrated information on Alison Weir Tours, past and forthcoming, please visit Alison Weir's Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/alisonweir2012.
Alison Weir has pleasure in announcing:
"Thanks to pressure from all my colleagues, including Sarah Gristwood, I will be jointly leading October's Mary, Queen of Scots Tour, alongside Sarah. We don't want to break up our team! This was AWT's fastest-selling tour ever - and it is now sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, in the event of cancellations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alison Weir, Sarah Gristwood, Nicola Tallis and John and Jo Marston would like to say a huge thank-you to our wonderful guests on the Mary, Queen of Scots Tour (June), not only for booking with us, but for being such marvellous company! We hope that you all found the tour as enjoyable and special as we did, and are deeply grateful to you all for making it such a success. For feedback and comments on the tour, please visit the Mary, Queen of Scots Tour overview page.
Opening doors to history...
"The best historians and tour team in the world!" (Guest feedback, the Mary, Queen of Scots Tour)
"I have been very fortunate to have travelled all over the world with many different tour companies, but I have to say that those companies finish a distant second to the service and experiences provided by Alison Weir Tours." (Guest feedback, Mary, Queen of Scots Tour)
“Alison Weir’s Tudor Treasures Tour is all about access. When you arrive with Alison Weir and her guest historians, you are treated like an honoured guest and often given access rarely or never given to the general public. Alison’s enthusiasm for her subject is exhilarating."
(Guest feedback, The Tudor Treasures Tour)
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the website of Alison Weir Tours Ltd.
Through Alison Weir Tours Ltd., I develop and run a range of exclusive, historical tours that primarily are based around my books. Each tour is designed to be captivating and informative, to enrich your knowledge, to provide you with a unique and highly enjoyable holiday in beautiful surroundings, and to give you an unforgettable experience of the rich landscape of English history.
Each tour is planned and developed personally by me, with the assistance of a highly professional team of historians and travel experts. You can read more about the nature of the tours on the Biography page, and I urge you to do this before booking.
Alongside AWT's resident guest historians, Sarah Gristwood and Nicola Tallis, I will travel with you to every historic site, giving talks, engaging in discussions, answering questions, attending group dinners, and sharing my passion for the extraordinary places and people that are the fabric of English History.
Many of the hotels you stay at will be historic buildings. Travel is by luxury coach. To enhance your experience we include several dinners and a full programme of talks, private guided tours, privileged access to areas of historic interest not normally open to the public, lectures by guest historians, the services of our experienced tour historians, guide lecturers and tour director - and some surprise extras! To gain a sense of each tour, please read the feedback below and on the Overview pages of previous tours.
I and my colleagues at Alison Weir Tours Ltd are pleased to announce our partnership with Jean Newman Glock of JNG Worldwide, A Travel Resource Company in Washington, D.C. Jean works with over 7,000 agents and can assist guests with individual travel needs and flight bookings. To contact Jean Glock call her at 202 469 8904 or email her at Jean@jngworldwide.com or visit her website at http://www.jeannewmanglock.com/travel-planning/historic-travel-with-alison-weir.
Alison Weir Tours offer an exclusive experience for small groups. For this reason, places on each residential tour are limited. The minimum enrolment to enable us to run these tours is 30 guests, but our waiting lists can be heavily subscribed two years in advance. To avoid disappointment, please email us at email@example.com if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for places for a specific tour, or on our general mailing list to register your interest in future tours, for priority booking in advance of a tour being advertised on this website.
I look forward to having the pleasure of journeying back in time with you on one of the Alison Weir Tours.
“Alison Weir has perfected the art of bringing history to life.” (Chicago Tribune)
OUR ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME
Each tour includes a comprehensive enrichment programme of talks, guided tours and debates by the Tour Leader, eminent guest historians and AWT's specialist guide lecturers. Guests will also receive briefings on all the places visited on the tour, and guided tours at most sites. The talks, which are of varying length, are given either after group dinners, or on the coach, or on site. Some months before the tour you will be sent a reading list of suggested books. There is, of course, no requirement to read any of them. The enrichment programme is devised to be enjoyed by those who know a lot about the subject of the tour, and those who know very little.
We give short introductory talks about all the sites and hotels we visit, ensuring that guests arrive with some understanding of the relevance, history and context of the site, and that they have the knowledge to enjoy their visit to the full. Sometimes guests have observed that guides repeat what we have said, but we have found on occasions that guides, however good (and we do our best to ensure that we do have good guides), do not always mention what we would like them to. Hence guests will always get a short introduction from us.
Alison Weir Tours are on Facebook at
We're also on Twitter.
Follow us at @AlisonWeirTours
And we're on Pinterest at
http://pinterest.com/alisonweir2012/ where you can see lots of tour images.
We are privileged to have Jean Newman Glock (below) as AWT's US travel consultant. Jean has been in the travel industry for 18 years, working for Smithsonian Journeys, Connoisseur Travel, Signature Travel and her own organisation, JNG Worldwide. She has single-handedly changed the perception of what the public should expect from a travel consultant, and the travel and tourism industries are taking notice. She was featured in the 2013 A-List of Travel Agents by Travel & Leisure, and appeared on the cover of Luxury Travel Advisor Magazine. Travel & Leisure says, "Glock has insider clout, and maintains a little black book of door-opening contacts;" and Luxury Travel Advisor says, "Luxury travel is about exploring one's interests as exclusively and as in depth as possible. Experiential travel and insider access are all the rage now, and Jean Newman Glock has been ahead of the curve for years."
On 8th January 2014 Jean published this article on Alison Weir Tours in Washington's Huffington Post:
Searching for the Ultimate Luxury Experience -- in Tudor England
Group tours (I hear you groan, but read on) have been a large part of my travel history. I have accompanied many during my years with the Smithsonian. I have learned from the best experts on excellent tours. I have also spent three days in Russia in an "emerging" hospital in 1996, instead of the Catherine Palace, walked the streets of Quito looking for a confused member of our group at midnight and taught a group how to snorkel in Belize -- unfortunately in a breeding ground of sting rays. (Yes I was stung and stepped on live coral running to help a guest, which later required surgery.) Now in the private sector, I usually travel alone, scoping out the best new and old finds for clients and writing about them. So you might be thinking my highlight for 2013 would not be another group tour comprised of strangers from around the world. Wrong.
The tour I joined as a paying guest with noted author and historian, Alison Weir, was by all measures the most exciting trip I have ever taken. Many geographic destinations may seem more exotic and I have visited almost all, from Easter Island to Antarctica to Borneo to Vladivostok. Many of the hotels I visited this year were over the top luxury and restaurants and the spas were exceptional. But this group tour, to sites I had visited before in the UK, was hands down, the most luxurious, exotic and fantastic I have ever experienced.
As I look back over 2013 and indeed 25 years in travel, why was this "group" tour the pinnacle of my career? Simple -- it combined my passions, with the best of everything -- not the most luxurious, but the best and there is a difference.
The "Six Wives of Henry VIII" traveled around Tudor sites in the UK in June 2013 and was by every measure extraordinary. I am still awed by the chance to spend time with Alison and her friends, who number the finest authors and historians in the world. Sitting at dinner, in Hever Castle's (Anne Boleyn's childhood home) private dining hall beside Alison and Dr.Starkey as they debate some new finds in Tudor history was a dream. The fantastic authors we met included the effervescent Sarah Gristwood, emerging historian Nicola Tallis, Siobhan Clarke from the Historic Royal Palaces staff, Dr. David Starkey, Elizabeth Norton, Dr. Tracy Borman and Mavis Cheek. The privilege of meeting and dining with so many of the leading historic authors of our day was my ultimate luxurious experience.
The itinerary was carefully chosen and vetted by Alison who matched it to her own passion for sites that offer perspective and new insights. She discovered along with us. Hotels were appropriate to the theme. At Thornbury Castle, we stayed in the same hotel that Henry VIII had visited with his new bride, Anne Boleyn, and one of our group was honored to stay in their bedroom -- which we all visited. Ghosts were not advertised as part of the experience but we all had high hopes which I think were fulfilled, but that is another story.
The undeniable leitmotif of the journey was present day royalty compared to 16th century Tudors. The impending birth of the next heir to the British throne and the new legislation that would have permitted male or female first born to become the third in line for the crown was much discussed. Henry's troubles would have been so different were this true in the 1500s. Prince George, born on the final day of the tour, illustrated Alison's penultimate planning skills and our group joined all of London in celebrating.
But even this was trumped by Dr. David Starkey's spot on comparison of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with Anne Boleyn, who he much admires. I feel another BBC miniseries along the lines of Julie and Julia in the making. All that was lacking was a guest appearance by Jonathan Rhys Myers -- sorry Alison, we all know your thoughts on this miniseries -- but he was hot and the soft porn did add historically accurate color to the period -- I think.
All of this was perfect (even without Rhys Myers), but what threw this tour into the stratosphere of amazing trips were my fellow travelers. It was the most diverse I have ever joined, by nationality, age and every other measure. But we were all drawn by a shared passion for history, notably Tudor history and most specifically, awe for the research and writing of Alison Weir. This group now forms some of my closest friends.
In conclusion, in your search for the perfect, ultimate luxury travel experience in 2014 -- look no further than your passions, new or emerging. Make sure every journey you take touches or ignites some passion that is unique to you and you will have found the luxury we all seek.
Follow Jean Newman Glock on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeannewmanglock
One guest on that tour has responded:
"I can't stem the tears in my eyes as I read this thoughtful, incisive The Huffington Post description of our small tour re Henry VIII's wives this summer with expert Tudor historian and world-famous author Alison Weir. You can see how utterly amazing the journey was. Can't believe my mom and I got to share this experience. That sweet mother of mine adopted the fabulous travel expert who penned this article as her new "daughter." Jean Newman Glock is one of the premier travel experts in the world and we got to spend every day with her and the other absolutely scintillating tour participants in addition to the world-renowned experts. I cannot imagine a more interesting group of folks. Thank you for teaching us, Sarah Gristwood, Nicola Tallis, Lucy Churchill, et al. We miss you and our other friends. I don't expect to ever experience a more exciting two weeks. English history is one of my greatest passions and this surpassed my wildest dreams as it did for every other participant. On the last night of our tour we cruised the Thames and looked at historic London sights while we celebrated the birth of Prince George. Humble and inexpressibly deep thanks to all who created and participated in this experience and to my friends who have been kind enough to tell me how glad you are that Mama and I got to share in this."
FEEDBACK FOR PAST TOURS CAN BE READ ON THE OVERVIEW PAGE OF EACH PREVIOUS TOUR LISTED IN THE DROP-DOWN MENU ABOVE.
"Amazed at how quickly this thing is filling up, but you know, it's because you guys offer about the best tour in the world. No joke. I've never been so entertained and relaxed in my life. Usually my vacations are a little hectic, but y'all take that entire factor away!"
"There's no tour experience quite like it - I am so excited to be going on the MQS2 tour in October."
"We have full confidence that everything will be taken care of and the service will be above and beyond."
Previous guest's comment on a photo sent to her of Alison and Siobhan meeting up for lunch with two guests from the Lancaster and York tour: "This is a fabulous photo and it really is a true testament to just how AWT makes such an impact on so many people's lives in so many ways. It is the people of AWT that bring others together. Everyone who takes a tour with AWT is enriched by the people and experiences. You have certainly enriched my life."
"It is going to be so wonderful to reconnect with all these great friends. Even if no one was returning from previous tours, I know it would still be special and we would make more lifelong friendships, but to have all these favorite people returning again just makes it extra special."
"We have toured with Alison Weir in part because of her impeccable selections of lodgings and restaurants."
"Your tours are as peerless as your books, Alison Weir. HUUUUUGE thanks for all of the meticulous planning and hard work you [and your team] put into creating such unforgettable experiences."
"I leave tomorrow on an Around the World expedition by private jet, but it won't be nearly as much fun as all my AWT's have been!"
"Very highly recommend Alison Weir Tours. Best in the country and unbeatable for quality and content."
"The two tours we have taken with you remain for me as delights."
"You have the best tours on Earth!!"