Wellington in Portugal

Wellington in Portugal

  • Belem Castle
    Belem Castle
  • Portrait of Duke of Wellington
    Duke of Wellington

The Peninsular War

Departing: Monday 15 June 2020
Returning: Monday 22 June 2020
Duration: 8 days

Price from: 

This tour will explore the history of the Peninsular War, known as the War of the French Invasions. The French invaded Portugal three times between 1807 and 1811, and each time the nation’s saviour was Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington.

We will explore the battlefield of Roliça, including both of the French positions, and visit the monument to Lieutenant-Colonel Lake. At the formidable ridge on which the Battle of Buçaco was fought, we will visit the battle monument, Massena’s headquarters, the military museum and Craufurd’s rock.

Further tour highlights will include the opportunity to enter the national park and see the magnificent Buçaco Palace and the Carmelite monastery where Wellington stayed. We also look forward to a visit to one of Porto’s fine port lodges, and to spending time in the university town of Coimbra.

Our tour includes a day spent in Lisbon and its environs, visiting sites including the atmospheric castle at Belem, the impressive military museum with its astonishing collection of artillery, before finishing at the dominating Castello de Sao Jorge.

We will also consider the actions at Pombal, Redinha and Foz de Arouce, where the French 39 Regiment lost a coveted eagle.

Our tour will be based at hotels of four-star standard.

This tour will be led by Colonel Nick Lipscombe, MSc, FRHistS and Professor Jeremy Black, MA Cantab, PhD Dunelm, FRSA. Nick served for 34 years with the British Army and is an accomplished historian, lecturer and author of the award-winning Peninsular War Atlas. Jeremy is a historian who specialises in post-1500 military history; he is a prolific author and Professor of History at the University of Exeter.

Tour Director Nick Lipscombe writes: “The Peninsular War ebbed and flowed across the Iberian Peninsula and into southern France, but the campaigns, battles and sieges in Portugal are, for me, perhaps the most exciting and spectacular. I was lucky enough to live in Iberia for more than ten years, including three years in the historic and atmospheric city of Lisbon. As a historian of the war, I was privileged to enjoy an insight into events from the Portuguese perspective. On this tour, we will walk in the footsteps of the Duke of Wellington and some of Napoleon’s greatest generals, in areas where the landscape has changed little, and the stories of war, hardship, friendship and love really do come alive in your imagination.”


  • Visit the dominating Castello de Sao Jorge
  • Explore the battlefield of Roliça, including both the French positions
  • Enjoy a visit to one of Porto's fine port lodges



Participants should have a good level of fitness and be prepared for some walking over uneven and rough ground, as well as several hotel changes.


Day 1 - Depart London Heathrow 1120 on TAP Air Portugal, arriving Lisbon 1405. Transfer to Obidos for overnight at The Literary Man Hotel. Introductory presentation.

Day 2 - Stand 1, Obidos; battlefield of Roliça; Columbeira; Lake’s Monument. Vimeiro: Stand 1, Porto Novo Bay; Stand 2, Hill’s Position; Stand 3: Vimeiro Hill and Visitor Centre; Stand 4, Junot’s Position; Stand 5, Village Church; Stand 6, Ventosa. Continue to Curia for two nights at Curia Hotel.

Day 3 - Excursion to Porto (Soult’s capture, Wellington’s re-capture) via Ovar. Stand 1, Convento do Serra Pillar; Stand 2, overlooking Seminary from south bank; Stand 3, Seminary Building. Afternoon: visit to Port Lodge.

Day 4 - Buçaco Ridge: Stand 1, Buçaco Monumento; Stand 2, San Antonio de Cantara; Stand 3, Wellington’s Headquarters. Visit the Military Museum. Stand 4, Massena’s Headquarters; Stand 5, Craufurd’s Rock. Visits to Carmelite Convent and Buçaco Palace. Continue to Lousã for two nights at Hotel Palacio da Lousã.

Day 5 - Pombal: Stand 1, Castle at Pombal; Stand 2, Bridge at Pombal. Redinha: Stand 3, Redinha Hill; Stand 4, Redinha Bridge. Continue to Coimbra followed by Foz d’Arouce: Stand 5, Hill; Stand 6, Bridge.

Day 6 - Torres Vedras: Stand 1, Torres Vedras Fort San Vincente. Pero Nego, Wellington Headquarters, Beresford House (Casal Cochim). Sobral: Stand 2, Monte Agraço; Stand 3, Fort 152 (Forto Novo). Alhandra, Fletcher’s Monument. Continue to Lisbon for two nights at Hotel Sana Lisboa.

Day 7 - Tower of Belem, Military Museum at Santa Apolónia, Castello de Sao Jorge.

Day 8 - Morning: El Cristo Rei Statue. Depart Lisbon 1505, arriving Heathrow 1745.


Address: Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, CB22 5BP
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 841055

*Price details

Price per person, flights included. Double room for single use supplement £325.

$3,706 - please note that this US Dollar price is based on the exchange rate in June 2019. Contact the operator for the most up-to-date price information.