Popular Britain – Arrival by boat 8 days / 7 nights
Experience the grandeur of London’s Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Royal Pavilion, enjoy a musical visit in exciting Liverpool, home of the Beatles, and follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps as we visit Stratford upon Avon during this diverse tour of England’s highlights.
Time permitting, we will start the day by taking a detour to the dramatic cliffs at Beachy Head near Eastbourne. Afterwards, we follow the coast to Brighton, a lively coastal town which started out as a fishing village, but grew into a spa destination in the 18th century. Here, you will find what is probably the most unusual building in the whole of England ; the Royal Pavilion, an exotic palace which was built by King George IV in a style reflecting his fascination with the tales of the Arabian Nights. If you wish, you may visit the inside of the palace where you will get a further sense of the King’s eclectic taste. We will also have time to take a stroll down the Victorian promenade and browse the many cafes and shops in the narrow alleyways of the city. In the afternoon, we will visit the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, where we experience the grandeur of England’s naval history and see many famous warships and submarines. Dinner and overnight in Southampton.
In the morning we visit Salisbury, famous for its gothic Cathedral, which was built in the 13th century and boasts the highest spire in England and the world`s best preserved Magna Carta. Climb the 123m high tower and enjoy the views over the city. Our next stop today is one of Europe’s most famous ancient monuments: Stonehenge, a prehistoric ring fort dating back 5000 years whose origins remain a puzzle to historians and archaeologists today. Dinner and overnight in the Exeter area.
A very special highlight awaits us this morning – a drive through Dartmoor National Park! This brooding landscape of deep bogs, rolling hills and dramatic cliffs is often used as a film location for suspense movies. During the day, of course, Dartmoor’s beautiful rivers, clapper bridges, idyllic villages and grazing ponies are more picturesque than frightening. We make a stop at Polperro – a typical Cornish fishing village. In the afternoon, we round the day off with a visit to a magnificent late Victorian country house. Lanhydrock House is a Jacobean mansion in Bodmin Moor. Enjoy the elegant interior where the upper classes took their High Tea, and see the fully preserved kitchen which was the domain of the many staff who served them. Dinner and overnight in the Newquay area.
This morning we visit the exotic Trebah Gardens near Falmouth. The gardens lie in a deep, wooded valley. The area was used for military purposes in the second world war and it was from a beach at the foot of Trebah gardens that the US army launched its military offensive on Omaha Beach in Normandy in 1944. Admire the blue and white Hortensia that line the banks of the stream which cascades over the rocks to a carp filled lake. Ancient ferns and Rhododendron, Magnolias and Camellias bloom in every corner. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Cornish coast from the gardens, before we travel onwards in a breathtaking panoramic drive down the coast towards Marazion – viewing point for the famous silhouette of St. Michael’s Mount. A 40 minute spin takes us to Britains most westerly point – Lands End. Take a short walk along the Southwest Coastal path or enjoy the many cafes, galleries and boutiques in the arty town of St Ives, perhaps better known to fans of Rosamunde Pilcher as ‘Porthkerris’. Dinner and overnight in the Newquay area.
In the morning yet another beautiful Victorian country house awaits you. We enjoy a walk through the gardens at Knightshayes Courts and Gardens, before travelling onwards towards Bath, a city founded by the Romans as a thermal spa and developed into an elegant town in the 18th century. After a city tour, you will visit the antique Roman Baths and see how the Romans spent their leisure time 2000 years ago. Dinner and overnight in the Swindon area.
You don’t need a personal invitation from Her Majesty to pay a visit to Windsor Castle! We spend the morning here at the official residence of the English Royal Family, where history has been played out over the centuries. Did you know, that the castle gave the Royal Family it’s name, not the other way around?