22431
England
Cornwall: England’s Hidden Treasure
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.
Rating (4.9)
Program No. 22431RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,149
Flights start at
800
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10 days
9 nights
18 meals
8 B 3 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
London, England
D
Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

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

Morning: If you arrive before rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the concierge and go out for a walk or relax in the hotel.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. 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. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: In the hotel, we’ll have a 2-course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, tap water; other drinks 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
To Falmouth, Exeter City, Cathedral
Falmouth
B,L,D
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Drive is approximately 200 miles to Exeter, taking about 4 hours; approximately 100 miles from Exeter to Falmouth, taking about 2 hours.

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: 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 Isca and a stronghold of the Saxons.

Lunch: Your Group Leader will give you a lunch allowance so that you can sample some eateries in Exeter.

Afternoon: 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 Bishops Throne from the early 14th century. We then continue on to Falmouth by motorcoach, a journey of 98 miles, approximately 2 hours, 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
St Mawes Castle, Free Time
Falmouth
B,D
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Getting on/off the boat. Walking up to 2 miles on even terrain.

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: Today we travel by boat and on foot in the Falmouth Bay area to learn about natural beauty, maritime heritage, wildlife, 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 and with stops at Flushing and Restronguet; important pilchard and herring fishing villages up until the mid-twentieth century. It will then land in St Mawes, an idyllic fishing village at the mouth of the Carrick Roads. The town has a castle which was one of two guarding the approaches to Falmouth harbour, which we will visit.

Lunch: On your own to sample some local produce in St Mawes.

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: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Ancient Monuments, Sennen Cove, Land’s End, Levant Mine
Falmouth
B,L
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Drive approximately 35 miles, taking about 1 hour. Walking up to 3 hours on even terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Set off to West Penwith and the Land’s End peninsula, with more visible ancient monuments than the rest of England put together. As we visit several of these sights – including Chysauster village, Lanyon Quoit, Mên an Tol, Mên Scryfa – 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 and Romano-British village, it is set on south-west facing slopes and surrounded by ancient field system, showing their agricultural way of life. It is believed that this settlement was occupied until the Roman occupation. As we explore, be on the look out for the “fogou,” the Cornish name for underground cave – the purposes of which is unknown. Continue to Penn-an-Wlas (Land’s End in Cornish), the most westerly 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. People have been travelling to and living at Land’s End for ten thousand years or more. From the Penwith peninsula, we travel to Sennen Cove, a small coastal village and harbor.

Lunch: At a quaint 17th century fisherman’s inn, enjoy a light meal of local produce such as a Cornish pasty and a side dish. We’ll learn of the old mining tradition of a lunchtime pasty and the truth behind its "crimped" edge.

Afternoon: We will the have some time to explore Sennen Cove on our own. Land’s End is only a half mile away, or enjoy its stunning cliff top views, attractive beach, and interesting links to the inshore fishing industry. If you’re lucky, you may be able to see dolphins and seals at White Sand Bay. Our day of exploration continues with a field trip to 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 for an opportunity to rest, relax, and freshen up.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Megavissey, China Center
Falmouth
B,D
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Drive approximately 35 miles, taking about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our day begins with a field trip 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 continue to Mevagissey, where we will consider the fishing architecture and vernacular architecture as a group. Since Medieval times, Mevagissey is a picturesque fishing port with attractive old buildings around the harbor, narrow cobbled streets, and an excellent aquarium and local museum.

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

Afternoon: We will have some time following lunch to explore Mevagissey independently. At 2:30 p.m., we 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 time for us to 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. Themes covered at Heligan are the Georgian and Victorian periods, wealthy mine owners. Return to Falmouth late in the afternoon.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Bodmin Moor, Jamaica Inn, Boscastle, Port Isaac
Falmouth
B,D
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Drive approximately 100 miles, taking about 2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Travel to mysterious Bodmin Moor, where we will take a 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. Then 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. 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. The scene of a terrible flood in 2004 and a good illustration of topography contributing to natural disasters, how communities recover and climate change. From our Group Leader, hear tales of witchcraft associated with the village before free time to explore on your own. Reconvening, we drive through slate quarrying country as we head to Port Isaac – a picturesque ancient fishing village with an interesting history, where we will have another opportunity to explore Cornish fishing villages independently. It was also the location for the movie ‘Saving Grace’ and, of course, comedy drama ‘Doc Martin’ which is very popular in the USA. Enjoy free time in both Boscastle and Port Issac. Your Study Leader will advise you on options for exploration.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Fowey, Polruan, Poldark's Charlestown, Shipwreck Center
Falmouth
B,L,D
St Michael's Hotel & Spa

Activity note: Drive approximately 150 miles throughout the day. Walk or take the shuttle bus from the motorcoach to the boat.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today experience some spectacular views and literary associations as we travel by motorcoach to Fowey, by boat to Polruan and on to Charlestown, made famous by the BBC's recent series Poldark. Stopping in each village, 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. Her son is still resident in equally ancient and beautiful Polruan. Historically, Polruan was famed for its boat building industry. As well as literature, local crafts and industry there is a wealth of natural beauty on show 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 for a plated 2-course meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will return to Fowey by boat, where our motorcoach is waiting for us. Continue on to Charlestown, with an opportunity to learn more of Cornwall's past of piracy and smuggling at the Shipwreck Heritage Centre from our Study Leader. Return to Falmouth.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: After dinner bid farewell to Cornwall as we spend our last evening here and prepare for our transfer to London in the morning.

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

Activity note: Drive is approximately 300 miles, taking about 5 hours throughout the day.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: 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. As we explore, learn what a true medieval city looks like. 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: 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, plus coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure to pack and prepare for your departure tomorrow morning.

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. 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 rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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