Nick Lipscombe ~ Battlefield Tours 2022
The tour begins with a drive down the Tagus Valley to Toledo before taking in the battle at Talavera; then to the crossing at Almaraz before heading towards the Portuguese border. Here we take in the bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War at Albuera and the equally brutal siege at Badajoz. Then to the fortified town of Elvas, Portugal, a UNESCO world heritage site steeped in history, before heading north again via the atmospheric Roman bridge at Alcántara and onto the 14th Century Parador at Ciudad Rodrigo. Back across to Portugal and the perfectly preserved fortified town of Almeida where we examine the action across the River Coa. It was here that 'Black' Bob Craufurd so nearly lost the elite Light Division. The major battle on the border at Fuentes de Oñoro is visited in detail, along with a trip to Wellington’s headquarters at Freineda. Finally, we travel to Salamanca, a beautiful and culturally rich city with the best preserved Peninsular War battlefield. You will stay at great hotels and have every opportunity to witness and enjoy Spanish hospitality and culture in these varied regions of central and western Spain.
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8 - 15 September 2022
3 - 10 June 2022
The French invaded Portugal three times between 1807 and 1811. Each time the nation’s saviour was Arthur Wellesley the future Duke of Wellington. The first invasion in 1807 by General Junot, ended following Wellesley’s victory at Vimeiro in August 1808. The second invasion by Marshal Soult in 1809 ended abruptly following Wellesley’s extraordinarily audacious operation to recapture the city of Porto in broad daylight, forcing Soult’s force into a harrowing retreat over the mountains in north Portugal. In 1810 the third invasion by Marshal Masséna came to an equally dramatic end in front of the Lines of Torres Vedras necessitating, the following year, Marshal Ney to conduct a series of rearguard actions for the French to escape only to be defeated on the Portuguese-Spanish border at Fuentes de Oñoro in 1811.
This is the first rerun of a series of three tours that Nick ran/is running for The Cultural Experience on the First English Civil War 1642-1646. This opening tour will look at the first two years of conflict; the road to war, the struggle to arm and the advantage enjoyed by the Royalists in the early encounters. The tour will examine the first skirmish of the war near Worcester, the key battle of Edgehill, the struggle for (England’s second city) Bristol, the key battles of Lansdown and Roundway Down and culminates in the first battle at Newbury in September 1643.
We will visit some well preserved and accessible battlefields set amongst the picturesque rolling countryside of the Cotswolds and south-west England. The chance to stay in some fine hotels and visit a number of historic cities and towns to create a well-balanced and fascinating tour.
23 - 28 August 2022
Sir John Moore assumed command of the British Army in October 1808 and led it across Portugal and Spain to link up with his Spanish allies to commence a campaign against his better wishes. At much the same time Napoleon arrived in the Peninsula at the head of 125,000 battle hardened veterans. Having restored his brother back on the Spanish throne, Napoleon turned his attention to remove Moore’s army which he dubbed the ‘troublesome British leopard’. With his lines of communication compromised, Moore was forced to retreat in the dead of winter over the inhospitable Galician mountains, his army fighting tenacious rear-guard actions to facilitate their escape to Corunna where they turned to face the French. It is a harrowing yet heroic story of a retreat in often freezing conditions where hunger, tiredness and inadequate clothing were as much an enemy to Moore’s men as their French pursuers in their desperate race to the coast and the succour of waiting Royal Navy transport.
5 - 11 May 2022