Tours of Excellence
Tours of Excellence
Tours of Excellence

6 Day - Devon and Cornwall Tour of England, UK

This tour has been designed so that you can either take a direct train from London to Exeter to collect your pre-organised hire car, or you will be met by your private driver. Alternatively we can arrange for your driver to collect you from central London.

Click on the below link to download a copy of the itinerary;

Itinerary

Day One - Dartmoor National Park - Windecombe-in-the-moor - Dartmoor
Take the train from London Paddington Station to St David’s Station in Exeter. On arrival either collect your hire car or you will be met by your private driver for the drive through the Dartmoor National Park, an area of outstanding beauty, with its heather-covered moorland and deep wooded gorges, beautiful lake-like reservoirs and tumbling rocky rivers, thriving market towns and villages, patchwork farmland and craggy granite tors. It covers an area of 368 square miles and is the largest and wildest area of open country in Southern England. During the journey, stop and visit Windecombe-in-the-Moor, one of the most picturesque villages on the moor. After a long stay in Dartmoor in 1900, Conan Doyle wrote the novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was much influenced by local folklore about an escaped convict, an inhospitable manor and huge hound. Check-in at your accommodation in the Dartmoor National Park and this will be your base for the next 2 nights.

Day Two - Buckland Abbey - Cotehele - Dartmoor
After breakfast enjoy a morning visit to Buckland Abbey, tucked away in its own secluded valley above the River Tavy, it was originally a small but influential Cistercian monastery. The house, incorporating the remains of the 13th-century abbey church, has rich associations with Sir Francis Drake and his seafaring rival, Sir Richard Grenville, and contains much interesting memorabilia from their time. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to Cotehele, owned by the Edgcumbe family for nearly 600 years and is one of the least altered medieval houses in the country. It is built in local granite, slate and sandstone. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day Three - Tour of Cornwall Villages - Cornwall
Depart your hotel for a tour of the quaint villages in Cornwall, starting with a stop in Looe, a fishing port with a bustling quayside, before visiting Polperro, which has the reputation of being one of the loveliest fishing villages in Cornwall, with characterful streets descending to a picturesque harbour. A brook flows through the village down to the harbour and it was once a thriving centre for smuggling and is still a working fishing village. The village has a maze of lanes and alleyways, festooned with hanging baskets, descending down to the water's edge. The house on props is a fascinating old building, a 16th century inn supported by wooden props it bestrides the ancient Saxon bridge. You will then take the drive to Fowey, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a natural harbour for some leisure time, before taking either the ferry or the drive to Mevagissey, a captivating place with a charm and atmosphere, with its white and colour-washed houses that cling on the slopes of the hills encircling the two harbours. Check-in at your accommodation in the area for overnight.

Day Four - Lanhydrock - Bodmin Moor - St Ives
Enjoy a leisurely start before an 11:00am visit to Lanhydrock House, one of the grandest and most welcoming houses in Cornwall, set in glorious gardens overlooking the valley of the River Fowey. There are 50 rooms on show and together they reflect the entire spectrum of life in a rich and splendid Victorian household. Continue through Bodmin Moor, an impressive landscape with granite tors, moors, marshes, valleys and woods for an independent late lunch at the Jamaica Inn, a coaching inn where du Maurier stayed in 1930. This gave her the inspiration to write Jamaica Inn, a story about smuggling and pirates. A visit will be included to the Jamaica Inn Museum, to visit the Du Maurier room which is full of memorabilia, including her Sheraton writing desk on top of which is a packet of Du Maurier cigarettes, named after her father. Finally take the drive to St Ives to check-in at your accommodation and this will be your base for the next 2 nights.

Day Five - St Michael's Mount - Mousehole - Minack Theatre - St Ives
Enjoy some leisure time in St Ives before departing for a visit to St Michael’s Mount, occupying a granite outcrop which rises dramatically from Mount's Bay and is England's most scenic coastal attraction, a medieval castle with sub-tropical hanging gardens and a church perched on top of a rocky island, cut off from the mainland at high tide and the island can be reached via the causeway at low tide. The castle was given to the National Trust by the St. Aubyn family in 1954. Continue to Mousehole, said to be one of the most beautiful harbours in Britain, once a thriving centre for pilchard fishing. Its granite cottages progress quaintly down the steep hillside to the water’s edge. The tranquil village has a surprisingly violent history and it was sacked by a Spanish raiding party in July 1595, during the course of which the whole village was burnt. One house survived the holocaust, that of Squire Keigwin, who was tragically killed while defending it. The Elizabethan manor house, distinguished by a porch of granite columns, the oldest in the village, still stands to the present day. It was described by one of its admirers, the poet Dylan Thomas as 'the loveliest village in England'. Take the drive for a visit to the Minack Theatre, an open-air theatre constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. Return to St Ives for overnight.

Day Six - Castle Drogo
Depart St Ives for the drive to Drewsteignton, near Exeter for a visit to Castle Drogo, an extraordinary granite and oak castle, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, which combines the comforts of the 20 the century with the grandeur of a Baronial castle. Your driver will drop you off in Exeter, for the train back to London.

 

Tours of Excellence:   Telephone - 0151 342 7913    Email - paula@toursofexcellence.com