Add Living History Experiences to Your UK Travel Plans | Travel Research Online


Add Living History Experiences to Your UK Travel Plans


Let me add a bit more colour and excitement to your Friday with an invitation to spend some time at this week’s Virtual RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park near Chester.

Then, take your imagination for a stroll through some exhilarating YouTube experiences with jousting at 11th century Arundel Castle, Tudor England at the Shakespeare Houses in Stratford upon Avon, and the re-enacted 11th century Battle of Hastings. My final stories outline a “travel less, see more” tour of ancient England with the great waterfront city of Portsmouth as the hub.

Visit the RHS Virtual Tatton Park Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society stages the annual Tatton Park Flower Show near the ancient Roman city of Chester, AND IT’S ON NOW, VIRTUALLY. Take a look. Championing youth in horticulture, new talent and design, use this link to discover a celebration of vibrant floral displays, iconic Back to Back Gardens, have-a-go workshops and practical demonstrations from established Tatton Park show nurseries and meet some of the garden designers of the future.

Floral designer Jonathan Moseley makes final preparations to the floral RHS letters at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2019.

Make Your Own Masterpiece

A day at the Tatton Park Flower Show gives a good focal point but these “travel less, see more” travellers will also enjoy a walking tour of Chester led by a Roman Centurion in full armour and a Beatles tour of nearby Liverpool. They’ll also enjoy the challenge of throwing their own pot at the World of Wedgwood and a visit to the treasure-filled Chatsworth House. Make it a 3-country tour by adding North Wales and Dublin.

Joust the Ticket

July is a busy month for those interested in jousting. At the moated, 13th century Hever Castle, the Knights of Royal England entertain the crowds with exhilarating displays of action, stunts, falls and fights in an authentic arena complete with a Royal Box. The world’s longest jousting tournament takes place annually at Arundel Castle on England’s south coast at the end of July. With archery, falconry displays, hand-to-hand combat, it’s got the lot.

Discover the Shakespeare Houses

In addition to visiting the Bard’s Birthplace in Stratford upon Avon, make sure that you visit Mary Arden’s Farm and meet the costumed guides as they go about their daily tasks of tending and feeding the rare animals, using methods a young William Shakespeare would have recognised. Watch how food was prepared and cooked and learn about table manners when Tudors gathered to eat. Be there at midday and choose a dish from the seasonal and Tudor specials board.

Relive the Battle of Hastings

Get up close to one of the most famous and important battles in English history. Every October, passionate and fully equipped re-enactors bring to life the atmosphere and tension of the 1066 conquest, as King Harold and his Saxon army take on Duke William and his Norman soldiers in a fight for the English throne. Visit the warrior’s encampments and discover what life was like in an 11th century army.

From Stone Age, Bronze Age and Roman Britain

Just 30 minutes east of the Southampton Cruise Terminal, the maritime city of Portsmouth makes a great base for a step back in time tour. The journey starts among the reconstructed Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman and the Anglo-Saxon buildings at Butser Ancient Farm. Close by, at Fishbourne Roman Palace, you can marvel at Britain’s largest collection of early Roman mosaic floors (and a fine hypocaust) and formal Roman garden.

To Anglo-Saxon And Edwardian Britain

20 minutes away, the Weald and Downland Living Museum is home to a collection of over 50 rescued traditional rural buildings which tell the stories of the people who lived and worked in them through the centuries. In the 17th century Living History Village of Little Woodham you might meet weavers busily spinning wool, the potter at his wheel throwing pots, sawyers preparing timber at their camp or the blacksmith beating hot iron into shape.

And, Finally, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard

As the UK’s premier destination for naval history where you can climb aboard the HMS Victory, Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s world-famous flagship, and then explore Queen Victoria’s HMS Warrior and HMS M.33, the only surviving ship from the First World War’s Gallipoli campaign. Take a harbour cruise and then hop on the waterbus to Gosport and explore Cold War submarine HMS Alliance and see, hear and smell how life was lived under the sea.


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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