SOUTH WEST ENGLAND
MOOR TO SHORE
THREE NIGHTS - HIGHLIGHTS OF CORNWALL
Dartmoor - Plymouth - Restormel - Fowey - Charlestown - Truro - St. Michael's Mount - Blue Hills Tin Mine - Botallack - St. Ives
Starting in any of Exeter, Plymouth or Dartmoor itself, travel across Dartmoor off the beaten tracks. Discover all about the climate and farming challenges of the National Park. Get a taste of Conan Doyle's locations for the Hound of the Baskervilles as well as an insight to the history of the Dartmoor Prison and its' prisoners. Head off the moor through Bronze Age huts to Plymouth and Sir Francis Drake's Elizabethan port of the Barbican reputed to have the largest concentration of cobbled streets in the country. This year Plymouth is celebrating 400 years since the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers: You really will feel like you are stepping back in time.
Crossing the River Tamar we would head into Cornwall to visit the castle first built by the brother in law of William the Conqueror shortly after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. You will stay overnight in Daphne Du Maurier's hometown of Fowey.
On Day Two we would spend the morning in Fowey and then travel onwards to discover the port of Charlestown, a small port that is currently home to several tall ships and used regularly for films and dramas, not least the TV drama Poldark! After spending time in Truro and visiting the cathedral we would travel onwards to your accommodation for the next two nights in Marazion, the village that overlooks St. Michael's Mount. After spending the morning on the Mount itself we will set off to the Blue Hills Tin Mine where we would gain a true understanding of the tin-mining industry that, when the tin and copper was exhausted, sent so many miners overseas to Australia, South Africa, the United States of America and Mexico. After travelling on the coastal route we will visit the artists' favourite location of St. Ives before returning to our accommodation at Marazion.
On Day Three we will set off for Mousehole stopping off at Penlee Art Gallery and Museum. This gallery is commonly regarded as one of the best small galleries in the country. It is the home gallery for the Newlyn School of Artists displaying works by Walter Langley, Stanhope Forbes and Elizabeth Forbes. We would travel onwards through Newlyn to Mousehole for lunch before continuing to the incomparable Minack Theatre on the clifftop near Lands End. We should be very hopeful of witnessing a show either as a matinee or as an evening performance. Further towards Lands End, we would visit the Crown Mines of Botallack before visiting Lanyon Quoit on our return to Marazion. Our final evening would involve a drive to the village of Porthleven for your evening meal.
POLDARK & THE BEATING HEART OF CORNWALL
Truro - Helston - Lizard Point - Kynance Cove - Gunwalloe - Porthleven - St. Michael's Mount - Hayle - Portreath - Blue Hills Tin Mine - Gwennap Pit - Porthleven - Porthcurno and the Minack - Botallack - Levant Beam Engine - St. Ives
There is so much more to Cornwall than Ross Poldark but there is no doubt that the TV drama series has caught the imagination of the English speaking world. It has also opened up an awareness of the UNESCO Tin and Copper Mining World Heritage Site of which Cornwall and West Devon are so proud. Using Ross Poldark's fictional existence as a reference point, this tour will enable you to taste the culture of Cornwall and, with encouragement, I might even sing to you to help tell the tales!
After meeting at Truro we will head west to Helston where the character and charm of the town still resonates as the sort of stannary town where Poldark's tin would have been assayed (assessed) and traded. From there we will go south on to the Lizard Peninsula. We will visit Lizard Point, the scene of the shipwreck in series one and the most southerly point in Britain. We will have lunch nearby and then commence our trip away from the Lizard via Kynance Cove (Demelza's rowing outing when pregnant), Gunwalloe and Church Cove (the Church of the Storms). We will then head for Porthleven, our accommodation base for the next two nights. Porthleven is a marvellous fishing port with some wonderful restaurants, it has a great ambience and easy access to the coastal path for some stupendous evening views.
On Day Two we would head for Marazion and St. Michael's Mount and spend the morning exploring the Mount before heading for the north coast to visit the Blue Hills Tin Mine. Here we will learn about the process of tin mining in a magnificent setting. Our return to Porthleven will take us through the heartlands of Camborne and Redruth where we will visit Gwennap Pit. This was the site where John Wesley (the preacher of the Methodist movement) inspired so many miners. The abundance of deserted Cornish engine houses in this area will make you pause for thought.
On Day Three we will head west through Newlyn fishing harbour towards Lands End. We will visit Porthcurno beach (Nampara Cove) before visiting the magnificent Minack Theatre that has been carved out of the cliff side. A matinee show or evening performance could readily be part of our tour plan. From the Minack we would head up the Tin Coast to St. Just for lunch. St Just is the most westerly town in England and was once surrounded by mines. After lunch we will visit the Crown Mines of Botallack (the Poldark family mines of Grambler and Wheal Leisure) and Levant Beam Engine (Tresidders Rolling Mill).
Continuing up the stupendous coast road you will finish the day at the artist's haven of St. Ives.
Pasty or cream tea? Take your pick.
STONEHENGE TO LANDS END
A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Windsor - Stonehenge - Avebury - Wells - Glastonbury - Dartmoor - Restormel - Fowey - Quaker House - Gwennap Pit - Marazion - Porthcurno and the Minack Botallack - Lanyon Quoit - St. Michael's Mount
Make your way from Windsor to West Cornwall. Drive directly to Woodhenge and, if you choose, approach the megaliths of Stonehenge by foot just as the builders did 4000 years ago. Onwards we travel to the equally impressive monuments of Avebury and then to the beautiful cathedral city of Wells. Experience the voices of a Cathedral choir for evensong.
On Day Two you will head via King Arthur's Glastonbury to Conan Doyle's atmospheric Dartmoor where you might find inspiration from the ley lines of the stone rows at Merrivale. On crossing the Tamar River you are now in Cornwall and we will visit the Norman castle of Restormel to discover the fascinating tales of William the Conqueror's brother-in-law. It will be a short drive to Fowey for our overnight stay.
The next morning will be spent in Fowey before continuing to a Quaker House near Truro and a gentle riverside walk that epitomises the quiet English countryside of your imagination. After an exquisite cream tea on the edge of Lord Falmouth's Estate, we would continue to Gwennap Pit - a living tribute to John Wesley and Methodism. Arriving at the St. Michael's Mount you will find the view breathtaking before proceeding to visit the island itself. Our accommodation for the next two nights would be right here in the village of Marazion that looks out to the island.
On Day Four we would visit a pagan Holy Well and the mysterious Lanyon Quoit before heading for the cliff tops of Botallack to look down on the Crown mines below. Sit by the water at Porthcurno before visiting the Minack Theatre, so painstakingly carved out of the cliffs near Lands End where the possibility of witnessing a production would be the icing on the cake for this tour. We would finish the day, once more, at St. Michael's Mount, Marazion.
We have just finished a world cruise and have had over 50 tour guides. Russell rates as the best of them all with, maybe, just one other in the mix. - David, Australia
Poldark! Several times we thought that we were actually in the story! - Jim & Penny
Working for the Smithsonian I used to recruit, train, and supervise decent tour guides and I say this so you will understand that I know an outstanding tour leader from a good one. Russell was outstanding and this is something I don't often get to say about people leading tours. You did so many things right Russell.
Thank you so much. - Tricia, U.S