DARTMOOR, FALMOUTH, DEVON & DORSET
This tour has it all, from history and architecture, to breath-taking scenery and fine food. Drive through Dartmoor National Park where wild ponies roam, visit Doc Martin’s Port Isaac, explore Britain’s maritime past in Falmouth and sample regional delights such as a Cornish pasty, a Cornish cream tea, clotted cream ice cream or Atlantic crab. Even with such a busy schedule we still embrace the back roads of this region and give you scope to add in a few adventures of your own.
The Back-Roads Difference
- Enjoy lunch at Rick Stein’s ‘The Seafood Restaurant’ in Padstow
- Explore part of Cornwall’s largest private estate accompanied by a member of the estate’s gardening team
- Drive along single-track roads in the heart of Dartmoor National Park
- Stay three nights in Falmouth, located at the entrance to the third largest natural harbour in the world
- 6 nights' accommodation
- Driver/tour leader
- Mini-coach transportation
- Full English breakfast daily
- 3 x evening meals
- 1 x seafood lunch
- Included Entrances: St Michael's Mount, Private guided tour of Tregothnan Estate & Salisbury Cathedral donation.
What is not included in a Back-Roads Touring Tour?
Day 1 London – Wells – Dartmoor National Park
We travel to the tiny market city of Wells, known for its attractive cathedral and Vicar’s Close. Explore the local shops, or perhaps enjoy a coffee before we continue to Dartmoor National Park. As the landscape changes, we meander through beautiful country lanes, over ancient stone bridges and through dramatic rolling countryside where wild ponies roam. Time permitting, we stop at the High Moorland Visitor Centre for an insight into Dartmoor National Park’s culture, stories and wildlife. Stay overnight at Two Bridges Hotel, or similar. (D)
Overnight: Two Bridges Hotel (or similar)
Day 2 Dartmoor National Park – Port Isaac – Padstow – Falmouth
We have a gourmet delight ahead of us today as we make our way to the rugged north coast of Cornwall. We visit the picturesque fishing village of Port Isaac, famously featured in the television series Doc Martin. The highlight of our day is lunch at ‘The Seafood Restaurant’, Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant in Padstow. Opened in 1975, the restaurant has a seafood bar located right in the middle so you can watch chefs assembling platters of oysters, langoustines and sashimi. Later we make our way to the Merchants Manor Hotel, or similar, in Falmouth, our base for the next three nights. (B, L)
Overnight: Merchants Manor Hotel (or similar)
Day 3 Falmouth – St Ives – St Michael’s Mount – Falmouth
In the delightful old fishing town of St Ives we wander along cobbled streets between pretty fishermen’s cottages to uncover the legend, history and tradition of this ancient town. As well as visiting other small villages along the Cornish coast we will also stop at the fascinating and historical St Michael's Mount. We take a small boat to the island and step ashore at the harbour-side village, which is a hive of activity. Witness life through the eyes of the islanders, delve into the island’s past and explore the medieval castle, which is brimming with treasures that have been passed down through generations of the St Aubyn family. We return to Falmouth for dinner in our hotel. (B, D)
Overnight: Merchants Manor Hotel (or similar)
Day 4 Falmouth
Today is free for you to explore the historic town of Falmouth. There is something for everyone, whatever your interests including Cornwall's largest fortress, Pendennis Castle, one of a pair that once guarded the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, the National Maritime Museum and the Falmouth Art Gallery. You may also choose to take a short ferry ride to St Mawes Castle or alternatively, a short train ride or a boat ride along the Fal River to Cornwall’s capital city, Truro. (B)
Day 5 Falmouth – Tregothnan – Fowey
Today we drive to Tregothnan Estate, the historic seat of the Boscawen family, viscounts of Falmouth. Internationally recognised as the home of English tea, we explore part of Cornwall’s largest private estate, as well as the tea plantation, accompanied by a member of the estate’s gardening team. Later we continue to The Fowey Hotel and enjoy some time at leisure to explore this charming town, located at the mouth of the River Fowey. (B)
Overnight: The Fowey Hotel (or similar)
Day 6 Fowey – Hawkchurch
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day with some further free time to explore Fowey. For an overview of the town and harbour, stroll along the Esplanade passing the grand parade of Edwardian and Victorian houses towards the medieval St Catherine’s Castle which looks out over Readymoney Cove. Leaving Fowey our journey takes us to the quaint fishing village of Polperro as we drive along the gorgeous south Cornish coast. This afternoon we visit the magnificent Buckfast Abbey before continuing to the Fairwater Head Hotel in Hawkchurch, near Lyme Regis, where we enjoy a delicious farewell dinner together. (B, D)
Overnight: Fairwater Head Hotel (or similar)
Day 7 Hawkchurch – Salisbury – London
Explore the historic port town of Lyme Regis, where Jane Austen based parts of her novel 'Persuasion' and which was also the setting for John Fowles, 'The French Lieutenant's Woman’. Take in the panoramic vista of the Jurassic Coast from the Langmoor and Lister Gardens, wander along its 18th century promenade and see its famous Cobb and ancient harbour that continues to inspire writers and artists today. Following the old Roman road, we travel to Salisbury, home to one of England’s most magnificent cathedrals, which has the tallest spire in Britain. Here is where we have the opportunity to see the original Magna Carta. Our fascinating tour ends in London. (B)
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from the Grange Wellington Hotel, 71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA at 8.30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
The tour finishes at 5:30pm at Grange Wellington Hotel, 71-72 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PA.
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.