Welcome to the South West - May 3-8 2019

About Explore Great Britain

Dear Partner,

I am delighted you are joining us for the ExploreGB educational trip and I hope you enjoy your time touring Great Britain.

Our Product Development Team in London have been working incredibly hard over the past 12 months to ensure you have a fantastic trip with new itineraries including visits to top attractions, hotels and destinations which you can sell to your clients.

Below you will find a detailed itinerary of your educational trip, along with a comprehensive map and contact details for all the suppliers you will be meeting with throughout the tour.

I hope this ExploreGB educational experience provides you with the inspiration and contacts necessary to enable you to deliver your own tours to Great Britain.

Best Wishes,

Carol Dray, Commercial Director

Welcome to the South West

6 days

South West England is home to eleven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two National Parks and benefits from a feeling of remoteness and tranquillity which makes it a popular holiday destination

Key gateways


Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Cornwall Airport Newquay


Poole, Plymouth

Day 1

Friday, May 3, 2019 - Arrival in London and on to Bovey Castle

After arriving into London, transfer by coach to Devon, where the itinerary starts. This journey is traffic dependent, so the timing might vary. Check into Bovey Castle and take time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight at Bovey Castle before the itinerary starts the next day.

Bovey Castle commands an impressive position, nestled within the dramatic Dartmoor National Park. Dinner at The Smith Brasserie here allows diners to enjoy a stunning rural setting, and seasonal ingredients sourced from Devon and Cornwall used to create dishes of a standard worthy of this beautiful luxury hotel.


13:00Group to meet at arrivals lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 2 by 1pm
13:30 – 16:30Coach transfer to Bovey Castle
16:30 – 19:00Check in and refresh before dinner
19:00 – 21:00Drinks at 7pm at Adams Bar with Bovey Castle sales staff, followed by Dinner
OvernightBovey Castle

Supplier Information

NameBovey Castle
ProfileThe 5 Red Star Bovey Castle is history, excitement, glamour, adventure and the perfect country house retreat in Devon. Where else can you wear your Hunter wellies at 8am, golf spikes at midday, bathing suit for an afternoon in the spa and then pop on your finest glad rags for a smashing dinner in the Great Western Restaurant? But while we offer our guests luxury and indulgence, this isn't a stuffy hotel where you can’t sit on the furniture, let your kids enjoy themselves or have a casual meal in Smith's Brasserie. Bovey Castle is a place where you can live out your dreams, then put your feet up.
Phone01647 445000
FIT or Groups:n/a

Day 2

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - Castle Bovey to Exeter

The next day, relax into the start of the day with time to explore Bovey Castle. Take a site visit to get to know this historic location, before lunch at the hotel. From here, transfer by coach to Exeter, and check in to your hotel.

The capital city of Devon, Exeter is a real blend of modern and historic, with a rich past that stretches back to Roman times. Most notable across the skyline is St Peter’s Cathedral, dating back over 900 years and one of England’s most impressive churches. This afternoon, take the chance to climb the 251 steps to the rooftop to enjoy breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding area. Return to the hotel before transferring for a delicious dinner of local cuisine.

Exeter Cathedral in the West Country set against a cloudy blue sky


08:00 – 09:00Breakfast at hotel, check out and load coach. Guide from Unique Devon to join
09:00 – 12:00Morning at Leisure, with a Falconry Display
12:00 – 12:30Transfer to the Ring of Bells Inn
12:30 – 13:30Lunch at the Ring of Bells Inn
13:30 – 14:55Transfer to Exeter and check in to the Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel
14:55 – 15:30Walk to Exeter Cathedral
15:30 – 16:30Exeter Cathedral Roof Tour
16:30 – 16:35Walk back to Hotel
16:35 – 17:30Refresh for dinner
17:30 – 18:15Walk to Oddfellows Gastro Pub
17:00 – 18:00Dinner
21:00 – 21:45Return to the Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel

Supplier Information

NameExeter Cathedral
ProfileExeter Cathedral is one of the oldest and most beautiful Cathedrals in England. Located in the centre of the city, there has been a Cathedral on the present site for nearly one thousand years.
Phone+44 (0)1392 285983
Min - Max capacity:Min 6 for private Roof Tours
Frequency:Roof Tours usually take place on selected Tuesdays and Saturdays from July to September or at other times (for groups of 6 or more) by appointment.
Private tours:Yes - please contact us with your requirements
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Translation:Audio tours currently available in German. French also available from Summer 2019
Extra information:- Anyone under the age of eight is not permitted on the roof tour. Any child between the ages of eight and sixteen must be accompanied by an adult on a one-to-one basis. - There are over 100 steps to climb. If you have a heart complaint/breathing difficulties/phobia or dislike of confined spaces, darkness, height or flying birds, you must not take this tour. - You are required to wear appropriate footwear at all times. High heels, flip flops, stilettos and sandals are not permitted. The guide has the final decision as to whether you are allowed on the tour. - Due to low ceilings in the roof space and stairwells hard hats, if provided, should be worn at all times unless otherwise stated.

Supplier Information

NameMercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
ProfileThe Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel is a contemporary 4-star hotel and supremely located in the heart of Exeter. Within walking distance to all the main attractions and the city centre, the Exeter Southgate Hotel is perfect for a city break. Whether you are coming for business or for leisure, the Southgate Hotel will cater for you with meeting and conference rooms. Enjoy yourself at the Spa with heated pool, sauna and fitness room.
Phone+44 (0)1392412812
FIT or Groups:Both

Day 3

Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Exeter to Plymouth

Staying in Devon today, after breakfast, take a train between Exeter and Plymouth, heading down to the South Coast. On arrival, visit Plymouth Harbour, including the Mayflower Steps marks the point where the Pilgrim Fathers are thought to have set sail for North America in 1620.

For lunch take a trip with Plymouth Catch and Cook Fishing Tours. Head out into the harbour and try to make a catch from the sea. This will double up as lunch, which is included in this experience.
After a short walking tour around the town, return to your hotel. Dinner tonight is in Boringdon Hall, where AA rosette dining will give a delicious end to the day. Return to Plymouth for the overnight stay.


08:00 – 09:00Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 – 10:30Coach transfer to Plymouth – drop luggage at Crowne Plaza Hotel
10:30 – 10:45Transfer to Plymouth Harbour
10:45 – 11:30Explore the Harbour / Mayflower Steps
11:30 – 15:00Plymouth Catch and Cook Fishing Trip (Inc. lunch)
15:00 – 16:30Walking tour with VB Guide & walk back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel
16:30 – 17:30Refresh for dinner
17:30 – 18:00Transfer to Boringdon Hall
18:00 – 21:00Dinner at Boringdon Hall plus site visit
21:00 – 21:30Transfer back to hotel
OvernightCrowne Plaza Plymouth

Supplier Information

NameVisit Plymouth
CategoryTourist Board / DMO / Local Authority
ProfilePlymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, is one of Europe’s most vibrant waterfront cities. Located by a stunning waterfront and harbour, Plymouth is the perfect place to visit. With dazzling views, rich history and world class events you’ll want to come back again and again.
Phone01752 306330
FIT or Groups:Both

Supplier Information

NamePlymouth Boat Trips
ProfileSet sail with Plymouth Boat Trips, the South West’s premier cruising, ferry and fishing company. From sight-seeing cruises, private charters and party nights to connecting ferries and fun packed fishing trips – there’s something for everyone.
Phone+44 (0)1752 253153
Min - Max capacity:Minimum 4 people required for Fishing Trips
Frequency:Warships & Harbour Cruise: April-September: Departures daily at 11.00, 12.30, 14.00 & 15:30 October: Departures at 11.00, 12.30 & 14.00 November-March: Please check our website for schedules Mackerel & Deep Sea Fishing Trips, and other cruises: Please check our website for schedules
Private tours:Our boats are available for private cruises and fishing trips. Please enquire for further information.
FIT or Groups:Both

Supplier Information

NameMayflower 400
CategoryTourist Board / DMO / Local Authority
Profile2020 is the 400th anniversary of the epic Mayflower voyage from Plymouth UK, to Plymouth USA. Brand new visitor itineraries connecting the 11 UK destinations are available for tour operators to sell onto your clients. A four nation commemoration will take place from November 2019 - November 2020, commemorating the stories of the Mayflower Pilgrims and the ship. There are more than 10 million living descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Day 4

Monday, May 6, 2019 - Plymouth to Redruth

This morning, enjoy some of the English countryside. After breakfast, transfer by coach to the Tregothnan Tea Plantation, before a walk on the Estate to Coombe Village. Meet your tour guide on the shores on the river Fal in the tranquil waterside village of Coombe. Coombe is known as Tregothnan South, as it really is a little piece of the main Estate, but on the other side of the river.

Walk along the shoreline through ancient plum orchards. The Kea Plum orchards are the only ones of their kind in the world, as the Kea Plum grows only in this tiny part of Cornwall and has PDO status. Not only plums but apple orchards are also here, growing ancient varieties of Cornish apples. A tranquil way to start the day.

After lunch, transfer to your accommodation at Penventon Park. Dinner tonight is at Carbis Bay hotel, right on the coast, before returning to your hotel for the night.


08:00 – 09:00Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 – 11:30Transfer to Coombe Village
12:00 – 13:30Guided walk from Coombe Village
13:30 – 15:30Buffet lunch at Tregothan Estate
15:30 – 16:30Transfer to Penventon Park
16:30 – 18:30Check-in and refresh
18:30 – 19:00Transfer to Carbis Bay
19:00 – 21:00Site inspection and dinner (with Japan group)
21:00 – 21:30Return to hotel
OvernightPenventon Park Hotel

Supplier Information

ProfileHome to the Boscawen family, Tregothnan is a living and working private Cornish estate, with a rich history dating back to 1334. The name ‘Tregothnan’ literally means ‘The House at the Head of the Valley’ and is still a private family home today. Tregothnan has the largest historic, botanic garden in Cornwall. Its character was formed by the sixth Viscount Falmouth and his brother – the rector of nearby Lamorran who bought Rhododendrons, rare trees, shrubs and ornamental Camellias into the arboretum two hundred years ago. Tregothnan has persevered in pioneering botanical firsts, using our expertise to nurture rare plants, shrubs and Camellia Sinensis (tea plants) within our unique micro-climate. Eight miles from the coast with the deep sea creek of the Fal Estuary running through the estate, the warm and wet conditions are perfect for our thriving tea plantations, which allows us to grow and produce the most British tea in history. Tregothnan began supplying Britain’s first home-grown tea in 2005, creating the ultimate Britishness in every cup. The world’s first true British tea has been heralded as the ‘new Darjeeling.’ Hidden behind the iconic kitchen garden door – the oldest remaining part of the estate dating back to Plantagenet times – you can find our Camellia Sinensis plantations from which we hand-pluck the leaves at dawn. As well as growing English tea and a vast range of plants that create the delicious herbal infusions, a diversity of lands also allows us to produce Cornish Manuka and wildflower honeys, our fine and rare Kea plum jam and sustainable coppiced charcoal. Beautiful British flowers from the Tregothnan estate and surrounding lands are cut for our range of hand-tied seasonal English bouquets. Tregothnan’s Wild Escapes offer idyllic cottages full of Cornish character, nestled in peaceful orchard locations on the shores of the River Fal. Today we are still as passionate as ever about our tea, flowers, plants, experiences, holidays and all our high quality estate produce. We continue to experiment, create and innovate, surrounded by our exquisite botanical garden, which is the inspiration of all we do today.   Experience all that Tregothnan has to offer. Join one of our garden guides for a Private Garden Tour of our inspirational botanical garden to get lost amongst mountainous magnolias and rhododendrons. How about becoming a tea guru with an Tregothnan tea masterclass, or learning about Tregothnan floristry and how we create our distinctive style or even some live-fire cookery on the banks of the river Fal?
Phone+44 (0)1872 520000.
FIT or Groups:Both

Supplier Information

NameCarbis Bay Hotel, Spa & Estate
ProfileCarbis Bay Hotel & Estate offers a stunning coastal retreat with direct access to its privately owned 25 acre Blue Flag beach and breath-taking views of one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Phone+44 (0) 1736 795311
FIT or Groups:FIT

Day 5

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - Redruth to Newquay

After breakfast and a site inspection of your hotel, it’s time to explore some of the South West’s best food and drink options.

Think “England” and “wine” don’t go together? Think again! With its beautiful vineyards and staff who are really passionate about grape growing, wine tasting at Trevibban Mill in Cornwall showcases some of England’s finest wines. Tours are led by a winemaker who demonstrates the process, before offering visitors the chance to sample five different wines.

After lunch, it’s down to Padstow, for Rick Stein’s cookery school. Known as one of the top chefs in Britain, Rick Stein built his reputation in the village of Padstow. Now, you can improve your own skills at the cookery school, using locally sourced ingredients and a variety of local recipes.

The day continues to your hotel at Bedruthan, after dinner at the cookery school.


08:00 – 09:00Breakfast at the Hotel
09:00 – 10:00Site inspection of Penventon Park Hotel
10:15 – 11:00Transfer to Trevibban Mill
11:00 – 13:30Wine and Cider Tasting at Trevibban Mill Vineyard and Orchards
13:30 – 14:45Lunch at Trevibban Mill
14:45 – 15:00Transfer to Rick Stein’s Padstow Kitchen Garden
15:00 – 16:00Rick Stein’s Padstow Kitchen Garden
16:00 – 16:15Transfer to Rick Stein’s Cookery school
16:15 – 18:00Rick Stein’s Cookery School
18:00 – 18:30Transfer to hotel
18:30 – 19:30Check in and refresh for dinner
19:30 – 21:00Site inspection and dinner at Hotel
OvernightBedruthan Hotel

Supplier Information

NameTrevibban Mill Vineyard
CategoryFood, beverage & Entertainment Venues
ProfileTrevibban Mill is a sustainable and award winning vineyard located a stones throw from Padstow. Wine Tasting and Tours running weekly during high season. Relax in the Winery Bar and enjoy locally sourced food in the lush surroundings encompassing 11,000 vines, and 1,700 apple trees.
Phone01841 541413
Min - Max capacity:20
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:Groups
Extra information:Children and dogs welcome

Day 6

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Newquay to Harrogate

After one final relaxing morning over breakfast, transfer to Cornwall Airport Newquay for your flight to Manchester. On arrival, make the short journey across to Harrogate by coach, in time for ExploreGB itself.

08:00 – 09:00Breakfast at hotel
09:00 – 10:00Free time
10:00 – 11:00Transfer to Cornwall Airport Newquay
11:00 – 12:10Check in at Cornwall Airport Newquay
12:10 – 13:20Flight to Manchester
16:00 – 18:45Coach transfer to Harrogate

All times are subject to change.