Best Time To Go1 Sep 2024 - Open for booking
6 Oct 2024 - Open for booking
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Bath is a simple city to reach via rail, even if arriving by air from outside the UK, and we’ll be delighted to help with your travel plans. Your hotel is just 10 minutes’ walk from the iconic Roman Baths, but you may want to arrive early to explore other sights in this UNESCO World Heritage city under your own steam – you could enjoy a dazzling overview from the top of the Bath Abbey tower (though you will have to climb 212 steps!).
You can celebrate Bath’s most famous literary link at the delightful Jane Austen Centre, complete with period costumed staff and a Regency tea room. Consider combining it with the multi-sensory experience of House of Frankenstein, which delves the city’s ties to Mary Shelley and her pioneering 19th century spinechiller. Culture fans can also visit the superb Holburne Museum to see artistic and decorative treasures from the Renaissance onwards. The Victoria Gallery, meanwhile, takes in art works from the past two centuries.
In the evening, meet your tour leader and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Your Accommodation in Bath
Your accommodation is a colourful and stylish hotel on one of Bath’s classic tree-lined avenues, with views of the Abbey. There’s an arty feel throughout, complementing a chance to dine on local seasonal produce in spaces that include a terrace and Alpine-style lodge.
Tuck into a hearty breakfast in preparation for an exciting first full day exploring, you’ll travel first by private coach to the legendary Stonehenge standing stones on Salisbury Plain.
The stories that surround these ancient mystical sentinels are brought to life by your guide, and you’ll have time for contemplation before settling in for a trip through hidden Somerset.
Travelling at a relaxed pace, discover a world of lush landscapes, medieval ruins, country gardens and ancient architecture away from the tourist trail, plus a chance to enjoy lunch at a 14th century hostelry.
Then be back in Bath by late afternoon – time perhaps to squeeze in a visit to one of the city’s cosy tea rooms or another venerable pub like the 300-year-old Saracen’s Head, before dinner at leisure in the evening.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before waving goodbye to Bath as you board the train to the south Devon coast. The journey wends its way to Bristol, around the Mendips to the Somerset coast, skirting the lovely Blackdown Hills and spearing through Exeter on the way to Paignton.
We’ll take care of your luggage at Paignton, giving you an hour or so to take lunch – maybe sampling the renowned local seafood at a harbourside restaurant like Crab & Hammer. Then it’s all-aboard for a classic trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, puffing along a gorgeous coastline past Torbay’s pastel-painted beach huts and golden sand, across Victorian viaducts, through rolling Devon countryside to the village of Kingswear.
At Kingswear, board the ferry to make a crossing of the wide River Dart to the picture postcard-perfect town of Dartmouth. Dating back to Celtic and Saxon times, Dartmouth’s maritime importance surged during the Tudors – though the atmospheric castle perched on an outcrop at the mouth of the River Dart dates back to the 1380s. The town’s industrial heritage includes being the place Thomas Newcomen invented the world’s first steam engine in the early 1700s – still running today at the town’s visitor centre! Its cobbled quays and pretty lanes are dotted with galleries, gardens and riverside architecture to admire, plus a chance to treat yourself to some renowned Devon ice cream or grab a drink at one of the waterside pubs.
Returning by ferry to Kingswear and steaming back to Paignton, you’ll be met by private coach (with your luggage) and transferred to the heart of Dartmoor for your stay at a breathtaking castle hotel.
Your Accommodation in Dartmoor
Opened by Great Western Railways in 1930 as a hotel and golf resort, this castle is one of Britain’s most celebrated places to stay – an eye-popping Edwardian setting offering superlative luxury in 275 acres of lush parkland. You’ll enjoy a memorable dinner here with fellow travellers and guide, before retiring to your castle room.
After breakfast overlooking the castle grounds, board your private coach to plunge into the dramatic tors, bogs and granite outcrops of Dartmoor. This uniquely rugged landscape is home to deep river valleys and distinctive wildlife – from wild horses below to majestic birds of prey above. There’ll be photo stops along the way as you traverse the moor towards ‘Britain’s Ocean City,’ Plymouth. Here, pay a visit to The Box, combining museum, art gallery and historic archive into an award-winning cultural beacon that’s home to a fascinating permanent collection – from rich local history to ancient Egypt, plus art from Cornwall’s famed Newlyn School of painters, plus world-class visiting exhibitions.
If time allows, combine lunch at The Box cafe with a quick dip into the cobbled Tudor lanes of the nearby Barbican area and a glimpse across the wide green shoreline sward of Plymouth Hoe, before boarding your coach to Plymouth station for a mid-afternoon train that will bear you out of Devon and across the length of Cornwall to Britain’s southernmost station at Penzance. Here, you’re met by coach and transferred the short distance to your clifftop-set hotel in St Ives.
Your Hotel in St Ives
Perched in a commanding position above the town, your hotel in St Ives enjoys stupendous views overlooking the town’s old fishing cottages onto the golden ribbon of Porthminster Beach and St Ives Bay, with the Atlantic stretching beyond. Rooms are calming and bright, with a flowing blue and white nautical theme throughout. The hotel’s beachfront spa offers a heated pool plus optional treatments to add a blissful wind down after your day’s travel. Dinner in the restaurant comes with a tasty view of the fishing fleet who supply the menu’s excellent seafood.
Drink in more of those breathtaking views over breakfast, before boarding your private coach on a journey of discovery around the coast of Cornwall, taking in locations that memorably evoke the area’s unique sense of place, from hideaway smugglers’ coves to the county’s iconic old, abandoned tin mines. As well as hearing about the poignant history of the old mines, ask your guide about new mineral treasures such as lithium now being sought beneath the Cornish earth.
You’ll also get a chance to stand by England’s westernmost point at Land’s End, and drop into the classic Cornish village of Mousehole – gorgeously ranged around a little fishing harbour which gave rise to the unique local fish dish known as Stargazy Pie. After lunch, depending on the tide, you can walk the causeway – or take the little boat – onto the tiny evocative tidal island St Michael’s Mount, topped with a fairytale castle.
Return to your accommodation by late afternoon and take dinner at leisure, either at the hotel or at one of any number of great spots in St Ives. Local tips include the little cobbled back street watering hole Little Palais for delicious small plates – also served at The Searoom, run by the team behind St Ives Gin. The Mermaid, meanwhile, is a local seafood legend in the heart of the town’s old fishing quarter, locally known by the nickname Down-a-long!
A more relaxed timetable today; in the morning, get to know some of the secrets of St Ives on a guided walking tour. Stroll the tangle of cobbled streets and discover the distinctive history that seems to emanate from every brick and corner. Hear about the many artists and historic figures who’ve made this jewel of a place their home, before taking the rest of the day to yourself.
Complement delving the world-class art at Tate St Ives gallery with a visit to the evocative former studio and sculpture garden of legendary modern artist Barbara Hepworth, or laze on one of the town’s picture-perfect golden sand beaches. You can also consider a boat trip from St Ives to spot seals and dolphins, as well as grab a close-up picture of local ocean landmarks like the 19th century Godrevy Lighthouse – inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famed novel To The Lighthouse.
Then join your fellow travellers and guide for a farewell dinner at your hotel.
Travel the short distance to Penzance station by coach in time to catch your train. We’ve assumed travel back to London but for a surcharge will be happy to assist with other specific onward plans.
This tour begins in the city of Bath with two nights in a hotel near the centre, followed by one night in a castle-style hotel in Dartmoor and three nights in St Ives.
For departures in 2024, £2495 per person sharing a double/twin room in September, £2295 in October. Single occupancy supplement for this tour is £750 in September, £590 in October.
The price per person includes:
All accommodation is carefully-selected and researched by us; contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties. This tour will operate with a minimum of four and maximum of 15 passengers on each departure date.
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
|Departure Date||Starts From||Nights||£ per person (2 sharing)||£ per person (single)|
|Sunday 1 Sep 2024||Bath||6||£ 2495||£ 3245|
|Sunday 6 Oct 2024||Bath||6||£ 2295||£ 2885|
To reserve your place(s) on this tour, please call us or complete the form below, making sure to select your departure date from the dropdown menu and advise of any special requirements. We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours and contact you with details of how to confirm your booking by payment of the per person deposit.
Please note: All form fields are required unless otherwise stated optional.