- Experience the elegance of living in a castle for six nights
- Exclusive stay for The Wayfarers only
- Explore the landscape and history of Dartmoor National Park
- Spectacular walking on the banks of the River Tamar
- Visit Sir Francis Drake's home and Plymouth harbor, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail
Live like a Lord and join us for six sumptuous nights at Pentillie, reserved exclusively for The Wayfarers. The elegantly restored Pentillie Castle (built 1698) on the banks of the Tamar River, which forms the border between Devon and Cornwall, provides a springboard for visiting the pick of the best features in both counties. The week encompasses a tour of historic Plymouth (Pilgrim Fathers, Spanish Armada), coastal walking, wild walking on atmospheric Dartmoor (home of the Hound of the Baskervilles) and a visit to a former home of Sir Francis Drake. Gentler coastal estates include Tudor Cotehele with its own quay and stewpond, and Mount Edgcumbe with its Grade I Cornish gardens. A highlight of the week is the chance to visit some of the key locations on Dartmoor used in the filming of Steven Spielberg's adaptation of War Horse including the Narracott farmhouse and the field where Joey learned to plow.
Sunday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
We rendezvous in Plymouth for a walking tour of this proud maritime city. We will see the Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked for the US, and The Hoe, where Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls when the Spanish Armada was sighted. We transfer to Pentillie Castle, our home for the next six nights where, in the early evening, we meet for drinks on the terrace overlooking the Tamar River and its valley, before an Introductory Talk and Welcome Dinner.
Monday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
Todays highlight is a visit to Cotehele, a wonderful Tudor house with many stories and legends, festooned with tapestries and adorned with textiles, arms and armor, pewter, brass and old oak furniture. It's a magical experience as little has changed over the years. Outside, we wander through the formally planted terraces, the Valley Garden, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote. We may climb the 18th-century Prospect Tower folly, with fantastic views. Cotehele Quay is the home of the restored Tamar sailing barge 'Shamrock'. The Discovery Center tells the story of the Tamar Valley. We return to Pentillie before going out to a local restaurant for dinner.
Tuesday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
Today, we depart by private ferry (tide and weather permitting) for a day on Rame Head. We will visit Mount Edgcumbe Country Park: an 865-acre coastal estate designed by Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Cotehele in 1547-53. Ancient and rare trees include a 400 year old lime, a splendid Lucombe oak, and many others set amidst classical garden buildings with spectacular views across Plymouth Sound. After lunch at the Edgcumbe Arms, we walk along the coastal footpath to the ancient villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. We return to Pentillie for Dinner.
Wednesday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
After breakfast, we leave for a day on Dartmoor, where landscape and history have inspired stories from Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles to Michael Morpurgo's War Horse. Joined by Dr. Tom Greeves, a cultural environmentalist, we walk to Ditsworthy Warren and see several of the locations Steven Spielberg used in the recent filming of his Oscar-nominated War Horse including the Narracott farmhouse and the field where Joey learned to plough. We explore Drizzlecombe and its superb prehistoric stone rows and barrows, medieval farm ruins and old tin workings, and learn about the folklore, farming and unique way of life of Dartmoor. Lunch will be in a traditional Dartmoor pub and, in the afternoon, there is chance to visit the historic town of Tavistock, the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake. The church of St Eustachius is well worth a visit and there will be a chance to stroll around the local market which sells good antiquarian books and prints as well as fresh, local produce. We meet again in the evening for dinner in Pentillie Castle.
(Optional Extra: This afternoon it will be possible for those who wish to go horseback riding on Dartmoor.)
Thursday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
We start the day with an exploration of Kit Hill with sensational views over the Tamar Valley, once a hive of mining activity. Later it became well-known for market gardening with apples, cherries, strawberries and fresh flowers sent by rail to Covent Garden in London. We walk along the Cornish side of the Tamar, crossing it by a bridge built in 1437, for lunch on the Devon side. In the afternoon we visit the country estate of the Duke of Bedford, with gardens and landscape designed by Sir Humphrey Repton. We will take afternoon tea here before returning to Pentillie. This evening we dine out at a well-known, popular local hostelry.
Friday Overnight: Pentillie Castle
We take the scenic train from Gunnislake, over the great viaduct above Calstock, down the peninsula to Bere Ferrers. We will walk along the Tavy estuary, where we may see avocet and curlew on the mudflats, to the 16th century Who'd Have Thought It Inn (voted one of the 50 best pubs in Britain). After lunch, we visit Buckland Abbey, home of Sir Francis Drake, the intrepid sailor who circumnavigated the globe in the 16th century with enormous faith and few maps. Once a Cistercian Monastery, the Abbey now tells the story of how two seafaring adventurers “ Sir Richard Grenville and Drake himself “ changed the shape of the house and the fate of the nation. We return to Pentillie Castle for our Farewell Dinner.
(Single Supplement $695.00)
Hotels - Where we stay
Pentillie Castle and Estate comprises a land area of almost 2,000 acres, lining the Cornish bank of the River Tamar for almost 2 miles. The castle nestles in the centre of the estate surrounded by parkland planned by Humprhy Repton in 1809. The American Gardens sit close to the castle and are comprised of traditional estate gardens including ancient and vast specimens of rhododendron, azalea and camellia as well as towering oak, chestnut, beech and sequoia trees. This magnificent house, recently restored to its former and rightful glory, is home, exclusively, to The Wayfarers for six nights. All rooms have shower and full bath (except Kitson), are beautifully furnished and equipped with TV, hairdryers, robes, tea and coffee making etc. Wi-fi available throughout the Castle.
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What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation
- Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
- A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
- Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
- Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
- Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
- All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
- Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
- First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
- All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
- Wine with dinner
- On-trail snacks and refreshments
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants