United Kingdom & Ireland

Southern England Highlights Itinerary

Duration
9 Days Itinerary
From
USD $3,095 Dates/Prices
Day
Day 1
1

London

Welcome to England! Endless greenery and dramatic landscapes meet charming villages and incredible history in this fascinating country.

We arrive in London, one of the world’s most famous cities and England’s capital, for the start of our tour. We meet our fellow travelers and small group tour leader this evening for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

[Dinner]

Day 2
2

London to Bath: the stone circles

We leave bustling London today and make our way to Bath. Home to one of the world’s best-preserved Roman bathhouses, incredible architecture and a vibrant culture, Bath is an eclectic mix of old and new.

En-route to Bath, we stop at Avebury to visit the largest stone circle in England. The Avebury henge and stone circles, built between 2850 BC and 2200 BC, lay claim to thousands of years of history. We enjoy a walk through the stones, admiring their history and the efforts of the people who erected them all those years ago. After our visit to the stones, we enjoy free time for lunch.

Special Experience

After lunch we drop into a local pub where we take part in a game of skittles. Similar to well-known ten-pin bowling, skittles is a traditional game played inside pubs throughout the United Kingdom. Believed to date back to Ancient Egypt, today’s pub version of skittles sees teams taking turns in knocking down nine pins using wooden balls. We enjoy some friendly competition and the warming atmosphere of the pub.

We arrive in Bath and enjoy our evening at leisure.

[Breakfast]

Day 3
3

Bath

We head out to explore Bath on a city tour after breakfast this morning. A highlight of our tour is a visit to the Roman Baths. One of the world’s best-preserved Roman bathhouses, the Baths are one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. Today, the city’s thermal springs continue to rise into the Baths that flow with the natural hot water. We learn more about the history of the Baths and admire the architecture before continuing on to explore more of the city.

After some free time for lunch, we travel to the Cheddar Gorge and Caves. England’s largest gorge, Cheddar Gorge runs three miles long and is 400 feet deep. We admire the spectacular and dramatic scenery as the cliffs of the gorge descend 400 feet below us, before we enter Gough’s Cave, a mysterious cave that is over 500,000 years old.

En-route back to Bath, we stop in at the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company for a tasting. There’s no guessing what cheese is made here, cheddar of course! We taste the different varieties and learn about the traditional methods the company uses to create its delicious cheese. We enjoy the evening at leisure in Bath.

[Breakfast]

Day 4
4

Bath to Lynton: Exmoor National Park

The quaint village of Lynton, set on top of the cliffs of the North Devon coast, is our destination today. Nestled within the spectacular scenery of Exmoor National Park, Lynton offers charming cafes and shops, and boasts terrific views out to sea.

We say farewell to Bath after breakfast and make our way to Montacute House, an Elizabethan mansion located in the picturesque English countryside. Built in 1598 and inhabited by the same family until 1911, Montacute House is today a frequent filming location for movies and TV shows. We visit the house and its impeccably manicured gardens before continuing to the medieval village of Dunster. We explore the village, considered to be one of England’s most intact medieval village, walking through its charming streets and taking a look at its castle. Next, it’s free time for lunch and to explore Dunster on our own.

Special Experience

This afternoon we have the chance to admire the stunning scenery that surrounds us in this part of England during a walk along a portion of the South West Coast Path in Exmoor National Park. The Park’s landscape has been shaped over thousands of years and is made up of moorland, woodland, valleys, farmland, and a dramatic coast. We admire the beautiful scenery during our walk before treating ourselves to a cup of traditional English cream tea.

We arrive in Lynton for an evening at leisure.

[Breakfast]

Day 5
5

Lynton to Gorran Haven

Today we travel south making our way to Gorran Haven, a fishing village situated on the southern coast of Cornwall. This picturesque village, an ancient fishing harbor, is home to quaint buildings that line narrow streets, an ancient port and stunning beaches.

We head south after breakfast this morning first stopping at Tintagel, home to the incredible Tintagel Castle. Set on a spectacular cliff-edge on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean the scenery of Tintagel Castle combined with the rich history and the legend of King Arthur, makes for a magic visit. We visit the Castle and learn about its rich history as we explore the remains that have survived hundreds of years. We continue to Port Isaac, a small fishing village and popular vacation destination for locals. Here, we enjoy a walk along the cliffs and take in the landscape that surrounds us. We enjoy free time to explore the village before making our way to Padstow.

Special Experience

It’s time for lunch! In Padstow, a working fishing port and charming town, we enjoy a traditional Cornish pasty. Endorsed by the Cornish Pasty Association, we indulge in the delicious pastry that is made up of roughly diced or minced beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (turnip), onion and seasoning to taste (salt and pepper).

We continue to Gorran Haven and check into our hotel. The remainder of our afternoon is at leisure before we enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 6
6

Gorran Haven

After breakfast this morning, we spend the day exploring the surrounding region. Our first stop is to St Ives, the crown of Cornwall. This popular seaside town located on a stunning fishing harbor, has a charming atmosphere with cobblestone streets, fisherman’s cottages, and a vibrant range of shops, cafes and restaurants. We enjoy free time in St Ives to explore on our own before making our way to Bottallack to witness some of Cornwall’s most dramatic scenery. We see the ruins of the Crowns engine houses that famously cling to the cliffs and learn more about the former submarine mine of Botallack. We continue to St Michael’s Mount, an island off the coast of Cornwall, home to a tiny village and castle that rises out of the island. We enjoy a tour of the castle and its gardens, as we learn about its impressive history and life of the people who called the island home.

Special Experience

We enjoy an afternoon at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm. The family-run farm has been operating their apple orchard on the 150-year-old property since 1986 and produce a range of products from cyder, juice, jam and more. The farm also produces England’s oldest whiskey! Hearty home-cooked meals are on the menu for lunch today as we indulge in the delicious food produced by the farm’s onsite restaurant before we enjoy a tour of the property and a taste of their product range.

We return to Gorran Haven and enjoy our evening at leisure.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 7
7

Gorran Haven to Hawkchurch: Dartmoor National Park

After breakfast we take to the seas and board a ferry for a ride from the port town of Mevagissey to Fowey. We enjoy incredible views of the coast and out to sea as we ride along one of Cornwall’s most popular ferry routes. Next, we travel east and inland towards the quaint village of Hawkchurch.

Special Experience

En-route to Hawkchurch, we discover the unique landscape of Dartmoor National, from its deep river valleys, incredible wildlife and beautiful wide-open spaces. We enjoy a guided tour through the National Park as we learn about its landscape and wildlife, in particular the wild ponies that roam freely throughout the National Park.

We continue to Hawkchurch and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at our own leisure.

NOTE

The ferry this morning is dependent on the weather forecast. If weather does not permit, we will begin our day at Dartmoor National Park.

[Breakfast]

Day 8
8

Hawkchurch to Windsor

The historic city of Windsor that lies on the banks of the River Thames is our destination today. Home to the world’s largest and oldest inhabited castle, and one of the Royal Family’s favorite, Windsor Castle, the city is abuzz with boutiques, cafes and restaurants.

We leave Hawkchurch after breakfast this morning and make our way to Windsor. During our travels we stop at the seaside town of Weymouth and enjoy a walking tour of the town with its picturesque buildings that line the shore. We continue on to Poundbury, a new urban development built in the mid-1990s according to the principles of the Prince of Wales. We enjoy a walking tour of the town and learn about the Prince’s vision for the future of England’s urban living. Next, we travel to the medieval city of Salisbury and visit its impressive cathedral. We enjoy free time to explore the city and grab a bite to eat for lunch before we continue to Windsor.

The remainder of our afternoon is at leisure to explore Windsor before enjoying a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 9
9

Windsor

Our tour concludes this morning after breakfast. We bid farewell to our fellow travelers and to the wonders of southern England.

[Breakfast]

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