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Go Medieval with These New Bespoke Historical Tours of England  | Frommer's / Shutterstock

Go Medieval with These New Bespoke Historical Tours of England

A new tour operator based in the scenic and once hotly contested England-Wales border region aims to connect travelers to the castles, battles, and chain mail–centric fashions of the Middle Ages.  

Known as Timequest, the company, which launched earlier this year, offers customized guided tours for small groups of no more than eight participants, who collaborate with the tour operator to come up with an itinerary especially suited to the guests' specific medieval interests. 

You certainly have plenty of options in the corner of southwestern England where Timequest is headquartered. 

"There are almost 50 castles within a one-hour drive of our base" in Herefordshire, Timequest's Richard P. Jeynes told Frommer's in an email. The archaeologist and educator says you can see biggies like Goodrich Castle (pictured at the top of this post) as well as smaller sites that are "in our view far more interesting and well off the normal tourist trail."

In addition to all those strongholds erected by Norman lords, there are enough nearby battlefields to fill several Shakespearean history plays, including Tewkesbury and Bosworth Field, both of Wars of the Roses fame.

Tours can make time for the cathedrals of Worcester and Gloucester, timber-framed market towns, kings' tombs, and saints' relics, too. 

Aside from its bespoke itineraries, Timequest differentiates itself from the competition, according to Jeynes, by employing "guides and guest speakers [who] are highly qualified leaders in their fields"—erudite and engaging experts in archaeology, the Crusades, military history, and other pertinent topics. "They are not simply reciting a well rehearsed script," says Jeynes. 

What's more, the company gives tourgoers the chance to get some firsthand medieval combat training with longbow archery lessons, tabletop war games involving detailed models of famous battles, and, at certain times of year, visits to battle reenactments at medieval festivals.

(Timequest archery experience | Photo courtesy of Timequest)

Since tours are tailored to individual groups, prices vary widely, starting at £85 ($103) per person for a half-day archery experience or around £100–£150 ($122–$182) per person for a full day of castle- and battlefield-going. 

Multiday tours feature accommodations at the Verzon House Hotel in Ledbury, at a discounted nightly rate of £120 ($146), on top of the cost of tours and activities. 

(Verzon House Hotel in Ledbury, England | Photos courtesy of  Timequest)

Rail links will get you to nearby Gloucester from London in about 2 hours or from Birmingham in about an hour. From the Gloucester train station, Timequest reps can pick you up. Or you can always try securing a ride by frantically offering your kingdom for a horse à la Richard III at Bosworth Field. 

For more information, including details on how to book, go to