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Archive for April 9th, 2012

The Chalke Valley History Festival is planning to launch a series of History Tours in 2012, some in conjunction with the Natural High travel company.

We want to capitalise on our relationship with this country’s most compelling and authoritative historians by offering some as guides for historic tours and holidays.

Both dates and itineraries are yet to be confirmed, as are costs.  However, we are very interested to know whether there is demand for the idea from those who have enjoyed our Festival.

These Chalke Valley History Tours will vary between a few days and a week’s duration, and will be of general rather than specialist interest.

Below are some of the initial tours we are hoping to organise in our first programme of History Tours.  If you would like to learn more about them, please do let us know on info@cvhf.org.uk

THE INDIAN MUTINY
led by Professor Saul David
It began as a mutiny of East India Company sepoys in Meerut in May 1857 and was only contained after the fall of Gwalior a year later.  It rocked the British Empire to its foundations and led to the downfall of the Company.  This tour, by the world’s leading authority on the subject, will tell the story of the Indian Mutiny by visiting its main sites amidst the drama of central India.

Saul David is Professor of War Studies at the University of Buckingham and a specialist in the wars of the Victorian period.  He is particularly well placed to lead this tour; not only is he well-known and popular television historian, the Indian Mutiny was the subject matter of his PhD, and his subsequent book is considered the definitive history of this dark episode from the Raj.

ANCIENT ROME
led by Tom Holland
Was it the greatest empire the world has ever seen?  Certainly, it lasted almost a thousand years and incorporated, at its zenith, most of the known world.  This tour will focus on the city of Rome and those towns to the south, Pompeii and Herculaneum, recapturing the spirit and glory of Ancient Rome.

Tom Holland is an award-winning and highly acclaimed historian of antiquity.  Rubicon, his book on the rise and fall of the Roman Republic, was an international best-seller and was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize.  He is currently working on a new book about the first Emperors.  A brilliant raconteur, Tom Holland is working exclusively for Chalke Valley History Holidays.

THE ZULU WARS
led by Dr Peter Caddick-Adams
The Battle of Isandlwana and the defence of Rorke’s Drift are two of the most dramatic events in the British Imperial story.  For the victors of each, both were triumphs over incredible odds; at Isandlwana, it was the Zulus who won the day, while at Rorke’s Drift, it was the British, in one of the most astonishing last stands in British history.  At both, many men on both sides showed incredible courage.  This tour to some of the most unspoiled battlefields in the world, will tell the story and characters of a war that resonates still to this day, and against the captivating landscape of South Africa.

Peter Caddick-Adams is the doyen of battlefield guides.  Learning his craft from the legendary Richard Holmes, he also chose Battlefield Tourism as the subject matter for his PhD.  Since then, he has worked with British and American armed forces on numerous staff rides, as well as guided politicians and leading public figures around some of the best-known battlefields in Europe and further afield.  Quite simply, Peter Caddick-Adams is one of the very best Battlefield Guides we have.

D-DAY & THE BATTLE FOR NORMANDY 1944
led by James Holland
The Battle for Normandy was one of the fiercest battles ever fought, with higher daily casualty rates than were suffered at the Somme, Passchendaele or Verdun.  From the landings themselves to the bitter fighting as the Allies inched inland, this is a tour that will include little-known sites and bunkers as well as some of the more iconic beaches and D-Day locations.  Told with a mass of anecdotes and new, searing, analysis, this will be a comprehensive guide to the D-Day battlefields, and set to the backdrop of the glorious Normandy countryside, with its wonderful food, wine and calvados.

James Holland is one of the country’s leading authorities on the Second World War, and has written and broadcast on the Battle of Britain and Dams Raid amongst other subjects. With an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of the war, he has also conducted Staff Rides for the military and a number of historic tours around many of the Second World War battlefields.

The excellent Chalke Valley History Festival 26th June – 1st July 2012 – http://www.cvhf.org.uk/

HisTOURies UK
Mystical Landscape, Magical Tours

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