Please bear in mind that the following examples are completely adjustable, and are purely here to give you an idea of what my tours can involve, as well as an idea of how much they cost.
A four night tour for six people staying at the Orestone Manor
Suitable for a group wanting to relax whilst experiencing Devon’s scenic diversity and wide choice of things to see and do.
A beautiful drive across Dartmoor, visiting a grave with a tale to tell and a Bronze Age settlement, possibly also taking a short walk to appreciate the views from the high ridge of Hameldown. Lunch at The Rugglestone, a renowned country inn where they serve great food and drink followed by a drive to Princetown for a private guided tour of Dartmoor Prison Museum, a quirky and fascinating place attached to the 200 year old, world famous prison itself. We have access to the church built by American and French prisoners of war, as well as the monuments within the prison walls dedicated to the prisoners that died here all those years ago. We will then make our way to Ashburton to enjoy a traditional Devonshire cream tea in Tea at Taylors, a quintessentially English tea shop before returning to your hotel for dinner and a restful night.
Takes us over to East Devon, an area of that retains a delightfully unspoiled feel. Firstly, we will visit Lily Farm Vineyard, where the welcoming owners will take you on a private guided tour of their small but special vineyard, giving you an insight into how they almost fell upon growing grapes by chance. This will be followed by a tasting of some of their award winning wines, after which you have no need to worry – I will drive! We then head into the charming town of Budleigh Salterton for a brief walk along the striking beach, followed by lunch at a boutique restaurant. After lunch I will take you to visit A La Ronde, a truly enchanting house that was built by two sisters in the late 18th Century, following their grand tour of Europe. Being a sixteen sided house certainly makes it a rather different from the norm, never mind the fact that it is full of intriguing and quirky items collected by the sisters during their travels! We then drive to another interesting small town, Topsham, where we can stop for a cup of tea, before returning to your accommodation for the evening.
This is a day to experience a host of modes of transport. From Paignton, we will board the Dartmouth Steam Railway to travel in the old Pullman coaches along the picturesque line to Kingswear. From Kingswear we catch the ferry over to Dartmouth, taking time to wander through this attractive and historically important town. Old buildings, art galleries, boutique shops, a great choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs – it is easy to enjoy an hour or two here. After lunch, we travel by river boat (or possibly paddle steamer) up the River Dart, considered by many to be the most beautiful river in England. Disembarking at Totnes we’ll then be taken by open topped double decker bus to Paignton, before returning to your hotel. Your farewell dinner will be served before your last night in Devon.
after breakfast, it will be time for goodbyes, and you will be taken to Newton Abbot railway station to catch a train to take you on to the next part of your holiday.
Price on request (price includes transfers from and to Newton Abbot railway station, all transport, petrol and parking, my time, all admissions and private tours, accommodation, breakfast, and evening meals. Variable costs such as your lunches, snacks and drinks are to be paid for by you when required and you should pay for your own travel and medical insurance.
A five night tour for two people staying at Kingston House and The Rock Inn
Suitable for people who want to get an inside perspective on Devon, from its history and people, to its landscape and coastline.
After a hearty breakfast we’ll head to the characterful market town of Totnes, where we will be given a private guided tour by a local historian, giving you the opportunity to learn more about this unique and intriguing place. Totnes has a long recorded history, dating back to AD 907 when its first castle was built; it was already an important market town by the 12th century. Indications of its former wealth and importance are given by the number of merchants’ houses built in the 16th and 17th centuries. This will be followed by lunch at one of Totnes’ best restaurants, Rumours. Following lunch, we will head to Sharpham vineyard for a walk and wine tasting. Situated on the banks of the beautiful River Dart, Sharpham vineyard, creamery and dairy farm have been producing wines and unpasteurised cheeses for over twenty years to local, national and international acclaim. You can have a taste of the wonders that they produce! After this, we will head back towards Kingston House, stopping en route at Dartington Cider Press, where you can either spend time in the array of high quality shops, or just relax with a nice cup of tea. You can spend the rest of your evening relaxing back at Kingston House.
After breakfast, we will take a leisurely drive up to Exeter, the county city of Devon, a city with very evident roots that stem back to Roman times. Our first visit of the day will be to the Cathedral for a private guided tour of this magnificent building which dates back to Medieval times, and houses the longest uninterrupted medieval gothic vaulting in the world. Lunch will follow at the highly rated Conservatory Restaurant, where you can enjoy cosy and intimate surroundings whilst eating exceptional food. After lunch we will head to the RAMM (Exeter Museum), which won National Museum of 2012 in the United Kingdom, and for good reason. Here we will have a curator led private guided tour, seeking out artifacts of special interest, as well as having the opportunity to wander for a while at your leisure. Afterwards, we can either head back to Kingston House, or you might fancy ending the day with a traditional Devonshire cream tea in the shadow of the Cathedral. This will be the last dinner and night at Kingston.
After breakfast, I will pick you and your luggage up as you move on to another base tonight. However, our day will start in Dartmouth, where we will visit the British Royal Naval College for a private guided tour of this iconic building where Royal Naval officer training has taken place for over a century. This is a visit that will draw you in with stories of royal students and visitors (both King George V and VI were cadets here), as well as how our present Queen Elizabeth II was proposed to by the Duke of Edinburgh many years ago. Dartmouth, like all of the towns in Devon, is spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat, you a choice of highly rated places to suit your tastes. After lunch we will take the dramatic coastal road along to Torcross, enjoying the beautiful views along the way, and learning about some of the history of this evocative coastline. Then to Start Point lighthouse, for a short but fascinating private guided tour and allowing you to appreciate the amazing views. The early evening sees us head up to the Rock Inn on the edge of Dartmoor, where you will be able to relax into this traditional and comfortable old English inn, as well as enjoy their fine home cooked food.
Your final day will give you a fantastic insight into what Dartmoor is all about. I will take you on a beautiful drive across the Moors, visiting a grave with a tale to tell and a Bronze Age settlement, possibly also taking a short walk to appreciate the views from the high ridge of Hameldown. Lunch will be at The Rugglestone, another fabulous country inn where they serve great food and drink. We then drive up to Princetown, where you will have a guided horse riding tour across the open moors, an experience sure to remain with you for all the right reasons. I will return you afterwards to the Rock Inn, where you will be able to sit back, relax, and reminisce with pleasure about what a wonderful few days you’ve had.
After breakfast, it will be time for goodbyes, and you will be taken to Newton Abbot railway station to catch a train to take you on to the next part of your holiday.
Price on request (price includes collection from Heathrow Airport, all transport, petrol and parking, my time, all admissions and private tours, accommodation, breakfast, and evening meals. Variable costs such as your lunches, snacks and drinks are to be paid for by you when required and you should pay for your own travel and medical insurance).