From prehistoric sites, to medieval castles and abbeys, explore the incredible history and architecture of England. Stop to amble around quaint English villages and stride along spectacular beaches and mysterious moors. See one of the official homes of the Royal Family and enjoy modern London with a ride on the London Eye as well as spectacular shopping opportunities.
- Visit the largest prehistoric stone circle in Britain
- View the medieval cathedral of Salisbury soaring over 400 feet
- Bird of Prey handling experience
- Visit the location said to be the birthplace of King Arthur
- View Glastonbury Abbey once the richest and most powerful monastery in England
- Visit Roman baths fed by a sacred hot spring
- See one of the official residences of the Queen of England in Windsor
Barnstaple - 3 nights
Day 1: Arrive London
Arrive into Heathrow Airport today and meet your assistant outside the customs area. They will direct you to your coach. Drive to the village of Avebury, home to the largest prehistoric stone circle in Britain and the most popular megalithic site after Stonehenge.
On to Salisbury for lunch, its history dates back over 5,000 years - you will visit one of the best medieval Cathedrals in Britain - Salisbury Cathedral. Guided tour of Montacute House and Gardens, a magnificent Elizabethan mansion built in the late 16th century for Sir Edward Philips and contains The Long Gallery - the longest of its kind in England, displays more than 60 of the finest Tudor and Elizabethan portraits from the National Portrait Gallery collection. Arrive into Barnstaple and check into your hotel. Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Spend the day visiting Brauton, the gateway to North Devon's Golden Coast. The excellent shopping facilities and good selection of cafes, pubs and restaurants make Braunton an ideal base from which to explore the varied attractions of North Devon. The dramatic coastline and spectacular beaches of Saunton, Croyde and Putsborough with their golden sands, safe bathing and excellent surfing are all within a short drive. So too is the magnificent scenery of the North Devon Area of Natural Beauty.
Enjoy a day trip to Clovelly Village a world famous fishing village, built into a cleft in a 400 foot high cliff, tumbles its way down past whitewashed cottages festooned with flowers to the tiny working port. It is famous for its donkeys, which traditionally carry goods up the hill; sledges bring things down. There are links with Charles Kingsley, Turner, Dickens and the Spanish Armada. Make a special trip to Bird of Prey Handling Experience. This is an opportunity for all ages to handle a Bird of Prey and ask questions of a Master Falconer.
Lunch on your own in Clovelly.
On to the National Trust Carriage Museum, an unexpected jewel, the intimate Regency house contains treasures for all tastes, from model ships to shells, all collected by the Chichesters. The 19th-century picturesque garden is a perfect place to explore, picnic or play. The Carriage Museum, in the stables, has a vehicle for every occasion from cradle to grave. Challacombe is a traditional rural "dispersed settlement" (a settlement of scattered farmsteads rather than a nucleated village) with a population of about 150 people located within the Exmoor National Park. There are lots of interesting walks and places to visit in Challacombe. Take and easy walk before dinner on your own in Challacombe.
Falmouth - 3 nights
After breakfast depart Barnstaple for Falmouth in Cornwall. Our first stop, Tintagel Castle is steeped in legend and mystery; said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, you can still visit nearby Merlin's Cave. The castle also features in the tale of Tristan and Isolde. Stop in the small, picturesque fishing village of Port Isaac for lunch on your own. After lunch we'll make our way to Pencarrow House and Gardens for a guided tour of the house. For nearly 500 years, Pencarrow has been the much-loved home of the Molesworth-St Aubyns. Still owned by his descendants, the house contains family photos, children's toys, hats on classical busts and pet dogs Oscar and Sambo bring this Cornish mansion alive and allow you a glimpse of what it's like to live surrounded by so much history. Upon arrival into Falmouth, check into your hotel. Dinner on your own.
This morning visit Pendennis Castle one of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the country against invasion. The castle has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War. You can witness a Tudor gun deck in action here and see how the Guardhouse was equipped during the First World War. This award-winning site boasts an exciting interactive exhibition where you can experience the sights and sounds of battle and relive an enemy attack on a Second World War observation post. Balance of the day free to enjoy Falmouth on your own. This evening enjoy a special seafood dinner at a local restaurant.
Set out today for St. Michaels Mount and St. Ives. Explore the amazing island world of St Michael's Mount and discover legend, myth and over a thousand years of incredible history. Gather for lunch at the castle after our visit then continue to the Minack Theater, an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. Arrive late this afternoon in St. Ives. The town really began to open up to the outside world in 1877 when the Great Western Railway began running its Broad Gauge trains on the new branch line. In 2007, St Ives was awarded the accolade of "Seaside Town of the Year" as voted for by Guardian readers. Today St Ives is easy to reach and there's a wealth of ancient culture to be explored in the landscape, the stones, the wells and even ceremonies. Dinner on your own in St. Ives.
Wotton-under-Edge - 1 night
Begin the day at the conservation area of Lustleigh, picture postcard Devon village with a pretty collection of thatched cottages. Walk to Wreyland to see the Manor House. Enjoy cream tea and a light lunch in Lustleigh.
Continue to Glastonbury. Glastonbury is full of myth and legend. The town is known for its history, including Glastonbury Lake Village, Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset Rural Life Museum, and Glastonbury Tor. Glastonbury Abbey was a rich and powerful monastery in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. Since at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area was frequently associated with the legend of King Arthur. Arrive into Bristol this evening for dinner before continuing to the hotel in Wotton-under-Edge.
Bath - 1 night
Set off today for Bath and take a comprehensive tour of this World Heritage Site city including the Roman Baths and Royal Crescent No.1. The Roman Baths are a well-preserved Roman sacred site in the English city of Bath. The site includes the remains of the Temple of Aquae Sulis, the Roman baths fed by the sacred hot spring, and a well-presented museum of artifacts found at the site. No.1 Royal Crescent Museum was the first town house of the Royal Crescent to be completed, and is an excellent example of Palladian architecture, the house containing period furniture and the artifacts of 18th century daily life. Lunch on your own. After lunch check into your hotel. Balance of the day free to enjoy Bath and have dinner on your own.
London - 2 nights
Depart Bath for Windsor en-route to London. Stop for a visit at Windsor Castle and the State Apartments. Windsor Castle is one of three official residences of The Queen and has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years. The Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. After visiting Windsor continue onto London and check into your hotel. This evening enjoy an evening panoramic sightseeing tour of the city with a flight on the London Eye. You can see about 25 miles from the top of the wheel, each rotation takes about 30 minutes and can carry 800 people. Sip champagne as you see London in the most interesting way possible! We will return to the hotel with dinner on your own this evening.
Today you will have the full day free to explore all that London has to offer. Visit one of the many free museums, take in a matinee play, shop at one of the famous department stores, or take an optional guided tour. Tonight we will have our Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
This morning we transfer to the airport with ample time to check your luggage and board your flight back to the USA.
- Accommodations: Barstaple 3 nights, Falmouth 3 nights, Wotton-under-Edge 1 night, Bath 1 night, London 2 nights
- Meals: Continental breakfast daily. Lunch and dinner as noted in itinerary
- Ground transportation via air conditioned luxury coach
- English speaking assistants and guides
- Admission tickets as outlined in itinerary
Download the England - Devon, Cornwall & London pdf file.