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Welcome to London, a vibrant mix of old and new which marches to its very own unforgettable multi-cultural tune. Spend your day exploring the city's iconic sights - its royal heritage, exquisite architecture and fascinating museums. Then take to the city's streets this evening, enjoying the buzz of Soho or perhaps attend a West End show.
This morning, meet your Travel Director for a journey through lush landscapes to the historic market town of Windsor. Enjoy free time to ramble through its streets and visit the elegant 11th-century castle. We continue east to the stately Georgian town of Bath, whose beautiful Pulteney Bridge and 15th-century Gothic Abbey provide a picturesque backdrop for the Roman Baths from which the city takes its name. See the steamy thermal pool of the 'Great Bath' before travelling to easy-going Bristol, where we'll enjoy an orientation of the city including views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Brunel's SS Great Britain, the world's first ocean-going luxury liner.
Leaving trendy Bristol behind, we embark on a scenic drive through the English countryside, arriving at Longleat Stately Home where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into centuries of British tradition. Embark on an included guided tour of one of the country's finest stately homes, currently home to the 7th Marquess of Bath. Wander through its grand rooms featuring priceless collections of art, antiques and tapestries collected by 15 generations and admire the exquisite 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland. Later, we stop in the picturesque village of Lacock - its honey-coloured stone cottages and 15th-century inns have served as a iconic backdrop for such famous films as 'Pride & Prejudice' and 'Harry Potter', among others.
Take a step back in time to the medieval village of Dunster with its picturesque thatched cottages, 17th-century yarn market and Working Watermill, built on the site of a mill mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Driving through the dramatic landscapes of Exmoor National Park, we stop in Lynmouth for some time at leisure and perhaps a ride on the famous funicular cliff lift to nearby Lynton. Our home for this evening is the historic port town of Bideford with its imposing 15th-century bridge which spans the Torridge River.
Tales of knights and medieval myths and legends take centre stage today as we enjoy views of the ruined Tintagel Castle, reputedly the birthplace of King Arthur. We 'Connect With Locals', joining the Kempthorne family for a light Cornish Be My Guest lunch and tales of farming heritage at their homely Cornish farmstead, which has been in their family since the early 18th century. As the day draws to its close, we sit in quiet contemplation with the sounds of choral music filling the historic St. Martin's Church, as part of the 'Make A Difference' initiative to support The Churches Conservation Trust. Spend the rest of the evening exploring the medieval centre of Exeter.
Our journey continues along the dramatic coastline of Cornwall today, past smugglers' coves and quaint coastal villages. We stop in the maritime city of Plymouth and view the Mayflower Steps, from which brave pilgrims are said to have left English shores for an unknown new world. Next, we travel to lovely St. Ives, a popular retreat for artists, before enjoying views of St. Michael's Mount with its 17th-century castle, sitting dramatically atop the tidal island near the seaside town of Penzance. We travel through the brooding landscape of Dartmoor National Park, stopping at a traditional pub for a memorable Farewell Dinner with our travel companions.
Visit the ancient monoliths at Stonehenge, which rise up imposingly on Salisbury Plain this morning, imagining a time when pagans and druids would gather in their mysterious midst. We'll visit the town of Salisbury, home to Britain's tallest spire, before returning to London.
Say a fond farewell to your travelling companions at the end of a wonderful holiday, as you prepare to return home with treasured memories.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
The centre of the British aeronautics industry since WWII, Bristol was also a great seafaring port and England's second city until not long ago. There's a wealth of history to be discovered and John Cabot, Brunel, the Plimsoll Line, John and Charles Wesley, Wills Tobacco, Archibald Leach (who's he?), Banksy, and Robinson Crusoe are all names that have unique links with Bristol. Find out how they all fit together on a rip-roaring tour of the town with Bristol's number-one local specialist.
Adult Price: £15
Tonight, why not join your travel director and fellow guests for some fine British dining in one of the most famous pubs in Bristol. It was here that sailors, smugglers and pirates drank and where press-gangs and custom officers came to catch them. It was here that Daniel Defoe met the real-life Robinson Crusoe, and it's just around the corner from the finest Georgian square in Bristol housing the very first overseas American Consulate.
Adult Price: £31
Join us for a short drive to the picturesque, privately-owned village of Clovelly, where we'll enjoy dinner at a charming 18th-century harbourside restaurant.
Adult Price: £38
Relax on a boat trip round the harbour of one of England’s most famous seaports. As your skipper commentates, you’ll see the Mayflower steps monument, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America and ships sailed for Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland and enjoy panoramic vistas of Plymouth Hoe. We’ll also enter the Royal Navy Dockyard, where you’ll see some of the modern vessels of the Royal Navy.
Adult Price: £15
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