Devon & Cornwall Literary Adventure

Book this tour

September 17 to 26, 2017 from $5,150 for Royal Oak members from $5,300 for nonmembers

October 1 to 10, 2017 from $5,350 for Royal Oak members, from $5,500 for nonmembers

No single supplement – very limited availability

Join us on a tour with a difference and experience first-hand how Agatha Christie, one of Britain’s best-loved writers, lived and was inspired, with the opportunity to stay on her holiday estate. The stunning scenery of Devon and Cornwall has provided inspiration for a host of literary greats down the centuries and we discover the many other literary connections in these enchanting counties. On this more active tour, we also explore these beautiful landscapes and rugged coastal regions that the National Trust has worked to preserve.

Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to our overnight hotel, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.

Day 2Montacute House

Montacute House

We head towards Devon, stopping en-route at Montacute House, where we are given an introductory welcome. This splendid Elizabethan mansion of golden stone with the longest gallery in England is crammed with treasures including Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on loan from the
National Portrait Gallery. Montacute was also used as a film location for the BBC’s adaption of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall.
Later, after arriving at our Greenway Estate Cottages, we enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant.

Day 3: Greenway and Coleton Fishacre

We explore Greenway, the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie and her family. Nestled on the side of the River Dart and surrounded by a picturesque woodland garden, this atmospheric house contains many of the family’s collections.

From Greenway, we head to Coleton Fishacre, a 1920s Arts and Craftsstyle house built for the D’Oyly Carte family. The sophistication of the house’s surviving Art Deco interior contrasts with the magical garden, complete with views out to sea. The evening is left free to make your own dinner arrangements in Dartmouth.

Day 4: Powderham Castle, A la Ronde and Agatha Christie Mystery Walk

Powderham Castle enjoys a picturesque setting within an ancient deer park and has been home to the Courtenay family (the Earls of Devon) for over 600 years. On our guided tour, we are taken through the majestic rooms and listen to fascinating stories about the family.
Next, we step into another world at A la Ronde, a unique 16-sided house built at the request of two spinster cousins in the 18th century. This eccentric house with fascinating interior decoration is crammed full of extraordinary artifacts, curiosities and mementoes from the cousins’
grand European tour.
With free time to make our own arrangements for dinner in Torquay, we are taken on an Agatha Christie Mystery Walk. Torquay was the birthplace of Agatha Christie and she spent many important parts of her life here. The town also appeared as settings for her murder mysteries.

Day 5: Overbeck’s and Sharpham Vineyard

We start the day at Overbeck’s, the seaside home of inventor and scientist Otto Overbeck. The exotic, hidden garden with its glorious views over the estuary and coastline boasts palm trees, banana plants, citrus and olive trees, while the Edwardian house contains intriguing and eclectic collections of natural and maritime history.
The vineyards, creamery and dairy farm at Sharpham Vineyard have been producing wines and cheeses for over twenty years. We enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards followed by a tasting of the estate’s award-winning wine and cheese. Tonight we enjoy dinner together at historic Dartington College.

Day 6: Charlestown and St Michael’s Mount

St. Michael's Mount

St. Michael’s Mount

We enjoy free time in Charlestown, an amazing unspoiled example of a late Georgian working port. Charlestown is a popular filming location including the BBC’s hugely successful Poldark TV series and there are often square rigger ships in the harbour.
The rest of the day is spent at St Michael’s Mount, reached by a short boat ride. The little sister of Brittany’s Mont St Michel, this craggy island features a medieval castle which has been home to the St Aubyn family since the 17th century, a harbour and village with a close-knit island
Later, we check in to the Rose in Vale Hotel in St Agnes, our base for the next two nights with dinner included.

Day 7: National Trust Heritage Coast Walk, Padstow and Lanhydrock

The stunning and unspoilt north Cornish coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We enjoy a short coastal walk along the coast path near St Agnes, taking in the wildly beautiful landscape of rugged cliffs,hidden coves and glorious beaches.
We then travel to the charming fishing port of Padstow where we enjoy a traditional fish and chip lunch before continuing on to Lanhydrock, one of the most complete late 19th-century houses in England. Bursting with period atmosphere and with extensive servants’ quarters, we discover two
sides of Victorian life, as well as the extensive gardens.
Back at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

Day 8: Castle Drogo and Stourhead

St. Agnes

We visit Castle Drogo, a striking granite castle overlooking the Teign Gorge.
The castle is only 100 years old, designed by Edwin Lutyens, with a beautiful
terrace garden offering dramatic views of Dartmoor. The castle is nearing
the end of a five year project to make it watertight and three artists have
created installations that tell the untold stories of Castle Drogo.

We continue on to Stourhead where we enjoy lunch. Stourhead is renowned for its 18th-century landscaped garden, featured in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, and is a delight of classical temples, exotic trees, hidden
grottos and a magnificent lake. The grand Palladian house is no less of a draw, with its Chippendale furniture and one of the finest Regency libraries left in existence.
We stay overnight at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath and enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant.

Day 9: Chavenage House


We journey to Chavenage House, an Elizabethan era manor house constructed of grey Cotswold stone and largely unchanged for 400 years. The house has many Civil War associations including the rooms where Cromwell stayed and an interior packed with period furniture, historic tapestries and fascinating relics from the Cromwellian era. Chavenage has also been used as a film location including Poldark. After our guided tour by the owners themselves, we enjoy lunch here.
From here we travel back to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, where we enjoy a farewell dinner together.

Day 10: Departure

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

Please note: Our stay in the Greenway Estate Holiday Cottages is on a bed and breakfast basis. Dinner will be included at local restaurants on two nights of your stay at Greenway but please note drinks are not included. 
This tour will involve a fair amount of walking on uneven surfaces, especially at St Michael’s Mount and St Agnes, and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Good walking shoes are recommended. Access to St Michael’s Mount is limited by tides therefore visiting times will vary.

What’s Included

  • ‹‹Airport transfers from London Heathrow*
  • ‹‹4 nights at Greenway Estate Holiday Cottages
  • ‹‹2 nights at the Rose in Vale Hotel
  • ‹‹1 night at the Royal Crescent Hotel
  • ‹‹2 nights at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel
  • ‹‹Welcome drink and canapés
  • ‹‹Full English breakfast at hotels
  • ‹‹Continental breakfast as described at Greenway
  • ‹‹2 dinners at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel
  • ‹‹2 dinners at the Rose in Vale Hotel
  • ‹‹3 dinners at local restaurants
  • ‹‹Services of a tour director throughout your stay
  • ‹‹Travel to and from all excursions
  • ‹‹All entrance costs
  • ‹‹Porterage at hotels only
    *supplement applies for transfers from all other airports

Special Extras included in your itinerary:

  • ‹‹Welcome talk at Montacute House
  • ‹‹Guided tour and lunch at Powderham Castle
  • ‹‹Agatha Christie themed mystery walk in Torquay
  • ‹‹Guided tour with wine and cheese tasting at Sharpham Vineyard
  • ‹‹Traditional fish and chip lunch in Padstow
  • ‹‹Lunch at Stourhead
  • ‹‹Exclusive guided tour by the owners and lunch at Chavenage House
  • ‹‹Themed evening talk by a guest speaker

Your Hotels

Nights One & Nine – Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor
Nights Two to Five – Greenway Estate Cottages
We stay in a selection of holiday cottages on Agatha Christie’s Greenway estate. These atmospheric cottages allow you to relax and experience the inspiring scenery that influenced Christie herself. Please note that as these are traditional British holiday cottages, they will be shared with other passengers on the tour.
Not all rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Breakfast is continental style delivered to your cottage but involves some self-preparation. While every effort is made to make your stay here as comfortable as possible, the cottages do not offer chamber maid/room service or accommodate additional requests.
Nights Six & Seven – Rose in Vale Hotel
The Rose in Vale Hotel is an elegant Georgian country house hotel located close to St Agnes on the north Cornish coast.
Night Eight – Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

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