Touring Royal Britain

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TOURING ROYAL BRITAIN
By Glynn Burrows

 

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Glynn Burrows talks about what you can experience on an 8-Day Tour of England’s Historic Royal Sites. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Spreaker, Podbean, or SoundCloud.

 

As I almost always arrange tailored tours for individuals and small groups, I don’t usually put together a tour of the UK that my visitors can buy “off the shelf”. This month, after the amazing sights of Her Majesty and the other members of The Royal Family during the Platinum Jubilee, I thought I would let you know what a Royal Tour could look like. This could be arranged as a bus tour, for a group of fifty, or a trip for a couple.

As a tour of some of the most iconic places, connected to the history of our Royal Family is a massive project, this tour will only cover the South and East of England. It will be eight days and include visits to places of interest covering the story of our Kings and Queens over the last 1,000 years and more.

Arriving at Gatwick, you would be whisked away to the South coast and our first overnight stop will be in Brighton, a seaside resort, made famous by Prince George, later King George IV.

Visiting The Royal Pavilion, one sees the excesses of Regency England. Decadence is a good word to describe this building as the Prince was well known for his excesses in most areas of life.

Moving on from Brighton, we stay in Portsmouth and visit the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was one of King Henry VIII’s warships and it sank in 1545. It was raised in 1982 and the remaining hull, together with thousands of artefacts excavated from the wreck, are on display. A truly amazing time capsule.

Moving South, we take the ferry to The Isle of Wight, as that is where we find Osborne House, a holiday home, created by Victoria and Albert. Albert was heavily involved in the design and building of the house and grounds and the family spent many holidays here. The house is full of family memorabilia and shows how much it was used as a real family home and is where The Queen passed away in 1901.

We take the ferry and travel up to Winchester which was the Capital of England in Saxon times and was the seat of The British Monarchy. It is believed that twelve English Kings are buried in The Cathedral and it is home to many amazing objects, including a C12th Bible.

Winchester Great Hall houses an object which relates to one of our most debated Kings. King Arthur’s Round Table. Is it really “The” Round Table? Did The Round Table even exist? Did King Arthur exist?

From Winchester, we move back towards London and our first stop is Hampton Court Palace. Truly beautiful with so many stories to tell. Dating from the C16th, it was a favourite of Henry VIII and is also full of artefacts relating to many of the family. Having a great interest in everyday life, one of my favourite objects is King Henry VIII’s close stool, (or commode, or potty). The fact that there was actually a job to assist The King while he was on the toilet and that that job was particularly sought after, is quite something. To be the “Groom of the stool” was a very good job, as you had a very close relationship with The Monarch and you spent quite a lot of private time with him. Having private time with The King is a very sought-after thing, even under those circumstances.

Moving up from Hampton Court, the next place is a real treat. The largest and longest continually inhabited Castle in the world, as well as one of the most famous buildings in England. Windsor Castle. This is one of the buildings which signifies The Monarchy better than any other. This has been the home of 39 Kings and Queens of England since 1110 and the place where many of them are laid to rest.

The Keep of the Castle itself is quite small, but the enclosed area, within the “Wards” of the Castle is around 13 acres. Many of the state apartments are open to the public and the whole site does take a whole day to explore.

After the day in Windsor, I drop you off at a hotel at Gatwick airport, where you will get a transfer in the morning to catch your flight.

This is just an idea, to show you what you could do for a tour of some of the Royal Sites of England, but there are loads of others which could be added or substituted if something different was required.

Looking at the costings, visiting Osbourne House adds a lot to the overall amount, as it involves a ferry crossing, which is not cheap, so, substituting that with a visit to Salisbury and Stone Henge could be of more interest to some.

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history. If you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, visit www.Norfolk-Tours.co.uk.

 

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About the Author:

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history.

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