The Wars of the Roses in Yorkshire Tour

2 nights starting from

  • Sandal Castle – scene of the Battle of Wakefield in 1460

  • Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds

  • Towton Battlefield and St Mary’s Church, Saxton

  • York and its magnificent Minster

  • Middleham Castle – once the childhood home of Richard III

One of Travel Editions’ most popular and hard-working experts is medieval historian, Julian Humphrys, whose historical knowledge is matched only by his enthusiasm in imparting information in a clear and entertaining manner. The latest subject to feature on his portfolio of tours is the War of the Roses. We all know that the houses of Lancaster and York were at loggerheads, and each has a different colour rose - red for Lancashire and white for Yorkshire and that the two counties have a fierce rivalry, both sporting and otherwise, that continues to this day. This tour will provide the historical backdrop to this rivalry with a series of talks, visits and tours that reveal the truth behind the legends. Joining Julian will be Dr Nicola Tallis who will lend her experience and knowledge to the unfolding of the tale.

Available Departures


10 - June - 2024 Limited Availability Travel Info On Request

Provisional Timings


Day 1: Arrive independently at the Parsonage Hotel, Escrick from 15.00. 
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk by Julian Humphrys, ‘Yorkshire and the Wars of the Roses’.

Day 2: Sandal Castle, Royal Armouries in Leeds, Townton Battlefield and St Mary’s Church, Lead, Saxton
A packed day of visits starts with Sandal Castle, first constructed in the 1180s, and central to the 1460 Battle of Wakefield. From here we head into Leeds and the superb Royal Armouries Museum, home to the UK’s national collection of arms and armour, including those employed in the 15th century. After time for lunch (not included), we head to Saxton for a tour of the Towton Battlefield in 1461 which secured the crown for the Yorkists. And finally to All Saint’s Church which is home to the 17th-century tomb of Lord Dacre and the modern memorial stone. The inscription on Dacre’s Tomb reads, ‘Here lies Ralph Lord of Dacre and Gilsland, a true soldier valiant in battle in the service of Henry VI, who died Palm Sunday 29 March 1461, on whose soul God have mercy’. Supposedly, this isn’t just the resting place of Lord Dacre - his horse is buried with him and gravediggers in 1861 discovered the skull of a horse very near the tomb, so it may be true that Lord Dacre was buried upright, astride his horse, as legend has it. Evening talk from Dr Nicola Tallis – ‘Women and the Wars of the Roses’ and dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: York and Middleham Castle
This morning we head to York to visit its magnificent Minster and its ramparts, explored on guided walks in small groups with Minster guides, Julian and Nicola. York Minster, completed in 1472 and the second largest Gothic Cathedral in Europe is one of England’s most important buildings. York’s ramparts featured massively in the Wars of the Roses – one of the gates, Bootham Bar is mentioned in Shakespeare’s Henry IV part II and was used to display the heads of traitors, including Thomas Mowbray. A host of tales will be recounted by your erudite guides. After time for lunch (not included) we head to our last visit in the telling of this epic tale - Middleham Castle in the Yorkshire Dales. Once the childhood home of Richard III, you can relive the castle’s illustrious history and unlock the deeds of its great owners. Although roofless, extensive remains of the fortified palace still survive, giving a fascinating insight into medieval life, especially when to brought to life by your guides. Arrival back at the hotel for approx. 18.00hrs.  

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 40 passengers.


  • Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the Parsonage Hotel, Escrick, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night three-course dinner with wine
  • Second night dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Coach touring itinerary and tour manager throughout


  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Hotel Car Parking
  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities 


Parsonage Hotel & Spa, Escrick
Lovely three-star hotel dating from the 1840s, located in extensive grounds in the village of Escrick, six miles south of York. The hotel boasts a restaurant, bar, and spa as well as comfortable bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Complimentary Parking

Hotel Website


Your Guides
Julian Humphrys 
Julian read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historical sites both in Britain and overseas and is now a trustee of the Battlefields Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and has published numerous books on castles and battles. He currently leads more than a dozen tours for Travel Editions and imparts his extraordinary historical knowledge with wit and panache, making a tour led by him both an educational and entertaining experience.\

Dr Nicola Tallis 
Dr Nicola Tallis is an independent historian and researcher, who has also worked as a curator and lecturer. She received her doctorate from the University of Winchester in 2019 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Nicola has worked with Historic Royal Palaces and the National Trust, and has appeared on BBC’s Countryfile, Who Do You Think You Are? and Booktalk. She is also a regular contributor to history magazines and radio. Nicola has given talks at the Emirates Literature Festival, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the National Archives, and the British Library to name but a few. She is the author of four critically acclaimed books: Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane GreyElizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of LeicesterUncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch, and All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445-1548: Power, Majesty and Display.

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 6pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.

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