Magna Carta Trail Tour 2015
Price: 3-4*around £1350pp (rail and hire car), £1450pp (rail only) based on 2 sharing
Region: London, Central & North East England
Transport: Public (London), Car Hire or rail
Length of trip: 12 Days, 11 Nights
Start/End: London Heathrow
Magna Carta Trail Tour
Arriving at London's Heathrow, you will be met at the airport and assisted to your train where you will make your way to the first point on this historic trail, Canterbury. Here you will visit Canterbury Cathedral where Archbishop Stephen Langton took it upon himself to re-introduce the powerful Baron's to the Coronation Charter which was created 113 before by King Henry I. Bishop Langton's famous power struggle with King John saw him use the concept of a Royal Charter to gain favour with the Baron's and inspire a war with King John.
Today you will take the train back north of London to St Albans where you will visit the Abbey here. It was in St Albans that the Baron's and Clergy met with the King's Justiciar; convincing him to pay compensation for old wounds and triggering a demand for a new Coronation Charter outlining the rights and privilages of common man. The concept of the Magna Carta was introduced here.
You will travel on to Bury St Edmunds where you will stay overnight.
This morning you will visit the ruined Abbey of Bury St Edmunds where the Baron's met a year later, forging a plan to force King John into signing the Charter of Liberties - the forerunner to the Magna Carta. The Barons swore an oath here in the Abbey and less than a year later
Bury St Edmunds, London
carried forth their plan.
Later today you will return to London where you will spend the next few days.
There are a couple of days to explore and enjoy London. As well as the regular sites here, a must visit is the British Library where 2 of the original 4 copies of the Magna Carta are held. Your tour includes entrance to the Tower of London which was revolutionised by Henry III - the first Monarch to take on and endorse the charter of his own free will. If visiting on a Saturday (for overseas visitors), you will also visit the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) where King John held court and his treasury.
Today you will take a guided day tour by coach from London to Runnymede. It was here in June 1215 that the Barons forced King John to arrive and seal by Royal decree the first ever copy of the Magna Carta. With huge crowds watching, this world changing document was decreed and the Barons swore allegiance to King John. The charter was declared illegal by the Pope just
Runnymede and Windsor
2 months later due to it being signed under duress.
Following a stop in Runnymede, you will visit Windsor Castle, the home of the present day Royal Family.
Today you leave London by rail or hire car and head north to the beautiful city of Lincoln. The spectacular Cathedral here was where Archbishop Stephen who crafted the Magna Carta learned about kingship and Bishop Hugh of Wells was in charge. Hugh returned from Runnymede with one of 13 copies of the Magna Carta - a document that remains there to this day.
Heading further north today, you will visit the University city of Durham. The Cathedral here boasts 3 significant copies of the Magna Carta. The first was the signed revision of 2017 by Henry III, King John's young son. The second from 1225 was the first copy sealed by Henry III which contained a declaration that it was sealed by the King's free will now he was old enough to do so. The third was the final incarnation from 1300 and the last full version of the Magna Carta created.
From Durham you will make your way to the world famous university city of Oxford where you will have a couple of days to explore the city and surrounding area. A must is the Bodliean Library which houses 3 copies of the 2017 revision of the charter. You may also choose to visit the spectacular nearby Blenheim Palace, Christ Church College where the Harry Potter movies were filmed or of course the nearby towns Straford on Avon and Warwick.
The final stop on the Magna Carta 800 Trail Tour is the city of Salisbury. One of the 13 original copies of the Magna Carta was brought to the now demolished Cathedral at the historic site of Old Sarum. After walking around the foundations and viewing the spectacular cathedral from that view, you will visit the 'new' Salisbury Cathedral (1258) which has on public display the original 1215 and the best surviving copy of the Magna Carta itself. As well as other sites in Salisbury only a few miles away you may choose to visit Stonehenge, the world famous UNESCO heritage site.
Your tour has drawn to a close. You may now return to Heathrow airport for the flight home. Alternatively you may wish to continue your tour with a few more days in this region in which you can visit the beautiful English Cotswold villages and the nearby Roman city of Bath.
Inclusions: 11 nights B&B accommodation, Airport transfers, London Underground travel, car hire/rail travel, Entrance fees, Info Pack, maps, taxes, fees and financial protection.
Exclusions: Meals other than breakfast, optional activities unless stated, Flights, Tips, Visa's, additional nights
This trip can be taken be itself or included as part of a longer self-guided tour. Dates for this tour are fixed.