Blog: A Sense of Place

Discover the latest news and articles from Promenades Travel

​The fascinating history of maps

Thu 4th March 2021
We believe that maps are very important when it comes to understanding events from the past. They give you context, they give you position, they provide the ‘setting’ for an event – be it a clash of arms, the founding of a monastery, the writing desk and window of a great author. And maps themselves have a fascinating history.
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​The fascinating history of maps

How we are restarting tours following the Government roadmap

Thu 25th February 2021
We were grateful to receive the Government's roadmap for lifting lockdown on Monday, and while we are disappointed for all those customers whose tour dates must change, we are thankful that there is now some clarity for the summer ahead. 
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How we are restarting tours following the Government roadmap

How society faced the Black Death in the Middle Ages

Thu 18th February 2021
As we seem to be nearing the end of our pandemic pain thanks to the creation of new vaccines, it's interesting to look at how society in the Middle Ages emerged from the ravages of the Black Death.
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How society faced the Black Death in the Middle Ages

​No Campbells allowed: Massacre at Glencoe

Thu 11th February 2021
On 13 February in 1692, one of the most brutal acts of British political violence took place in the Scottish Highlands. The Glencoe Massacre saw more than 30 members of the MacDonald clan, including women and children, slaughtered in their beds by Government troops who had been sharing their homes for almost two weeks. 
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​No Campbells allowed: Massacre at Glencoe

​How the Cistercian's changed life across England

Thu 4th February 2021
The ruins of North Yorkshire's Cistercian Abbeys are jaw-dropping and provide an indication of how inluential these vast enterprises were to their local communities and further afield. From meagre beginnings the Cistercian Abbeys amassed great wealth and sculpted the landscapes around them.
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​How the Cistercian's changed life across England

Why January 30th is one of British history's most controversial dates

Thu 28th January 2021
January 30th will forever be associated with one of the most significant and controversial events in English history. It saw the end of a despised king, and the beginning of his martyrdom. 
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Why January 30th is one of British history's most controversial dates

The trial of Charles I

Thu 21st January 2021
The trial of Charles I was incredible for many reasons. It was the first time a British monarch had been tried and condemned to death. Despite packing Parliament with supporters, Cromwell only just managed to win the vote for the trial to proceed. Fewer than half of the 135 judges turned up. And Charles I refused to defend himself. This was an extraordinary point in British history.
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The trial of Charles I

The Jacobites fight back at the Battle of Falkirk

Thu 14th January 2021
With the shock of defeat at Prestonpans and a narrow escape following Charles Edward Stuart’s invasion of England that reached as far as Derby, the British Government of 1745 finally woke up to the threat of a new Jacobite rebellion. Its response was to recall battle-hardened troops from Flanders and the two forces faced each other at Falkirk.
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The Jacobites fight back at the Battle of Falkirk

Cromwell cancels Christmas (or did he?)

Thu 17th December 2020
As we're all facing restrictions on our Christmas festivities this year, we're taking a look back at the 17th century and tackling the myth that Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas.
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Cromwell cancels Christmas (or did he?)

December disaster for the Jacobites

Wed 9th December 2020
​December is a significant month in the history of the Jacobite Risings, with James II (known as James VII in Scotland) fleeing the throne in December 1688, and Bonnie Prince Charlie abandoning his English invasion, signalling the end of the second Jacobite Rebellion, in December 1745. 
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December disaster for the Jacobites

VIDEO: the life of a soldier during the Duke of Marlborough's Flanders campaign

Thu 3rd December 2020
​What was life like for the soldiers in a 17th century army? The Duke of Marlborough's troops were drawn from across Europe and brought to fight the French in Flanders for months on end. We asked James Falkner, one of the UK's leading authorities on Marlborough and the War of Spanish Succession to tell us more about the soldiers who put their life on the line in these incredible campaigns. 
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VIDEO: the life of a soldier during the Duke of Marlborough's Flanders campaign

The greatest speeches in British history

Thu 26th November 2020
On 30th November in 1601, Queen Elizabeth I gave one of the most famous speeches ever attributed to a British monarch. Her Golden Speech has been celebrated for more than 400 years, so we took a look at more famous oratories from British history. 
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The greatest speeches in British history

How the Battle of Quiberon Bay powered Britain's empire

Thu 19th November 2020
On 20 November in 1759, British Navy ships led by Admiral Edward Hawke audaciously defeated a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay. This dramatic victory halted French plans for an invasion of England and gave Britain the naval power to create a worldwide empire that lasted for 200 years. 
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How the Battle of Quiberon Bay powered Britain's empire

​The last battle to take place on English soil

Wed 11th November 2020
The Battle of Preston was the last battle ever fought on English soil and it marked the end of the first Jacobite Risings which ignited following George I's succession to the throne in England. 
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​The last battle to take place on English soil

Britain’s Glorious Revolution

Thu 5th November 2020
​November sees two anniversaries that are integral to one of the most important changes in English history - the Glorious Revolution - which led to a shift away from an absolute monarchy, where the king or queen ruled alone, to a constitutional monarchy where parliament held more power. 
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Britain’s Glorious Revolution

VIDEO: Marlborough, the Great Commander

Thu 29th October 2020
James Falkner, one of the UK's leading authorities on Marlborough, tells us why the Duke should be remembered as one of England's greatest military leaders.
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VIDEO: Marlborough, the Great Commander

Edgehill: The biggest 'what if' question of the English Civil War

Wed 21st October 2020
The Battle of Edgehill, fought on 23 October in 1642, was the first major skirmish of the English Civil Wars and also one of the decade-long conflict's great 'what if' moments.
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Edgehill: The biggest 'what if' question of the English Civil War

Charles II's brutal revenge

Thu 15th October 2020
On 17 October in 1660 four men were hung drawn and quartered in front of a large crowd at Charing Cross, in London. They were Thomas Scott, Gregory Clements, Colonel Adrian Scrope and Colonel John Jones, and they were prominent Parliamentarians suffering the revenge of Charles II, the returning King of England. 
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Charles II's brutal revenge

​The heroism of women during the English Civil Wars

Wed 7th October 2020
The story of the English Civil Wars is often told from the point of view of the men who fought, with little space given to the role of women. Here we detail some of the incredible stories that illustrate how women were fighters, spies, couriers, petitioners and protectors during the brutal conflict.
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Elizabeth Murray, Duchess, socialite and spy (credit: Lisby from Western Maryland, United States / CC, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

The gory deaths of Britain's kings

Wed 30th September 2020
​Reaching the heights of British nobility was the ambition for many power-hungry people from the UK's past, but hitting the top spot didn't protect plenty of historical figures from a gory demise. Here we look a how some of Britain's kings met early ends
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The gory deaths of Britain's kings

The Battle of Rowton Heath

Thu 24th September 2020
​At the Battle of Rowton Heath, which took place close to Chester on 24 September in 1645, Charles I saw the last of his army wiped out and his dreams of victory ended.
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The Battle of Rowton Heath

The Battle of Prestonpans

Tue 15th September 2020
The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major conflict of the second Jacobite Risings, and it was a victory for an army of clansmen over a professional, Government force. 
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The Battle of Prestonpans

Malplaquet: the bloodiest battle of the 18th century

Fri 11th September 2020
After a run of three great victories against the French the Duke of Marlborough again led a grand alliance of troops from Britain, Holland, Austria and the Holy Roman Empire in a fourth conflict. Fought on the 11 September in 1709, Malplaquet was to be his bloodiest, least conclusive and last great battle.
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Malplaquet: the bloodiest battle of the 18th century

​The Battle of Worcester: the final chapter of the English Civil Wars

Wed 2nd September 2020
The Battle of Worcester puts paid to the misconception that the English Civil Wars were confined to England. For this, the final fight of the conflict between Parliament and the Monarchy, Charles II led an army from Scotland into England, in the hope that English and Welsh supporters would rally to his cause. 
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​The Battle of Worcester: the final chapter of the English Civil Wars

​Battle of Bosworth: the treachery that killed Richard III

Sat 22nd August 2020
The Battle of Bosworth, which took place on 22 August in 1485, was one of the final engagements of the Wars of the Roses. Treachery and tactics saw the downfall of one King and the beginning of a new royal dynasty.
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​Battle of Bosworth: the treachery that killed Richard III

​How divine right sparked the English Civil Wars

Fri 21st August 2020
On 22 August in 1642, the English Civil War began. The King, Charles I, was close to bankrupt and enraged by the demands of Parliament. He rode to Nottingham and raised his standard to rally supporters to his side.
 
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​How divine right sparked the English Civil Wars

​How Charles I's Royalist revival was crushed at Preston

Mon 17th August 2020
The Battle of Preston, fought on 17 August in 1648, is considered one of the English Civil War's bloodiest battles, and saw an end to the second Royalist uprising.
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​How Charles I's Royalist revival was crushed at Preston

​The Battle of Blenheim: France's invincible army defeated

Wed 12th August 2020
The Battle of Blenheim is the 1st Duke of Marlborough's most famous victory against the French in the Wars of Spanish Succession, and demonstrates many of the tactical strengths that made him such an outstanding leader.
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​The Battle of Blenheim: France's invincible army defeated

​Rock star personalities from history

Fri 7th August 2020
Who are history's Rock Star personalities? Those with the character to achieve great things, yet with traits and flaws that take them beyond the reach of mere mortals. 
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​Rock star personalities from history

The Battle of Killiecrankie: how Jacobite Highlanders won a hollow victory

Fri 31st July 2020
The Battle of Killiecrankie was the first major military action in the rebellions that became known as  the Jacobite Risings. Supporters of James VII, lacking men and resources, decided that a decisive military victory was the only way to grow their numbers. On 27 July in 1689, they saw their chance at the Pass of Killiecrankie.
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The Battle of Killiecrankie: how Jacobite Highlanders won a hollow victory

Oudenaarde: a triumph for Britain's bold commander

Wed 15th July 2020
The Battle of Oudenaarde, fought in Flanders on 11 July in 1708, was the third major occassion when the Duke of Marlborough defeated the French army of Louis XIV  in the field. It was a victory for bold and agressive tactics that took the French by surprise.
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Oudenaarde: a triumph for Britain's bold commander

​The brave decision that settled the Battle of the Boyne

Sat 11th July 2020
The Battle of the Boyne was fought on 11 July in 1690, around 30 miles north of Dublin. It was a fight between protestant William of Orange, who had been crowned king of England, Scotland and Ireland during the 'Glorious Revolution' the year before, and his uncle, father-in-law and the deposed monarch James II, who was a catholic.
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​The brave decision that settled the Battle of the Boyne

The Battle of Northampton – treachery over tactics

Fri 10th July 2020
​Fought on 10 July 1460, the Battle of Northampton is one of the Wars of the Roses most interesting fights. It featured the Wars' only assault on a fortified camp. An 18-year old among the Yorkist commanders would be King within a year. The Lancastrian's were forcing a stalemate until one leader switched sides. And at the very end, a lowly archer captured the monarch.
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The Battle of Northampton – treachery over tactics

Marston Moor - a reckoning for the Royalists #90SecondHistory

Thu 2nd July 2020
Marston Moor, which took place on 2 July 1644, was one of the biggest battles of the English Civil War. It is famous for the discipline of Cromwell’s cavalry, Prince Rupert’s first defeat, and the end of royal power in the north.
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Marston Moor - a reckoning for the Royalists #90SecondHistory

How Cropredy Bridge created the New Model Army #90SecondHistory

Mon 29th June 2020
​On June 29 in 1644, at the height of the English Civil War, Parliamentarian troops stalked Royalists along the River Cherwell. The subsequent fight became known as the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, and Parliament's defeat led to the formation of the New Model Army. 
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How Cropredy Bridge created the New Model Army #90SecondHistory

Julian Humphrys on his English Civil War tours

Thu 25th June 2020
Julian Humphrys spent 12 years at Chelsea’s National Army Museum, led English Heritage’s Battlefield hikes programme and works with the Battlefields Trust, the UK Charity preserving Britain’s historic battlefields. Here he chats about the English Civil War tours he leads in Oxford and Bath.
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Julian Humphrys on his English Civil War tours

​The third and final siege of Oxford #90secondhistory

Thu 25th June 2020
On June 25 in 1646 the Royalists surrendered Oxford to their Parliamentarian foes, confirming the end of England's bitter civil war. Here's how Oxford's part in the English Civil War played out. 
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​The third and final siege of Oxford #90secondhistory

​Marlborough specialist talks history, tours and the thrill of being "there"

Thu 18th June 2020
We chat to James Falkner, a specialist in the Wars of Spanish Succession, about his fascination with John Churchill and how to make the most of a history holiday.
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​Marlborough specialist talks history, tours and the thrill of being "there"

Napoleon's tactical errors at Waterloo #90secondhistory

Thu 18th June 2020
The Battle of Waterloo saw Napoleon's French army defeated by a coalition of forces led by the Duke of Wellington and Marshall Blucher in Belgium. In this article, we look at the tactical errors that led to Napoloeon's defeat.
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Napoleon's tactical errors at Waterloo #90secondhistory

The Battle of Naseby #90secondhistory

Thu 11th June 2020
The Battle of Naseby took place 375 years ago on June 14, 1645. Fought near Naseby, in Northamptonshire, it is important as the decisive battle in the first English Civil War.
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The Battle of Naseby #90secondhistory

Seeing Britain's best preserved battlefields for yourself

Thu 11th June 2020
You can read books and study maps, but until you are actually there, on the ground, you cannot fully understand what a battle scene or landscape is and how that panorama influenced the events that occurred there.
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Seeing Britain's best preserved battlefields for yourself

Alternative activities for partners

Thu 4th June 2020
​One of the biggest hurdles for people taking part in history holidays is how to keep your partner happy if they don’t share your passion for the past. We've got the answer. 
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Alternative activities for partners

Take the pain out of planning your history holiday

Thu 28th May 2020
If you’ve ever tried to plan you own history holiday you’ll understand the stress of making it work. Join our expert-led holidays and your DIY history tours will be… history. 
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Take the pain out of planning your history holiday

History holidays that keep your partner happy too

Thu 28th May 2020
You want to take a history holiday but your partner doesn’t share your love of the past. So we offer lower prices to partners who want to skip the tours.
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History holidays that keep your partner happy too

​The joys of armchair travel

Fri 22nd May 2020
One of the best ways to travel - is in our minds. And in our current restricted circumstances, what better way to experience the joys of travel than allowing evocative maps and stunning images to get our travelling juices going?
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​The joys of armchair travel

​A sense of place: Peter Allport

Thu 7th May 2020
I have always believed that places where great moments of history have happened retain the memory of those events in the earth and buildings, in the hedges, trees, fields, bricks and stones. There is more under the ground than above the ground.
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​A sense of place: Peter Allport

​Medieval Wales in Five Objects

Thu 30th April 2020
What objects bring you closer to a period of history that fascinates you? TV historian and blogger Claire Miles gives us a tour of medieval Welsh history in five objects.
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​Medieval Wales in Five Objects

These are the times that try men’s souls

Thu 23rd April 2020
These are the times that try men's souls, and we can turn to stories from our past to give us that enthusiasm and courage to go again, to prepare, to plan and to act.
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These are the times that try men’s souls

​Marlborough in Ireland: the making of England's great military leader

Thu 16th April 2020
Before embarking on his campaign against the French in Belgium, the Duke of Marlborough fought for William III in Ireland, providing a direct link between our two expert-led history tours, the War of the Three Kings in Ireland and Marlborough’s Victories in Belgium. 
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​Marlborough in Ireland: the making of England's great military leader

A sense of place: Barry Hilton

Thu 9th April 2020
We asked Barry Hilton, an expert in the Williamite and Jacobite wars in Ireland, to tell us where he feels a sense of history most strongly. 
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A sense of place: Barry Hilton

​A sense of place: James Falkner

Fri 3rd April 2020
In the first of a new series on a Sense of Place, we asked James Falkner, one of the UK's leading experts on the Wars of the Spanish Succession, to tell us where he feels the pull of history most strongly. 
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​A sense of place: James Falkner

​How Marlborough used rivers to support his victories in Belgium

Fri 27th March 2020
The Duke of Malborough's understanding of how to use rivers and waterways was a strategic strength that helped him overcome the French through his victories in Belgium. 
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​How Marlborough used rivers to support his victories in Belgium

Reading ideas for War of Three Kings in Ireland

Thu 19th March 2020
We asked Barry Hilton, our expert guide for the War of Three Kings in Ireland tour, to tell us about his favourite books on the subject. It's a comprehensive list, but he suggests any of the following are a good place to start.
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Reading ideas for War of Three Kings in Ireland

A reading list for Marlborough's Victories in Belgium

Fri 6th March 2020
We asked James Falkner, a renowned historian and expert on the War of the Spanish Succession, to recommend a reading list for our history tour, Marlborough's Victories in Belgium
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A reading list for Marlborough's Victories in Belgium