Introduction to Plymouth, England
With it's rich seafaring heritage, beautiful natural harbour and fantastic maritime sites, it's no wonder Plymouth – situated on Devon's picturesque South Coast – is known as 'Britain's Ocean City'.
Plymouth's fascinating maritime history stretches back over several centuries. Sir Francis Drake, Charles Darwin and Captain James Cook are just a few of the famous explorers which used Plymouth as a base for some of the great voyages of discovery, including epic journeys to the Galapagos Islands, the Pacific and the Southern Oceans. Plymouth was also the departure point for the Pilgrims when they set sail for North America aboard the Mayflower in 1620.
Plymouth has played a role in many of Britain's most famous battles too. In 1588, Drake plotted the defeat of the Spanish Armada here, apparently while playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe. The Hoe is well worth visiting to follow in his footsteps and enjoy fantastic views of the beautiful harbour and the English Channel. Plymouth was also pivotal in the war against Napoleon's France, serving as a vital base for the Royal Navy; and was heavily bombed in the Second World War before being rebuilt in the 1950's.
Today Plymouth is a thriving waterfront city boasting a selection of fantastic attractions, sights and experiences. You could embark on your own memorable journey from the Mayflower steps and enjoy a boat tour around the Sound; climb the iconic Smeaton's Tower lighthouse and take in the spectacular views from the top; or even while away a few hours at the National Marine Aquarium. There's plenty of shops and restaurants to discover too; while there's also the chance visit the oldest gin distillery in England. Outside of the city the beautiful Dartmoor National Park is within easy reach.
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Explore Plymouth, England with Fred. Olsen
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- Enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful landscape of West Cornwall
- Admire the Georgian city of Truro
- Capture the amazing St Michael’s Mount on camera
Marvel at the compelling scenery of Cornwall.
Commence your scenic tour to the Georgian city of Truro - Cornwall’s county administration centre. You will see Truro’s impressive cathedral and enjoy panoramic views before continuing towards Camborne and Redruth. Here your journey takes you through a countryside of lanes, hamlets, granite cottages and chapels and then back in time to the age of Poldark and tin–mining.
Looming high above Camborne and Redruth is the spectacular granite tor of Carn Brea, crowned by its stark memorial to mine owner Francis Bassett.
You will reach the south coast at Marazion. Lying offshore is a small granite island, rising out of the water like a giant sandcastle – St Michael’s Mount. The mount is connected to the coast by a stone footpath which is only accessible at low tide. Capture photographs of the island, which is crowned by a castle and a cluster of other buildings hugging the rock’s peak. Admire stunning views of Penzance and across to St Michaels Mount.
A packed lunch will be provided.
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This is predominately a panoramic tour with little walking involved. Guests must be able to board the coach unaided. The itinerary may operate in a different order to that described.
- Immerse yourself in the amazing Gardens of Heligan
- Lost for almost 100 years, they are now restored to their former glory
This tour gives you the opportunity to visit the unique time capsule garden of Heligan. The tale of Heligan is extraordinary – literally locked up in 1918, the garden attracted international attention when it was rediscovered in the early 1990s. Volunteers from throughout Europe worked to catalogue and clear the gardens and ravines, which yielded all manner of botanical surprises.
Heligan is beautifully situated at the head of a valley overlooking the lovely and historic fishing harbour of Mevagissey. It is at the heart of an estate comprising roughly 1,000 acres. This estate, in its heyday, was completely self-contained, with a number of farms, quarries, woods, a brickworks, flour mill, sawmill, brewery and productive orchards and kitchen gardens. The war years saw much decay, but the amazing thing is that the gardens just went to sleep. No major alterations have been carried out this century, and all the vernacular and green buildings remain untouched. This is why Heligan is so valuable – there are very few examples of gardens that have not been modernised.
After a guided tour you will explore the Lost Gardens at leisure, seeing one of the largest garden restoration projects in Europe, and share in the excitement and achievements of the restoration team. In the northern garden there are four kilometres (two miles) of footpaths, an Elizabethan mount, rockeries, summer houses, a crystal grotto, an Italian garden, a wishing well and a superb collection of walled gardens. Remarkably, much of the original plant collection has survived. To the south lies the jungle – a sub-tropical valley overlooking the picturesque fishing harbour of Mevagissey – overflowing with palms, tree ferns, bamboos, gunnera and numerous exotic trees and shrubs. The magical Heligan will not disappoint!
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Following a guided walk, there will be time at leisure, where walking is at the discretion of the individual, however varying terrain will be encountered. The gardens are widely accessible to wheelchairs, but please note that there are steps to the Italian garden, and the lost valley and fields are not accessible. Please note that lunch is not included in this tour – there is a tea room/restaurant from which to purchase food if required.
- Explore the Eden Project – the world’s largest global garden
- Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape and enjoy the impressive vistas
The spectacular Eden Project is an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking location. Eden is a gateway into the fascinating world of plants, where science meets arts and technology in a living theatre.
Your journey from Plymouth will take approximately 90 minutes, giving you an insight into the delightful countryside.
The home of the Eden Project is a dramatic global garden the size of 30 football pitches, nestling like a lost world in a crater overlooking St Austell Bay. Cornwall’s mild climate, clean air, ample water supply and southerly location provide ideal conditions for the Eden Project. It is a 14-hectare bowl, 60 metres (196 feet) deep with steep, south-facing walls that catch the sun even in the depths of winter – a natural theatre in which the global garden has been built.
A good start to the Eden Project experience is at the Visitor Centre, situated on the lip of the crater, which will give you an overview of the layout as you look down on to the series of biomes (giant conservatories). Then wander at your leisure down the series of pathways towards the bottom of the crater, enjoying the outdoor landscape. In the Humid Tropics Biome you will experience the sights, smells and sheer scale of the rainforest in the world’s largest conservatory. Visit the Oceanic Islands, Malaysia, West Africa and tropical South America, and look at how people are managing the land to meet their needs and conserve the environment. In the Warm Temperate Biome you will travel the world, from the Mediterranean to South Africa and California, where the plants thrive on drought and poor, thin soils.
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Walking at the Eden Project is at guests’ own discretion over the varying terrain. Time spent here will be at your leisure. Although there is a land train conveying visitors to and from the Visitor Centre, it does become very popular at peak times and guests using this facility should be prepared to allow plenty of time for the return to the tour coach. Lunch is not included in this tour – there are a number of different places from which to purchase food.
- Sit back and relax on a scenic tour through Dartmoor National Park
- Enjoy a brief sightseeing tour through the maritime city of Plymouth
In the heart of Devon lies the National Park of Dartmoor. It is home to more than 30,000 people, and it is the workplace of farmers and foresters who depend upon the land for their livelihood. Steeped in legend and myth, your guide will recount of some of the age old stories of this vast wilderness.
Dartmoor is justly famous for its wide open moors, wooded valleys, rushing rivers and wildlife and its scenery is dominated by its rugged tors and outcrops of granite formed around 280 million years ago. Pass through Bovey Tracey which takes part of its name from William de Tracey, said to be one of the four murderers of Thomas Beckett. Stop at the pretty village of Widecombe, famous for Uncle Tom Cobley and his grey mare, immortalized in the traditional song Widecombe fair.
Continue your journey pausing for photographs at scenic points along the way such as Two Bridges, pass the Victorian prison at Princetown as you head into the heart of Dartmoor before heading back to the ancient city of Plymouth for a scenic overview. Plymouth is perhaps one of the best known Maritime cities in the world, where The Pilgrim fathers set sail aboard the mayflower for the New World and Sir Francis Drake sailed to defeat the invading Spanish Armada.
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This is predominately a panoramic tour with little walking involved. Guest must be able to board the coach unaided. The itinerary may operate in a different order to that described.
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