Southwest England: A country filled with legend

Antique shops and wild ponies, cream tea and fishing villages are some of the things that Devon and Cornwall do best. Those interested in myths and legend will also find plenty to discover on this tour from the windswept plains of Dartmoor to the Lands of King Artus. Sites along the way include mystifying Stonehenge and historical Bath.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

From Hounslow to Eastbourne

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Keddy by Europcar
Vehicle: Hyundai i30 or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: London-Heathrow Airport (Shuttle Service)

From London to East­bourne

134 km | 2:00 h
Along the way you will pass Winch­ester, the capital of England during the early Middle Ages. The Roma­nesque-Norman cathedral in Winch­ester, the second longest church building in Europe, is worth a visit.


Idyllic county southwest of London
The idyllic county southwest of London is quite hilly and densely wooded for English standards. After the Roman occupa­tion it became the center of the Angles and Saxons who had immigrated from Germania during the 5th century. Partic­u­larly beau­tiful landscapes can be found in the southwest, where the Surrey Hills are among the highest peaks in South East England. To the south of Esher are the Claremont Landscape Gardens which have been a maintained English landscape garden since 1715.

Down House

Resi­dence of Charles Darwin
The Geor­gian resi­dence where Charles Darwin lived with his wife and chil­dren from 1842 until his death is located in the small munic­ipality of Downe. It is used as a museum that provides informa­tion about the life of the Darwin family and the origin of his theory of evolu­tion. In addi­tion, many orig­inal furnish­ings that were taken out of the house after the death of Darwin and his wife were procured again. The tour leads through the house, the green­house and the garden.


Garden idyll at the High Wealds
When the German-Jewish busi­nessman Ludwig Ernst Wilhelm Leonard Messel emigrated to England at the end of the 19th century, he bought the 120-hectare Nymans estate because of its wonderful view of the High Weald of Sussex. From then on, the transforma­tion of the estate became his life's work. After his death, his family cont­inued the work. A wild garden was created. In the adjoining forest plants from the temperate lati­tudes of the whole world were planted. A stone mansion replaced the incon­spic­uous “Regentschaftshaus”. Today the garden is one of the most beau­tiful in England and open to the public.

Included in:
National Trust Touring Pass


Seaside resorts and quaint forests

The name of the former county means “Südsachsen” and points out that Sussex was a small Anglo-Saxon kingdom from the 5th century.

In the east it shares borders with Kent, in the north with Surrey and in the west with Wessex. The landscape is mostly flat, with the hills of the South Downs and the Weald being the highest eleva­tions. The rivers are short and of little importance. The coast is the major economic factor. Besides Brighton, Bognor Regis and East­bourne are major seaside resorts. Inland, fruit growing and cattle breeding are of great importance. The South Downs Foopath reveals some partic­u­larly nice loca­tions.

Accommodation: A manor house near Eastbourne

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This piece of prop­erty orig­inally belonged to a chivalric order and was later enclosed by a high wall. The manor house was built 300 years ago and is among the oldest of its kind in the East­bourne area.

Mabel Lucie Attwell, the artist and illus­trator of “Peter Pan,” lived here for a time. Today, guests come from around the world to enjoy the house and the gardens. Wendy, a garden enthu­siast, purchased the prop­erty and turned it into a B&B that has quite appro­pri­ately been given a five-star rating. She will take your wishes into consid­er­a­tion when she prepares the English Breakfast and is happy to give you ideas for excur­sions into the surrounding area.

From East­bourne to Devon

437 km | 5:30 h

This leg of the tour is lined with incred­ible sights: the gothic cathedrals of Salisbury and Winch­ester, for example, are two of the most extraor­d­inary churches in England.

Near Yeovil you can visit Monta­cute House, one of the island's finest Eliz­a­bethan mansions. No trav­eller should not neglect to take a detour to Stonehenge, those world-famous remnants of an ancient, pre-Celtic culture that have forever remained a mystery.


Historic kingdom in Southern England
Unlike Sussex, Wessex (from “West Saxon”) is not a county today, but from the 6th to the 10th centuries, it was one of six kingdoms that later became England. It covers much of the south and southwest of England and extends from Devon to Cornwall. Winch­ester was an important town, which became the capital city under Alfred the Great in 871. There has not been an Earl of Wessex for over 900 years, but there are ongoing efforts in South Central England to develop a sense of regional, cultural and polit­ical identity in Wessex.

Windsor Castle

Resi­dence of the Queen
This is largest palace in the world and also the oldest one to have been cont­in­u­ously resided in. The origins of Windsor Castle date back to the time of William the Conqueror. In addi­tion to Buck­ingham Palace and Holy­rood Palace in Edinburgh, it is one of the offi­cial main resi­dences of the Queen. Lower down from this “English Versailles,” the Thames flows by on its way east toward London.
The Queen has been living cont­in­u­ously in Windsor Castle since her 80th birthday. She only visits Buck­ingham Palace on offi­cial busi­ness. You know she is at Windsor when the royal coat of arms is visible on the Round Tower. In her absence, the Union Jack is flown instead. The palace is open daily to the public. (from March to October: 9.45 am – 5.45 pm)


Former capital of England
Today, this town with a popu­la­tion of 40,000, is merely an admin­is­tra­tive center for the county of Hampshire, but in the 10th and early 11th centuries, Winch­ester was the capital of England. The size of the Winch­ester's cathedral attests to the town's former importance. It is the second-longest cathedral in Europe. Its construc­tion began in 1079 and incor­po­rated a unique mixture of archi­tec­ture from the 11th and 16th centuries. There is a round table in Winch­ester Castle dating from the 12th century and which suppos­edly belonged to King Arthur. However, this is impos­sible since the table would have to be at least 600 years older. Yet such repul­sive argu­ments have not harmed its fame. Tourists come in droves to see it.


Misty national park with spooky character

This histor­ical region in southwest England was made famous by the “Hound of the Bask­ervilles”, a story about a demonic dog.

The setting of the story was not chosen by chance; indeed, the remote moor­lands around Dartmoor abound with myths about mischievous sprites called pixies, head­less horsemen and roaming packs of “spec­tral hounds”. Although the moors, rolling hills and granite cliffs of Devon seem quite pleasant when the sun is shining, the scene can quickly become dark and fore­boding when fog rolls in. The remnants of past human inhab­i­tants contribute to the eerie atmo­sphere: deserted mines, prehistoric menhirs and a myste­r­ious burial site marked by over 70 stones lined up in rows repre­sent a few exam­ples. The former royal hunting preserve with its splendid footpaths was declared a national park in 1949.

Accomodation: A former hunting lodge at Dartmoor

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This historic house on the edge of Dartmoor had been the hunting seat of the Duke of Bedford once. It is set in 100 acres of fairy­tale wood­land, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton, a renowned 18th century English landscape designer.

The rooms and suites are all furnished in an elegant English country house style and offer a view of the gardens, the river Tamar and the country­side. In the morning a healthy and rich Breakfast buffet is offered which is comple­mented by warm dishes from the kitchen. The restau­rant serves regional cuisine based on fresh, local ingre­di­ents in the orig­inal dining room featuring wood-panelling and crests. Of course, in an ambi­ence like this a tradi­tional After­noon Tea is almost indis­pens­able. The romantic gardens and woods as well as the surround­ings are perfect for relaxed and extended strolls.

Bodmin Moor

Prehistoric stone circles in an uninhabited upland moor
This upland moor in the north­eastern part of Cornwall covers over 200 square kilome­ters. Granite lies at the bottom of the moor, which is why water has diffi­culty draining. Imposing rock forma­tions called the “Gates” rise over this deso­late, tree­less landscape. Prehistoric burial mounds and stone circles indicate that the moor­land must have been heavily popu­lated during the Bronze Age. Bodmin Moor has been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its highest point is Brown Willy (420 m), which is also the highest point in Cornwall.

From Devon to Mitchell

88 km | 2:00 h


Rugged coastline, picturesque beaches and subtropical gardens

The most southwest­erly county of England is surrounded by water on three sides: the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the Celtic Sea.

Rough, steep cliffs alternate with long beaches and picturesque bays. The climate is mari­time and due to the Gulf Stream partic­u­larly mild in winter which has Mediterranean and subtrop­ical plants thrive in this region. The gardens and parks around the former aristo­cratic estates benefit from this pheno­menon. Some of them are several hundred years old and among the finest in all of England.

From Mitchell to Wiltshire

297 km | 3:30 h
You will pass two famous resorts before reaching the modern seaport of Bristol: Clevedon and Weston, the latter of which has a two-mile long beach.

Tintagel Castle

Romantic castle ruin on the west coast
The romantic castle ruins off the west coast of Conrnwall could for a long time only be reached by a narrow head­land and a steep ascent with over 100 steps. In the mean­time, the construc­tion of a pede­s­trian bridge connecting the small peninsula with the main­land has made access much easier for visitors.
The legend connects the castle with the legendary King Arthur, who fought the invading Angles and Saxons in the 9th century. Today, however, archae­ol­o­gists rather suspect that the castle was built in the 5th century as an early Chris­tian Celtic monastery and was already a ruin in the 15th century.

Included in:
English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass

King Artus-Bodmin

Northwest of Bodmin Moor stand the ruins of Tintagel Castle, billed as the ances­tral home of the legendary King Arthur. The magic of King Arthur and the Round Table is reflected in the enchanting country­side of Cornwall. Fact is, a heroic knight led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the 6th century. The rest is folklore, mostly written by a Welsh monk six hundred years later. According to that account, the king was raised by a wizard named Merlin, took the throne at age 15, and married a Roman noblewoman named Guin­e­vere. After conquering all of Britain, the brave knight marched on Rome. In his absence his nephew Modredus seized the throne and seduced his wife. Arthur returned home and killed Modredus, but was fatally injured in the process. To prevent his death he is whisked off to the enchanted island of Aval­onia, never to be seen again. His magic sword, Excal­ibur, rests at the bottom of the sea. The popular legend created an entire genre of Arthurian romances, giving rise to such famous char­ac­ters as Lancelot, Parceval and the medieval lovers Tristan and Isolde.

Included in:
English Heritage Oversea Visitors Pass (Tintagel Castel)


Celtic myth of King Arthur
The small town in Somerset has always been a place shrouded in legend. Joseph of Arimatia's grave lies on the hill of Glastonbury – the man who has taken Jesus' body from the cross and buried him. Legend has it that on its way to the Celts he took a rest here and pushed his walking stick into the ground. A bush of thorns has grown, still green today and flow­ering at Christmas. This is believed to be the place where Joseph buried the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus and his disciples drank from. Later on the now oldest church in the British Isles was built here. The ruins of a monastery dating back to the 6th century, are said to be the final resting place of King Arthur. Today, this place of legend attracts many mystics.


Beautiful spa town with hot springs

The only place in England with a spa fed by hot mineral springs, also happens to be one of its most beau­tiful towns.

The baths of Bath were already known during Roman times, evidence of which are the temple ruins in the area. The hilltop city expe­r­i­enced a resur­gence in the 18th century, the period when many of the commu­nity's over 500 histor­ical heritage build­ings were constructed. The entire city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. Nearby Malmesbury is believed to be the oldest cont­in­u­ally inhabited town in England.

Accommodation: A Country-House in Wiltshire

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

Set in the Wiltshire country­side, this house is the birthplace of Reverend Awdry, a well-known pastor and chil­dren's book author.

As a child he was lying awake listening to the trains in the distance, wondering what kind of conver­sa­tions they might have. Many years later these child­hood memories were transformed into the worldfa­mous stories of Thomas the Tankengine. The current owners of the house, Mike and Fran have redec­o­rated it with the help of a designer and turned it into a cozy B&B. Many orig­inal features are still about: the oak flooring or indi­vidual pieces of furni­ture. Those who wants to explore the area should seek advice from Mike. Bath is only 15 minutes by car and a bus runs directly from their doorstep.


From the Black Country to the Metropol­itan Area
The Midlands in the central part of England corre­spond approx­i­mately to the Central English lowlands. They are also called Black Country because they were the centre of coal mining. Its urban centre is the agglom­er­a­tion of Birm­ingham, Wolver­hampton and Coventry with several million inhab­i­tants. With the comple­tion of the Oxford Canal in 1790, the rise of the Midlands began when goods could be trans­ported by water to London.


Major port city made famous by the plague and the slave trade
With a popu­la­tion of 450,000, Bristol is the sixth-largest city in England. It lies at the mouth of the River Avon in the Bristol Channel. During the Middle Ages, Bristol was the third-largest city after York and London, but faced a long and painful declined as a result of Black Death. The city regained its importance during the English colo­niza­tion of America and the slave trade. It is esti­mated that over one million slaves passed through Bristol on their way to New World. Bristol then fell behind Liver­pool in signif­icance starting in 1760. During the Second World War, the historic city center was completely razed by German bombs. The ruins were converted into a park where two bombed-out churches still stand as a memo­rial.


Sheep pastures and idyllic little towns in the heart of England
Beech forests cover the rolling hills, between picturesque villages and historic towns count­less sheep graze on lush meadows: As such, the Cotswolds are known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the north the Cotswold Hills are bordered by the Avon River, in the east they stretch all the way to Oxford. Sheep have made the area rich, and even the churches of the region are known as Wool Churches, because they were built with the money that has been earned in the wool trade. The area has remained wealthy because many rich Londoners have a second home here or retire here. Places of interest are Broadway, Burford, Chedworth, Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh, Painswick, and Stow-on-the-Wold.

From Wiltshire to London

Rental car drop-off

From Wiltshire to London

173 km | 3:00 h

This leg will take you through the hills of southern England. Time should be allowed for a stop at Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world.

Build on a chalk cliff over­looking the Thames, the palace has been used as the summer resi­dence of British monarchs for over 900 years. Near Swindon a detour to the stone circles of Avebury is also worthwhile. Older than Stonehenge, the Neolithic monu­ments arranged in circles date back some 5,000 years.


A prehistoric stone circle and mystical place
This huge prehistoric site is best appre­ciated when seen from above, since then it becomes clear that the small town of Avebury is surrounded by a large stone circle with a diam­eter of over 400 meters. A bird's-eye view also reveals the exis­tence of two stone-lined alleys leading to the center of the circle. Yet even when passing through Avebury by car on A4.361 from A4, you cannot miss the huge stones rising out of the ground along both sides of the road. Avebury is the largest stone circle in the world and one of England's mystical places.

Included in:
English Heritage Overseas Visitors Pass
National Trust Touring Pass

High­clere Castle

Manor house in the style of West­minster
This ornate country house was built in imita­tion of Renais­sance archi­tec­ture, but dates to the 19th century. There have been previous build­ings standing here since the 8th century. The current Castle was designed by the archi­tect Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parlia­ment in West­minster. An entire village was relocated in 1774 to make room for the estate's 900 acre park. The remains of the village church can still be seen southwest of the palace. The 18th century amateur botanist and bishop Stephen Pococke planted cedars of Lebanon on the estate, some of which are still growing there today.

Rental car drop-off

Rental car drop-off
Loca­tion: London (City Office)

From the rental car station to the hotel

8 km | 24 minutes


Multicultural metropolis

The capital of Great Britain and the Commonwealth is one of the most vibrant and exciting metropolises on earth. The 7.5 million inhab­i­tants within its city limits make London the largest city in the Euro­pean Union.

Ever since it was founded by the Romans 2,000 years ago, the city on the banks of the Thames has been a cosmopol­itan mix of cultures and reli­gions. Famous landmarks include the Houses of Parlia­ment, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, West­minster Abbey and Buck­ingham Palace among many others, not to mention such famous institu­tions as the British Museum, the National Gallery and Madame Tussaud's. London is also one of the music capitals of the world, offering numerous venues for every type of music from clas­sical performances in the Royal Albert Hall to electronic trends presented in the pubs of Soho.

Accommodation: A townhouse near Hyde Park

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The hotel with 20 comfort­able rooms stands in a row of a Geor­gian houses in Upper Berkeley Street. The shops on Oxford Street, Hyde Park, and the Marble Arch under­ground station are all just a few minuteswalk away.

The center­piece of the hotel is an elegant lounge with an open fireplace. The atten­tive staff will be glad to assist with the planning of daily activ­i­ties.

Borough Market

London's oldest food market
London's oldest food market is held between Borough High Street and Bedale Street. The Borough Market has a rustic atmo­sphere about it. The stands offer British cheese, fruit, jams, meat and chutneys as well as delica­cies from Spain and France. You can go grocery shopping here for a reason­able price and sample the wares.
Market is held on Thurs­days from 11 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 12 pm to 6 pm and on Satur­days from 9 am to 4 pm.

Hampton Court

Castle-like manor house with a maze
This castle-like manor house dating to the Late Middle Ages is surrounded by a 1,000 acre estate, which has won several prizes for its landscape archi­tec­ture. A Victo­rian garden wall surrounds newly planted flower gardens criss­crossed with canals and winding paths. There is a also a maze made of a thou­sand yew trees. A Gothic tower standing in the middle of the labyrinth offers a 360 degree view of the gardens and the manor house. Tours are avai­l­able.



30 km | 46 minutes
11 days
from € 1,979.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)

An- und Abreise: Flüge zum Selberbuchen finden Sie im Internet. Falls Sie mit der Bahn anreisen möchten, buchen wir gern das Ticket für Sie.
You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–October

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultant
Alina Frielingsdorf

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-25

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