Cornwall, Devon and Dorset 7 Day Mini Coach Tour
DARTMOOR, FALMOUTH, FOWEY, DEVON & DORSET - This tour has it all, from history and architecture, to breath-taking scenery and fine food. Drive through Dartmoor National Park and see wild ponies, visitDoc Martin’s Port Isaac, enjoy lunch at Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’, explore Britain’s maritime past in Falmouth and wander through Cornwall’s largest private botanical gardens accompanied by the Head Gardener. Even with such a busy schedule we still embrace the back roads of this region and give you some time to add in a few adventures of your own.
- 6 nights in charming accommodation
- Driver/guide companion
- Mini-coach transportation throughout
- Full English breakfast daily
- 3 x local evening meals
- 1 seafood lunch at Rick Stein’s “The Seafood Restaurant,” Padstow
Day 1: London – Wells – Dartmoor National Park
We leave London and travel to the tiny market city of Wells, known for its attractive cathedral and Vicar’s close (the oldest continuously inhabited medieval street in Europe). Explore the local shops, or perhaps enjoy a coffee before we continue to Dartmoor National Park. As the landscape changes we meander through beautiful country lanes, over ancient stone bridges and through dramatic rolling countryside where wild ponies roam. Tonight we stay in the heart of the arresting Dartmoor National Park where we will enjoy a welcome dinner together. (D)
Day 2: Dartmoor National Park – Port Issac – Padstow – Falmouth
We have a gourmet delight ahead of us today as we make our way to the rugged north coast of Cornwall. We visit the picturesque fishing village of Port Isaac, famously featured in the television series Doc Martin and see other typical Cornish villages. But the highlight of our day is lunch at ‘The Seafood Restaurant’, Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant in Padstow. Later we make our way to Falmouth, our base for the next three nights. (B,L)
Day 3: Falmouth – St Ives – St Michaels Mount – Falmouth
We start our day in the delightful old fishing town of St Ives. Here’s your chance to sample rich ice-creams, Cornish pasties or Atlantic crab and oysters. We then journey through the unique landscape of tiny Iron Age fields bounded by stone walls, stone circles, Celtic crosses and the remains of ancient villages such as Chysauster, an Iron Age settlement originally occupied almost 2,000 years ago. Our next stop is the fascinating and historical St Michael's Mount. Discover the medieval castle and delve into the island’s past or take a small boat to the island from the little Cornish town of Marazion. Later, we return to Falmouth. (B,D)
Day 4: Falmouth
Today is free for you to explore the historic town of Falmouth. There are numerous options to tempt different interests including Cornwall's largest fortress, Pendennis Castle, one of a pair that guarded the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, the National Maritime Museum and Falmouth Art Gallery. You may also choose to take a short ferry ride to St Mawes Castle or alternatively, a short train ride alongside the Restronguet Creek and Fal River to Cornwall’s capital city, Truro. (B)
Day 5: Falmouth – Land’s Ends – Trebah Gardens – Fowey
More Cornish delights unfold today as we admire the stunning scenery on our coastal drive towards Land's End, the extreme westerly point of mainland England. We will stop at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall's world famous open-air theatre before visiting one of the County’s most celebrated fishing villages, Mousehole to stroll around the tiny harbour. This afternoon we visit the 26 acre sub-tropical Gardens of Trebah before continuing to Fowey. (B)
Day 6: Fowey – Tregothnan – Lyme Regis
This morning takes us to the Tregothnan Estate, internationally recognised as the home of English tea. Accompanied by the Head Gardener we will explore Cornwall’s largest private botanical gardens, as well as the tea plantation, before enjoying a traditional cream tea. Our journey continues along the south Cornish coast to the quaint fishing village of Polperro and (if time permits) the magnificent Buckfast Abbey. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell meal at our hotel near Lyme Regis. (B,D)
Day 7: Lyme Regis – Salisbury – London
This morning we explore Jane Austen’s Lyme Regis, where she based parts of her novel Persuasion and which was also the setting for John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant's Woman. Wander along its 18th century promenade and see its famous Cobb and ancient harbour that continues to inspire writers and artists today. We then drive along the ‘Jurassic Coast’ to the prehistoric settlement of Maiden Hill, the largest of its kind in Britain. Just to the north is Dorchester, made famous in Thomas Hardy’s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge. From here we follow the old Roman road to Salisbury, home to one of England’s most magnificent cathedrals. Our tour ends upon our return to London. (B)
Entrance Fees Included:
- St Michael’s Mount
- The Gardens of Trebah
- Private guided tour of Tregothnan Estate
Why Small Groups:
AUTHENTIC LOCAL EXPERIENCES We take you to places away from the standard tourist trails. Go beyond the tourist façade to learn more about local food, crafts, history and culture.
BACK ROADS, NOT FREEWAYS Unlike large coaches, our mini-coaches can go anywhere a car can. Travel to the smallest town squares, along hedge-rimmed country lanes and access tiny, medieval villages full of stories and character.
CULINARY ENCOUNTERS Many of our itineraries have an included lunch or dinner at one of the region's local restaurants. We call these 'Culinary Encounters'. You'll find some of our destinations' restaurants have been selected because they offer regional specialities. Others are chosen because they are popular with the locals or have a historical story.
NO EARLY MORNING STARTS The good news is that our tours never leave our accommodation prior to 8.30am. In fact, many departures are after 9am. After all you are on holiday!
CHARMING LOCAL ACCOMMODATION We use quality local accommodation that reflects the character of your destination (we never stay at large chain hotels).
Departs every Tuesday from 27th March 2015 - 28th October 2015