IT’S a special history festival this year – the tenth and the first in the country as Covid restrictions are lifted, writes James Holland, the chair of the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival.

It just so happens that the government’s planned final stage of Covid easing coincides with the traditional last week in June when we hold the Chalke Valley History Festival.

We’re hoping it’s going to be a particularly exciting week and a huge amount of fun for a lot of people – at any rate, we’ve certainly got a fabulous programme lined up with much to see and do every single day.

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Picture: James Holland 

Speakers, historical fast-food stalls and more

The festival will feel a little different this year.

We’ve still got a raft of incredible historians and speakers coming but while there will be two rather than the usual three tents for talks and discussions, we’re also introducing something very special: a new Outdoor Programme with a single ticket per day that gives access to a stunning historical feast and which is geared towards the entire family, young and old.

We’ve two outdoor stages allowing punters to watch household names such as Dan Snow, Neil Oliver, Tracy Borman and James Rebanks in action while enjoying a drink or food – including from our new historical fast-food stalls.

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We’ve archaeology, the brilliant History Hit team, history comedy from Al Murray and Charlie Higson, legendary TV historian Michael Wood, and talks and discussions on subjects as diverse as protest songs to Alexander the Great, wartime espionage to a stage show of the entire History of Britain.

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Picture by Graham Smith 

Storytelling and living history programme

There will also be late evening Storytelling, told as the open fire crackles and sun sets behind the chalk downlands.

We will also be bringing people an assault on the senses.

The smells, sounds, taste and touch of the past can all be flavoured and savoured in the rich and varied living history programme.

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Picture by Andrew Chorley

We’re showing the vital role of both women and men in our developing story, how the landscape shaped us, and covering more than three millennia as we delve deep into the past.

Vintage fairground and live music

And on top of that we’ve a vintage fairground, and many other attractions besides - from the History Tellers to Soldier School.

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Plus, there will be live music every single day.

When and where

The Chalke Valley History Festival will take place at Church Bottom, Broad Chalk from June 23 to 27 June.

How to get tickets

Tickets will go on sale on May 19 but will be released two days earlier on May 17 to the Friends Membership.

The full festival programme will be announced shortly.

Visit: for more.

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