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Island’s anti-colonial struggle inspires new history tour

Shades from the island’s past under British colonial rule will be resurrected for history buffs next year, as a former war reporter, author and MP heads a tour retracing his steps as a young conscript in the Cyprus of the Fifties.

Martin Bell, 79, ex-BBC correspondent turned writer, Unicef ambassador and independent MP for Tatton from 1997-2001 will lead an eight-day tour on the island next April, guiding his charges around areas of confrontation during Cyprus’ struggle for independence from British rule.

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Those booking a place on A Solider’s Tale of Cyprus will also have the chance to encounter attractions from the island’s broader cultural heritage, taking in museums, archaeological ruins and sampling its natural beauty as well.

Bell, who was posted to the island from 1957-59 to serve with the Suffolk regiment, at the time when the EOKA guerilla group was fighting to overthrow British rule, has written about his national service in the memoir, The End of Empire: Cyprus – A Soldier’s Story.

A copy of the book for each participant will be included as part of the tour package.

In the Prestige Holidays-organised holiday programme, Bell will thus introduce travellers to highlights from both sides of the divided island, taking in, for example, Nicosia’s Archaeological Museum and Büyük Han, and thereafter attractions such as Curium, Paphos Archaeological Park, Salamis and Mount Olympus.

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