Day 1: Arrive in England at whatever airport is convenient to you, where you will be met and driven off to your first base of the tour in one of the best preserved historic 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. Your accommodation here is in an old hunting lodge built for King John and dating back to the 12th century. This first day is set aside for acclimatisation and recovery after your flight, so no plans for today. If consciousness levels allow, you could take a stroll around the village, call in at the pub for lunch, or just take things easy as you look forward to the trip ahead.
Day 2: Exploring the delightful countryside of Wilshire. We could head into Marlborough for afternoon tea. Marlborough has one of the oldest markets in the country following the granting of a charter in 1204. It also claims to have the widest high street in England. It certainly has one of the best tea rooms! On the way we could call in at Avebury. One of the most enigmatic sites in Britain, and one of the largest neolithic monuments in Europe. It is an entire village set astride a huge stone circle, within a bank and ditch over a quarter of a mile across. This is also “Crop Circle Country” so keep a sharp eye out for examples of this puzzling phenomenon.
Day 3: Bath. A magnificent example of Georgian extravagance and some of the best classical architecture in Europe. Plus the fascinating spectacle of the Roman Baths, and a delightful web of alleyways and streets, with a wonderful and tempting range of shops, restaurants and tea-rooms. Your day ends in a delightful village 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 4: Through the limestone chasm of the Cheddar Gorge to the Cathedral City of 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 the cathedral cloisters or just to soak up the atmosphere of this ancient corner of England. Then on 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 5: South through Somerset and Devon and over the bleak expanses of Dartmoor. Our base for tonight is a lovely old country inn on the western fringes of Dartmoor.
Day 6: Exploring Dartmoor and the surrounding area. You could take the opportunity to visit Plymouth, and see the harbourside from where the Pilgrim Fathers set off on their historic voyage. We could meander through the valleys and villages of Dartmoor. This is an area of thatched cottages, quiet country lanes and the strange geological formations of the Tors.
Day 7: Over the Tamar into Cornwall. We could take a route via Tintagel the legendary site of King Arthur's Camelot, and Boscastle, a natural harbour and inlet in the rocky coast of North Cornwall. Our Cornish base is in the far west area of Penwith. A land of gardens, stone circles, menhirs, quoits, fogous and all matter of weird and ancient things.
Day 8: Exploring the delights of Cornwall. You are based the West Penwith area. This gives you the opportunity to get to some of the less frequented places. There are some lovely little coves, which were once the haunt of Cornish smugglers, a fairy tale like castle, perched high on an island off the shore by Penzance, the quaint old town of St. Ives, cream teas, pasties and enough things to keep you occupied for a month to squeeze into two days. We will also be close to Land’s End. This is an especially good place for a spectacular sunset.
Day 9: Heading back “Up Country” as the Cornish call the rest of Britain. The return route gives us the opportunity to see whatever we missed on the way down.
Day 10: Back towards the airport to be in place for your return flight on the following day. You will notice that these last two days are largely unscheduled as far as places to visit. This is not because we cannot think of anything for you to do on these days. We always like to keep some days free, so that you can fit in some unforeseen delight which may only become apparent as time progresses. It also allows for flexibility in the itinerary as we go along.
Day 11: Back home with lots of memories and hundreds of photographs. As with all of our tours this is a very flexible itinerary, and the only constraints as to where we end up in the day, are time and distance. We always find that there is something to see or somewhere to visit that you will not know about until we encounter it.
- 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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