Mayflower 400 Celebration Tour

Mayflower 400 Celebration Tour

Celebrate the historic journey of The Mayflower Ship


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Mayflower 400 Celebration Tour

Celebrate the historic journey of The Mayflower Ship

Prices From $6,140p/p

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage from England to America. In 1620, an intrepid group of dissenters set sail across the Atlantic on what was then an incredibly dangerous journey to start a new life in the New World. To commemorate this anniversary, we follow in the footsteps of the Mayflower Pilgrims and trace the Mayflower’s journey en-route for America, learning more about the ship that links four nations and the legacy of a voyage that changed history.

Special extras included in your itinerary
• Guided walk in Lyme Regis
• Guided walking tour of New Street, Plymouth
• Private guided tour of Dartmouth Royal Naval College
• Pilgrims walking tour in Dartmouth
• Refreshments at Bayards Cove Inn
• Guided tour of Exeter Cathedral
• Audio guided tour of SS Great Britain
• Guided walking tour of Oxford
• Themed evening talk by a guest speaker

Day 1
Thursday: Arrival

On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to the Castle Hotel Windsor- MGallery, Windsor Hotel where we stay for the next two nights. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2
Friday: Rotherhithe, Mayflower Pub and London

Our first stop today is Rotherhithe – the London homeport where in July 1620, the Mayflower took on board 65 passengers before journeying onwards to Southampton, and eventually Plymouth where it set sail for the ‘Land of the Free’. Rotherhithe has a long seafaring and ship building history and was the home of Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower, as well as many other crew members. It is also where the Mayflower returned in 1621.

We head to the Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe village, the oldest pub on the River Thames where we enjoy lunch together. This traditional, typically English pub is surrounded by cobbled streets and boasts stunning river views. You can also spot the original 1620 mooring point of the Mayflower.

This afternoon we have some free time to explore England’s vibrant capital city of London. You may like to spend your time discovering one of London’s many museums and art galleries, or perhaps enjoy some sightseeing. There will also be time for you to find somewhere for dinner before we return to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3
Saturday: Southampton, Merchant’s House, Winchester and Winchester Cathedral

Southampton is steeped in maritime heritage. It was a thriving sea port and many of the buildings and streets familiar to the Pilgrims then still exist today. The Mayflower arrived in Southampton in late July 1620, before being joined by the Speedwell, setting sail on 15 August with the intention to sail in company direct to America. We visit Merchant’s House where we take in the history of Southampton’s ‘old town’. Built in about 1290 by a wealthy wine merchant, the house survived many centuries of domestic and commercial use largely intact and has now been restored to its mid-14th century appearance.

We then head to the medieval city of Winchester, ancient capital of England. Winchester’s history is rich and long, with ancient walls, a medieval Round Table, a magnificent military past and an awe-inspiring Norman cathedral. The cathedral’s hidden treasures include the tomb of the author Jane Austen and the Winchester Bible, one of the finest 12th-century bibles to have survived.

Later, we check in to the Lainston House Hotel where we stay overnight with dinner included.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Sunday: Lyme Regis and Exmouth

Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of Dorset’, Lyme Regis is a historic seaside town and fishing port, nestling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Jurassic Coast. The town has a fascinating maritime heritage and rich history stretching back to the 8th century and we discover more on our guided walk.

We then enjoy some free time in the picturesque holiday resort of Exmouth, a bustling little town surrounded by glorious countryside with a vibrant shopping centre, a lovely small harbour and many tempting bars and cafés.

From here, we travel to the Bovey Castle Hotel, our base for the next five nights. We enjoy dinner tonight at our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5
Monday: Coleton Fishacre and Buckfast Abbey

We start our exploration of the region with a visit to Coleton Fishacre, a 1920s Arts and Crafts-style house built for the D’Oyly Carte family. The sophistication of the house’s surviving Art Deco interior contrasts with the magical 30 acre garden, complete with views out to sea.

Our next stop is Buckfast Abbey, nestled in a beautiful wooded valley on the banks of the River Dart. Dating back to 1018, the abbey is home to a community of Benedictine monks. Here, we have the chance to explore the Abbey church with its art treasures, wander the tranquil gardens or browse the gift and produce shops.

On our way back to the hotel this evening, we stop to enjoy dinner in a traditional country pub.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6
Tuesday: Greenway and Saltram

We board the ferry to Greenway, the much-loved holiday home of the famous author Agatha Christie and her family. Nestled on the side of the River Dart and surrounded by a picturesque woodland garden, this atmospheric house is set in the 1950s and contains many of the family’s collections.

Next we head to Saltram, an elegant Georgian mansion set in a rolling landscape park and one of the National Trust’s least discovered treasures. Home to the Parker family for several generations, the house is a rare survival of the period; particularly because it comes complete with its original, impressively lavish contents, including stunning paintings, ceramics and textiles.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7
Wednesday: Plymouth, Elizabethan House, The Box and The Hoe

Our day is spent in Plymouth, Britain’s ocean city. For more than a thousand years the spectacular waterfront has been a port of call or point of departure for adventurers, emigrants, merchant traders, soldiers and sailors. It was from Plymouth, on 16 September 1620, that the Mayflower and her passengers made their final voyage to the New World.

We enjoy a guided walking tour along New Street in the Barbican, one of Plymouth’s oldest streets. The listed buildings, dating back centuries, have retained their historic facades, transporting us into the past. One such property is Elizabethan House. Built in the 1580s, the house is a rare surviving example of its time and still retains many of its original features which we can admire during our visit. The house has been restored to its former glory and has been laid out in the style of a merchant or sea captain’s home from the 1600s.

Next we visit The Box, which opens in 2020 as the flagship building for the Mayflower 400 commemorations. One of its first exhibitions will be ‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’ – a major show that explores the myths and uncovers new meanings connected to the Mayflower’s epic journey in 1620.

Afterwards we head to The Hoe to enjoy the stunning views over Plymouth Sound, one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world. Before leaving Plymouth, there is also free time for you to explore further and find a restaurant for dinner before we return to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8
Thursday: Dartmouth Royal Naval College, Pilgrims Walking Tour and Bayards Cove Inn

This morning we visit the picturesque port of Dartmouth, situated on the banks of the River Dart. Dartmouth has a significant naval history and we start with a private guided tour of the Royal Naval College, home of initial Naval Officer training in the UK since 1863. Here we discover the rich history, role and relevance of this building with its iconic architecture and the naval training conducted here today. The tour includes the elegant Chapel, the Quarterdeck, Parade Ground, Senior Gun Room and Britannia Heritage Museum.

Later we enjoy a Pilgrims walking tour where we learn of the town’s links to the Pilgrim Fathers. In August 1620, having made a detour to Dartmouth, the Pilgrim Fathers departed from Bayards Cove for the New World aboard the Mayflower and the Speedwell. Unfortunately the Speedwell started to sink 300 miles off Land’s End and they all returned to Plymouth from where the Mayflower continued her journey alone to America.

Before leaving Dartmouth, we visit the 500-year-old Bayards Cove Inn for a relaxing drink. We return to our hotel in the late afternoon for time at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9
Friday: Exeter Cathedral, Bristol and SS Great Britain

Leaving Cornwall we stop en-route in the city of Exeter where we enjoy a guided tour of Exeter Cathedral. Dating back 900 years, it is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere. Notable features include an early set of misericords, a 15th-century astronomical clock, a minstrels’ gallery and the longest uninterrupted Gothic vaulted ceiling in the world.

We continue on to the city of Bristol where we travel back in time with a visit to SS Great Britain, the great-great grandmother for all modern ships. Created in 1843 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the ship has been painstakingly restored and we get under the skin of life at sea as we head beneath the glass sea, walk the SS Great Britain's history in the Dockyard Museum and step onto the ship itself on our audio-guided tour.

From here we make our way to the Queens Hotel Cheltenham – MGallery where we stay overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10
Saturday: Oxford

We spend our final day in Oxford, the city of dreaming spires and famous seat of learning. On our guided walking tour, we discover the history and many of the magnificent buildings of the city including Christ Church, one of the most famous colleges of Oxford University. Following our guided tour, we have some free time to enjoy the city at leisure. The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, the Ashmolean (the world’s first public museum) and Bodleian Library are just some of the attractions here.

Afterwards, we return to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11
Sunday: Departure

A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

• Airport transfers from London Heathrow*
• 2 nights at the MGallery Windsor Hotel
• 1 night at the Lainston House Hotel
• 5 nights at the Bovey Castle Hotel
• 1 night at the Queens Hotel

• 1 night at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel

• Welcome drink and canapés
• Full English breakfast each day
• 3-course table d’hôte dinner on 7 nights at the hotels (with after dinner tea and coffee)
• 1 lunch at the Mayflower pub
• 1 dinner at a traditional country pub
• You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Director throughout your stay
• Travel to and from all excursions
• All excursion costs
• Porterage

*supplement applies for transfers from all other airports

Special extras included in your itinerary
• Guided walk in Lyme Regis
• Guided tour of Exeter Cathedral
• Private guided tour of Dartmouth Royal Naval College
• Pilgrims walking tour in Dartmouth
• Refreshments at Bayards Cove Inn
• Guided walking tour of New Street, Plymouth
• Audio-guided tour of SS Great Britain
• Guided walking tour of Oxford
• Themed evening talk by a guest speaker

Your Hotels
Nights One and Two – Castle Hotel Windsor-MGallery Windsor Hotel
The Macdonald Windsor Hotel is situated in the heart of the historic town of Windsor, opposite the famous Windsor Castle. The classic interiors, with a contemporary edge, fit perfectly with the Georgian elegance of this townhouse hotel. The luxury bedrooms are individually-designed and the hotel also offers a stylish bar and restaurant.

Night Three – Lainston House Hotel, Winchester

Nights Four to Eight – Bovey Castle Hotel
Located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, Bovey Castle is a luxury hotel set in 275 acres of beautiful countryside and rolling valleys. First opened as a hotel and golf resort in 1930 by Great Western Railways, the hotel has been extensively refurbished and boasts fabulous bedrooms, a restaurant, brasserie, spa and an award-winning 18 hole championship golf course.

Night Nine – Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

Night Ten- Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor