About the tour: Alfred the Great

With a heritage going back over many decades, Holts has become synonymous for high quality in-depth Battlefield and Historical tours. In the following collection of tours, we have focused on a selection of Historical tours covering a period of British History over the past centuries. All of these tours are led by Dr. Michael Jones, who has been guiding tours for over 20 years and his particular interest is in battlefield psychology.

Tour Includes

  • 2 nights hotel with English breakfast
  • 1 lunch & 2 evening meals
  • Specialist Historical Guide
  • Travel by executive coach


Once you have booked your tour either online, or by telephone ( 01709 787 463 ), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can:

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Tour Itinerary

Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
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    There is a wonderful irony in the fact that the only King of these Islands given the title ‘the Great’ is best known in popular mythology for burning the cakes! Can we get a bit closer to the man and his times? Alfred was a warrior, an administrator and a scholar. He was forced into the field in early youth, fighting against the Danes along the chalk ridges south of the Thames, including the crucial Saxon victory at the battle of Ashdown. In 878 the Danes again came in strength, overrunning Wessex by a surprise mid-winter attack on Alfred’s court at Chippenham and sending the King, with a small army of warriors, to a retreat to the fenland around Athelney in the depth of the Somerset marshes. This is the period of the absent-minded burning of the cakes and no wonder; Alfred had other things on his mind, planning to regain his kingdom and give security to his people. At the battle of Ethandun (878) the decisive defeat of the Danish armies was followed by the Treaty of Wedmore. The King could now turn to pleasanter tasks, bringing over scholars to revive English learning, translating Bede’s Latin Bible into Anglo Saxon and initiating the writing of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. In the last 20 years of his life, he created an army to defend, and a system of fortified burghs, which grew into the towns (boroughs) we know today. Dr. Michael Jones will lead you through this fascinating period, helping you to decide if you think Alfred deserves the title ‘The Great’.

    Meet at the Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre by 14.00hrs. Introduction and background. We discuss the crucial Saxon victory at the Battle of Ashdown (871). Stay two nights in Bristol. Group dinner.

    • Included meals: Dinner

    Defeat, retreat and resurgence; We start today by looking at the attack at Chippenham and retreat to Athelney. We visit Aller, and later look at the decisive defeat of the Danish armies at the battle of Ethandun (878) and the Treaty of Wedmore. Group dinner.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Building the burghs and encouraging learning. Visits to Cricklade and Malmesbury.Group lunch. Depart by 16.00hrs.

    • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Your Excursions

    Included Excursions & Visits

    • Historical visits as described

    Optional Excursions & Visits

    Prices are per person, based on two sharing.

    Extras: optional excursions; entrance fees to museums and places of interest; single room supplement £95; travel insurance from £16.50.

    Your tour is led by Specialist Historical Guide Dr. Michael Jones who developed his love of history at Bristol University, and his interests range from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. He is the author of Bosworth 1485 - Psychology of a Battle and a battlefield guide to Agincourt. He has been guiding tours for over 20 years and his particular interest is in battlefield psychology. 

    Alfred the Great

    Book online OR call our friendly travel advisers on:
    01709 787 463


    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

    You will stay for two nights at the 4-star Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre. Within walking distance of Bristol's main attractions, the hotel offers state-of-the-art rooms, a restaurant and bar.

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      *Please note pickups are subject to availability.

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      Alfred the Great

      Book online OR call our friendly travel advisers on:
      01709 787 463