My Old Kentucky Home: Battles, Baseball and Bourbon
18 - 25 October 2020
£ 3,075.00 per person (does not include air fare)
no single supplement
Deposit per person
In 1861 two natives of Kentucky were elected President and one ran but was not elected. The dominant politicians, including “The Great Compromiser” and the architect of the Crittenden Compromise were also a representative of the Blue Grass state. Long reputed for fast horses and rightfully famous for Bourbon whiskey, the state gave us Kentucky Fried Chicken and the “Louisville Lip—Muhammad Ali. We’ve Cricket they have Baseball and no place is more famous than the factory making the “Louisville Slugger” bat and the home of the first American baseball team—the Cincinnati Red Stockings—just 4 years after the Civil War. This is a real taste of American culture that is not to be missed.
Fly from London Heathrow to Cincinnati (one internal change)where you will be met by your host and escorted to your hotel where you will receive your reading book and meet your fellow travelers.
Overnight near the Cincinnati airport.
US Grant is the great hero of the Civil War our morning examines his humble beginnings along the banks of the Ohio River and gives you a solid grounding in the famous “Underground Railroad.” You will see where fugitive slaves escaped into Ohio and consider how Cincinnati based Harriett Beecher Stowe conceptualized Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Magee’s Bakery comes highly recommended for lunch. Our time in Maysville, Kentucky will permit you to take the heralded walking tour from their National Geographic Guidebook—some really smashing sites. The day finishes with a visit to the 1782 Blue Licks Battlefield—site of a Loyalist victory ten months after Cornwallis surrendered and a look at Daniel Boone’s origins.
Overnight for two nights in Lexington, Kentucky.
This morning will commence with a walking tour of historic Lexington, Kentucky in its guidebook and the day starts with that walk with the highlight being the famous and beautiful Lexington Cemetery where Henry Clay, John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge are buried. We will then tour the palatial home of Henry Clay—Ashland. The afternoon takes in the smashing Confederate victory at the August 1862 battle of Richmond (Kentucky) and the new National Park Service site at Camp Nelson where African American soldiers trained to fight for the Union.
Queen Elizabeth 11 is a keen horseracing fan and she has visited the Kentucky horse farms—you will visit one of the most famous on a behind the scenes tour of Keeneland. Of course the Kentucky Derby made Mint Juleps famous and we will also tour one of the oldest distilleries learning how and sampling the products of Buffalo Trace Distillery. As we make our way to Louisville for our two night stay, we will visit the graves of Daniel Boone and “Old Rough and Ready”, President Zachary Taylor. Taylor’s children included Sarah (Jefferson Davis’s first wife) and Confederate general Richard Taylor.
Louisville is one of the great American cities and we’ve selected four great experiences: Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger (baseball) Museum, the Mohammed Ali Museum and gravesite and a dinner cruise on the Ohio River.
We start with the famous George S. Patton Museum at Fort Knox. We then head to Bardstown to visit the great Barton’s Distillery where the American version of Bailey’s is bottled—a wonderful blend of bourbon and cream. The afternoon brings us to visit the great 19th century songwriter, Stephen Foster and “My Old Kentucky Home.” The day finishes with a visit to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and boyhood home. We overnight in Elizabethtown.
Moving ahead we encounter Braxton Bragg’s 1862 Invasion of Kentucky at Mundfordsville and the 1861 clash at Rowlett’s Station. A unique treat is a historic tour of Mammoth Cave National Park. We will meet famous cavalryman John Hunt Morgan at Tebbs Bend. The day finishes at a new National battlefield, site of the 1861 Battle of Mill Springs, but perhaps the most memorable site of all might be the museum at the home of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken! The evening finds us in Somerset.
The biggest battle of the Civil War in Kentucky was at Perryville in October 1862. We spend the morning touring this largely preserved and pristine battlefield afterwards moving back to the 18th century at Old Fort Harrod site of the first permanent settlement in Kentucky. The afternoon will take us to a unique religious sect that is now largely extinct—the Shakers. Shaker Village is authentic and if circumstances allow we will overnight in the old village or close by. A farewell dinner will be held at in the Shaker Village Dining Room.
Today we return to Cincinnati to wrap up, stopping at President Taft’s home, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Museum at Great American Ball Park and Skyline Chili for a famous Chili and Coney Hot Dog lunch. All American and all encompassing—perhaps our best Americana tour ever.
Return to the Cincinnati Airport for your return flight to London (one internal change)
Arrive London Heathrow