Castles and Houses of Devon & Cornwall
The neighbouring counties of Devon and Cornwall offer a rich selection of historic houses across a broad expanse of English history, from medieval times through the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian eras and into the twentieth century.
Hartland Abbey was built in 1157 and used a monastery up until 1539 where is became the last monastery dissolved by Henry VIII. The abbey is nestled in a dazzling setting near Hartland Quay on the north Devon coast and is the family home of Sir Hugh and Lady Stucley. Prideaux Place has its origins in the Norman Conquest though the house we see today dates from the reign of Elizabeth I, and we see another fine Tudor house at Cothele in Devon. Lanhydrock, designed as an ‘unpretentious’ family home, dates back to the 17th century and is surrounded by extensive gardens, ancient woodlands and quaint riverside paths. While Castle Drogo has the appearance of a medieval fortress, it was actually built in the early 20th century by the renowned Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Each house is steeped in family stories and reflects the uniquely colourful tapestry of English history. Caerhays Castle is nestled on Cornwall’s southern coast and has an air of timeless magic. The Williams family have called the castle home for many generations and the Grade I listed building showcase their accumulations over the past 140 years.
Coach Bays on Tothill Street, Westminster
Outside Sainsbury’s, Jcn 12, M4
Holiday Inn Express, Frankland Rd
Bus stop outside DoubleTree Hilton, Redcliffe Way
Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Your Departure date
£795 (including offers)
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Deposit: £125 Single supplement: £195
Day 1 -
We depart from our designated pick-up points and head to Devon, where we begin with a visit to Castle Drogo, which has undergone extensive renovation and has now been restored to its former glory. This dramatic, granite building, towering over the River Teign Gorge, was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens for the millionaire Julius Drewe and combines the grandeur of a medieval fortress with the comforts of the 20th century. Included is a guided tour of the house which tells the story of Drewe’s dream of a family home and his life of achievements, as well as the family’s tragic loss. After our tour there will be time to explore the formal garden, which has a magnificent rhododendron collection, herbaceous borders and a rose garden. We continue to our hotel in Cornwall.
Day 2 -
After breakfast today our attention turns to the neighbouring county of Devon as we visit two outstanding historic properties. Cotehele, near Plymouth, is a Tudor house with many stories and legends, festooned with tapestries and adorned with textiles, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture; a magical experience awaits us where little has changed over the years. Outside, we can explore the formally planted terraces, the Valley Garden, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote, and Cotehele Quay, home of the restored Tamar sailing barge Shamrock. Lunch is available here (not included).
In the afternoon, we head northward to the stunning north-west Devon coast where we find Hartland Abbey. Originally built in 1157 it remained in use until 1539 when it was the last remaining monastery to be dissolved by Henry VIII. The king gifted the Abbey to the ancestors of the family who today call it their home. One of the must-see features of the house is the Alhambra passage with its vaulted and stencilled ceiling. On the conclusion of our tour, we return to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 -
After a leisurely breakfast we travel the short distance to Lanhydrock, a magnificent seventeenth century house surrounded by nineteenth century formal terraced gardens. When Thomas Charles refashioned Lanhydrock after a fire in 1881 he wanted to create 'an unpretentious family home'. While his idea of everyday comfort might be different from our own, there is no doubting the family is at the very heart of this house. There's a whole suite of rooms dedicated to the children, family photographs throughout and the morning room which was used by the children as a performance space for annual plays and theatricals. We will also discover the fascinating contrast between the upstairs and downstairs worlds as we explore the kitchens and servants' quarters as well as the grand family spaces. We will also have time to wander in the terraced gardens and the informal pleasure grounds beyond.
Following our visit here we head for Padstow on the northern coast of Cornwall, where there will be an opportunity for lunch (not included), perhaps at one of celebrity chef Rick Stein’s various outlets.
In the afternoon we visit nearby Prideaux Place, where on arrival a traditional cream tea will be served. Prideaux Place is a charming Elizabethan manor which has been lived in by the same family since its completion in 1592. The Prideaux family is an ancient Cornish clan whose origins date back to the Norman Conquest when they are recorded as Lords of the Manor at Prideaux Castle. The house now combines its traditional Elizabethan architecture with the 18th century exuberance of Strawberry Hill Gothic. The house has 81 rooms and some of the finest are included in our guided tour. The North Wing, sadly inaccessible to visitors at the present time, remains as it was the day the 121st Engineer Combat Battalion of the American Army marched from Prideaux to take up its role in the D Day Landings. After our tour, we return to the hotel for the evening at leisure and dinner.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 4 -
Following breakfast, we check out of the hotel and depart for a visit to Caerhays Castle. This English heritage Grade 1 listed building is the current home of the Williams family. The castle is home to endless accumulations of the family spanning back some 140 years. The artefacts displayed are changed regularly and include Victorian Jugs, crockery that was used for the running of the house, Bric-a-Brac commonly found in an Edwardian Billiard room and much more. After a convivial lunch here we return to our original pick-up points.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Meals - as per the itinerary
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|7 June 2023||BCHD230607||7 June 2023 (Wednesday)||10 June 2023 (Saturday)||£845
|Book your trip|
|6 September 2023||BCHD230906||6 September 2023 (Wednesday)||9 September 2023 (Saturday)||Michael Gill||£845
|Book your trip|