On the 3rd September 1651, Charles 11, in a bid to regain the lost throne of the Stuarts led his army to defeat at the Battle of Worcester, the last of the English Civil War. It was a complete rout for the royalist army and Charles fled with a few loyal followers first North to Boscobel and then South to Bristol.
This 615-mile escape route across the country is now one of the longest inland trails in England and is known as the Monarch’s Way and can be walked today. A 21-year-old Charles spent six weeks evading all parliamentary forces in safe houses and priest holes whilst being disguised as a servant under the name of William Jackson.
Welcombe Hills vineyard sits proudly on Kings Lane which in turn is part of the Monarchs Way. I would like to think that had we been around almost 500 years ago a crisp English white wine or full bodied red would have raised this young man’s spirits and refreshed him for the long road ahead.
And how did this tail end? Well on Wednesday, 15 October, at 4am, King Charles II finally departed from England on board of The Surprise. Just two hours later, the soldiers would come and search the port for him, but the future King was well away to France.
In honour of this great escape watch our for our own homage to Charles 11 with the release of a special edition Kings Retreat coming soon!