St Michael's Mount - Cornwall

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ENGLAND'S SOUTH WEST

Dazzling gardens, stunning castles and the ancient mysteries of King Arthur and Stonehenge, together with time on the English Riviera and in England’s exciting capital, London.

DAY
1

Buckingham Palace imageArrive in London in the morning, city tour including Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Overnight London.

DAY
2

Today either enjoy more sightseeing of London, starting with a ride on the London Eye from which you can get a fantastic bird's eye view of London and beyond. Or visit the British Museum and have some free time for shopping on Oxford Street. Or take a full day trip to Canterbury to visit this fantastic medieval town with the most important English cathedral - and home to the English Archbishop of Canterbury. Overnight London.

DAY
3

Today we visit Henry VIII's residence, Hampton Court Castle and Gardens, then the medieval capital of the Kingdom of Wessex, Winchester, with its fine Cathedral with the longest medieval nave in Europe. Next visit the Rothschild family's Exbury Gardens with its wonderful and famous collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. Travel west to Exeter. Overnight Exeter area.

DAY
4

The Eden Project image Morning short sightseeing tour of Exeter, a town originating in Celtic times, then travel through the 'capital' of the English Riviera - Torquay - to Plymouth - an important trade port and home to Sir Francis Drake during his battles against the Spanish Armada. Then to Bodmin to visit the Victorian residence of Lanhydrock and on to St. Austell for a visit to The Eden Project, the modern park settled in an old clay mine with more than 1,000,000 plants representing 5,000 species from many different climatic zones worldwide. Time allowing we'll finish this fascinating day with a short visit to Henry VIII's  St. Mawes Castle - one of the chain of castles built to protect England from the Spanish Navy. Overnight Devon/Cornwall.

DAY
5

Today we explore the best of Cornwall starting with visits to the quaint towns of St. Ives and Newquay, famous for beautiful beaches and surfing, then take a walk through the Glendurgan Garden maze before continuing to St. Michaels's Mount - the romantic rocky island with a medieval castle and an abbey accessible only at low tide. Overnight Devon/Cornwall.

(Or as an alternative a full day trip by boat to the Scilly Isles, St. Mary's and Tresco, with a visit to the fantastic 'mediterranean' Abbey Gardens).

DAY
6

Travel to Titangel to see the ruins of the castle which is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, then travel on to the wonderful 12th century Forde Abbey and Gardens. After that north to the Isle of Avalon, and Glastonbury Abbey, founded by the Celts in 4th and 5th centuries, the supposed place of burial for King Arthur and his wife Guinevere.  Then head for Bath, the town built by the Romans with its unique hot thermal springs, visiting the Romans Baths and Pump Rooms. Overnight Bath area

DAY
7

Travel east to visit mysterious Stonehenge - the ancient monument with 5000 years of history but no explanation as to what it was: a religious temple, an astronomical clock, or a Bronze Age burial ground? Then further east to Windsor and Royal Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world. Overnight London.

DAY
8

Free time in London before departure home.