• James McGee

Chalke Valley History Festival 2017...a date for the diary.

CVHF 2017 26th June - 2nd July.

It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was giving a plug for the 2016 Festival but here we are, only a few months away from this year's extravaganza and it's gearing up to be a cracker.

There'll be masses to see and do, especially when it comes to the living history displays, which will include archery and sword schools for all those budding Robin Hoods and Errol Flynns.

Among the other events there'll be a First World War training camp, Medieval knights, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Romans, as well as a large Napoleonic encampment with infantry, artillery and even mounted cavalry.

There'll also be fly pasts by some of the most beautiful and iconic aircraft from the Second World War, including the P-51D Mustang ‘Tall in the Saddle’ and Britain’s only flying Lancaster. There'll also be a chance to take a close-up look at a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

Then there are the speakers. Among the great and the good scheduled to appear are:

Conn Iggulden

Bettany Hughes

Dan Snow

Chris Patten

Michael Frayn

James Holland

Al Murray - yes, that Al Murray!

Claire Tomalin

Sam Willis

Caroline Moorehead

Ben Kane

Michael Wood

Jenni Murray

Max Hastings

Sarah Gristwood

Antonia Hodgson

Michael Buerk

Don McCullin

Lyn Macdonald

John Sessions

Charlie Higson

Alexandra Sitwell

William Dalrymple

Monty Don

Artemis Cooper

James Heneage - my old boss!

Suzannah Lipscomb

Antony Beevor

Tim Rice

That's just a small selection. There'll be loads more besides that lot.

Trust me, there'll be something for all the family. The setting is glorious and it's a terrific day out - or several days if you're feeling particularly adventurous.

If you click on either of the images, that'll take you to the CVHF website from where you'll be able to download a digital version of the programme.

If you click on the link below that will access a You Tube video.