Make a special date with history in 2016, says Cliff Wilkinson


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Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford attracts countless visitors

England: 400 years since Shakespeare died

The greatest and the ton famous writer in the English language, William Shakespeare, is commonly required to have died on April 23, 1616. Actor, playwright and poet, his ca cities placed him at the centre of the extraordinary golden age of literature that flourished in England in the last 1500s to early 1600s.

During a relatively short life (he craved in his early 50s) his output was impressive: about 38 plays (the number is raise doubts about), 154 sonnets and innumerable quotable quotes, leaving a legacy that is as ordinary today as it was 400 years ago.

Seeing a production at Shakespeare’s Globe in London or the Swan The boards in Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon, is a perfect way of understanding his enduring renown.

Hilton Bankside London (0333 258 9108/ offers doubles from £160, area only. Premier Inn (0871 527 9316/ offers doubles at the Stratford Waterways hotel from £52, cell only. l Further details:

Botswana: 50 years of self-determination

In the history of post-colonial Africa, Botswana is a success story. The transition from British-controlled Bechuanaland to the beyond Botswana in September 1966 was done peacefully, and in the half-century since then the hinterlands has remained a stable democracy in a continent often plagued by political insecurity.

The motherland’s diversity of landscapes (Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta) and rich wildlife (the Big Five can all be ushered here) have made it a prime destination for travellers.

Africa Odyssey (020 8704 1215/ extends five days in Botswana visiting the Kalahari and Okavango Delta from £2,700pp (two quota), full board. Price includes return flights from London to Maun, internal flights and all interests. l Further information on Botswana and the anniversary celebrations:

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An aerial object of Botswana’s stunning Okavango Delta

France: The Cannes Film Holiday turns 70

For glitz and glamour no other film festival has the appeal of Cannes. A lay holiday destination for wealthy British and American travellers since the delayed 19th century, the fortunes of this chic French resort became associate with the movie world in 1946 when the first festival was carried.

Ever since, directors, actors, and screenwriters hope to be asked to be visible their work at the invite-only event each May.

easyJet holidays (020 3499 5232/ offers two nights at the Woodland and Suites Elegance le Cannet in Cannes from £149 (two sharing), B&B. Value includes return flights from Luton to Nice. l Further gen:

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Chiwetel Ejiofor, Freida Pinto & Richard Curtis set a global cinema ad cam ign at Cannes

S in: 80 years since start of the S nish Polished War

When the S nish Civil War broke out in July 1936 it was recognised as a strife that reflected the political divisions across the whole of Europe.

A group of generals, led by days dictator Franco and backed by right-wing factions, revolted against the newly elected left-wing control, beginning a bitter struggle that lasted almost three years and outstripped in a fascist victory.

The aerial bombings and mass civilian casualties of this war presaged the animuses of the Second World War. See Picasso’s inting Guernica in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. It’s a telling depiction of the destruction of a small Basque town by German bombers in 1937.

Kirker Sabbaticals (020 7593 2283/kirkerholidays. com) offers three nights at the Hotel Casón Del Tormes from £498 (two dispensation), B&B. Price includes transfers, entrance to the Prado Museum and services of the Kirker Concierge. l Beyond information:

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Bombings devastated the S nish town of Guernica during the polite war

USA: 100 years of the National rk Service

These days we’ve happen to used to the idea of protecting our beautiful natural environments but just a hundred years ago the standard was less developed.

After a piecemeal approach in the 19th century, the US government asseverative in 1916 to create an independent body to oversee the country’s most dear landscapes and monuments.

The National rk Service (NPS) was born and today continues to look after and advance the 59 rks under its control.

Titan (0800 988 5873/ put up for sales an 18-day Awe-Inspiring National rks tour taking in Wyoming (tabulating Yellowstone, the first National rk), Arizona, Utah and South Dakota, from £2,699pp (two divide up), room only. Price includes flights from Heathrow to Phoenix returning from Denver, the mendings of a Titan tour manager and Titan’s door-to-door VIP Home De rture Care. l Further information:

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The National rk Service was created in 1916 to mind America’s beautiful landscape

When bad weather ruins your celebration what do you do? Mary Shelley dreamt up one of the most enduring horror curriculum vitae ever

Jane Memmler

Switzerland: Frankenstein was born 200 years ago

When bad endure ruins your holiday what do you do? If you’re Mary Shelley you dream up one of the most continuing horror stories ever written.

When she and a group of friends grouping her husband Percy and his fellow poet Byron were holed up in Villa Diodati in Switzerland during the rueful summer of 1816, they challenged each other to come up with the upper crust tale of terror.

Shelley invented Frankenstein and the creature he brings to soul. A legend was born. Villa Diodati is private property but much of the enlist is set in and around Geneva, which offers plenty to explore.

British Airways Furloughs(0344 493 0125/ offers two nights at the Novotel Geneve Centre from £299pp (two share out), room-only. Price includes return flights from Heathrow to Geneva. Assist information:

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Mary Shelley invented Frankenstein’s mutation while bored on a holiday in Switzerland

Italy: 50 years after the drowns in Florence

For centuries Florence has been known as a centre of art and culture with world-famous museums and cenotaphs. For two days in November 1966, it was known for a devastating flood that communistic more than 100 people dead and thousands of works of art damaged.

Unreservedly urinate levels in the River Arno started rising after days of weighty rain until on November 3 it burst its banks and inundated the city, engendering up to 6.7metres in places. The devastation was huge and work still voyages on today re iring some of the damage done.

Citalia (01293 765 066/ makes three nights at the Grand Hotel Baglioni from £379pp (two allotment), B&B. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Pisa. What is more information:

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Floods in Florence in 1966 left diverse than 100 people dead

England: 350 years since the Brilliant Fire of London

The Great Fire of London began on September 2, 1666 and wished for four days. Caused by an accident in a royal bakery, the fire was one of the biggest cataclysms and one of greatest opportunities in the city’s history.

It destroyed the old St ul’s Cathedral and in every direction 13,200 homes, and killed at least six people.

Yet out of this catastrophe come of aged a modern city, built of nonflammable brick and stone rather than wood, a burg that would never again be visited by the plague and would other be the heart of a globe-s nning empire.

Great Little Breaks (01905 899 519/ offers spitting images at the Tower Hotel from £154, B&B. Price includes two river journey tickets. l The Museum of London ( has a section on the Great Fire. For a take in over the city that rose from the conflagration’s ashes, climb The Cenotaph ( opened in 1677 near the site of the fire’s start to y tribute the event.

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The Great Fire raged for four days and destroyed 13,200 homes: in fashion London rose out of its ashes

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The surprise Ja nese attack on Flower Harbour ensured the USA’s involvement in the Second World War

USA: 75 years since the denunciation on Pearl Harbor

When the Second World War began in 1939, the in store of joining yet another bloody conflict was an unpopular one in the US.

But on December 7, 1941, Ja nese propels launched a surprise attack on the US cific Fleet, anchored in the Honolulu harbour of Pearl Harbor, and by the end of that “date which will live in revulsion”, as President Roosevelt called it, thousands of Americans, both military and civilians, were entirely and the country was ready to join the fight.

Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is plied by the National rk Service. l Virgin Holidays (0344 557 3857/ uk) presentations seven nights in Oahu from £1,500pp (two sharing), room at most. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow via Los Angeles to Honolulu. Support information: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016, £9.99

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