Follow in the footsteps of the Last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harold Godwinson, as he fights to defend his fledgling kingdom against Harald Hardrada and his own brother Tostig near York at Stanford Bridge; before travelling south to Pevensey, on the East Sussex coast, where William Duke of Normandy came ashore. Explore the battlefield at Battle near Hastings where the fate of the English crown was to be decided.
Join our team of battlefield historians on this four-day tour that leads you across the ground over which these epic battles were fought. Listen as they tell you about the momentous events that took place and recount stories of the heroic deeds carried out by the men who took part.
Our In The Footsteps® Four-Day 1066 – Invasion Tour begins at 09:00 hrs when we collect you from your agreed pick-up location in London and drive you to York.
On arriving in York, we begin by exploring the battlefield at Fulford where Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, and Tostig, King Harold’s renegade brother, defeated the northern English earls, Edwin Earl of Mercia and Morcar Earl of Northumbria, on 20 September 1066 before laying siege to York itself. The citizens of York surrendered four days later and agreed to send representatives to Stamford Bridge the next day to meet with Hardrada and Tostig to decide the city’s fate.
With our tour of the Fulford battlefield complete, we head into York where we check into our tour hotel. You are free to explore this historic city in the evening and can purchase dinner in our tour hotel or the local area, as you prefer.
Day two begins when we check-out of our York hotel at 09:00 hrs to begin exploring the battlefield at Stamford Bridge.
On receiving news of Harold Hardrada’s and Tosig’s landing in the north, King Harold Godwinson led his army north and in just four days arrived at Tadcaster on 24 September 1066, just seven miles from the anchored Norwegian fleet which was at Riccall. The next day he marched his army through York and out to the east of the city towards Stamford Bridge. Hardrada and Tostig, expecting to receive the citizens of York, had left their base that morning clad only in their light armour. As they waited, they saw the glint of helmets approaching and soon realised that King Harold with his heavily armoured host was descending upon them. Legend has it that the bridge at Stamford was held by a single Norseman giving time for Harold Hardrada and Tostig to regroup their small force into a shield-wall formation. King Harold’s Englishmen, however, crossed by a nearby ford and soon battle was joined. Harold Hardrada’s army was defeated; the King of Norway being struck in the throat by an arrow and killed early in the battle.
Our tour of the battlefield at Stamford Bridge complete, we begin our journey south on route to Pevensey where Duke William’s fleet came ashore. We stop overnight at Northampton and dinner can be taken in our hotel.
Day three begins when we check out of our Northampton hotel at 09:00 hrs to continue our southward journey to Pevensey.
Whilst King Harold Godwinson was occupied in the north, dealing with Harold Hardrada’s and Tosig’s invasion, Duke William’s fleet had set sail from Dives-sur-Mer. Several of William’s ships sank in the Channel storms and his fleet was forced to take shelter at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and wait for a more favourable wind. On 27 September 1066 the wind changed, and the Norman fleet finally set sail for England. Duke William and his Normans landed at Pevensey on the coast of East Sussex the following day.
On arriving at Pevensey, we visit the beach where Duke William’s fleet landed, before taking the opportunity to visit Pevensey Castle, an excellent example of an English castle that chronicles graphically the story of Britain’s south coast defences.
We then head into Hastings where we check into our tour hotel. You are free to explore this seaside town in the evening and can purchase dinner in our tour hotel or the local area, as you prefer.
Day four begins when we check out of our Hastings hotel at 09:00 hrs to drive to the small town of Battle.
King Harold’s victory at Stamford Bridge was thus short-lived and he had to turn his army around and marched 241 miles (386 kilometres) to intercept William. On arriving at a spot to the north of Hastings King Harold’s army built an earthwork barring Duke William’s direct route to London; Harold Godwinson had the advantage, all he had to do was wait for reinforcements to arrive and then push William back into the sea.
Duke William knew that he had to act before King Harold’s force was reinforced and so brought his forces closer to Harold’s. The armies of the two opposing claimants clashed at Senlac Hill (near the present town of Battle) on 14 October 1066.
Here we visit the battlefield where the fate of the English Crown was decided after nine hours of hard fighting when King Harold Godwinson was killed, and his forces routed. King Harold’s forced march to fight Harold Hardrada and Tostig at Stamford Bridge and then move at utmost speed south to meet the Norman invasion, all in less than three weeks, is widely seen as a primary factor in Duke William’s victory at Hastings. Indeed, William’s victory was a tight-run thing as he was close to defeat when Harold Godwinson was slain.
Our tour of the Battle of Hastings battlefield is complete, we return to London and drop you off at your agreed location at approximately 17:00 hrs.
Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.
* This price is based upon:
Costs may vary from those shown above due to the availability and selection of hotels, and other associated cost variations at the time of booking.
A supplement of £150.00 GBP applies where single occupancy is required.
An additional supplement may apply for anniversary dates to cover any increase in the associated costs.
A deposit of 30% or £200.00 per person, whichever is the greater, is payable on booking.
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