Oliver Cromwell - hero? Villain? Traitor? Whatever your view of this controversial historical figure, he certainly changed England. Cromwell came from humble beginnings - a minor land owner and farmer who rose to become king in all but name. He served as an MP for Huntingdon in the Parliament of 1628 and Cambridge in the Parliament of 1640. Cromwell was identified with those who sought to limit the powers of the King and oppose the powers of the established Church of England in favour of more freedom for Protestant groups. His exceptional organisational abilities and an understanding of warfare allowed him to rise from the rank of a cavalry captain to Lieutenant-General of the New Model Army. This tour takes you from those beginnings in Huntington, to Ely where he lived from 1636 and to Naseby, site of arguably his most famous battle and victory in 1645.
Your hosts and guides: Military historian and popular Travel Editions guide, Mike Ingram. He is accompanied by Dr Ben Robinson, archaeologist and inspector of ancient monuments for English Heritage. In 2015 he presented a BBC Four series The Flying Archaeologist and in January 2015 Last journey of the Magna Carta King on BBC2 which investigated the story of King Johns lost treasure and the last days of his life.
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Northampton Marriott from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception followed by a private dinner with wine, followed by a talk from Mike Ingram ‘Cromwell: His Life’.
Day 2: Travel to Ely and visit Oliver Cromwell’s home, originally built in the 13th century, now a museum dedicated to his life. After lunch (not included) we visit Ely Cathedral. The present building dates back to 1083, and, architecturally, it is outstanding both for its scale and stylistic details. Throughout the 1640s, with Cromwell’s army occupying the Isle of Ely, a puritanical regime of worships was imposed. That no significant destruction of the cathedral occurred during the Civil War, may be due to his protection. Return to the hotel with time to freshen up before a special private visit and dinner with wine at Holdenby House, one of the largest prodigy houses of the Tudor period. Charles 1st was imprisoned here after Naseby and later transferred to Oatlands, Hampton court and finally, Carisbrooke Castle before this Oliver Cromwell execution.
Day 3: We make our way to Oliver Cromwell’s home town of Huntingdon to visit the Cromwell Museum, located in the former Huntingdon Grammar School building, where the young Cromwell was educated as a schoolboy and first received exposure to Puritan ideas through the teaching of Dr Thomas Beard. On display is a vestry book of the parish of St Ives, which includes his signature, and some of his possessions, even his hat. Later in life Cromwell moved in powerful and wealthy circles and he received some beautiful gifts, now amongst the museum’s exhibits including a magnificent Florentine perfume cabinet, a gift from the Grand Duke of Tuscany and a 17th century medicine chest, still with its surgical instruments and tools, which Cromwell took on campaign with him. Also on show is the original escutcheon which was draped across his coffin and a death mask made directly from Cromwell’s face soon after he died. He was baptised at the church of St. John in 1599 and it’s here we visit next, before heading to the remains of Huntingdon Castle. Huntingdonshire was on the side of the Parliamentary forces and they occupied the earthworks of the former castle which was converted into an artillery battery to control the crossing over the Great River Ouse, as the two sides vied for control of neighbouring Lincolnshire. After lunch (not included) we make our way to Naseby Battlefield, the site of Cromwell's greatest victory and widely recognised as the most important battle in English History after Hastings. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour managers discretion. Please note: Extra nights are available at a supplement, please click here or on the availability tab above to select your date of travel and extra night rates
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 47 passengers.
Two nights' bed and breakfast at the Northampton Marriott, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
Welcome reception and first night private dinner with wine
Second evening dinner with wine at Holdenby House
All talks, tours and admissions
Coach transfers and tour manager throughout
Transport to the hotel is not included
Single room supplement
Extra nights on bed & breakfast basis
Meals other than those stated
Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
Porterage and gratuities
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
On the final day, return to the hotel is usually at about 4-5 pm. It is difficult to advise accurate timings as this can vary from one day to another due to traffic conditions, the size and mobility of the group or other factors. But we normally aim to finish no later than 5pm to allow clients a reasonable amount of time to get home.
If you have a problem with your room please alert your tour manager and/or hotel management as soon as possible to either rectify the problem or change your room. It is often possible to resolve a problem very quickly if we are made aware of it - impossible to do so after the event. PLEASE NOTE: transport to and from the hotel venue is NOT included
LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
On departure, please ensure that you have paid for any extras such as drinks, telephone calls etc
Northampton Marriott Hotel Located close to J15 off the M1, the modern, four-star Northampton Marriott Hotel offers a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, gym and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV and telephone. Complimentary car parking is availalbe at the hotel.