England’s Devon and Cornwall

Castles, secluded gardens, spectacular coastlines, historic architecture, and ancient ruins. This Devon and Cornwall tour leaves nothing to the imagination – it’s all right there for you to discover and enjoy. Highlights include Stonehenge, the beaches of Torquay, Tintagel Castle, Trebah Gardens, and Winchester Cathedral.

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Please keep in mind that we can customize a tour to your particular needs. Perfect for families, small groups and couples traveling together. For groups of four or more we highly recommend a private driver/guide with private transport.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival – London Area

Arrival at Gatwick or Heathrow airport. Overnight in a hotel near the airport.

Day 2: London – Stonehenge – Plymouth

Start with a journey to Salisbury and a visit to Stonehenge, a prehistoric World Heritage Site surrounded by ancient burial mounds. Who were the people who built it? Where did the stones come from? The 5,000-year-old mystery of Stonehenge confounds the experts even today. Continue to Wardour Castle, an unusual medieval castle surrounded by landscaped gardens. Built in the late 14th century as a luxurious residence, Wardour is truly a magical place. Your journey continues through the beautiful Wiltshire countryside. This afternoon enjoy a visit to Montacute House — a Elizabethan house adorned with elegant chimneys, carved parapets, and delightful gardens. Continue to Plymouth/Torquay for overnight.

Day 3: Torquay

Travel along the beautiful coastline of the English Riviera to Torquay. Torquay has been one of the UK ‘s top holiday destinations since Victorian Times, when the gentry promenaded, bathing huts dotted the beaches, and anyone who was anyone had an attractive villa overlooking the sea. Torquay’s famous seven hills provide the backdrop to a waterfront scene that matches anything you’ll find on the French Riviera. Stunning views are to be seen just about everywhere across the Bay. Return to Plymouth for overnight.

Day 4: Dartmoor

This morning start with a tour of the magnificent Castle Drogo. Made of granite and built in the 20th Century, the castle has beautiful secluded gardens and fantastic views. Continue the day with a tour of Dartmoor National Park, the “Hound of the Baskerville” country. Dartmoor is the least inhabited part of England. See wild Dartmoor ponies, wooded valleys with thatched cottages, and heather clad moors that glow purple and maroon in the evening sun. Your next stop will be Buckland-in-the-Moor, one of the most picturesque villages in Dartmoor. Drive through Dartmeet at the confluence of the East and West Dart Rivers. Stop in Grimspound, the site of Bronze Age huts built 4,000 years ago! Visit Becky Falls with its delightful woodland walks and a viewing platform over the 72-foot falls. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day 5: Tintagel Castle, Pencarrow & Padstow

This morning continue your journey to Cornwall. Visit Cotehele, a magical Tudor house in the Tamar Valley filled with antique textiles, armor, and furniture. The wonderful gardens draw people from around the World. Next visit magical Tintagel Castle, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. Joined to the mainland by a neck of land, the “island” has been occupied since Roman times. During the 5th and 6th centuries, the castle is thought to have been the stronghold of a Celtic King. Continue to Pencarrow – the home of the Molesworth-St. Aubyn family and definitely a lived-in house, not a museum. Enjoy a tour of this magnificent residence and see all the things the family loves best, including their photos and hats on the classical statues. Consider a visit to the tearooms for a meal. After lunch, continue to the picturesque fishing village of Padstow. The harbor is often crowded with fishing boats and yachts. The tiny houses seem to tumble over each other toward the shore. Sample the local delights of Cornish ice cream. Overnight in Penzance/Falmouth Area.

Day 6: St. Ives & St. Michael’s Mount

After breakfast, travel to St. Ives, an old fishing village with narrow alleyways, steep slopes, and lovely fish restaurants. Artists flock to St. Ives to take advantage of the unusually bright light. You can take time to visit the studios of working artists after a visit to the prestigious Tate Gallery. St. Ives is also a perfect stop for lunch – why not take advantage of the fabulous seafood and enjoy traditional fish and chips.
After lunch, continue to St Michael’s Mount, where, according to Cornish legend, the Archangel St. Michael appeared. This is a rocky island crowned by a medieval castle and church, which is accessible on foot at low tide or at other times by a short boat trip. The mount has become the icon for Cornwall. The castle and church, which date from the 12th century, have at various times been a Benedictine priory, a fortress, and a mansion house. You can enjoy a guided tour of the castle. On various Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, the Mount hosts live concerts for all sorts of musical tastes. Kick back by the picturesque harbor, watch island life go by, and listen to Cornish choirs or local bands. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day 7: Trebah Gardens & St Mawes

This morning start the day with a visit to Trebah Gardens. The garden falls 200 feet from the 18th century house to a private beach on Helford River. Streams cascade over waterfalls through ponds of Koi. Discover the magic of 26 acres of sub-tropical paradise, explore under canopies bursting with exotic blooms, and follow vibrant tunnels of color. Continue to the pretty fishing village of St. Mawes, where you can explore the narrow streets with tiny shops and pubs. Enjoy a visit to the Waterside Art Gallery, which features the work of many local artists. After lunch, continue to St Mawes Castle. An excellent example of Tudor military architecture, it was built by King Henry VIII to defend England from an impending French invasion. We then continue to picturesque Newquay, which has some of Europe’s best surfing beaches and the best ice cream! Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day 8: Somerset – London

Today, tour through Somerset en route to London. This is a county famed for its cider apples. Enjoy a tour of Burrow Hill Cider at Pass Vale Farm. You will have the opportunity to view the copper stills and sample the cider and cider brandy among oak vats, barrels, and presses – all associated with 150 years of cider-making. Continue to Winchester and Winchester Cathedral. Winchester Cathedral dates from 1079, with a church on this site since 648. Jane Austen is buried here in the north aisle. Continue to London and overnight in a hotel near Gatwick/Heathrow airport.

Day 9: Departure

After enjoying breakfast in your hotel, transfer to the airport and join your flight home.

Your Trip Includes:

  • 8-nights luxury hotel accommodation with private bathroom facilities.
  • Full Breakfast each morning.
  • Private transfer from airport on day of arrival.
  • Car rental, manual transmission, includes unlimited miles and CDW Insurance.
  • Custom-designed itinerary for your approval.
  • All accommodation taxes and service charges.
  • Services of our offices and 24/7 Concierge Service while traveling.