Best of the West
Explore the must-see destinations in South West England on this guided six-day tour through Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
This tour starts and ends at Reading railway station. We can arrange a Central London pick-up and drop off. simply ask us for a quote.
These are private tours with your own guide and transport, and we can carry up to 8 passengers. Entrance fees are not included so you’ll need to pay them as we go. You’ll also need a little money for food and drink along the way.
9.00am. Reading station. Meet and Greet.
We’ll be starting your tour with a drive through the Cotswold countryside, stopping at a few of the famous picturesque villages, such as Bourton on the Water (The Venice of the Cotswolds), Lower Slaughter (home of ‘The most romantic street in Britain’), and Bibury (described as ‘The most beautiful village in England’).
After lunch we will then drive to famous city of Bath, where we’ll view the Royal Crescent before we drop you at your central accommodation and you’ll have the rest of the day and evening to visit the baths and explore this wonderful city.
9.00am. Bath pick-up.
We start the day with a driving south down the Roman road to Glastonbury, where you’ll have time to explore the Abbey and view the famous Tor. After morning refreshments we head further South West to the ancient City of Exeter, where you’ll have time to explore Cathedral and have lunch in the medieval square. After lunch we take a drive over the Dartmoor National park, stopping at Widecombe on the moor and viewing the famous Dartmoor Prison.
We’ll then complete the day with a drive to Newquay in Cornwall to your accommodation, arriving around 5.00pm.
9.00am. Newquay pick-up.
This morning we take a trip up the coast to explore North Cornwall. First stop will be the 14th century Huers hut in Newquay to enjoy the view up the coast and learn a little about the life of a pilchard fisherman. After a drive through the vibrant streets of europes surfing capital, we whisk you away to the quiet Monastic village of St Mawgan to explore the 13th century church and Carmolite Convent. The perfect Cornish village! Then we head Just up the road to the famous beauty spot of Bedruthan Steps, with its dramatic clifftop views and amazing Cornish Cream teas, we’ll take a short stroll overlooking the area where the recent Poldark series was filmed before heading along the coast to Padstow. Made famous by Rick Stein and the Seafood Restaurant, this charming harbour town is normally bustling with visitors enjoying the fine mix of shops, cafes and restaurants all set around the water.
Our next stop is around the other side of the estuary, to Port Quin and onto Port Isaac, or ‘Port Wenn’ as it’s known in Doc Martin. You’ll be dropped at the bottom by the harbour to explore the tiny streets and possibly bump into the grumpy doctor himself! Following a drive along some spectacularly tiny roads, we get to Tintagel, linked with the legend of King Arthur, we’ll get a spectacular view of the island and ruins from the coast path, whilst we fill you in on the stories that make up this famous legend. Our last stop of the day, is Boscastle, with its steep sided valley and natural harbour entrance, you’ll have time for stroll around this ancient village and perhaps finish with a creamy Cornish Ice cream!
Back to Newquay for around 5.00pm.
9.00am. Newquay pick-up
Taking the luggage, we head West, to the Penwith Peninsula and its rugged Granite Cliffs, white sand and turquoise water.
Our first stop is the famous St Michaels Mount. Owned by the St Aubyn family for nearly 400 years, this ancient Monastery is now part run by the National trust. Accessible by a tidal causeway or boat, we’ll spend most of the morning exploring the island and castle.
After a drive through Penzance and Newlyn our next stop is Mousehole, famed for its picturesque harbour and heart-warming tales of Heroic fishermen and the equally heroic Mousehole Cat….. we’ll take a wander around the ancient streets, galleries and shops and grab a bite to eat along the way.
Next we visit the Merry Maidens Neolithic stone Circle, then down to the stunningly beautiful Penberth cove, recently used for the village scenes in the Poldark series. A favourite for photographers and painters alike, this has to be one of the prettiest coves in Britain.
Our next stop is the unique Minack theatre. Perched on top of the cliff, with arguably one of the best views in Cornwall, this stone theatre looks like it is from Roman times, but is in fact the life’s work of the amazing Rowena Cade from the 1930’s and is still evolving today.
We’ll take a brief stop at Lands End to view England’s most Westerly point, before we start the drive along the rugged Atlantic coast to our next stop at Botallack mines. Your guide will walk you around the ruins, and talk you through the lives of the Cornish miners while you enjoy the spectacular scenery.
We finish the day with a drive through the West Cornwall moors, past Zennor and through St Ives, dropping you at your hotel around 5.00pm.
You’ll have the evening to explore the beautiful harbour and backstreets of this ancient fishing town.
9.00am. St Ives pick-up
Again, taking the luggage with us today, we’ll leave and head South for the Lizard Peninsula. This is a truly wild outpost of Cornwall, sparsely populated, with wildlife reserves, quaint thatched rooved fishing villages, and stories of smugglers and shipwrecks. We start with a walk on the beach and visiting the church at Gunwalloe, recently used for several scenes in Poldark, within view of the cliffs where Marconi sent the first wireless message across the Atlantic.
Next, we head to Britain’s most Southerly point, the Lizard. We’ll take a walk to view the lighthouse and hopefully spot an Atlantic grey seal or the elusive Cornish Chough! Before we leave Lizard village, we’ll visit the famous Anne’s Cornish Pasty shop to pick up lunch for later.
We’ll visit the cliff at Kynance cove, and the unbelievably picturesque thatched fishing village of Cadgewith before we head out the Peninsula towards Falmouth. The home of the Packet sailing boats from the 17th to 19th century, we’ll take a drive around this historic harbour town, and stop at the viewing point overlooking Pendennis shipyard and castle.
We spend the bulk of the afternoon visiting Heligan gardens, where your guide will accompany you around the gardens and tell you the fascinating history of this once forgotten Victorian garden.
Continuing along the South coast we’ll take a brief stop at Charlestown in the Clay country, the backdrop for many harbour scenes in British films and TV including Poldark, and take a walk around looking at the tall ships and learning about China Clay mining in Cornwall before finishing in Fowey at your hotel for the night.
You’ll have the evening to explore this truly ancient harbour town, once home to Cornish Pirates, the author Daphne De Maurier, the inspiration for Wind in the Willows, and a muster point for the D-day landings, Fowey is now a well heeled and beautiful sailing mecca.
9.00am. Fowey pick-up
Leaving Fowey and taking luggage we head ‘Up country’ today, leaving Cornwall and driving along the Jurassic coast of Dorset. After a morning coffee stop and walk on Charmouth beach, with its visitor centre and fossil museum we head for Salisbury where you’ll be dropped at the Cathedral entrance in the town centre to view the Cathedral and Magna Carta, and have lunch in the medieval city.
After lunch we’ll head up the road to the famous English Heritage site of Stonehenge, where you’ll have ample time to visit the visitors centre and marvel at the giant stones and just how they got there?
Coming to the end of the tour, we will drop you either back at Reading station, or a suitable spot outside of London.
Why TOUR CORNWALL
Tour Cornwall is the top-rated tour company in Cornwall, specialising in small group tours to the best Cornish destinations.
What You Get
Tour Cornwall offers bespoke adventures in private vehicles with the service of knowledgeable guides.