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England

Cornwall: England’s Hidden Treasure

Program No. 22431RJ
Venture to the famous Falmouth Harbor to learn about Cornwall’s 4,000-year-old history, from the ancient standing stones of Bodmin Moor to medieval castles and historic mines.
Length
10 days
Rating (4.58)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,399
Flights start at
1,000

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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 26 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 10 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 17 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
4,399
Jun 7 - Jun 16, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Jun 21 - Jun 30, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Aug 30 - Sep 8, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Sep 6 - Sep 15, 2023
Starting at
4,499
Sep 13 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
4,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 26 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
5,279
May 10 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
5,279
May 17 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
5,279
Jun 7 - Jun 16, 2023
Starting at
5,399
Jun 21 - Jun 30, 2023
Starting at
5,399
Aug 30 - Sep 8, 2023
Starting at
5,399
Sep 6 - Sep 15, 2023
Starting at
5,399
Sep 13 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
5,399

At a Glance

Journey to the stunning sea-swept landscapes of Cornwall, England, where the rugged coastline and surrounding moorlands are home to over 4,000 years of fascinating history as well as some of the most gorgeous landscapes in all of England. Join an expert historian as you explore Cornwall’s most interesting sites, including medieval castles, a preserved Iron Age village and a historic tin mine. Discover the geological phenomenon of Land’s End, learn the legends of Bodmin Moor and its ancient stone monuments, and try the local delicacy — the humble Cornish Pasty!
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Participants must be able to walk and stand for up to two hours at a time.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Join an expert historian to learn about Cornwall’s rich history at the Iron Age Chysauster Ancient Village and the ancient monuments of Bodmin Moor.
  • Learn about the Victorian-era Levant Mine, the site of the world’s only Cornish beam engine still in operation.
  • Explore two of Henry VIII’s iconic castles — the mighty fortress of Pendennis and the elaborate St Mawes.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Cornwall Map
by Ordnance Survey
A colorful, British produced map of Cornwall at a scale of 1:100,000.
Vanishing Cornwall
by Daphne, Dame Du Maurier
Du Maurier celebrates Cornwall, the county that served as the haunting backdrop for Rebecca, exploring its legends, history and people -- and making a powerful plea for its preservation.
No Fixed Abode, A Journey Through Homelessness from Cornwall to London
by Charlie Carroll
Charlie Carroll travels from Cornwall to London the old-fashioned and quaintly English way: on foot. Carroll explores ideas of homelessness as he experiences the life of a tramp firsthand. Mixing current affairs with travelogue, he interviews Boris Johnson, Jeremy Paxman and the homeless people who work with them along the way.
The Cornish Coast Murder
by John Bude
A classic crime novel first published in 1930s and set in a vividly depicted fishing village on the picturesque Cornish Coast. Inspector Bigswell must work with the shrewd Reverend Dodd to uncover the truth behind a mysterious murder.
Persuasion
by Jane Austen
Set in Lyme Regis and Bath, this novel is possibly Austen's most mature finished work. There's particular pleasure for Bath-goers here, as much of the final action unfolds in streets and buildings that exist in Bath to this day.
Rising Ground, A Search for the Spirit of Place
by Philip Marsden
From Bodmin Moor and Tintagel to the granite tombs of the southwest, writer- journalist Philip Marsden profiles Cornwall’s most ancient sites and ritual places. At the heart of his discussion: the relationship between man and landscape.
Kingdom by the Sea
by Paul Theroux
This time, the prolific writer recounts a coastal journey around the British Isles in 1982, displaying his occasional ill temper alongside his celebrated ability to combine social history with a good old-fashioned traveler's tale.
In Search of England
by H.V. Morton, Jan Morris (Introduction)
The much-beloved, enduring account of Morton's ramblings through the English countryside in the early days of the motorcar. Morton charmingly mixes a deep appreciation of the art, culture and history of the place with his own keen observations.
Birds of Europe
by Lars Svensson
Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide features updated text and maps.
A Pair of Blue Eyes
by Thomas Hardy
One of Hardy's lesser-known novels -- tragic, romantic -- and set in Cornwall.
King Arthur and His Knights
by Eugene Vinaver
A volume of Arthurian legends directly attributable to Mallory's original tales.
Prehistoric Britain
by Timothy Darvill
An archaeological history examining the development of societies in Britain from earliest times to the Roman conquest of 43 AD.
Seamanship, A Voyage Along the Wild Coasts of the British Isles
by Adam Nicolson
Nicolson offers an engrossing account of a coastal voyage from Cornwall, along the western coast of Ireland, out to the Faroes and to Orkney in this brief hymn to the sea.
The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg
This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a chronology.
Wild Coast
by Marianne Taylor
A celebration of Britain's magnificent coast through authoritative text and oversized color photographs. Taylor not only captures the island's sheer limestone crags and rocky shores but also the coastline’s wildlife habitats, where terns and plovers bicker and wildflowers crown clifftop meadows.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Arthur Conan, Sir Doyle
Conan Doyle's only full-length novel featuring the beloved Sherlock Holmes, this intrigue is set on in eerie Dartmoor.
Roman Britain, A Very Short Introduction
by Peter Salway
An excellent, brief overview of the Roman period in Britain by a leading specialist.
Lonely Planet Devon & Cornwall
by Lonely Planet
This comprehensive practical guide in the hallmark Lonely Planet style includes local and regional color maps, a section of photographs, and chapters on history, culture and attractions.
England Southwest, Midlands, Wales Map
by Michelin Maps
Presented in vivid color, this highly detailed road map of England and Wales reaches from Liverpool and Manchester, south to Penzance and Portsmouth. Scaled at 1:400,000.
Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier
Du Maurier's classic is a sustained, suspenseful psychological novel, memorably set on the Cornish coast. This book is a must-read for literarily inclined travelers to Du Maurier country. Our narrator is Mrs. de Winter whose husband, a widower, holds a growing obsession with his first wife.
Jamaica Inn
by Daphne du Maurier
This classic, set in Cornwall, has all the elements of a guilty pleasure: piracy, murder, the High Church, a dying request and a dashing young horse thief.
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10 days
9 nights
19 meals
8 B 4 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive London, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
London, England
L,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Lunch: In the hotel dining room, we will have a 2-course buffet meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Orientation, 5:00 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This Road Scholar program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. All transportation will be provided via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal, with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Transfer To Falmouth, Exeter City, Cathedral
Falmouth
B,L,D
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 4 hours, approximately 200 miles to Exeter, then about 2 hours, approximately 100 miles to Falmouth. Walking about 1.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets and paths, some cobblestones.

Breakfast: In the hotel, we will have a breakfast buffet featuring breakfast meats, a variety of eggs, baked beans, hash browns, cereals, yogurt, cheeses, pastries, toast with jams and marmalades, plus coffee, tea, juices, water.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and board a motorcoach to begin our transfer through England's south-west to Falmouth. On our way, we will stop for a field trip led by our Study Leader in the city of Exeter, a Roman fortified settlement called Isca and a stronghold of the Saxons.

Lunch: In Exeter, we’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose food and drinks from a range of eateries.

Afternoon: In Exeter, we will explore St. Peter’s Cathedral, completed in 1375 and the world’s longest unbroken Gothic vault ceiling in the world. One boss – a protrusion often found at the intersection of the vault – shows the murder of Thomas Becket. Within the cathedral is the Minstrel’s Gallery, twelve angels playing musical instruments, and the bishop’s throne from the early-14th century. We’ll then continue on to Falmouth by motorcoach, for a late afternoon check-in.

Dinner: In the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, tap water; other drinks available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ancient Monuments, Sennen Cove, Land’s End, Levant Mine
Falmouth
B,L,D
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 95 miles, about 3 hours. Walking about 3 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, sandy beach with rocky areas, farm fields.

Breakfast: In the hotel, we will have a breakfast buffet featuring breakfast meats, a variety of eggs, baked beans, hash browns, cereals, yogurt, cheeses, pastries, toast with jams and marmalades, plus coffee, tea, juices, water.

Morning: We’ll set off by motorcoach to West Penwith and the Land’s End peninsula, with more visible ancient monuments than the rest of England put together. As we explore this landscape, we will look into the theories revolving around these ancient villages and stone circles. Our field trip begins with a stop at Chysauster village, where the eight stone dwellings are among the finest examples of life in England 2,000 years ago. A prime example of an Iron Age and Romano-British village, it is set on southwest-facing slopes and surrounded by ancient field system, showing their agricultural way of life. It is believed that this settlement was inhabited until the Roman occupation. As we explore, be on the lookout for the “fogou,” the Cornish name for underground cave – the purposes of which is unknown. We’ll then continue by motorcoach to Penn-an-Wlas (Land’s End in Cornish), the westernmost point of the mainland, that has been held in high regard since the ancient Greeks referred to it as the “place of the sun.” We’ll discover more about the rich past of this famous area of Cornwall. The Land’s End headland is home to a Neolithic – or Stone Age – cemetery, Bronze Age burial mounds, and an Iron Age hill fort within 200 yards of our famous Cornish landmark—evidence of 10,000 years of human use and settlement. From the Penwith peninsula, we will travel by motorcoach to Sennen Cove, a small coastal village and harbor.

Lunch: At a quaint 17th-century fisherman’s inn, we will enjoy a traditional meal of fish and chips.

Afternoon: We will then have some time to explore Sennen Cove on our own. Land’s End is less than a mile away, and the cove is renowned for its stunning cliff top views, attractive beach, and interesting links to the inshore fishing industry. We’ll regroup in the village of Sennen Cove and take the motorcoach to Geevor, where our day of exploration will continue with a field trip on foot to the National Trust’s Levant mine, led by a local expert. The Levant mine is a link to Cornwall’s most famous traditional industry and part of the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The Newcomen Beam Engine also points to Cornwall’s strong tradition of engineering and ingenuity, particularly in relation to mining and seafaring. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll return to the hotel by motorcoach.

Dinner: Plated hotel meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
St Mawes Castle, Free Time
Falmouth
B
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off the boat; sailing approximately 10 miles, about 1 hour. Walking approximately 2.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets, sandy beach with rocky areas. Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today we will travel by boat and on foot in the Falmouth Bay area to learn about natural beauty, maritime heritage, wildlife, the Civil War, the fishing industry, shipping and commerce, great liners, and the Falmouth Packet. Falmouth is one of the three deepest natural harbors in the world, only behind Sydney, Australia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The boat trip takes us along the Carrick Roads estuary, passing Mylor, Flushing, and Restronguet, important pilchard and herring fishing villages up until the mid-20th century. We will then land in St Mawes, an idyllic fishing village at the mouth of the Carrick Roads. We will visit the castle here, one of two guarding the approaches to Falmouth harbor.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to sample some local produce in St Mawes. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You will be given a ferry ticket to Falmouth and have the opportunity to explore the pretty town, visit English Heritage’s Pendennis Castle, or the National Maritime Museum, among others.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Returning to the hotel on our own, the rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
6
Bodmin Moor, Jamaica Inn, Boscastle, Port Isaac
Falmouth
B,D
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 140 miles, about 4.5 hours. Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; gravel and grass paths with some steep sections, uneven grassy and rocky areas, paved streets.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will travel by motorcoach to mysterious Bodmin Moor, where we will look at legends and superstition tied to Christian evangelism. We will stop at Jamaica Inn, which inspired Daphne Du Maurier to write a novel of the same name – later to be made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. From there, we’ll continue to Minions to visit the Bronze Age stone circle. Minions is home to the Hurlers stone circle, the Cheesewring or natural granite tor, and several old granite quarries where a hermit lived through much of the 20th century. Afterwards, we’ll continue on to the village of Boscastle.

Lunch: On your own to choose in Boscastle.

Afternoon: Boscastle is a beautiful village at the head of a fjord-like natural harbor. It was scene of a terrible flood in 2004, and is a good illustration of how topography contributes to natural disasters, how communities recover, and the effects of climate change. We’ll hear tales of witchcraft associated with the village from our Study Leader, before time to explore on our own. Reconvening in central Boscastle, we will drive to Tintagel. Here we will enjoy a short walk from Cornwall’s oldest church onto Glebe Cliff for breathtaking views of Tintagel Castle and Island. We’ll then continue by motorcoach through slate quarrying country to Port Isaac – a picturesque and ancient fishing village with an interesting history. This was also the location for the movie “Saving Grace” and comedy drama “Doc Martin.” Here, we will have another opportunity to explore a Cornish fishing village independently. Our Study Leader will provide options for exploration. Afterwards, we’ll return to the hotel by motorcoach.

Dinner: Plated hotel meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Mevagissey, China Clay Center, Lost Gardens of Heligan
Falmouth
B,D
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 70 miles, about 3.5 hours. Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets, some cobblestones, woodland and gravel paths.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and ride to Wheal Martyn China Clay Center for an expert-led field trip. The only visitor center in Cornwall dedicated to this two-century-old industry, Cornish china clay is of a particularly high quality. Then we'll continue to Mevagissey, where we will consider the fishing architecture and vernacular architecture as a group. Mevagissey is a picturesque fishing port founded in medieval times, with attractive old buildings around the harbor, narrow cobbled streets, and an excellent aquarium and local museum.

Lunch: On your own to choose in Mevagissey. Needless to say, the pasties and the fish and chips are top class!

Afternoon: We will have some time following lunch to explore Mevagissey independently. We will then depart for the Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the United Kingdom’s most popular botanical gardens. A staff member will lead us through the extensive garden before we explore independently. The Lost Gardens are a faithful reconstruction of the original Georgian/Victorian garden after many of the staff members were lost in the Great War. The garden is a charitable trust and has been dedicated to the memory of those gardeners. The intrepid may wish to venture into the lower level "jungle" area. We will regroup to return to Falmouth by motorcoach late in the afternoon.

Dinner: At a local restaurant we’ll have a 3-course plated meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Fowey, Poldark's Charlestown, Shipwreck Center
Falmouth
B,L,D
The Falmouth Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 70 miles, about 3.5 hours Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets, some cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll experience some spectacular views and literary associations as we travel by motorcoach to Fowey, and on to Charlestown, made famous by the BBC series “Poldark.” In each village, we’ll delve into the literary history of Cornwall while also learning about local history, geology, myths, and legends. Fowey is a beautiful harbor spectacularly located on the estuary of the same name. It was the home of Daphne Du Maurier. As well as literature, local crafts, and industry, there is a wealth of natural beauty on display too. The Fowey estuary is a deep-water anchorage and you never know what you will find anchored up – Bill Gates' yacht has been spotted here!

Lunch: In a traditional Cornish pub on the quay, we’ll enjoy a light lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll continue by motorcoach to Charlestown, and learn more of Cornwall's past of piracy and smuggling at the Shipwreck Heritage Centre from our Study Leader. We’ll then return to Falmouth by motorcoach.

Dinner: Plated hotel meal.

Evening: We will bid farewell to Cornwall as we spend our last evening at leisure here and prepare for our transfer to London in the morning.

DAY
9
Transfer to London, Wells
London Heathrow Airport
B,D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 300 miles, about 6 hours throughout the day. Walking about 1.5 miles, periods of standing; paved streets and paths, some uneven flagstones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel for our full-day transfer to London’s Heathrow Airport. On our way, we will stop for a field trip in the cathedral city of Wells. Wells is among the smallest cities in England, earning the designation thanks to its 13th-century Cathedral Church of St. Andrew.

Lunch: On your own in Wells for you to choose from the many central eateries.

Afternoon: We will continue with the final portion of our transfer to the airport, checking in in the late afternoon.

Dinner: In the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal, with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: In the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal, with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the hotel, we will have a breakfast buffet featuring breakfast meats, a variety of eggs, baked beans, hash browns, cereals, yogurt, cheeses, pastries, toast with jams and marmalades, plus coffee, tea, juices, water. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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