We have planned this tour of southern England to include locations and attractions not in the run-of-the-mill itineraries, giving you the opportunity to visit some of those less-accessible, but interesting places.
John will guide you through some of the lesser-known towns and villages and hidden gems of Southern England. History, scenery, village life, special destinations and of course some surprises along the way make this tour one not to be missed.
Special highlights include:
● Oxford and its famous University ● the medieval town of Tewksbury ● a canal boat adventure in the Bath region; ● the south west corner of Cornwall via Dartmoor and the Cornish fishing villages ● St Michaels Mount ● lunch at Highgrove Gardens ● the Isle of Wight ● The 1066 Battle of Hastings site ● Sir Peter Blake’s Memorial ● the grand finale in London.
Depart Auckland on Air New Zealand
On arrival at London Heathrow airport, travel by coach to the university town of Oxford for a two night stay. A welcome dinner is included tonight.
This morning, set out on a walking tour of Oxford, a city of spires and home to 38 colleges. We see highlights of some of these, hear of famous literary figures such as Tolken, CS Lewis and Oscar Wilde.
Apart from its reputation as a leading university in the world, Oxford derives from a place where animals (cattle, oxen) could ford the river Thames.
The afternoon is free to further explore this fascinating city.
After breakfast, a leisurely day travelling through some of England’s gentle and picturesque countryside and villages. Arrive in Tewkesbury for a visit to Tewkesbury Abbey - famous for its stained glass windows and a history dating back to the 7th Century.
It was also the scene of a bloody massacre that played a major role in the War of the Roses between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians.
Our hotel tonight dates from the 15th century. Queen Mary stayed there in 1937 which is how it was bestowed its Royal title and Charles Dickens mentions the hotel in his book The Pickwick Papers.
Today travel through the Cotswolds with its golden stone buildings, English gardens and village pubs. See Cirencester and Tetbury where we visit Highgrove Gardens – the country home of Prince Charles and Camilla. Prince Charles started from scratch in 1980 and the garden is entirely organic. He sought advice from Lady Salisbury, an experienced organic gardener and Miriam Rothschild a leader in biodiversity. After lunch at Highgrove, drive to the Roman city of Bath for a two night stay.
This morning, experience a cruise on one of the local canals – a time to relax and enjoy the tranquil scenery and lunch on board.
Afternoon free to follow your own interests in Bath with its 18th Century honey-coloured local stone architecture and natural hot springs.
After breakfast, travel through the Cheddar Gorge, Britain’s most dramatic gorge with 138m high cliffs. This region is where Cheddar Cheese originated. Continue to Exeter and across Dartmoor National Park (famed for its rugged, desolate beauty and wild ponies), to the market town of Tavistock in West Devon. (Birthplace of Sir Francis Drake).
Our coach journey includes a visit the Eden Project, an environmental complex containing the world's largest greenhouse. It was built in a disused clay pit to study plant populations in a variety of environments
For the next three nights, our stay is in the delightful, but little-known coastal Cornish town of Marazion.
Meet the locals day. Marazion is famous for its island castle, St Michael’s Mount with access from the town by a man-made causeway, passable at low tide or by boat. The Mount has a historical link to its sister isle in Normandy, Mont St Michel. A guided visit is included.
An easy touring day of the Penwith Peninsula that includes a visit to the open- air Minack Theatre set on the coastal cliffs, a walk to Lands’ End and St Ives, the once internationally-famous artistic centre.
Our journey takes us to Bodmin Moor and the Jamacia Inn, scene of Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name and reputedly a haven during the great smuggler days. Continue on the west coast of Cornwall into Devon, before arriving in the Somerset town of Taunton.
Today we drive through the thatched-cottaged-valley of Bratton Downs where the famous Whitehorse adorns the hillside and onto Salisbury, famous for its cathedral. From there, through the 90,000 acre New Forest, planted 1000 years ago and later became a royal hunting reserve for William the Conqueror.
It is mixture of villages, grazing rights and different types of deer, donkeys and hundreds of ponies roaming free. Note: these animals have the right of way on the road!!
This morning take a forty minute ferry ride from Lymington to Yarmouth followed by a sightseeing tour of the southern coast.
Sightseeing today takes us to Newport and Carisbrook Castle where Charles I was imprisoned then on to Cowes, the holiday resort for the 18th & 19th Century wealthy. Cowes’ Week is one of the yachting world’s traditional regattas, attracting the yachting fraternity from around the world. A visit to Osborne House is included.
Our ferry returns us to the mainland at Portsmouth, from there we will visit the remote countryside area of Hambledon, renowned as the early home of cricket. We lunch at this historical spot at the Bat and Ball Inn.
Next comes Emsworth and a stop-off at Sir Peter Blake’s Memorial.
From there we coach the southern coast to Eastbourne in Sussex for an overnight stay.
Another major historical stop. A few miles out of Hastings is the town of ‘Battle’, famous for the ‘1066’ Battle, an event that profoundly changed the world. King Harold supposedly died from a stray arrow in the eye and the Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror) who invaded from France, became King of England.
Continue on to London to our accommodation in Hackney – East London.
Today, visit Buckingham Palace where our own tour includes the Royal Mews and Staterooms. Rest of day at leisure.
Tonight we have our Farewell Dinner.
For those returning to New Zealand, coach transfer to Heathrow for departure flight.
Cross the International dateline.
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
|Twin Share||Single Supplement|
|Land Only (London – London)||-$2,600|
|Business Class Upgrade||
|Premium Economy Class Upgrade||+$3,300|
|Early Booking Discount (If deposit paid by 01/12/2017 )||$150|
|Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount||$100|
*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.
The weather in England is always changeable and September is the beginning of Autumn – very often warm and unsettled. The days are still long and the countryside mellow. Daytime temperatures are around 20˚c and night time 11 ˚c
The Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has a milder sub climate than other areas of the UK which makes it a popular holiday destination. The Isle is also sunnier with 1,800 – 2,100 hours of sunshine a year and has a longer growing season.
Queen Victoria made Osborne House on the Isle of Wight her summer home for many years and after Prince Alfred died she made it her home. As a result, it became a major holiday resort for fashionable Victorians including Alfred Lord Tennyson, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Charles Dickens (who wrote much of David Copperfield there), Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on 22 January 1901, aged 81.
During the Second World War the island was frequently bombed. With its proximity to France the island had a number of observation stations and transmitters.
Walking tours are an important part of the itinerary and a good standard of health is required with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change