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Home > United Kingdom > United Kingdom Itineraries > The Cotswold And Cornwall

The Cotswold and Cornwall

Departures

January through December

Duration

11 Days

Locations

The Cotswolds - Highgrove - Bath - Glastonbury - Devon - Cornwall - Stonehenge - Ascot

Overview

Glorious all year round, The Cotswolds is the largest of all the 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. Perhaps the key to their irresistible draw lies in the limestone bedrock from which so many of its towns and villages were built. It is this golden stone that renders the region equally as beautiful on an overcast afternoon as on a sunny morning. The gorgeous villages here are set amid rolling hillsides and country lanes, best known for representing quintessential England.

Considered another of Britain’s most beautiful cities, Bath is next on the agenda, home to some of the nation’s grandest and most graceful architecture. Sweeping crescents of Georgian architecture co-exist harmoniously with ancient cobbled alleys and grand Roman bathhouses. Almost every corner of the city boasts classical beauty that will stop you in your tracks. You then travel south to Cornwall. Tucked away on the western extremity of the United Kingdom, it is a treasure trove of spectacular beaches, unspoiled countryside, idyllic gardens, and hidden coves – all just waiting to be discovered.

Itinerary in Detail

    Day 1 – The Cotswolds

    A driver-guide will collect you at Heathrow Airport for your comfortable journey to Cheltenham. It rose to prominence as a health and holiday spa town following the discovering of mineral springs in the 1800s.

    Hotel: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    Day 2 – The Cotswolds

    Referred to as the Jewel of the Cotswolds, the village of Broadway takes its name from its wide main street lined with chestnut trees. Popular with British artists and writers for centuries, this atmospheric village has played host to legendary creators such as the Scottish writer J.M. Barrie, English composer Edward Elgar, and textile designer and poet William Morris. A stone’s throw away is Chipping Campden, a town with important links to the Arts and Crafts movement. C. R. Ashbee set up his Guild of Handicraft here in 1902, and his workshop in the old silk mill in Sheep Street now contains the Court Barn Museum. Slightly south is Stow-on-the-Wold, which has a number of charming stores that cluster around the town square. Nearby, Lower Slaughter, with a gentle stream running past the old mill and main street, is a worthy contender for a most-photographed village in England. Further afield is Bampton. One of the oldest towns in England, with many 17th and 18th-century features, Bampton may look familiar – it was the backdrop for many exterior scenes in the TV series Downton Abbey.

    Hotel: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

    Day 3 – Highgrove

    Today, you will visit the private gardens of their Royal Highnesses King Charles III and the Queen Consort. A keen gardener, the King has devoted much energy to transforming the gardens around the house since his arrival in 1980. With the help of notable individuals and the dedicated assistance of the garden staff, what was once a somewhat bleak landscape is now one of the most inspired gardens of its time. A series of linked areas, each with its own character and purpose, weaves magically around the space. Led by one of the gardeners, you explore more than two miles of organic and sustainable land, including the Meadow and the Walled Kitchen Garden, all of which showcase King Charles’s environmental philosophy: “It is better to work with nature than against it.” You then continue on to the city of Bath and check into your five-star hotel.

    Hotel: The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath

    The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath

    Day 4 – Bath

    Rich with history ranging from the Romans to Jane Austen, Bath is a cultural smorgasbord, which UNESCO added as a cultural site to its World Heritage List in 1987. Bath’s popularity stems almost entirely from the natural hot springs that gush to the surface here. After their conquest of Britain, the Romans established Aquae Sulis in the green hills of Somerset, which today continues under the name of Bath. Situated alongside a temple dedicated to the healing goddess Sulis-Minerva, the Roman baths are renowned as one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe, with a museum full of ancient artifacts. Later, you can take a walk along the beautiful Pulteney Bridge to enjoy the scenic view or climb the 212 steps to the top of the tower of Bath Abbey. The Abbey is steeped in history and was the crowning place of King Edgar – unified England’s first King in 973 AD.

    Hotel: The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath

    The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath - Pool

    Day 5 – Glastonbury, Devon, Cornwall

    Although Glastonbury is famous for the music festival that takes place in June, it has a long history beginning when it was one of the leading monastic centers in England. Said to be the place where Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail and where King Arthur is buried, the ruins of the great church reveal the savage destruction wrought upon the monasteries by Henry VIII. Carrying on to the county of Devon, you will see that as much as the pretty inlets and golden beaches cement Devon’s character, its wild moorlands are perhaps even more defining. British author Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, used the mist-shrouded moors of Dartmoor National Park as the backdrop for one of his most famous tales, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Toward the Cornish coast, we pause at Tregothnan, known as the home of British tea, as it is where the first-ever British tea company began. See the tea plantation, plus the plants used to create the herbal infusions. Your visit concludes with a sampling of the finest Cornish tea.

    Hotel: Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Day 6 – Cornwall

    Explore some of Cornwall’s most famous and illustrious gardens, starting with a private visit to the lost gardens of Heligan. Hailed as "the garden restoration of the century" by The Times, they were uncovered in 1990, hidden beneath decades of overgrowth. Today, the gardens and estate are a horticultural haven of over 200 acres, considered the finest gardens in Cornwall. Traverse the world as you discover Maori-carved tree ferns and Italian Gardens, and journey through the bamboo tunnels of an exotic jungle. You will then be transported to the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Eden Project, a global garden housed in enormous tropical biomes nestled in a crater the size of 30 football fields. From the exotic rainforests to Mediterranean olive groves, the nearly two million plants are a true horticultural masterpiece.

    Hotel: Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Day 7 – St. Michael’s Mount

    Today, we depart the mainland to visit St. Michael’s Mount. This dramatic tidal island, connected to the mainland only via a granite causeway at low tide, is home to a medieval castle, itself built on the site of an 8th-century monastery. It bears a striking resemblance to its Normandy namesake, Mont St. Michel. Taking center stage is a medieval church and castle, with the oldest buildings dating from the 12th century. The unique sub-tropical gardens that cling to the cliffs add to the magical nature of the island. The winding pathways, steep stone terraces and beautiful walled gardens are well worth exploring. Today, it is home to the St. Aubyn family as well as a small community.

    Hotel: Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Days 8 and 9 – Devon

    Today’s agenda can include a variety of local farm-to-table delights and country gardens. Highlights can include stops at an award-winning cidery as well as a winery, plus a farm that makes free-range ice cream. You visit the grand estate at Lanhydrock, with a history that dates back to the 1620s, and the tranquil Trelissick Estate, set on its own peninsula with stunning views over the Fal Estuary. And in Penzance, you reach the stone foundations of Roman homesteads built during the Iron Age at Chysauster Ancient Village, set on a picturesque hillside overlooking the countryside and shoreline.

    Hotel: Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Hotel Tresanton, Truro

    Day 10 – Stonehenge

    Today, we depart the Cornish coast and travel inland toward Wiltshire, a county of medieval towns and villages, high plains, and rolling valleys, before coming upon Stonehenge. The stone circle here has dominated Salisbury Plain for close to 5,000 years and in 1986 became one of the first sites in the U.K. to be given UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Without question, it is one of the world’s most famous group of megaliths, said to be a prehistoric temple, aligned with the movements of the sun.

    Hotel: Coworth Park, Ascot

    Coworth Park, Ascot

    Day 11 - The Journey Home

    As your journey comes to a close, you head to Heathrow Airport in time for your flight home.

Speak to our Travel Designers about combining this itinerary with a pre or post luxury cruise

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