About us

We want to make the tours interesting and thought-provoking so we use a range of different guides for their experience and expertise. Where possible we like people to have a hands on experience by offering the opportunity for them to drive tanks, or shoot weapons. Hotels with character which reflect the region or country are given priority combined with excellent restaurants for the evening chat and wind down after a long day. We prefer the smaller to medium size group of up to 20 people to get the most out of these tours.

Each tour is well thought out to enhance the battlefield experience.

Managing director

James Stewart-Smith James’s deep interest in military history started at an early age which was encouraged by his father, developed by a history master and finely tuned by reading and tours. He founded Classic Battlefield Tours with his brother Charles after a successful career in the Financial Services sector. James’s aim is to offer a premium tour, with like-minded people and an after tour service.      

Chief Military and Historical Adviser

Lieutenant-General Jonathon Peter Riley, CB, DSO Jonathon has had a long and distinguished career in the army and on the 18th December 2007, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general and appointed deputy commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

He was appointed Director General and Master of the Royal Armouries, early in September 2009. Subsequently, he was appointed Visiting Professor in War Studies at King’s College London. He has written numerous books on military history, and has conducted a number of leading tours.


Historic aviation adviser

Air Commodore Rick Peacock-Edwards Rick Peacock-Edwards was educated in South Africa from where he joined the RAF in 1965. He spent over 30 years in the RAF and retired as an Air Commodore in 1999. RAF appointments included Station Commander RAF Leeming, Deputy Commander RAF Staff Washington, Inspector of Flight Safety and Director of Eurofighter. The son of a Battle of Britain pilot, his flying career has been spent mainly on fighters and he has over 1000 hours on each of the Lightning, Phantom and Tornado. He is actively involved with the supervision of air displays and in this capacity he is currently Chairman of the Imperial War Museum Duxford Flying Control Committee (FCC). He is also a member of the FCCs for Farnborough, RIAT Fairford, Biggin Hill and Dawlish Air Displays.



Ashley Toft Ashley is an experienced Managing Director and CEO, passionate about adventure travel and the outdoors. He started as a trek leader in Morocco, he led more than 70 trips throughout Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Central America. He has always worked in adventure travel, most recently as Managing Director of a leading UK adventure travel company.


Chief Guide

Dan Hill For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by military history, a subject which since has become my full-time occupation. In truth, calling it an 'occupation' does not do it justice - I love what I do and feel incredibly privileged to wake up each morning and work in a field that is also my passion.

I am very proud to be able to work full-time as a freelance military historian. I hold a Masters Degree in British Military History from the University of Wolverhampton and spend much of my working time leading groups as a battlefield guide across Europe, acting as a historical consultant for a number of organisations and conducting research for some of the United Kingdom's leading military charities, broadcasters and commemorative organisations.



Administrator/Tour Co-ordinator

Louise Marston Louise is an enthusiastic, clear-thinking professional with excellent communication skills. She strives to provide the highest level of customer service to all our clients. As a mother herself she understands the importance in making sure all our students have an enjoyable time on every tour, together with ensuring the school tour process is as straightforward as possible for all teachers and staff involved.


Administrator/Tour Co-ordinator

Kate Goucher Kate is a highly organised , efficient, personable and reliable individual who is enthusiastic about all things but especially travel having travelled extensively herself. Years in a variety of different industries means Kate understands the importance of outstanding customer service.


General Manager

Tim Winkworth Tim has over 25 years in travel working in various roles within the specialist tour arena - since serving his apprenticeship at Travelbag and as family brand manager for intrepid family adventures . He has worked for a selection of specialist tour operator and we are we delighted to have him onboard to see us through our next stage of growth.