There is a cornucopia of delights in store for you at The Tudor Travel Guide in 2020. If 2019 was busy – hold onto your seats because the next 12 months are going to blow our collective Tudor socks off! Read on to find out about a number of unmissable Tudor Events in 2020.
Please note: There is also a lovely giveaway associated with this blog, a copy of the Tudor Time’s ‘Tudor Book of Days‘; the perfect companion to make a note of all the following dates. Read on to the end of the blog to find out how you can enter the draw. However, for those of you who like to cut to the chase, the following infographic is a summary of what’s in store.
Before we look ahead, I’d like to touch on some of the highlights of 2019, for it has been an action-packed year!
Having founded The Tudor Travel Guide in 2018, last year I feel we got into our stride. We have been on quite a journey of discovery along the way. Oh boy, have we have made mistakes! For example, see the time I forgot to switch on a guest’s microphone while recording a podcast on location. We had to do a serious bit of post-production fancy-footwork to salvage the situation. We’ve also had our fingers burned from time to time and had to grow some thick skin along the way; see my first viral video on YouTube that exposed me to 71,000 people, some of whom seemed to make a living out of sending some pretty personal and cutting ‘feedback’ my way. Ouch!
But all of it has encouraged us to continue to push the boundaries and bring you new and improved blogs, podcasts and videos. Blogs every week, podcasts once a month and videos as often as time allows!
The Tudor Travel Show
In January of this year, I uploaded The Tudor Travel Guide’s first podcast: the inaugural episode of The Tudor Travel Show. And my word has the show evolved over the last 12 months!
Initially, all episodes were recorded in the studio. However, in May, I decided to take it to the next level and hit the road. Equipped with new tech that allowed for roaming and recording, my first ‘on-site’ took place at Kenilworth Castle. It felt so good to be recording at a venue, bringing a much more direct and personal experience of some of the places under discussion. If you haven’t tuned in yet, you can do so by going to the show’s homepage. You can also download and listen via Spotify and iTunes.
The Most Popular Blog of 2019
Moving on through the year; the most popular blog of 2019 was The Death and Burial of Elizabeth I: Tales from Inside the Vault, which brought to light some long-forgotten details of Elizabeth I’s tomb. The blog drew upon a Victorian account of the search for the lost tomb of James I of England, made by the then Dean of Westminster Abbey. To read the original is almost Indiana Jones-esque in its retelling! You can catch up by following the link above if you missed out the first time around.
Digital Guides and Books:
2019 saw a new digital mini-guide produced for Hampton Court Palace, which contains some of the most up-to-date information gleaned from my visits to the palace this year – including the location of Anne Boleyn’s apartments before she became queen (note: these apartments are not open to the public, but you can look up at them from Clock Court).
However, I was most excited to finally be able to relaunch Le Temps Viendra: a Novel of Anne Boleyn. This second edition is published exclusively through Amazon. The original publisher closed down, and this meant I have been able to do some re-edits, so it is even better this time around! Volume I has just been released here on Kindle (UK) and on Kindle US and in paperback – Amazon UK and Amazon US. Watch out for the audiobook, which will be released later in the first half of 2020. Volume II, which concludes this story of love, passion and betrayal, will be re-released in May 2020, in remembrance of Anne’s execution.
The 1535 Virtual Mini-Progress
The most popular event of the year by far has been the 1535 Virtual Progress, recorded as a joint collaboration with my co-author on the In the Footsteps books (In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn and In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII), Natalie Grueninger.
This four-part video series saw Nat and me in discussion as we followed Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII through Gloucestershire, from Sudeley Castle in the north to Thornbury in the south of the county. Over 1000 people signed up to track the progress. That blew me away! ‘Thank you’ if you joined in; it was great to have you ride along with us. This encouraged me to strike out and put the wheels in motion for something that I had long wanted to do…organise a ‘real’ mini-progress!
Looking Forward to 2020
The 1535 Mini-Progress Tour: 10-14 September 2020
2020 sees the launch of The Tudor Travel Guide’s inaugural Mini-Progress Tour. This is where we get to follow in the footsteps of Anne Boleyn for real, visiting places like Sudeley, Thornbury and Berkeley Castles, as well as Acton Court, which is rarely accessible to the public. Dates are fixed for 10-14 September 2020. We are running this in conjunction with British History Tours and if you would LOVE to join in what promises to be a truly memorable journey, then there are still spaces available. You can find out more details, and download a booking form, via the British History Tours booking page.
‘The A-Z of Tudor Places’ on YouTube: Starts Jan 2020
This is a completely new venture for 2020. In line with our aim to be ‘your visitor’s companion to the aristocratic houses of the sixteenth-century’, I wanted to find a different format for educating and inspiring people from all over the world to discover the hundreds of Tudor-related locations across the British Isles. To complement the blogs and podcasts, January 2020 will see the launch of The Tudor Travel Guide’s A-Z of Tudor Places on YouTube. These will be regular instalments, covering a diverse range of locations. All are steeped in Tudor history and presented in easily digestible 10-minute videos. Out first stop will be Acton Court, one of the locations we will be visiting on the 1535 Mini-Progress Tour.
To be sure to get a front-row seat, make sure you are subscribed to The Tudor Travel Guide’s YouTube Channel
The Field of Cloth of Gold: 500 – 8-10 May 2020
There’s going to be a lot of Tudor buzz in the air around May / June as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the momentous Field of Cloth of Gold. Over three days, from Friday 8 May- Sunday 10 May, The Tudor Travel Guide will be holding a virtual summit to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold. We already have some fabulous speakers lined up to talk about a range of different aspects of the event over the three days. Here is just a flavour of what you might look forward to:
- Dr Glenn Richardson is Professor of Early Modern History at St Mary’s University and author of one of the latest books about the Field called, The Field of Cloth of Gold (Yale and London, 2014). Glenn will be looking at the overall context and significance of the event from the English point of view.
- Prof Charles Giry-Deloison is Professor of Modern History at the University D’Artois in France. He has also written about the Field in his book, ‘Le Camp du Drap D’Or’ and will be providing us with a complimentary, French perspective on the event.
- Tracy Borman: Tracy is the joint curator at Hampton Court Palace, a best-selling author and historian, specialising in the Tudor period. She will be talking about Henry VIII and his men, and particularly about Wolsey’s role in the event.
- Professor Maria Hayward is a Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton and an expert in Tudor textiles and clothing. She will be talking about the significance of dress at the Field.
- Claire Ridgeway: Claire is a best-selling author and the magic behind The Anne Boleyn Files. She is an expert on the Boleyns and will be talking about the significance of the event for the Boleyn family.
- Julian Munby is Head of Buildings Archaeology at Oxford Archaeology. He will be sharing his fascinating research identifying the position of the fabulous, and now completely lost, temporary palace built by HenryVIII at Guines.
- Brigitte Webster: the owner of Tudor Experience, is an expert on Tudor cookery and will be talking all about food at the Field of Cloth of Gold.
- Natalie Grueninger and Sarah Morris: authors of the best-selling ‘In the Footsteps’ books and other Tudor related fiction and non-fiction. We will be following the progress of Henry VIII from Greenwich to Calais, bringing to life the places en route and the events that took place along the way.
It’s going to be a fascinating event, and there will be so much to learn! The event will be free, and registration will open in April 2020.
Midsummer Tudor Meet-Up: 27 June 2020 – SOLD OUT
In our second year, The Tudor Travel Guide will be co-hosting a midsummer meet-up with Brigitte Webster from Tudorexperience.com at their drop-dead gorgeous, early, Tudor manor house in Norfolk. These meet-up days are a fabulous way to meet other like-minded Tudorphiles and talk Tudors to your heart’s content.
This meet-up will be extra special though, as we tour the house, enjoy home-cooked Tudor nibbles, and even have fun trying on some Tudor clothing! This event sold out in 24 hours with lots of requests for more. So, fear not! If you missed out this time around, there will be more. We are currently seeing if we could do a Tudor Christmas event towards the end of the year and the Midsummer meet-up will be back in 2021. Register your interest here if you’d like to be among the first to hear about similar events.
‘Live Like a Tudor’ Immersion Weekend: 28-30 August 2020
If you missed out on the Midsummer Tudor Meet-Up, then this might be for you. This long weekend event will be a deep immersion in Tudor life. We will be returning to the Old Hall in Norfolk, once more by invitation of its owner, Brigitte Webster. After arriving in the afternoon on Friday 28 August, we will kick off the weekend with a Tudor dinner and welcome from your co-hosts: Brigitte and me.
On Saturday, our plan is to travel in style via an air-conditioned mini-bus to Kentwell, where the worlds largest and longest-running Tudor re-enactment will be in full swing. It is a wonderful event and you will be able to interact with all levels of Tudor society – and see them at work and play: the Tudor kitchens are a sight to behold and the smells delicious!
On Sunday, we will stay at the Old Hall and enjoy a tour of the property, which is full of period furniture, tuck into more Tudor nibbles and have a chance to try on Tudor clothing. The final details have yet to be confirmed, but it is shaping up to be a memorable weekend – a bit like a normal Tudor meet-up but on acid! This weekend will take place between 28-30 August 2020.
Booking will open for this in the next few weeks. If you want to be among the first to hear about it, you can register your interest here.
The Tudor Book of Days – Giveaway
So, would you like a place to make a note of all these dates? Thanks to The Tudor Times we have a copy of their ‘Tudor Book of Days‘ to giveaway. This beautifully produced, tactile diary is the perfect companion to keep track of all your unmissable and important dates. You can enter by liking and commenting on this post. The winner will be selected on Saturday 13 January and will be contacted via this blog (so make sure you enable notifications on this post to ensure you hear from me if you win the draw).
Blog posts will continue through 2020, usually posted each Saturday, with new podcasts going live in the middle of every month. So that is all for now. To hear about all the latest blogs, book launches, podcasts, videos and events make sure you subscribe to this blog, via the homepage. You will receive three specially created free giveaways over three days as a ‘welcome’ to The Tudor Travel Guide community. I hope to see you there soon!