19-27 MAY 2025

Anne Boleyn & Elizabeth I


As Anne Boleyn awaited her execution in the Tower of London at the hands of the swordsman from Calais, she knew already that her marriage to Henry VIII had been dissolved and that her beloved daughter, Elizabeth, had been declared a bastard.

As ‘thunder rolled around the throne’, we can only imagine how Anne’s thoughts and prayers for Elizabeth’s safety were foremost in her mind. She need not have worried; Elizabeth’s penetrating mind and sharp intellect would steer the young princess through terrifyingly dangerous waters to eventually taste the sweetness of her deliverance.

Elizabeth was declared Queen of England following her half-sister’s death on 17 November 1558. While her mother had changed the course of English history through her relationship with King Henry VIII, Elizabeth would prove her most enduring legacy.

With Elizabeth’s accession came the dawn of a bright new future. While England prospered, Elizabeth forged the cult of Gloriana and the Virgin Queen, creating a legacy many still revere as England’s Golden Age.

On this 8-day tour, we aim to weave together the stories of these two women – mother and daughter; their triumphs and tragedies, their rise and Anne’s fall. We will visit some of the places that were pivotal in their lives, knowing that it is only time and not space which separates us from the past.


For more details of the itinerary and pricing, or to book your place, click the button below:





Founder of ‘The Tudor Travel Guide’ and ‘The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Tudor England’. Author of ‘In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn’ and ‘In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII’.



Founder of ‘The Tudor Chest’ blog and podcast, historian and author of ‘Henry VIII and the Plantagenet Poles – The Rise and Fall of a Dynasty’, coming summer 2024.




Pick up in Central London and Transfer to Norwich

We will be picked up early from central London and transferred to our hotel in Norfolk, checking in at the Elizabethan-style Dunston Hall, a four-star luxury hotel in Norfolk, the county of Anne Boleyn’s birth.

In the afternoon, there will be time to settle into our accommodation. Perhaps you will choose to enjoy the hotel’s spa with its gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna and steam room – or maybe you would like to book a spa treatment to help you unwind and prepare for the adventures ahead. The choice is yours…

On this pivotal day in the Tudor calendar, when our thoughts rest with Anne Boleyn, we will come together to enjoy a private 3-course dinner in the hotel in the evening. A welcome talk from your co-hosts, Sarah Morris and Adam Pennington, will set the scene for the week ahead.


The Old Hall: Live Like a Tudor Courtier…

There is nothing like experiencing a taste of Tudor life to bring the past vividly to life, and on this first full day of the tour, you will have the opportunity to do just that!

You are invited to go on progress to revel in a typical Tudor day of ‘pastime with good company’ at the Old Hall, a privately owned, early sixteenth-century manor house just outside the ancient city of Norwich.

Under instruction from the King’s Master Archer, you will practice your archery by shooting at the butts. Afterwards, the King’s Falconer will talk about the birds of prey used to hunt quarry for the table. You can get close to these majestic creatures and, if lucky, perhaps even fly some of them.

Our merry disport will work up an appetite. Towards the end of the afternoon, we will dine on an authentic feast of Tudor food (recreated from a menu served to Henry VIII during a visit to West Horsely Place in 1533). Brigitte Webster (author of Eating with the Tudors) and one of the UK’s leading Tudor cooks will create our meal.

During dinner, Brigitte will discuss the processes used by Tudor cooks to create such a meal and answer any questions about Tudor food. Then, as dusk approaches, we will be treated to a concert of Tudor lute music to round off the day. The whole day will be a unique and extraordinary experience not to be missed!


Blickling Hall and an Audience with Prof. Simon Thurley

Today, we go on the trail of the early Boleyns. We start the day touring Blickling Hall, which is believed by many to be the place of Anne Boleyn’s birth. We will uncover what remains of the Boleyn’s former residence and stroll to the local parish church to see several early brasses, all memorials to Anne’s Boleyn forefathers.

Along the way, we will be accompanied by Claire Martin, historian and the author of Heirs of Ambition: The Making of the Boleyns. Claire will discuss how the Boleyns rose from relatively low beginnings to reach the pinnacle of Tudor society.

In the afternoon, we will travel over to King’s Lynn to the home of Professor Simon Thurley, one of the most revered architectural historians of our time. Professor Thurley will talk about the Boleyn’s property portfolio and give us a tour of his historic home, Clifton House. Afterwards, we will enjoy the English tradition of afternoon tea before returning for our final night at Dunston Hall.


St Margaret’s Church, Tivetshall and Hever Castle

Having checked out of Dunston Hall, we travel south to our next port of call: Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn’s much-loved childhood home.

However, along the way, there will be time to drop in and view one little-known and less often-visited Tudor treasure associated with Anne and her daughter. The treasure is tucked away inside a tiny, isolated Norfolk church. Here, on a Tudor rood screen, we can enjoy the rare site of Anne Boleyn’s white falcon badge sitting alongside Elizabeth I’s royal coat of arms: a unique sixteenth-century survivor. You will feel you have glimpsed something few Tudor lovers have seen. Priceless!

Afterwards, we head south into Kent, the ‘Garden of England,’ to check in at Hever Castle. In the afternoon, there will be free time to wander around Hever’s glorious gardens and explore inside the castle for yourself.

After hours, there will be a private tour of the castle, followed by a talk from historian and author Elizabeth Norton about ‘The Boleyn Women‘, the subject of her eponymous book, before we dine together amidst the unique atmosphere of Hever’s Great Hall. Henry VIII himself will preside as we dine serenaded by Tudor music.


Eltham Palace & The Tower of London

We begin the day by visiting a place where Anne Boleyn spent time with her daughter, the infant Princess Elizabeth: Eltham Palace.

While only part of the Tudor palace remains, we will help you recreate the palace Anne would have known and stand in the place where Anne Boleyn had her now infamous encounter with Princess Mary, who intransigently refused to acknowledge her rival as queen.

Afterwards, we will travel to Greenwich Pier and take the Clipper along the Thames from the site of the old palace at Greenwich to the Tower of London. This is how both Anne and Elizabeth would have navigated London.

Disembarking directly opposite The Queen’s Stairs at the Tower affords a fabulous view of the stairs used by mother and daughter when they were brought to the Tower as prisoners, some 30 years apart.

While there, we will retrace the route that both Anne and Elizabeth would have taken as they were escorted to the royal lodgings following their arrival at the Tower. We will also tour the Tower with our Blue Badge Guide, which includes an opportunity to visit the approximate site of Anne Boleyn’s execution.

Returning to Hever for our final night at the castle, as the sun goes down, you can wander the grounds in solitude, absorbing all you have seen and reflecting on a remarkable life that, according to the poet Thomas Wyatt, a contemporary of Anne’s, ‘set the country in a roar’.


Hatfield House

We bid farewell to Hever Castle and travel north of London to visit the cradle of the Elizabethan age: Hatfield House.

From early infancy, Hatfield House became a much-loved home of Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth. While her household would move from place to place during her childhood, the queen-to-be repeatedly returned to Hatfield, even successfully petitioning her brother Edward VI to purchase it from the Crown on her seventeenth birthday.

Anne Boleyn spent cherished time with her daughter at Hatfield. However, drama was never far behind this most controversial of queens; as she did at Eltham Palace, Anne would lock horns with Princess Mary at Hatfield over Mary’s refusal to acknowledge Anne as Henry VIII’s rightful wife and consort.

Although a large part of the original Tudor palace was demolished in the early seventeenth century, one Tudor range, the gatehouse, and the outer courtyard survive. This gives time travellers like us a glimpse of where Elizabeth faced mortal danger and where the Princess retreated during the uncertainty of her half-sister’s reign.

In 1558, Elizabeth finally triumphed. She would find out about her accession to the English throne at Hatfield under the old oak tree in Hatfield Park – or so the story goes! She certainly held her first council in the Old Palace, appointing William Cecil as her first minister. We will have the chance to visit the great hall where this momentous event occurred and, in a special, private audience with Elizabeth, we will hear the Queen reflect on the memories of her mother and her time spent at Hatfield.

While at Hatfield, we will also be treated to a private tour of the house, where (hopefully) we will see the famous Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth and a handful of artefacts associated with one of England’s greatest monarchs. Afterwards, we will have free time to absorb the place’s history before travelling by minibus to our final accommodation, The Woodlands Hotel.


Hampton Court Palace

On this penultimate day of our time together, we visit the only surviving Tudor palace: Hampton Court.

Built by Wolsey in 1515, in its day, Hampton Court Palace was one of the most splendid Renaissance residences in England, and its courtyards, corridors and chambers echo with the ghostly voices of its Tudor past.

This was a place that both Anne and Elizabeth knew well, and several significant events affecting both of their lives took place here. For Anne, there was the rarely discussed and heartbreaking loss of her second pregnancy in the summer of 1534. For Elizabeth, Hampton Court saw the Queen close to death when she came down with smallpox there in the Spring of 1562, aged 29.

While you may have visited Hampton Court before, you will see the palace afresh on this tour as your hosts recreate the layout of the lost State and Privy Apartments of Henry VIII, aided by our Blue Badge Guide.

We will also have an exclusive visit to The Royal School of Needlework (based at Hampton Court) to enjoy a talk by a world expert on Tudor clothing and fashion, Eleri Lynn (author of Tudor Fashion) on how Anne used clothes to affirm the infant Elizabeth’s status and how, as adults, they both used fashion to impress. Afterwards, there will be free time to explore the palace and its extensive grounds and muse on the people who once roamed its corridors.


Westminster Abbey & The National Portrait Gallery

Twenty-five years after Anne Boleyn’s execution, the Boleyn falcon would once more take flight. This time, it was in the shape of her daughter, Elizabeth.

On this final day of our immersive tour, we return to central London. We spend the day celebrating Anne’s life and possibly her most outstanding legacy, her daughter, who, against all odds, survived to be crowned Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey on 15 January 1559.

Your tour guides will recreate the splendour of coronation by taking you to all the key places associated with this most ancient of ceremonies. Along the way, you will hear how Elizabeth incorporated the memory of her mother into her coronation, and you can stand agog in front of the chair in which both Anne and Elizabeth were crowned.

Of course, no visit to Westminster Abbey would be complete without a tour of the Lady Chapel, constructed by Henry VII in 1502 as a majestic mausoleum to the Tudor dynasty, where your guides will recount the extraordinary tale of the rediscovery of Elizabeth I’s tomb during the 1800s.

Before we leave the abbey, we will climb to the heights of its triforium to visit the Jubilee Galleries, celebrated for its spectacular views over the world-famous Cosmati pavement and Edward the Confessor’s tomb.

Our final adventure will be a trip to the National Portrait Gallery to visit the newly presented Tudor rooms and get up close to two iconic portraits, one of Anne Boleyn and one of Elizabeth I, before we head back to our hotel to raise a glass of bubbly to two women: ‘Mother, Daughter, Traitors, Queens’, who together changed English history and still hold us in their thrall over 500 years later!


The Woodlands Hotel, Cobham, Surrey.

After a leisurely breakfast at The Woodlands Hotel, there will be final farewells as we say goodbye for now, taking fabulous memories of an incredible week with us.

Until next time!

For more details of the itinerary and pricing, or to book your place, click the button below:

Anne Boleyn was not a Catalyst in the English Reformation; she was a Key element in the Equation… Eric Ives.