Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ambient offers "wider view" to Shakespeare tourists

Ambient Tours division of Ambient Events Limited in Southwell, Nottinghamshire is offering a 7-day Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour in March and May this year. According to the brochure, Ambient's Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour:

 . . . provides an insight into the intrigue surrounding some of the most famous Tudor literary figures including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Fletcher, Edmund Spenser, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford and William Shakespeare. Your tour will examine the lives and times of these literary greats. We will visit some of the places where they lived, studied, performed, and wrote their great masterpieces.
Athough the London, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford itinerary doesn’t include Hedingham Castle and other specifically authorship-related sites, Dilley said the Tudor Poets & Playwrights Tour will offer wide scope to the Shakespeare authorship question:
When we started to research the concept over two years ago, it was clear to us that existing preconceptions about the Bard were open to interpretation. In addition, there were so many great Poets & Playwrights around at the same time to whom the accolade 'great' could also be attached.
After visiting Stratford Upon Avon and talking to the people at the Shakespeare Trust, we were struck by how little was known about William Shakespeare except where he was born, spent his early life, and when and where he died. 
We were sceptical that a person with such a limited education could have produced such masterpieces. This led us to examine the various theories about who could have been the author of the work attributed to Shakespeare in the First Folio. 
Many people are in the frame including Christopher Marlowe and Edward de Vere. 
This is why we chose to widen the scope of this particular tour to include visits the University Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge where most of the poets and playwrights associated with the period were known to have studied. 
During the tour, it our intention to present the known facts and the well published theories, to widen the knowledge of the groups that book with us and take them on a journey that will enable them to take a wider view and make up their own minds. Most of all they will enjoy a real cultural and Heritage experience. 
In some respects, we see the matter authorship as academic. Our four tours are intended to show how influential the Tudor period was in broadening the frontiers of the then known world as explorers, literary figures, creators of fine architecture and shrewd political operators. 
Whoever was the true author of the works of Shakespeare, and we shall probably never know for sure, they left a legacy and set the literary bench mark standards that are still applicable today.
Although no specifically Oxfordian tour is currently offered by his company, Dilley said Ambient Tours will create custom travel:
For groups of 20/30 people, who have a specific interest, or would like a more in-depth insight into particular aspects of any of our tours, it is possible to produce something of a more bespoke nature.  . . . We have researched the alternative authorship candidates and would have no problem in producing a bespoke Poets & Playwrights tour to include sites such as Castle Hedingham etc. 
We have done a lot of work on the Cecil family and whilst none of their London houses are still standing, Hatfield House (built by De Vere's brother-in-law) and Burghley House (built by his father-in-law) are featured in some of our other tours.
The tour packages have been developed by me, assisted by the manager of our Ambient Tours division, Ann Herdman. We both have a particular interest in Tudor England but felt that the myth often obscured the reality. With our 'On the Trail of the Tudors' tour packages we have set out to set the record straight.
What started as a purely commercial extension of my marketing communication and event management company has become almost a labour of love. We researched the subject for over three years before developing the product offerings that we are currently marketing.

Thanks to Robin Dilley, Managing Director of Ambient Events LimitedLockwood, Lower Kirklington Road, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. NG25 0DZ, Tel: +44 (0)1636 816989, Mobile:+44 (0)7778 993 717, email:, Internet:, Twitter:
and to Neala Schwartzberg, editor of Offbeat Travel at