Are you ready to roam the extreme South West corner of England and discover the Arthurian legends that run through every rock, river, and settlement, and to see the number one holiday destination for Brits? 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. Then once you get to Devon and Cornwall, you’ll see miles of magnificent coastline, secluded coves, fishing villages, romantic ancient moorland, soft river estuaries and endless stretches of beaches. Walkers, surfers, sailing buffs and holiday makers who simply want a relaxing break from their hectic world will find this part of England a fascinating place to visit. These two neighboring counties have a lot to offer holiday makers, but outside of Britain, we do not tend to hear a lot about Devon and Cornwall as a tourist destination. Certainly the British people know about this magical corner of England and Cornwall is the number one summer destination for the Brits, followed not too far behind by Devon.
Tour Idea and Attractions
If you have four days to see Southwest England, then think about these stops (on whatever itinerary you settle on).
From London you’ll drive through Wiltshire, England’s oldest county. Travelling across the amazing Salisbury Plain, you’ll see the great prehistoric temple of Stonehenge and a landscape simply littered with ancient burial sites. You’ll also see the evidence of Iron Age hill forts, possible sites of where the great Celtic king, Arthur and his Round Table knights took on the Saxon invaders. Your journey continues to Winchester to see the great Round Table in the medieval hall. Next take time to explore Cadbury Castle, perhaps the site of Camelot, and some lovely surrounding thatched villages before arriving at your accommodation base in Devon or Somerset borders for three nights.
Today you’ll explore the timeless country of Dorsetshire. This is real back-roads country where you’ll believe time has stood still amidst the villages and harbors of the region. Jane Austen’s Lyme Regis is one of the highlights of the day, as will be Thomas Hardy’s cottage and monument. Lyme Regis is a charming seaside town, barely commercialised, with many fine old buildings in its steep narrow streets. Its most famous feature is the great breakwater known as the Cobb, immortalised by local author John Fowles in his novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Jane Austen was another author who enjoyed Lyme Regis. The coastline is a notable hunting ground for palaeontologists, with some famous local fossil finds, such as the ichthyosaurus found by Mary Anning in the early 19th century.You will be introduced to a few martyrs (such as the trade unionists of Tolpuddle, and those who died at the “bloody Judge” Jefferies’ hand). You’ll also see the famed Chesil Beach and the quaint town of Dorchester. And there’ll be time for shopping in the lace and antique town of Honiton. Depending on time and interest, there may be time to include Lawrence of Arabia’s home, a carved giant and England’s smallest pub! This is a day that you can really call getting down the “back-roads”.
Cross the beautiful and awesome landscape of the Dartmoor National Park, en route to the north Cornwall coast. Here, you’ll visit Tintagel Castle, the reputed birthplace of King Arthur. The castle sits on top of the wild cliffs accessible only by walking. Later, visit a selection of the quaint fishing villages of the north Cornwall and Devon coasts. This day will be a photographer’s delight and you should be prepared to do a lot of shooting! Finally, a day in Cornwall would not be complete without a stop for a famed Cornish “pastie” somewhere on route, perhaps in a thatched-roofed country pub?
On today’s itinerary is Cheddar Gorge and the mystic town of Glastonbury, site of Arthur’s burial and New Age capital of England. Here you’ll see the ancient abbey and the mysterious “Tor”. Next visit Wells and its famed Norman 12th century cathedral before travelling the short distance to the stunning city of Bath. You’ll have time to explore this elegant Georgian city and its Roman remains before the drive back to London partially by the old coaching road.
This interesting tour of England’s West Country includes:
- 3 nights accommodation with breakfast and dinner
- Hotel pickup (selected hotels)
- Entrance fees
- Professional driver/guide
- Hotel drop off (central London hotels)