When Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army won the Battle of Worcester in 1651, the British Monarchy seemed to be at an end. The only hopes for survival lay with the son of the executed King Charles I, the young man who claimed the title King Charles II but was now a fugitive. After the battle was lost and won, his only chance was to escape the country and thereby keep hopes of a restoration alive.

This website presents a collection of resources which show how Charles escaped to France and so lived to reclaim the throne. As a starting point, the map below shows a broad outline of the route taken by Charles:

The Monarch’s Way

This website has been inspired by the Monarch’s Way, a 625-mile walking route which approximately follows the path taken by Charles as he escaped the country. I am part of a small group who have completed around 85% of the walk and aim to complete the rest over by October 2023. Our story is to be found here.

The Monarch’s Way walk does not attempt to follow the precise roads taken by Charles as he sought to escape from the Roundhead troops – most such roads have long since been surfaced over. What the Monarch’s Way does instead is to join together the various towns, villages, country houses and inns associated with the escape using walker-friendly rights-of-way. The result is a unique lost-distance path – not merely because it is comfortably the longest inland walk in the UK, but also because it covers a wide variety of different landscapes. It passes through the Midlands, including the Black Country and the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, then extensively explores four Areas of Natural Beauty – the Cotswolds, the Mendips, Dorset and Cranborne Chase – before a memorable journey through the South Downs National Park and finally arriving at the Sussex coast. It is a spectacular tour of Western and Southern England.

Please note, this website has been independently compiled by myself; it has no connection with the Monarch’s Way Association, who do much great work in waymarking and promoting the route.

John Price –

April 2022