London and England’s South West

8 Days / 7 Nights

England

Features
London Winchester Exeter Eden Project Saint Michael's Mount St Ives Tintagel Bath Glastonbury Stonehenge Windsor

Dazzling gardens, the amazing Eden Project and the ancient mysteries of King Arthur and Stonehenge, together with time on the English Riviera, in picturesque Cornwall and in England’s exciting capital, London.

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Itinerary


DAY 1

Arrive in London, 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 enjoy more sightseeing in London, starting with a ride on the London Eye from where you can get a fantastic bird’s eye view of London and beyond. Alternatively 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 its magnificent cathedral – one of the most important in England and home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Overnight London.

DAY 3

Today visit King Henry VIII’s residence, Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, then head south west to the medieval capital of the Kingdom of Wessex, Winchester and 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 overnight in the Exeter area.

DAY 4

Morning sightseeing tour of Exeter, a city originating in Celtic times, then travel through the ‘capital’ of the English RivieraTorquay – to Plymouth – an important trade port and home to Sir Francis Drake during his battles against the Spanish Armada. Then into the most south western county in England, Cornwall, to visit the Victorian residence and splendid gardens of Lanhydrock and on to St. Austell for a visit to The Eden Project, the modern ecofriendly park set in an old clay quarry 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 Cornwall.

DAY 5

Today explore the best of Cornwall starting with visits to the quaint towns of St. Ives, renowned as an artist’s mecca because of the superb coastal light hereabouts, and Newquay, famous for beautiful beaches and surfing. Perhaps take a walk through the Glendurgan Garden maze before continuing to St. Michael’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 wild romantic Tintagel to see the ruins of the castle which is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, before visiting the wonderful 12th century Forde Abbey and Gardens.  Continue north east to the Isle of Avalon and historic Glastonbury Abbey, founded by the Celts in 4th and 5th centuries and said to be the burial site for legendary 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

This morning 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 prehistoric burial ground? Then further east to Windsor and Royal Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world. Overnight London area.

DAY 8

Free time in London before departure home.

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