The West Country & Cornwall
Enjoy the rugged coastlines, historical buildings and friendly locals on this nine-day tour of the West Country and Cornwall.
Itinerary at a glance:
- Enjoy a private tour of Stonehenge
- Explore Cornwall's quaint harbours and traditional fishing villages
When To Travel
Day 1: International Flight
Begin your journey with an international flight into London.
Day 2: Arrival to London
Welcome to England! Your driver will be waiting in arrivals hall with a sign board, he will then transfer you to Chewton Glen, approximately one-and-a-half-hour's drive from the airport.
On arrival, check in and relax in the beautiful surroundings.
Day 3: Visit to Portsmouth
This morning, your private driver-guide will meet you at the hotel to set off on your adventure.
Arrive at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard where you will visit the excellent D-Day Museum (the UK's only museum dedicated to the heroic invasion of France). Then walk around HMS Warrior, in 1860 the largest warship in the world; HMS Victory, Nelson's famous flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship, which was recovered from the seabed in 1982.
After lunch, visit the Royal Naval Museum; located in magnificent Georgian storehouses, the museum contains a rich collection of artefacts including ship models, figureheads, swords, uniforms, medals and fine paintings. At the end of the afternoon, your driver-guide will transfer you back to the hotel (approximately one hour) to enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 4: Stone Circle Access
This morning requires a rather early start, but it's worth it! Your private driver-guide will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to Stonehenge for private access to one of the most famous sites in the world.
Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within what was once thick woodland in Wiltshire. It is an intriguing place to visit and theories as to its original purpose range from human sacrifice to astronomy. Walking through the centre of these ancient stones just as the sun is rising is an experience you will never forget.
After your visit, head into Salisbury for breakfast before a visit to the Cathedral in this exceptionally beautiful city in the heart of Wiltshire. Explore the timbered buildings, busy markets and the buzzing arts and museum scene. This elegant cathedral itself has Britain's tallest spire and best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta and is just eight miles from Stonehenge.
After the tour, your driver-guide will transfer you back to the hotel (approximately one hour) for an afternoon relaxing at leisure - make sure you take advantage of Chewton Glen's fabulous spa!
Day 5: Jurassic Coast
After check out, your private driver-guide will meet you at the hotel to set off towards Dorset's Jurassic Coastline.
Classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast contains geographical evidence spanning over 185 million years. One of the most famous places to stop for fossils is Lyme Regis. Stop for lunch at leisure in Dartmoor National Park, home to rolling moorland, stunning scenery and a wealth of historic sites and monuments, making it a must-see. En route, include a visit to the youngest castle in England, Castle Drogo, which was built in the early 20th century but which bears comparison with the Tudor and medieval periods. The castle took many years to complete due to World War I. Check in at Bovey Castle for the night.
Day 6: Cornish Harbours
This morning, your private driver-guide will meet you at the hotel for your day exploring the Cornish Coast.
En route to the seaside harbour of Polperro, drive past Dartmoor Prison, an active prison since 1809. The unspoilt fishing village of Polperro is a must see - artists flock here for the quaint views and beautiful light and as a result there are many art galleries dotted around the village. After a mooch around Polperro, continue on to the nearby town of Fowey, home to the beautiful sandy beach of Ready Money Cove. Sheltered by the cliffs, this cove is a wonderful way to watch the world go by. Enjoy a picnic lunch at leisure.
After lunch head to the Eden Project for your private tour. Eden boasts the world's largest indoor rainforest (under an enormous biodome), stunning gardens and world class sculptures. Trek through the world's steamy rainforests past luscious tropical plants, a huge crashing waterfall and canopy lookout. Your private guide will tell you the rainforest's secrets, from how bananas grow, to where chocolate comes from. Depart the Eden Project for Hotel Tresanton.
Day 7: Beach Day
After a big breakfast, meet your driver-guide in the hotel lobby. Remember to pack your towel and swimming costume!
First up is a visit to St Ives, a charming old fishing village full of narrow cobbled alleyways that was once home to several of the best British artists of the 20th century, including Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, who came to be known as the St Ives School. Enjoy subtropical weather and palm trees (thanks to the town's coastl location on the Gulf Stream) as you explore galleries (including an outpost of the illustrious Tate Gallery) and independent shops.
This afternoon take part in a private lesson in kite buggying - a thrilling activity where you blast along the Cornish beach. Enjoy a private four-hour lesson with a professional kite surfer.
After your active afternoon, enjoy a well-deserved traditional fish and chip supper on the beach before heading back to the hotel.
Day 8: St Michael’s Mount
After lunch, your driver-guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for a day visiting some of Cornwall's many highlights - remember to pack a jumper for the evening!
First stop is the Lizard Peninsula, a stunning natural formation of dramatic cliffs and picturesque fishing villages and stunningly beautiful at any time of year. Almost surrounded by the sea, the peninsula stands alone, in a very real sense, from the rest of the county. It is also the southern-most point of the British Isles.
Next, stroll along the walkway to the tidal island of St Michael's Mount, home to astonishing history and natural beauty and yet still a thriving community. This isn't a museum - St Michael's Mount is full of life, a place where ancient and modern sit side by side and were nothing is quite as it seems. (Depending on the tides, the visit might come earlier or later in the day).
Then visit Penzance - one of the most famous villages in Cornwall - for an early dinner. This beautiful market town is home to charming independent shops and is full of character and characters (but fortunately no pirates any more).
This evening, enjoy a performance at the outdoor Minack Theatre - one of the most beautiful open air theatres in the world, with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Porthcurno Bay. Take your seat on the old stones and watch a drama or Shakespearean play. Your driver-guide will meet you after the performance and take you back to Hotel Tresanton for your last night in Cornwall.
Day 9: International Flight
Your driver is on hand to transfer you to Newquay Airport (located one hour away) for a quick transfer back to London and your onward international flight.
Susie is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.