New for 2016, we are thrilled to be launching a range we consider to be amongst the most exciting of all our holidays yet, Great Rail Journeys' Historical tours. We feel these forays into the past are perfectly matched with some of our already existing cultural experiences, including gastronomic delights and carnival atmospheres across Europe, which is why we have created this dedicated collection of rail tours. Now you can find each of our itineraries that combine such unmissable sightseeing opportunities in one place.
Stroll through history with Great Rail Journeys' fantastic selection of new Historical Tours. Created in conjunction with the University of York, these informative experiences are the best way to explore some of history's most important figures and events; from the poignant memorials and battlefields of World War One to treading in the regal footsteps of the British Raj in vibrant India. So whether you discover the private life of Winston Churchill and walk the halls of his childhood home or follow the path of Jesus' apostle James, on our Madrid, Santiago & the Way of James tour, there is something for every budding history fanatic. Not only is each tour insightful and full of detail but includes all the usual wonderful accommodation and fantastic excursions our customers have come to expect.
Discover some of the most pivotal moments in the history of the world's largest superpower, the USA. From the hardships of the pioneers, who came to colonise this harsh environment, through the Revolutionary and Civil wars, to the founding fathers and the creation of the US constitution. America's history may not be long, but it is most certainly captivating.
A short rail journey to Lille takes us close to the Battlefields of Ypres and the Somme, two of the most infamous and iconic sites of the First World War. We also explore the fascinating city of Lille on a guided tour which includes a traditional beer and waffle tasting.
Walk in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims before you as you follow the legendary Way of St James, from southern France and across northern Spain to the mighty cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, then continue on to discover the wonders of the beautiful Spanish capital of Madrid.
Trace the legacy of the mighty Plantagenet family through England and discover their turbulent and fascinating past. From The Tower of London and Canterbury Cathedral, we immerse ourselves in the living history of this great dynasty and see the meadow where English democracy was born.
Trace the history of the Vikings through England on this historicallythemed tour. Visit famous Lindisfarne, historic York and its popular Jorvik Centre, and Gothic Winchester cathedral.
Explore the history behind one of England's most defining historical periods, the Wars of the Roses. Discover the heroes, villains and colourful characters that shaped the future of the nation in this bloody and long-lasting civil conflict. Visit the strongholds of the Houses of York and Lancaster and travel to the key locations of this dark period of English history.
Tread the hallowed ground of Britain's great statesman and peer into the political and personal life of one of the iconic leaders of the 20th century. We trace the steps of Churchill and paint an intimate portrait of his life from birth and political exile to his rise to power at the head of Britain's resistance to Nazi Germany, from wilderness to war.
Follow the path of the backstabbing, brave, and utterly ruthless Plantagenet family through France, exploring the tense, and often tragic battles of Agincourt and Poitiers. With your specialist Tour Manager to lead the way, you'll be transported to a time of fragile English, French relations.
Visit some of Europe's most moving memorials and museums on this exceptional World War I themed tour to Flanders. Accompanied by an experienced, specialist Battlefields Guide you'll visit some of the largest and most poignant Commonwealth cemeteries, explore original trenches, see the Last Post ceremony and explore battle sites pivotal to the war.
From our base in delightful Arras, we explore the World War I battlefield sites and moving memorials in the Somme, discover how Arras was restored to its former glory and ride the P'tit Train historic military railway.
University of York
All of our brand new Historical Tours have been designed in conjunction with the University of York and have been collated with the help of an experienced PhD researcher to ensure that each tour is as detailed and informative as possible. At specific points on each select tour, a University of York Lecturer will accompany your group, providing an informative and engrossing talk as you explore sights linked to their chosen subject. Perhaps you may like to learn more on the life of Richard III with the help of Professor Mark Ormrod or explore the history of the people of Shimla, in India, with a presentation by acclaimed writer Raaja Bhasin? Many of our specialist speakers have published works in their chosen fields, others, such as Industrial Britain expert Emma Griffin, have worked extensively in television and radio and have consulted on and presented a variety of popular historical programmes, this ranges from Emma's involvement in More 4's 'The Real Mill' alongside Tony Robinson, to Mark Roodhouse's consultation on the BBC2 documentary series 'Wartime Farm'. Much of the tours themselves, including all of the exciting excursions and sightseeing adventures, have been meticulously researched and prepared with the aid of our Product Managers and PhD researchers, ensuring that each visited location and experience provides a detailed insight into the overall tour topic.
Each one of our Guest Lecturers is extensively experienced in their chosen field and is the perfect candidate to provide an insightful overview to accompany all the wonderful excursions and sightseeing featured alongside on their specialist rail holiday.