5 Day Exploration of
Devon & Cornwall
Devon and Cornwall
Roam the extreme South West corner of England and discover the Arthurian legends that run through every rock, river, and settlement on this five day tour.
Celtic kingdoms and Roman towns pave the way to pristine hidden coves and wild moorlands full of legendary beasts. Norman cathedrals offer a conventionally beautiful experience before you connect with the ancient roots of British spirituality at Stonehenge.
Leaving central London, you travel westerly through Wessex, one of England’s most ancient kingdoms. You pass through this millennia-old setting on the way to the historic city of Winchester. The former capital of England offers its storied history to you, from the magnificent cathedral and splendid Great Hall to the burial place of King Alfred the Great, considered as one of the key figures in the formation of England as a nation.
From this complex city you head to a quieter but equally profound space: the standing stone circles of Stonehenge. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge has been preserved and restored with superb taste and skill. Welcomed at the award winning visitor centre, you have the opportunity to view hundreds of prehistoric items from the Stonehenge collection. Joining the land train shuttle, you then make your way to the fabled site of the Stone Circles. You then travel the short distance to Exeter, an important fortified settlement in Roman times and your base for two nights.
The magnificent wild moors of Dartmoor are open to you today. Catch a glimpse of the pretty native ponies amongst the powerful rock formations. An incredible variety of flora and fauna exists here, so enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the moor’s isolated beauty. Cross the ancient Clapper Bridge at Postbridge before heading to the historic market town birthplace of Sir Francis Drake, Tavistock.
You return to Exeter in the early afternoon to explore this Roman town and it’s amazing stone walls, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and 12th century Norman architecture. An exciting mix of architecture and history awaits you here, from the towering Gothic cathedral to the winding Underground Passages that snake beneath the city centre. Originally the most westerly fortified settlement in the Roman Empire, it offers excellent glimpses into the past alongside a dramatic setting.
Travel west into the heart of Arthurian legend country and the Celtic Kingdom of Cornwall. This is an area where legends abound – tales of Piskies, Spriggins and the Beast of Bodmin combine to make this a very atmospheric place. Continue to the north Cornish coast and the medieval fishing village of Boscastle with its distinctive harbour. Nearby are the romantic cliff top ruins of Tintagel Castle, birthplace of King Arthur which you will have the chance to explore before travelling south to the seaside University town of Falmouth for the next two nights.
Today we explore the most westerly tip of England. Following a brief stop overlooking the magnificent tidal island community of St.Michael’s Mount we travel onwards to the incredible Minack theatre built into the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful National Trust beach at Porthcurno. You may even see some pirates at Penzance! England’s most westerly point beckons at Lands End before following the dramatic coast, with windswept moors and old stone Celtic communities up to the artistic haven of St. Ives. Returning to Falmouth for the night.
This morning you say farewell to Cornwall and travel across Bodmin Moor, a wild moorland now designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. On our journey north we take a break in the market town of Launceston, with its castle that dates from just after the Norman Conquest in 1066. We continue through the Devon countryside before arriving in the town of Glastonbury. Here you can take time to visit the 7th century Abbey, relax in the local bars or restaurants or climb Glastonbury Tor, the hill that rises high above the town and has mythical connections with King Arthur and Avalon. From here you will travel back to London, a city completely removed from the experiences you have enjoyed in the magical counties of Devon and Cornwall.
Please note - these are sample itineraries - they are subject to change/availability