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The best of the West Country

6 days From £649 per person

2022 Tour code: 22NSS

About the tour

Uncover the best of the West Country as you take in a delightful tapestry of scenic railways, idyllic harbour towns and sprawling National Parks. You'll also try award-winning Somerset cider, visit Buckfast Abbey and explore RHS Garden Rosemoor.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Barnstaple

Meet at your hotel in Barnstaple, North Devon's largest town and one of the oldest boroughs in the United Kingdom. Steeped in history yet with a cosmopolitan air, this is the perfect starting point from which to take in the beauty of North Devon and Somerset, with Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks on its doorstep.

Please note that on some departures, you'll stay in Bideford, a nearby port town bursting with history.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Dartmoor National Park

Travel to Exeter for a journey on the Dartmoor Line. This mainline railway has a history dating back to the 1800s, and reopened in 2021 for the first time in almost 50 years. The line whisks you through rural scenery to Okehampton, at the edge of Dartmoor National Park, where you have free time for lunch. The vast heather moorland known as Dartmoor National Park is the rugged heart of Devon, dotted with trickling streams, craggy peaks and deep valleys. You drive into the heart of Dartmoor on a guided coach tour. You see Two Bridges, a local beauty spot that was historically the point where two separate bridges crossed the West Dart and River Cowsic. Today it's a scenic area, nestled an isolated spot surrounded by moorland and greenery. You also visit the picturesque market town of Moretonhampstead.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Travel to Woody Bay, a serene bay surrounded by the scenery of Exmoor National Park, for a journey on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, travelling in Victorian carriage. Relax and take in the backdrop of wild moorland and picturesque coastline. You transfer to Lynton where you have free time. You could ride the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway. This award-winning funicular railway joins the historic towns of Lyton and Lynmouth, separated by a steep cliff, and boasts incredible views across the coast and ocean. Later, you visit RHS Garden Rosemoor. Stroll through the kaleidoscopic displays, including an elegant rose garden with around 2,000 rose plants, the 'hot garden', where plants are chosen for their warm hues, and a fruit and vegetable garden that's home to a mouth-watering array of produce.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Barnstaple

Enjoy a free day to discover more of the area at your own pace. Barnstaple is bursting with things to see and do, from tempting independent cafés to historic markets. The Pannier Market has remained mostly unchanged for over 150 years, and offers an enticing blend of fresh local produce, crafts and flowers. In nearby Bideford, discover a pretty town filled with great pubs, friendly locals and scenic river views.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Somerset

Take the coach to Bishops Lydeard for a trip on the West Somerset Steam Railway, a journey that sees you wind through spectacular countryside on the longest heritage line in the UK. You arrive in Dunster and continue to Minehead in time for lunch. The picture of a quintessential English seaside resort, you'll find a beautiful sandy beach as well as a pretty harbour and host of gift shops, traditional pubs and cafés. This afternoon, stop at Sheppy's Cider Farm, where the Sheppy family have been making award-winning craft cider for over 200 years. You have chance to try the classic Somerset cider, one of the oldest cider brands in the world, made to a traditional recipe passed down through six generations. You return to your hotel for your final evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Home

Your time in Devon ends after breakfast, and you're free to make your way home or continue your explorations further.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Royal & Fortescue, Barnstaple

Royal & Fortescue, Barnstaple

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The Royal Hotel, Bideford

The Royal Hotel, Bideford

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Trains

West Somerset Railway
Dartmoor Line
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

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European Escorted Holidays by Rail 2022

European Escorted Holidays by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to European rail tours and holidays by rail.

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North Devon & Somerset

The best of the West Country

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Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke