And what better way to experience England at its best and most hospitable, than by staying at some of the also legendary English country inns. Renowned for their hospitality and fine food and ales, this trip will enable you to get away from the faceless modern hotels and mix with the locals. To become a welcome visitor and friend, rather than just another passing tourist.
Day 1: Heading west to Stonehenge and then over the chalk downland lanes to Averury. Two of the most enigmatic sites in Britain. Stonehenge is probably the most famous neolithic monument in Europe, whereas Avebury, although less well known, is equally impressive, and somewhat more atmospheric. Your day ends in a cosy country inn, in the Mendip Hills of Somerset. In the valley just below the inn is Stanton Drew. This little village has one of the least visited stone circles in the country. A good place to stretch your legs and take in the fresh air of Somerset.
Day 2: Through the limestone chasm of the Cheddar Gorge to Glastonbury, reputed burial place of King Arthur and his queen Guinevere. Also an essential visit for anyone interested in “alternative theories” on just about everything. Its many bookshops specialise in the weird, wonderful and mysterious.
Day 3: Through the Somerset countryside to Cadbury Castle. An iron age hill fort over looking the Somerset Levels towards Glastonbury Tor and the Isle of Avalon. Cadbury is generally reckoned to be a leading contender for the site of King Arthur’s Camelot.
Day 4: Heading west through Somerset and Devon and over the bleak expanses of Dartmoor. Our base for tonight is a lovely old village inn on the western fringes of Dartmoor.
Day 5: Heading over the Tamar into Cornwall and onto Tintagel the reputed birthplace of King Arthur. On the way we will have the opportunity to visit Slaughterbridge. Geoffrey of Monmouth tells of the Battle of Camlann. Arthur’s last battle by a river in Cornwall. An inscribed stone found in the river here leads many people to believed that this was that legendary site.
Day 6: Wells. England's smallest city, and home to the magnificent 14th century Cathedral, adorned with over 300 statues and one of the oldest working clocks in Europe. Wells is one of the "hidden gems" of England. Off the normal tourist routes and always a delight to visit, to stroll around the gardens of the Bishops Palace, to lunch in a cosy pub or tea rooms or just to soak up the atmosphere of this ancient corner of England.
Day 7: Back towards the airport to be in place for your return flight on the following day. The route could take us via Lacock. This is one of the best preserved old villages in England, with architecture ranging from medieval to Victorian. It seems to be the location for every period drama ever made, from Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter. Lacock Abbey was also the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of the photographic negative. The museum in the Abbey ground houses an exhibition relating to his work and photography in general.
Day 8: Head back home with lots of memories and hundreds of photographs.
- This is a very flexible tour, and the only constraints as to where we end up in the day, are time and distance. We always find that there is some unforseen delight which may only become apparent to you as time progresses and cannot be passed by. This tour can be also taken as a "self-drive" tour.
- Please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions for variations to any of our tours. Our aim is to make a tour to fit you, not to make you fit into a tour!
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Europe England History Whiz Archeology/History Food & Wine