VIP Speakers Announced for 2024 Festival

James May, Rest is History’s Tom Holland & Dominic Sandbrook, Max Hastings and Bettany Hughes are just some of the big names already scheduled to appear at the Chalke History Festival, 24-30 June 2024. 

Chalke History Festival is the UK’s biggest history festival and has previously welcomed well-known figures including former Prime Minister John Major, Have I Got News For You’s Ian Hislop, historians Dan Snow and Antony Beevor, as well as Queen Camilla – then the Duchess of Cornwall.  

Already confirmed for 2024’s festival include Alice Loxton, Michael Palin, Kavita Puri, The Alphen Group, Sebastian Faulks, Victoria Vydovychenko, Zeinab Badawi, Jonathan Dimbleby and many more!

Festival Chair, historian James Holland said, “With so much upheaval and change it’s only natural that people should look to the past for answers.  Our programme for 2024 will reflect this, dealing with themes and concerns that dominate our current lives. 

“We’ll be welcoming The Alphen Group to talk about what’s next for the conflict in Ukraine, as well as veterans from previous conflicts. We’re also keen to explore the links between history and our environment, through a series of discussions. 

“These announcements are just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a world-class programme for the 2024 Chalke History Festival.”


As well as A-list speakers, the festival offers a full range of living history, entertainment, historical experiences and performances. A rich and varied Living History programme will take visitors through history from the Iron Age to the Second World War. Around the site, children and adults alike will be treated to live demonstrations and storytelling, while live music will keep the audience entertained late into the evening.    

Returning for the 2024 Festival are two iconic WW2 warbirds – the Spitfire and P-51 Mustang – marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Chalke History Festival also hosts a Festival for Schools each year, on the Monday and Tuesday, to engage children with the past in a way that brings history to life and inspires the next generation of history enthusiasts.  

2024 marks a turning point in the history of the festival. After 13 years as the Chalke Valley History Festival the Festival has undergone a full rebranding, including a refreshed website, and will now be known as Chalke History Festival.  

Tickets on sale now! Sign up to the Chalke History Festival newsletter and check for updates.