Shaking the Dust Off the History Books | TravelResearchOnline

Shaking the Dust Off the History Books

In the world of customised UK/Ireland tours, I never know what’s going to appear overnight on my laptop. Requests in the past few days have been for a Public Broadcasting Station tour to Cornwall (Doc Martin and Poldark), a food and whisky tour of Scotland, a post cruise 3-nighter to the Cotswolds and a Methodist church interested in next year’s 350th anniversary of Susannah Wesley, mother of her 2 famous sons, John and Charles. More on that shortly.

I also created a small group tour for an action-filled 3 days at Europe’s largest Viking Festival in York which made me curious to learn more about some of the other living history events that fill the UK’s calendar each year. What I’ve discovered is a nation-wide Aladdin’s Cave of edge-of-your-seat historical re-enactments and living history experiences that add something memorable to any customised tour of Britain.

Two of them have really fired my imagination, and both take place in the north east of England; which are very easily accessible through the northern gateway of Manchester, or through London where the East Coast Mainline rapidly links together York, Durham and Edinburgh. The first is Kynren, a world class show brought to life with magnificent sets, combat, stunts, horsemanship, stunning pyrotechnics and amazing special effects. The other is The Clash of the Romans where Legionnaires return to do battle at Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Check out the tour suggestions that link them all together

Across England and throughout the year, history is being dramatically brought to life with Jousting Tournaments taking place at several castles in the south of England. Check out the one they stage at Arundel Castle, just west of the seaside city of Brighton. The big final event of season is the staging of the 1066 Battle of Hastings in October 2019.

An Epic Tale on an Epic Scale

Kynren, the UK’s ‘must see’ spectacular live outdoor show takes place in County Durham in England’s north east. In just 90 minutes, this world-class performance takes you on a breath-taking time travel adventure through 2,000 years of history, myth and legend. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Auckland Castle, it’s delivered by a 1,000-strong cast and some awesome pyrotechnics and special effects.


Clash of the Romans

On Saturday 3 to Sunday 4, August 2019, Roman legionaries will return to Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall to do battle, almost 2,000 years since the Romans first invaded, at this display of Roman soldiers getting ready for battle and practicing the drills, combat skills, battle tactics and artillery firepower that made the Roman Army such a formidable fighting force.

Thundering Hooves and a Skirl of the Pipes

Looking for something loaded with the WOW factor? This tour has the lot…and then some. Take three countries – Wales, England and Scotland, 4 great heritage cities – Chester, York, Durham and Edinburgh and add 3 authentic and historic events, Kynren, The Clash of the Romans, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and no fewer than 6 great castles. You’ve just found it with a July/August itinerary best served with a direct flight into the northern gateway of Manchester. Ask me for details.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Romans, Medieval Knights and the Edinburgh Tattoo

This unique England and Scotland tour starts in London and returns home from Edinburgh. On the way, it drops in for a performance of Kynren, the UK’s must-see, mesmerising live action extravaganza, the dramatic Clash of the Romans at Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall and a memorable evening of pipers, drummers and musicians taking part in one of the biggest military shows in the UK – The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

Jousting at English Castles

Between Tuesday 23rd and Sunday 28th, July 2019, the undisputed highlight of Arundel Castle’s events calendar – the International Jousting Tournament – is the world’s longest tournament of its kind and promises edge-of-your-seat excitement as knights mounted on horseback, clad in gleaming full plate armour, lead an action-packed programme. Other action-packed castles-based tourneys take place at Hever, Leeds and Warwick.

Hastings 1066 12th – 13th October

Next October, hundreds of soldiers and knights on horseback clash in a remake of the Battle of Hasting, the most famous battle in English history. Re-enactors will bring the atmosphere and tension of the 1066 conquest to life as King Harold and his Saxon army take on Duke William and his Norman soldiers in a fight for the English throne.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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