Discover Devon past & present on our 6 day tour
Discover Devon past & present on our 6 day tour
Beginning life as a tranquil monastery with a productive estate, Buckland has been redeveloped, restored and adapted, passing through the hands of famous seafarers and facing a devastating fire. There's no better place to venture on a voyage of discovery.
Founded in 1278, Buckland Abbey was the last of the Cistercian monasteries to be built in medieval England and Wales. For over 250 years, the monks who farmed the vast estate lived in the peaceful solitude of the Tavy valley. The Dissolution of the Monasteries saw Buckland sold to Sir Roger Grenville, who began to modify the abbey into a house and home, and later it was sold again to privateer Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Buckland Abbey remained in the Drake family for around 400 years, until, following a fire in 1938, it was sold to Captain Rodd, who presented it to the National Trust in 1948.
You'll walk in the footsteps of monks, sailors and servants as you journey through rooms from a panelled Tudor chamber to a cosy Georgian dining room. Imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen which boasts features from Elizabethan to Victorian times, and marvel at the original tiled floor in the great hall.
Don't miss Drake's drum, said to beat when England is in danger.
Looe is a small coastal town and fishing port in south-east Cornwall and is divided in two by the River Looe, East Looe (Cornish: Logh) and West Looe (Cornish: Porthbyhan, meaning little cove) being connected by a bridge. The town is situated around a small harbour and along the steep-sided valley of the River Looe which flows between East and West Looe to the sea beside a sandy beach. Off shore to the west, opposite the stonier Hannafore beach, lies the picturesque St George's Island, commonly known as Looe Island.
Plymouth on the south coast of Devon, is situated between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony the second English settlement in what is now the United States. Plymouth Hoe, known locally as the Hoe, is perhaps best known for the probably apocryphal story that Sir Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls here in 1588 while waiting for the tide to change before sailing out with the English fleet to engage with the Spanish Armada.
The Mayflower Museum, set over three floors explores the story of the voyage of the Pilgrims and their journey aboard the Mayflower to the New World.
The story of the Mayflower Pilgrims is an enduring tale of courage in the face of adversity. Though these early settlers of the New World play a significant role in America's past, they left their mark in Plymouth too. These early religious refugees, who sailed into Plymouth by chance, were only in port for a few days. Evidence of their stay can be found on the streets around the city and Mayflower is a familiar name heard by many.
The Mayflower set sail for the New World in 1620. However this epic journey begins some years earlier in the Midlands, in a small village called Scrooby.
The Mayflower Pilgrims, Plymouth and Beyond Gallery features a model of the Mayflower Ship built on a 1:11 inch scale by apprentices at Devonport Royal Dockyard for the 350th year anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims sailing from Plymouth. The model features 360 fathoms of rigging, 332 handmade blocks and six handmade sails totalling 64 square feet in area.
Plymouth Gin Distillery
Plymouth Gin is a true original. Since 1793 its unique recipe of seven exotic botanicals, soft Dartmoor water and pure grain alcohol has been made to the highest standards in the same distillery in the very heart of the historical city of Plymouth. Its these factors that have resulted in this particularly English gin becoming as famous and well travelled as those who first tasted it.
The multi-award winning South Devon Railway is one of Devons and the West Countrys best loved tourist attractions and is the longest established steam railway in the south west. The SDR is a seven mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. We run steam trains with heritage rolling stock and offer a wonderful all day, all weather attraction for families and people of all ages
Situated in the south west of England, right in the very heart of Devon, Dartmoor is a landscape of stunning views, awe inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces. Protected by National Park status as Dartmoor National Park, it covers 368 square miles. The highest point is High Willhays, 2,037 ft above sea level. The entire area is rich in antiquities and archaeology.
The village of Widecombe lies within the beautiful valley of the East Webburn river (stream!). Its name is thought to derive from 'Withy-combe' which means Willow Valley. The village is world-famous for its fair, held annually in September, which gave rise to the well-known folk song 'Widecombe Fair' and the characters of Uncle Tom Cobley and All.
Situated on the outskirts of St Austell on the South Coast of Cornwall is Charlestown Harbour, an unspoilt, original Grade II Listed Harbour. Used recently as a key location for the filming of the BBC's remake of the 1970's hit series Poldark, starring Aiden Turner as the Cornish hero of the show, Ross Poldark, it has also been used for Dr Who, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and many other films and TV programmes.
The harbour is the home port for a famous collection of old ships which are employed in film projects all over the world - they have brought work and life to the quays and harbour buildings and are a particular draw for visitors. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and gift shops to be enjoyed whilst taking in the breathtaking views out over St Austell Bay.
Charlestown Shipwreck Centre
Looking over the Historic Port of Charlestown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Shipwreck Centre shows a unique insight into the history of Charlestown. You will also be able to view the largest private collection of shipwreck artefacts in Europe with nearly 8,000 artefacts from over 150 shipwrecks. These rare artefacts bring stories of the sea to life with rich tales of triumph, treasure and tragedy alike.
The village nestles in a small valley and faces east to Mevagissey Bay. The inner and outer harbours are busy with a mixture of pleasure vessels and working fishing boats, the remains of a once major industry. However tourism has supplanted fishing as the dominant industry in recent years. Mevagissey village centre consists of narrow streets with many places to eat and shops aimed at the tourist trade. The outer areas are built on the steep slopes of the surrounding hillsides and are mostly residential.
A morning departure from Cumbria as we head south to Exeter and on to the Dartmoor National Park and our hotel the Moorland Garden. Dinner in the hotel.D
After a leisurely breakfast today, we visit Buckland Abbey, once owned by Cistercian monks nearly 800 years ago but now looked after by the National Trust. The Abbey is part museum, part house and is crammed with a variety of treasures. As we wander through the Abbey, we will discover a wealth of fascinating tales, amazing architecture and over eight centuries of history. We spend the afternoon relaxing on the picturesque Cornish Coast, we visit the charming resort of Looe and include a Cornish Cream Tea. Dinner at the hotel.B, D
Today we head into the city of Plymouth, first we enjoy a 1 hour boat cruise before visiting the Mayflower Museum, which celebrates the story of Plymouth’s role in the pilgrims’ epic journey to the New World. After time for lunch we enjoy a guided tour of the historic Plymouth Gin Distillery, the oldest working gin distillery in England. At the end of our tour, we enjoy a G&T at the bar or take a complimentary miniature home with us. Dinner in the hotel.B, D
We travel to Buckfastleigh today where we board the South Devon Railway to enjoy a journey on the longest established steam railway in the southwest. The seven mile long former Great Western Railway branch line runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart, between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Following our delightful journey we enjoy a tour of the Dartmoor National Park with its heather clad moorland and deep wooded gorges and open landscapes. Picture postcard villages such as Princetown and Widecombe-in-the-Moor are in a land of folklore, myth and legends. Dinner in the hotel.B, D
Our first visit today is to the Grade II listed port of Charlestown, featured in TV’s popular drama series ‘Poldark’. The harbour was built in the 18th century to support the china clay and copper mining industries. Here we visit the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre, telling the story of the port, ships and wrecks along this part of the coast. In the afternoon we visit the lovely fishing village of Mevagissey with a maze of narrow streets and picturesque harbour. Final dinner at the hotel tonight.B
B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included
The Moorland Garden Hotel is located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, a short drive from Plymouth and Tavistock. Nestling in nine acres of picturesque, tranquil and lovingly-tended moorland gardens, you will find the four star Moorland Garden countryside hotel. Featuring forty-two rooms, including four suites, the AA Rosette-awarded Wildflower Restaurant, and the Dartmoor Bar.
All bedrooms are furnished with everything you will need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay and include FREE Wifi, TV with freeview, hairdryer, en-suite bathroom, toiletries, telephone, and complimentary tea/coffee/biscuits.
For informal dining, the Wildflower Restaurant is open weekends and evenings making it a popular choice for dinner, Sunday lunch and special occasions. Serving a traditional British menu with fresh new twists, and using locally sourced produce, the menus change seasonally and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
The Dartmoor Bar has a relaxed atmosphere and is open daily for morning coffee and Devon cream teas, lunch is served from 12noon to 2.00pm, and dinner served from 6pm. The bar offers real ale, fine wines and local soft drinks.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
|Appleby|| The Sands Appleby |
|Aspatria|| Car Park beside Spar Aspatria |
|Brough|| Monument Bus Shelter Brough |
|Carlisle|| Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle |
|Cockermouth|| Monument Main Street Cockermouth |
|Dearham|| Commercial Corner Dearham |
|Distington|| Outside Prospect Works Distington |
|Egremont|| Conservative Club Egremont |
|Flimby|| Railway Station Flimby |
|Harrington|| Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington |
|Keswick|| Bell Close Car Park Keswick |
|Kirkby Stephen|| Market Square Kirkby Stephen |
|Maryport|| Outside Coop Maryport |
|Penrith|| Sandgate Bus Station Penrith |
|Shap|| Village Hall Shap |
|Tebay|| Old Services Car Park Tebay |
|Thursby|| Bus Stop Thursby |
|Waverton|| Bus Stop Waverton |
|Whitehaven|| Old Bus Station Whitehaven |
|Wigton|| Old Bus Station Wigton |
|Workington|| Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington |
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