Political Tours http://www.politicaltours.com Intelligent Travel for Enquiring Minds Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:03:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The End of the Union? http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/end-of-the-uk/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/end-of-the-uk/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:53:02 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4780 The End of the United Kingdom? tour

The End of the United Kingdom? Tour
May 30 – June 2015

Is the UK about to break up? Join us on a UK tour that looks at fall out from the General Election and prospects for major political reform.

The inexorable rise of the Scottish National Party is putting renewed pressure on Britain’s political establishment to change the way it governs. The consequences point to a major shake up of the constitution or the break up of the United Kingdom.

Just weeks after the May election Political Tours will take a journey through Britain that examines the fall out from the polls and looks at the possibilities for reform.

Our study-tour starts in Edinburgh, the seat of Scottish government and winds its way through Glasgow, and then onto Manchester and Salford. The four day journey ends in London. We look at the impact of devolution in Scotland, and the possibility of giving greater powers to English regions and cities. We also consider the huge shifts taking place in British politics where the established political parties face unprecedented threats from left and right.

To find out more, click here ».

Expert Led UK Election Tour

The tour is led by Alex Salmon’s unofficial biographer, David Torrance, also a frequent commentator on constitutional reform and will feature contributions from some of Britain’s best known commentators.

The journey ends in London with a debate at Prospect Magazine where we ask the question Can the United Kingdom last beyond the next parliament?

Please contact Paula Hewlett at Political Tours for further information.

To book call 0834 2892349 or email info@politicaltours.com.


http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/end-of-the-uk/feed/ 0
From Iran to North Korea: London Dinners in March http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/from-iran-to-north-korea-london-dinners/ http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/from-iran-to-north-korea-london-dinners/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:29:40 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4770 Come and join us for dinner in London later this March looking at Iran and North Korea.

We have two events that look at these two countries in-depth.

On Thursday 26th March we will be meeting in London with a North Korean guest who will give us a truly gripping account of life inside North Korea. We will also be joined by one of the UK’s leading experts on North Korea, John Everard, the former British Ambassador in Pyongyang for an update on the situation there. The cost for the meal and speakers fee is £55.00 a head (excluding drinks / alcohol). It’s worth booking quickly as we have a limited number of spaces available.

On Friday 27th March, Michael Axworthy, the author of the widely praised book Revolutionary Iran and a Senior Lecturer at Exeter University, will be speaking at a dinner in Notting Hill about Iran. The cost for the dinner is also £55.00.

It’s an opportunity to learn about both regions and also meet other customers who been on our tours. There are limited places and it is first-come first-serve.

Email: info@politicaltours.com to book a place for either dinner.


http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/from-iran-to-north-korea-london-dinners/feed/ 0
Tours this Autumn and 2015 http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/autumn-and-2015-tours/ http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/autumn-and-2015-tours/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:29:52 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4345 What an incredible start to the autumn tour season it has been. In early September we witnessed the lead up to the Scots referendum and the turmoil that has ensued. We are far from sure the UK will remain intact for long.

There’s no lack of major news further afield either. Here’s our overview of our tours for 2015.

In February we have one space left on a tour (Feb 2-12, 2015) to Israel and Palestine, a tour that has proved very popular this year. It will also run again later in 2015 (Oct 6-15). Please contact us for details about any of these dates.

Tours of Ukraine

In November we have the opportunity to go back to Ukraine. We have had three small group tours there this year, all accompanied by the former BBC journalist, Leonid Ragozin. It looks at the fallout from the revolution and the prospects for peace in the east. We have very good access here and are careful to avoid the conflict in the east. We can arrange bespoke tours for a minimum of 5 people. We are also taking reservations for a group tour in the week of November 15-23. It will be an interesting time to travel, just after the elections.

Tours of South Africa

In Feb-March (27 Feb – 8 March) the highly amusing Peter Sullivan, former editor of the Star newspaper is back on the road again with our South Africa tour. This is a wonderful trip that takes in huge array of landscapes, people and politics. One of our favourites.

Tours of China & North Korea

Later in 2015 we go to China (4 – 12 Sept) with National Public Radio’s long time correspondent there, Anthony Kuhn, for an unprecedented view of modern China. Professor Ruediger Frank has also just returned from our first tour to the remote northeast of the DPRK. The group all had an incredible experience and we will be doing two tours to North Korea next year. In late April we look at Pyongyang (25 Apr – 5 May) and head off into the northeast region in September(12 – 22 Sept).

If you are heading anywhere in the world and want to try one of our day tours accompanied by a local correspondent do let us know and we can create private political tour for you.

Please email info@politicaltours.com if you want to book a place on any of the trips and tours. Or just call us on +44 843 289 2349.

http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/autumn-and-2015-tours/feed/ 0
Tour Israel and Palestine http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/tour-israel-and-palestine/ http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/tour-israel-and-palestine/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 12:21:39 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4335 Since we launched Political Tours back in 2011 – inspired, as founder Nicholas Wood wrote here, by the desire to bridge the gap between external impressions and on-the-ground reality – clients and tour-watchers have come back to us with one question above all others: when are you going to cover Israel & Palestine?

Easy does it.

Israel & Palestine Conflict

The Israel-Palestine conflict needs no introduction – it is one of the world’s most enduring and intractable disputes. We didn’t want to rush in with snap judgments about rights and wrongs, and we wanted to avoid simply paying lip-service to the region’s own attempts at peacemaking and conflict resolution.

So we took our time, discussing ideas with our contacts on all sides, planning an approach that would bring maximum insight from the time available on the ground.

Now, we’re ready.

Uniquely Designed Tour

Our unique, personally designed Israel & Palestine tour runs twice next month, led by one of the region’s most accomplished and respected journalists, Nicolas Pelham of The Economist.

In the Political Tours tradition, it gets you to the heart of the matter. On the nine-night tour, you’ll hit the ground running, with unique access to communities and key figures. There are visits to Tel Aviv and Nablus, to Nazareth and Bethlehem, to the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. We spend the best part of three days crossing and recrossing Jerusalem to speak to all sides and see the city’s problems – and beauty – for ourselves. We speak to Palestinians and Israelis, farmers and settlers, Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze.

Book Your Israel & Palestine Tour Place

Condé Nast Traveller magazine previewed our tour in glowing terms here. The first departure (6th-15th October) is already sold out. A few places remain on the second departure (16th-25th October).

No time to waste.

For further details of our itinerary and the cost of the tour please contact our director Nicholas Wood at info@politicaltours.com.


http://www.politicaltours.com/tour-news/tour-israel-and-palestine/feed/ 0
Ukraine Tour – July 2014 http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-tour-july-2014/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-tour-july-2014/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 14:23:45 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4135 We are running a second travel tour to Ukraine this July 5-13 for a very limited number of customers.

The tour follows the success of our April tour this year where we were able to learn a considerable amount about recent events without going near the conflict areas in the east.

The tour is being led by the former BBC Moscow correspondent Leonid Ragozin and will include Kiev, and the cities of Dnepropetrovsk, Poltava and possibly Odessa and Kharkiv.

After working with the BBC Leonid co-authored the Lonely Planet guide to Ukraine.

In April Political Tours was able to meet with a range of analysts, journalists and local leaders in the region, as well as pro-Russian and pro-Maidan groups. The tour group also visited ousted former President Yanukovich’s resident Mezhihirya outside Kiev.

Book Your Ukraine Tour Place

Places for this tour will be limited.

For further details of our itinerary and the cost of the tour please contact our director Nicholas Wood at info@politicaltours.com.


http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-tour-july-2014/feed/ 0
A Bespoke Travel Tour in the Accursed Mountains http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/a-bespoke-tour-in-the-accursed-mountains/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/a-bespoke-tour-in-the-accursed-mountains/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 17:03:02 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4098 Land Rover’s magazine OneLife travelled with us to one of the most remote parts of Europe this spring; Theth in Northern Albania. The result can be seen in this beautiful film which features Elizabeth Gowing, a writer and an expert travel guide with Political Tours.

Theth is a remote village, cut off by snow during the winter, that maintains many of traditions and way of life that have died out elsewhere in the Balkans decades ago.

It is a region that has crept up repeatedly in travel writing, including by Edith Durham, Edward Lear and even Lord Byron. Fortunately it is now part of a national park, and the building development that has grown unfettered through out much the country has been kept abay.

Political Tours was able to create a tailor-made tour including the itinerary, provide guides, expertise and logistics for the magazine. It is something we are proud to say we can do in most places around the world.


http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/a-bespoke-tour-in-the-accursed-mountains/feed/ 0
Ukraine’s Revolution – Our Tour in April http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-revolution-tour/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-revolution-tour/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:21:06 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4066 We’ve been watching events in the Ukraine over the past week and have decided to seize the opportunity and take a small tour group there in April. It will run from April 5th to 13th.

It will be an amazing opportunity to see how the protest movement turned into a revolution and to see the dynamics inside the country amid the fallout from Russia’s occupation of the Crimea.

A leading Russian journalist and commentator will be joining the group as it’s tour leader. Political Tours Director, Nicholas Wood, will be on hand to help manage the tour.

The itinerary will look at recent events and history. We will spend some time in Kiev speaking to people in government and the protest movements. We will also head to Kharkiv or Donetsk, to assess the Russian perspective.

The cost will be £3200.00 with a possible single supplement of £300.00. Spaces will be limited.

For further details please call us at 0843 289 2349 and ask to speak to our director Nicholas. Or email info@politicaltours.com


http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/ukraine-revolution-tour/feed/ 0
Latest on the Crisis in Ukraine – A Russian Perspective http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/russian-perspective-on-ukraine-crisis/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/russian-perspective-on-ukraine-crisis/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:36:45 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=4060 Update: Konstantin Von Eggert gave an excellent talk on March 10 and insight into how Russia views the current crisis in Ukraine. We are now taking the opportunity to assess developments ourselves with a group tour this April. It will run from April 5-13. Please contact info@politicaltours.com for further details or call +44 843 289 2349.


We are delighted that Konstantin von Eggert, one of our key speakers on our tour of Russia will be visiting the UK this month and has agreed to give a talk to us over dinner on March 10th in London. Anyone is welcome. Contact info@politicaltours.com for further details or just call us and we’ll call you back.

Konstantin is one of the best-known journalists in Russia and was until recently editor-in-chief of Kommersant radio. He is exceptionally well placed to provide an update on recent events, notably Russia’s occupation of the Crimea.  The dinner will be limited to 12 people.

Our next group tour to Russia takes place between June 1-8 this year. Please contact us to make a booking.

Konstantin von Eggert

Konstantin von Eggert is a freelance commentator and consultant.  From 2010 to 2013 he worked for Kommersant FM radio in Moscow as a commentator and editor-in-chief.  In the 1990s he was a diplomatic correspondent for Izvesstia newspaper and later the BBC Russian Service Moscow bureau editor.  Konstantin has also spent some time working as ExxonMobil Vice President in Russia.  He was made Honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 2008.

http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/russian-perspective-on-ukraine-crisis/feed/ 0
Our Tours & Holidays for 2014 http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/tours-holidays-2014/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/tours-holidays-2014/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:40:54 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=3319 Political Tours and Trips 2014

Political Tours 2014

Israel and Palestine has been added to our list of destinations for 2014. Please contact us for further details at:

info@politicaltours.com or tel: 0843 289 2349.

To view our full list of tours for 2014 click here ».

Here is an overview of the schedule for the year:

London and The Financial Crisis Tours – Dates Throughout 2014

The impact of the banking crisis has affected all of us, as national debts have soared, government spending has been reigned in and jobs are cut. This two day tour looks at what caused the crisis and the evolution of modern banking from Big Bang and deregulation in the 1980′s to the zenith of “casino-banking” in 2007. Bankers and analysts will be on hand to guide participants. Throughout the two days, the group will be able to put questions to those who have been dealing with the largest financial crisis in almost a century.

To view our latest tours to London click here »

South Africa Tour 24th January – 2nd February 2014

Two decades on from Mandela’s release the success of post-apartheid South Africa is seen as an example to the world. The rainbow nation boasts a successful economy, is a regional power, and a popular tourist destination. Yet the ANC is under significant pressure from its supporters. Unemployment is high, communities lack basic services and allegations of corruption in government circles are widespread. From Kwa-Zulu Natal, to Johannesburg and the Western Cape we look at change in South Africa and its immediate future.

To view our latest tour to South Africa click here »

Kosovo 29th March – 5th April 2014

Kosovo is where the war in former Yugoslavia had its origins and came to an end in 1999. Today it is Europe’s youngest state, and is still seeking international recognition amid opposition from Serbia. We look at the country today, the relations between Serbs and Albanians and their recent past. It’s a country of many surprises; compact, diverse, both stunningly beautiful and ugly in parts. The tour runs back-to-back with our trip to Bosnia in April.

To view our latest tours to Kosovo click here »

Bosnia & Serbia 5th– 13th April 2014

Two decades on from the start of the war, Bosnia is becoming an ever increasingly popular tourist destination. Yet at the same time the divisions that remain from the end of the war are proving difficult to overcome. Bosnia’s ties with the EU are held hostage. We look at life today in the country; the relations between Bosnians, Croats and Serbs, the legacy of the war, and examine the hopes for change. The tour ends in Belgrade, Serbia.

To view our latest tours to Bosnia click here »

North Korea 26th April – 6th May 2014

Leading economist and professor of Korean studies, Rudiger Frank, takes us on a journey through the world’s most isolated state. We look at the lives of ordinary Koreans in schools, factories, farms and universities as well as the key sites in the capital. With pre-tour briefings from international agencies and commentators in Beijing this is an unparalleled insight into the region at a crucial period in its history.

To view our latest tours to North Korea click here »

Russia 1st – 8th June 2014

After the chaos and uncertainty of the 1990s Russia’s pride has been restored: its economy has boomed thanks to oil revenues and it is once again a major player in international affairs. Our tour looks at those changes, its relations with its neighbours, and the tensions between the government and opposition. From a small Russian republic, to the capital Moscow we see how Russian lives have changed and examine the prospects and possible legacy of Vladimir Putin.

To view our latest tours to Russia click here »

Greece 21st – 28th June 2014

Ordinary Greeks are faced with some of the most profound changes in their lives as the country struggles to tackle its sovereign debt crisis. The implications for the rest of Europe are substantial. If it succeeds to introduce reforms it may well remain within the Euro. If those efforts fail, it may be forced out, triggering similar crises across Southern Europe. From Samos, a beautiful island situated just a few kilometers from Turkey, to Athens and Corinth, we look at how Greece came to where it is today, and the government’s efforts to introduce reforms. We also look at the broader implications for Europe.

To view our latest tours to Greece click here »

Georgia 5th – 13th July 2014

In August 2008, the West’s relations with Moscow were brought into dramatic focus as Russian tanks moved within kilometres of the Georgian capital Tblisi. The conflict over South Ossetia had a dramatic impact on relations between the United States, the EU and Russia. Since then the free-market evangelist and president Mikheil Saakashvili has lost office and Georgia is trying to repair relations with its neighbour. Led by Neil MacFarlane, the Pearson Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and Keti Tsikhelashvili, Director of the Liberal Academy-Tbilsi, a leading Georgian think tank, we explore this stunningly beautiful country and see where it is headed today.

To view our latest tours to Georgia click here »

Northern Ireland 19th – 27th July 2014

The Northern Ireland conflict was once seen as one of the most intractable in the world. But now 14 years on from when the Good Friday agreement brought an end to the “troubles,” that process seems irreversible. We look at how the change came about, as well as the current threat from renegade paramilitaries. The biggest challenge facing most politicians though is not sectarian division, but the economy. The tour starts in Derry/Londonderry and ends in Belfast.

To view our latest tours to Northern Ireland click here »

China 4th – 13th September 2014

China’s rapid economic growth in the past decade has seen it emerge as a power to rival the United States. Internally the changes have had a profound impact on ordinary Chinese. We track the changes from the Cultural Revolution to China’s growth orientated policy. The tour takes us from small rural villages to the regional towns and the capital Beijing. We also look at the challenges to the political system. How has China’s communist party managed to embrace market economics, and what role is it likely to play as a new global power?

To view our latest tours to China click here »

Scotland 13th – 20th September 2014

Led by a charismatic and tenacious leader, Scotland’s independence movement seems poised to break up the United Kingdom. In 2014 on the 18th September, Scots will vote on the matter. We look at how this evolution has come about and its implications for the rest of the UK. The tour takes in Glasgow, Edinburgh as well as the highlands and plenty of good food. This is part of a series of tours that look at the UK’s changing shape and identity.

To view our latest tours to Scotland click here »

North Korea – The Remote North East 13th – 23rd September 2014

Leading economist and professor of Korean studies, Rudiger Frank, takes us on a journey through the world’s most isolated state. We look at the lives of ordinary Koreans in a new area of the country in the North East region where we have not visited before. With pre-tour briefings from international agencies and commentators in Beijing this is an unparalleled insight into the region at a crucial period in its history.

To view our latest tours to Remote North Korea click here »

Israel & Palestine 4th – 14th October 2014

This is a new tour for 2014. With the Middle East in turmoil there is renewed pressure on both sides in the peace process to reach an agreement. This ten day tour looks at key players on all sides of the divide; from Shas to Hamas, settlers in the West Bank and Israeli Arabs as well as Israeli officials and the Palestinian authority. What kind of solution, if any, can be found amid deep disillusionment in the political process?

There are limited spaces available for this tour.

Turkey 25th October – 2nd November 2014

Turkey is on the rise. Led by a conservative Islamist leader it is emerging as a significant power in the Mediterranean basin. But many, both in and outside Turkey, are unclear about its course. We examine Prime Minister Erdogan’s future direction, as some accuse him of a hidden Islamist agenda. We look at Islam and how it has been harnessed in some regions to boost the economy, giving rise to what some have called “Islamic calvanism.” We also look at Turkey’s policy towards its immediate neighbours, notably Syria. The tour covers Istanbul and Ankara as well as Gaziantep, a town on the border with Syria. The briefings and discussion will be interspersed with tours of key institutions, as well as historic sites, not to mention excellent food in some of Turkey’s best inns and restaurants.

To view our latest tours to Turkey click here »


The following tours are scheduled for the end of the year and are dependent on the security situation at that time. We may re-schedule them or cancel them as required. We have a list of people interested to travel, please let us know if you would like us to add your name:

Libya 16th -23rd November 2014

Libya’s revolution is one of the seminal moments in the Arab Spring. But the huge sense of optimism among ordinary people is giving way to fears over its immediate future. Our tour explores the fallout from the conflict, and asks how best can peaceful and durable political settlement be achieved. Leading analysts and diplomats provide briefings. We also visit some of Libya’s historic sites, which are regarded as the most exceptional in the Mediterranean. This tour will run back to back with our tour to Egypt so both tours can be booked together.

To view our latest tours to Libya click here »

Egypt 23rd November -1st December 2014

The January 25 Revolution launched in Cairo’s Tahrir Square has had profound implications for the Middle-East, and represents the biggest sea change in international affairs since the fall of the Berlin wall. Our seven-day tour examines the roots of the revolution and looks at where it is headed now. We look at the “democratic deficit”, the lack of development and autocratic rule – a common element in many Middle-Eastern countries – that fuelled the revolution. We travel to Cairo’s suburbs and a provincial town to see the everyday problems faced by ordinary Egyptians ; corruption, joblessness, and lack of services. And we look at the power-struggle between the military and the Muslim brotherhood ask where Egypt is headed now.

For further information on any of the tours or any other destination you may be interested in please contact us on info@politicaltours.com or call us on +44 843 289 2349.


http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/tours-holidays-2014/feed/ 0
South Africa Wine Tasting & Talk http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/south-africa-wine-tasting-talk/ http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/south-africa-wine-tasting-talk/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 14:10:19 +0000 http://www.politicaltours.com/?p=3260 Political Tours is holding a South African wine tasting and talk in Chipping Norton near its Oxfordshire based offices.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto in 2008. An Icon to all South African’s, Political Tours examines his legacy and the country’s future. © Thys Dullaart 2008

The talk will be an opportunity to hear Nicholas Wood, Political Tours’ Director, outline how the company was created and give an overview of our upcoming South Africa tour. Further details about the tour can be seen in the Daily Telegraph’s “South Africa: Political tours that offer an insiders view.” . See below for full details about the talk.

Reserve your place with Nicholas Wood and call 07855 266 151 or email info@politicaltours.com.

In 2009 former New York Times reporter Nicholas Wood left journalism to create a very unusual company. The result was Political Tours, a travel firm that takes people to explore news and current affairs around the world.

Since then Political Tours has been to places as varied as the US, Russia, Kosovo, Libya and even North Korea.

This Wednesday Nicholas will outline his unique approach and speak about the company’s next tour – to South Africa.

Local travel expert Nicola Leyland will be on hand to provide travel tips. All of this will be accompanied by some lovely South African wines introduced by Richard Shama. Venue: The Winebear, Chipping Norton. £5 entrance includes wine and South African nibbles!

To find our more about latest tour to South Africa click here »



http://www.politicaltours.com/news-articles/south-africa-wine-tasting-talk/feed/ 0