Starting in London, we will embark on an all embracing and definitive journey through the West Country counties of Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Cornwall. We will pass through the uniquely picturesque and less visited south coast of Dorset, visiting The Isle of Purbeck, Corfe Castle and Lulworth Cove. We will discover “the Jurassic Coast” during our visit to Lyme Regis, view The English Channel from the highest point on the Dorset coast and discover the historic and fascinating Buckfast Abbey.
Visit the island fortress of Saint Michael’s Mount and the enchanting estuary town of Fowey. Spend time in the historic maritime town of Falmouth. We will travel along most of the Cornish coastline, visiting The Lizard, Porthcurno Bay, St Ives, Padstow, Port Isaac, Launceston and so much more. The timeless, unspoilt, craggy landscape of Dartmoor and its wild Dartmoor ponies, will leave a lasting memory, as will the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge and the spectacular Salisbury Cathedral.
Winchester, The New Forest, The Isle of Purbeck & Corfe Castle
We depart from central London, traveling south west, across southern England, making our first scheduled stop at the cathedral city of Winchester. We will visit the Norman cathedral, the largest in England, with the longest nave of any gothic cathedral. This medieval city offers numerous opportunities for a pleasant lunch before we depart for The New Forest. The New Forest National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, covers 219 square miles, here we will encounter wild New Forest ponies. We will stop in the delightful village of Lyndhurst.
Soon we will arrive at the south coast and the large natural, Poole harbour. We will enjoy great views of the harbour and Brownsea Island, all this from The Sandbanks ferry as we cross the mouth of the harbour, over to the Isle of Purbeck. We will drive through the unspoilt seaside town of Swanage, through the villages of Purbeck stone cottages, with breath taking views across both the English Channel and inland, over Corfe Castle and Poole Harbour, before arriving at our final destination, the historic village of Corfe Castle.
We are happy to send you a program which is adapted to your flight schedule. Please get in touch with us if you would like this.
Overnight stay including half-board in Corfe
Lulworth Cove, Hardy’s Monument, Chesil Beach, Lyme Regis, Buckfast Abbey & Fowey
This morning, we continue travelling west, making our first stop at Lulworth Cove.Travelling with the Dorset seascape on our left, we drive up Black Down, the highest point on the Dorset coast, where we stop at The Hardy Monument. Next, another geological phenomena: Chesil Beach, an 18 mile long shingle bank, which at its eastern end, traps Fleet Lagoon. The lagoon is home to all sorts of wildlife, including a unique species of shrimp. Soon we arrive at Lyme Reigs, often referred to as “The Pearl of Dorset”. This pretty seaside town, noted as the beginning of The Jurassic Coast has a number of fossil shops.
After a walk through this lovely town, we travel on to the remarkable Buckfast Abbey. Buckfast Abbey, once one of the wealthiest ecclesiastical establishments in the land. The Abbey and its grounds are a joy to visit, with a new interactive exhibition to tell its story. We make our way to our final destination, the picturesque estuary town of Fowey, leaving Devon, via the River Tamar suspension bridge, crossing The Tamar Estuary, arriving in Cornwall, or perhaps as we should call the county “Kernow”, its Cornish name.
Overnight stay including half-board in Fowey
St Austell, Charlestown, Tregothnan, Truro & Falmouth
This morning we continue west along the coast, visiting the historic but ill-fated harbour and village of Charlestown. Then on to the thriving town of St Austell, one of the largest in Cornwall, with the 160 year old St Austell Brewery, where we will stop to visit the award winning visitor centre to enjoy their “Brewing Experience” learning how the brewery makes its excellent beers, finishing with a tasting. We will take lunch here at the breweries excellent Hicks Bar Restaurant.
We will enjoy a private tour of the wonderful botanical gardens, see tea plantations, before sampling the many varieties of tea and infusions produced here. As we travel on to our final destination of Falmouth, we will drive through the Cornish capital city of Truro, the southernmost city in England and administrative centre for Cornwall. A short journey brings us to the historic maritime town of Falmouth. Cornwall of course is home to the “Cornish pasty”, here we will visit one of Falmouth’s foremost bakers to have a pasty making demonstration to discover the real pasty and then we will try our hand at making our own!
3 overnight stays including half-board in Falmouth
Today we will have a free day here in Falmouth, famous for its harbour. If you wish to explore further afield, then visits to either Pendennis or St Mawes Tudor Castles will excite the history buffs. Visit the highly recommended National Maritime Museum. Take a river taxi up the River Fal to the city of Truro to enjoy this modern city for a little “retail therapy”, or take a harbour, or fishing trip on one of the many pleasure boats. The opportunities are limitless.
St Michaels Mount, Lizard Peninsular, Porthcurno, Chysauster, Mousehole & St Ives
Today we will visit the very furthest corners of the Cornish peninsula, starting with the less visited Lizard, touring slowly across this area of outstanding natural beauty. We will visit Lizard Point, the most southerly place on the British mainland. We journey further west into Mounts Bay to visit the magical island fortress of St Michaels Mount, depending on the tides, we will either take a taxi boat, or walk the 875 yard stone causeway to explore the shore side village, gardens and the enchanting castle, museum and chapel, the home of the St Aubyn family and The Lord St Levan.
Kernow, once the kingdom of the Dumnonii tribe for hundreds of years, until the 3rd century AD. We visit the excavated remains of the ancient village of Chysauster which shows us how sophisticated these people were. We leave to travel around Mounts Bay, along the Penzance sea front, on to Newlyn. One and a half miles further on we will arrive in the picture post card fishing village of Mousehole. We will take a little time to enjoy this picturesque setting, before traveling further west, through the hamlets of Lamorna and St Leven. Soon we arrive at Porthcurno valley and beach. On the southern headland, is the magnificent Minack Theatre, one of the world’s finest out door theatres. We will spend the remainder of the afternoon, travelling the rugged north coast road to St Ives, twice voted best UK seaside town and one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations. We leave to return to Falmouth.
Padstow, Port Isaac, Launceston, Tavistock & Princetown
We leave Falmouth, to return to the north coast with our first visit to Padstow, a small fishing port on the west bank of the River Camel estuary. Travelling east along the coast we soon come to Port Isaac, a picturesque fishing village. As we head towards the Cornish, Devon border, we stop at the ancient and former Cornish capital, Launceston, visiting the striking Norman Castle, which dominates the landscape.
We leave Cornwall, returning to Devon, making a visit to the delightful and ancient stannary town of Tavistock, situated on the River Tavy. We will visit the Pannier Market the cultural and social hub of this delightful market town. Tavistock is located just outside the western border of Dartmoor National Park. We travel from there up onto the moor, driving through its craggy landscape of wetlands and rocky outcrops known as tors, at any time expecting to see Dartmoor wild ponies by the roadside. We will pass the infamous Dartmoor prison, originally built in 1809 to house French prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars, before arriving at our hotel for our last night together.
Overnight stay including half-board in Dartmoor
Postbridge, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Stonehenge, Salisbury & London
We will spend a little time exploring some of the most interesting features of this intriguing Dartmoor landscape of 368 square miles. We start with a visit to the hamlet of Postbridge. We will visit the beautiful village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, maintained by The National Trust, before leaving Dartmoor through the small town of Bovey Tracey. We will travel east through the counties of Somerset and Wiltshire to visit the most important of all prehistoric monuments, Stonehenge. Our last visit on this journey together, is to the city of Salisbury and its magnificent cathedral. We must depart on our final journey to London, where we will say goodbye to our fellow travellers.