2019 Dates: Sundays – 5 May, 2 June, 14 July, 11 Aug, 8 Sept, 6 Oct
The tour starts in London, in the afternoon, where we meet guests at Tower Hill tube station in Central London before heading across the river to Southwark and Rotherhithe, where the Mayflower set sail for Southampton. We visit Southwark cathedral, where Shakespeare’s brother was buried and the John Harvard Chapel, dedicated to the visionary who went on to found Harvard University and also see the Golden Hinde from where Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe in 1577-80.
We will have dinner at the Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe and give guests a full briefing on the rest of the tour.
We travel out of London to Southampton, to visit the Tudor House and Garden and the Mediaeval Merchants Hall. Biking and walking is organised in the afternoon when we arrive in the stunning New Forest, the old hunting ground of Kings and Aristocracy, where the ponies roam free and traffic is restricted. We stay in the stunning Burley Manor, with its beautiful grounds looking over a deer park.
Mileage: Walking 4-8 miles, Biking, 10-20.
After an early morning walk or bike through the stunning forest we set-off for Plymouth in the early afternoon and arrive at the home of the Mayflower, Plymouth, in the late afternoon, giving guests the opportunity to look around the centrepiece of the Mayflower 2020 celebrations. The hotel for the evening is either the Holiday Inn, Jury’s Inn or the Copthorne hotel.
Mileage: Walking, 4-6 miles. Biking, 10-20 miles.
After a morning cycle up the Drake’s trail towards the beautiful Dartmoor or a walk from the stunning village of Dittisham into Dartmouth itself, the tour visits Pilgrim Hill where the Mayflower was moored whilst the Speedwell was being repaired as well as Dartmouth Castle which guards the beautiful estuary. Dartmouth is a stunning town where guests can either take a boat trip around the harbour, a ride on a steam train or just soak up the atmosphere in the town where the Duke of Edinburgh first met the Queen! We travel back to Plymouth for the evening.
Mileage: Walking, 3-8 miles. Biking, 20-40 miles.
After the aborted first voyage, both the Speedwell and the Mayflower turned about for Plymouth and finally the Mayflower set sail with up to 30 crew and 102 passengers on board. We visit buildings, familiar to the Pilgrims which survive to this day including the Island House where Pilgrims are thought to have lodged, The Elizabethan House and Gardens, Black Friars (a gin distillery since 1793 but prior to that ‘The Refectory’ is believed to be the room where the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night before setting sail for the New World), the Mayflower steps, the Jacka Bakery, Custom House and the Mayflower Museum (‘The Box’ will open in 2020 telling the Mayflower story).
A final night celebration dinner is held at the hotel giving guests a chance to unwind at the end of a memorable tour. Cycling is arranged on Dartmoor for those who would like a ½ day in the saddle and there is plenty of walking in and around Plymouth for those who would like to walk.
Mileage: Walking, 4-8 miles. Biking, 20-30 miles.
Guests are free to further explore Plymouth and surrounding area with many taking the trip over to Cornwall and the magnificent Mount Edgcumbe house and park. The tour finishes at lunchtime where guests are free to either stay on in the South West or transit back to London where we will aim to arrive by later afternoon. Many guests may also want to take a trip to Leiden in Holland which can be organised with prior notice.
Guests stay in the best 4* hotels in the Cotswolds region, with unbeatable settings, wonderful accommodation and stunning food – just see Trip Advisor for The Manor Hotel. Further options are available for those who want to stay in a country cottage location or in a selection of hand-picked bed and breakfasts or pubs.
Walk or bike as much or as little as you like as there are options to suit all ages and abilities. Every day guest will be able to shorten the route if required ensuring guests only need to walk and cycle the miles that suit them.
And if you need picking up that’s no problem, we are always on hand to help. A support vehicle is with the guided tours at all times.
If you choose to bike, we have a fleet of bikes from Giant and flat bar, drop bar, road, hybrid and e-bike options all bike types are catered for. Helmets as standard, just bring your shoes and pedals, if you have them, and away you go.