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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 1 Involves some moderate physical activity over short periods of time, such as short walks, on relatively level surfaces and gentle terrain.
Destination: Best of England:
Movies &
Literature Tour
Duration: 14 days / 13 nights
Flight information: Please arrange your flights to arrive and depart into London Heathrow Airport [LHR].
On arrival, arrange flights in time to meet us at the hotel at noon on Day 1 to join the London city tour.
Pickup location: London Heathrow Airport [LHR]


Choose your own departure date for your group

You've seen the films, you've read the books, now visit some of Englands' most iconic locations and landmarks and bring the magic of the stories to life!

Start your tour in England’s bustling capital, London and travel through England’s leafy Southern Counties visiting Hampshire, Somerset, Exeter, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Oxford, Warwickshire, before returning to London.

You will visit many attractions across England's south with great literary, film and televisual importance and learn more of their historic past. Highlights include Highclere Castle, the famous stately home better known as Downton Abbey, a ‘Poldark’ inspired tourof Cornwall, historic Oxford and Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon. What's more, what tour of England would be complete without some royal sites? Marvel as we visit Sandringham, the Queen's country estate as well as the most iconic of all, Buckingham Palace.


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to London & Sightseeing Tour
DAY 2 - Downton Abbey - Highclere Castle & 'Downton' Villages
DAY 3 - Lacock Abbey, Castle Coombe & Bath
DAY 4 - Powderham Castle & Exeter
DAY 5 - Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Dart Cruise
DAY 6 - Poldark - The Lizard Peninsula, Church Cove & Poldark Mine
DAY 7 - Poldark - Trerice House, Bodmin Moor & Charlestown
DAY 8 - Poldark – Lands’ End & St Agnes
DAY 9 - Stonehenge & Salisbury Cathedral
DAY 10 - Oxford & Blenheim Palace
DAY 11 - Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon
DAY 12 - Sandringham Estate & Audley End House
DAY 13 - The Crown - Buckingham Palace & Kensington Palace
DAY 14 - Farewell to London & Home…
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to London & Sightseeing Tour

Upon arrival at London Heathrow, you will be transferred to your hotel in central London.

If arriving before midday, after you have dropped off your bags at the hotel, you will meet up with your Big Journey Company Tour Director and head off on an orientation tour of the capital.

The London skyline is internationally recognisable and the city has been the inspiration for countless novels and films. You will get to see many of these famous and iconic sights on the tour. Afterwards you can relax and settle into your hotel. This evening you can enjoy dinner at leisure in London.

Accommodation: London 

DAY 2 - Downton Abbey - Highclere Castle & 'Downton' Villages

Following breakfast, we head out of London and make our way to one of England's most famous filming locations - Highclere Castle.

The real ‘Downton Abbey’, Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The current design of Highclere was completed in 1938 when the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon brought in Sir Charles Barry to transform his classical Georgian mansion into a one that would impress the world. We enjoy a tour of the public rooms, including the state rooms and bedrooms where scenes for the show were filmed. We also explore the ‘Egyptian Exhibition’, located throughout the cellars, celebrating the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. There’s time to discover the ‘Capability Brown’ designed grounds, browse the gift shop and perhaps stop for tea and cake at one of the tea rooms.

In the afternoon, we will spend some free time in the Cotswold villages of Shilton and Swinbrook. We will also visit the picturesque village of Bampton, where most of the outdoor scenes for ‘Downton Abbey’ were filmed before heading to our hotel to have some time to relax before dinner together this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Reading 

DAY 3 - Lacock Abbey, Castle Coombe & Bath

Today we head to explore Lacock Abbey, where William Henry Fox Talbot took the first photographic negative. A wide range of films have used this former monastery and the surrounding picturesque Lacock village as their setting, including Harry Potter and The Other Boleyn Girl. Transport yourself back in time and explore the village's quaint tea rooms and specialist shops.

Our next stop is at Castle Coome, a quintessentially English and exquisitely pretty village, often voted the prettiest village in England. Admire the Market Square where Steven Spielberg filmed scenes for Warhorse (2010).

A visit to this area is not complete without a visit to the city of Bath to see the city’s Georgian classical architecture and to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen at the centre dedicated to her life. We'll take a visit to the famous Roman Baths - one of England’s finest historic sites. These are some of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, with the Great Bath being the magnificent epicentre to the complex.

We check into our hotel and you'll have some time to relax before dinner together.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Bristol 

DAY 4 - Powderham Castle & Exeter

Today we will visit the home of the Earl and Countess of Devon, Powderham Castle, near Exeter. A fortified manor house, it enjoys a unique, picturesque setting within an ancient deer park. Powderham Castle was a filming location to The Remains of the Day and Churchill: The Comedy Years and a private guided tour will reveal the 600 years of history of one of Devon's oldest family homes.

We then travel to Exeter where there’s free time to explore the magnificent cathedral, one of England’s finest, or perhaps discover the underground passages beneath the High Street and the Quayside walks, or simply wander among the many quaint streets and shops.
Check into your hotel with time to relax before dinner at your leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Exeter 

DAY 5 - Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Dart Cruise

Today we set off to discover some of the beautiful British coastline and a unique piece of history.

We travel to Paignton where we will board the historic Dartmouth Steam Railway in Paignton for the seven-mile journey along the scenic Torbay coast to Kingswear.

Here we will then cross the River Dart on foot by passenger ferry to the town of Dartmouth, where you will board a boat for an hour-long circular river cruise with opportunities to see traditional waterside villages, Britannia Royal Naval College, and Greenway House, home to the late Dame Agatha Christie.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Plymouth 

DAY 6 - Poldark - The Lizard Peninsula, Church Cove & Poldark Mine

Today, we head down into the county Cornwall at the southern tip of England and into the footsteps of Poldark.

After breakfast, we drive to the Lizard Peninsula. Lizard Point is the southernmost point of mainland UK and the area and its rugged coastline has been a continuous source of inspiration for artists and writers through the years, and was inspiration for Poldark’s beloved Nampara. From there, we will head north to Church Cove, the site chosen for Poldark’s gripping late-night wrecking scenes where throngs of actors descended on the shore during the night shoots, lighting torches and fires along the beach.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Poldark Mine, where underground shots were filmed, for a tour. It is the only complete underground mine in Devon and Cornwall, rich in mining history, that is open to the public. We return to the hotel with time to relax before dinner together.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: St Austell 

DAY 7 - Poldark - Trerice House, Bodmin Moor & Charlestown

Today's first stop is the tranquil and untouched Elizabethan manor, Trerice House, which provided Poldark author, Winston Graham, with the inspiration to create the Poldark Family Estate of Trentwith.

This National Trust property offers visitors a chance take in the delights of the recently cultivated Knot Garden and admire the 576 panes of glass in the Great Hall window, some of which date back to the 16th century!

We will also stop at the crossroads seen in the first episode, where Ross first learns of his father’s death and visit St Breward, where exterior shots of Nampara, Poldark’s home, were filmed.

The day concludes in the picturesque port town of Charlestown, which served as Truro’s stand-in during filming. Charlestown is a popular location for film and TV - look out for the rigger ships which sometimes dot the Grade II listed harbour.

We explore the Shipwreck Heritage Centre and there will be a little free time to take a stroll along the cobbled beach, and marvel at the azure blue waters and historic Tall Ships harboured at the port.

We return to your hotel for dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: St Austell 

DAY 8 - Poldark – Lands’ End & St Agnes

Today we begin at the end of the earth, or at the very least, the end the country of England - Land's End! Marvel at the breath-taking views from Britain’s most western point, although unlike our 18th Century forbearers we will be arriving by coach, not by foot or on horseback.

No visit to Cornwall would be complete without visiting the World Heritage Site of St Agnes, christened by Winston Graham himself as Poldark Country. This village has a rich mining heritage which is apparent in the individual shops and pubs, and on the various walks that run along the blustery coast, classed as an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty, where Wheal Coates old mine works can be seen.

This evening, we return to our hotel in Falmouth for dinner together.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: St Austell 

DAY 9 - Stonehenge & Salisbury Cathedral

This morning we make our way back north, our first stop a visit to Salisbury and its famous Cathedral.

Discover over 750 years of history, including Britain’s tallest spire, the world’s best preserved original Magna Carta and Europe’s oldest working clock on a tour with one of the Cathedral’s volunteer guides. Built between 1220 and 1258, in one architectural style, Salisbury is Britain’s finest 13th century Gothic Cathedral.

After lunch, travel back in time to one of the wonders of the world and most iconic sites of the UK as we get close to the mysteries of the stones of Stonehenge. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exceptional survivor from lost prehistoric cultures, a monument to the Stone and Bronze Age.

Later we make our way hotel with time to relax before dinner together.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Salisbury 

DAY 10 - Oxford & Blenheim Palace

Today we travel into the centre of Oxford for a walking tour of the historic city’s most famous sights and hidden treasures. You will go inside the architecturally stunning Christ Church College to see Christopher Wren’s Tom Tower. Your tour includes the Great Hall, quadrangles, the Cathedral and grand staircase. If all of this looks familiar, it’s because it was used as the setting for ‘Hogwarts’ in the Harry Potter films. After the tour there’s free time to explore Oxford for yourself, perhaps visiting the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the UK.
After lunch we will head out into the Oxfordshire Cotswolds to visit Blenheim Palace, home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough, and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The 2,100 acres of beautiful parkland were landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace has been used a filming location for many films including Spectre (2015), The Young Victoria (2008) and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (2007). Later return to your hotel with time to relax before dinner this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 11 - Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon

Today we visit Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of England's moust famous author, William Shakespeare. Famed for its romanticized Tudor architecture, Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town packed with history and heritage.

We will visitShakespeare's former home, a timber-framed townhouse in the centre of the town. A short journey away by coach is the world-famous Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. There’s an opportunity to visit Shakespeare’s grave in Holy Trinity Church, one of England’s finest and most visited parish churches.

After lunch at leisure, we step abard a boat for a relaxing afternoon sightseeing cruise on the River Avon, with unique views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Holy Trinity Church and the surrounding countryside.

We head to our hotel with time to relax before dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Coventry 

DAY 12 - Sandringham Estate & Audley End House

We head east today to the Queen's country retreat, Sandringham Estate. Famed as her country bolthole, this is where the rotal family joins together at Christmas.

Alongside the house, there are acres of beautiful gardens to explore. The estate museum houses extraordinary collections of royal vehicles, rare ceramics, photographs and memorabilia.

In the afternoon we visit Audley End House and Gardens, one of England's finest mansions. Here you will get chance to wander the impressive great hall, magnificent state apartments, intimate dressing rooms, libraries and 18th century gothic-style chapel adn gardens designed by 'Capability' Brown.

Afterwards, we make our way back to the capital, London where you will have the evening.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: London 

DAY 13 - The Crown - Buckingham Palace & Kensington Palace

What trip to London could avoid the Royal Family? Today we head off on a royal extravaganza!

Enjoy breakfast before we head over to Buckingham Palace, the most iconic of palaces at the top of The Mall in the heart of the city.

You’ll get to explore the lavishly furnished State Rooms, containing some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection. Described as a 'walled oasis in the middle of London', the Palace's garden is home to thirty different species of bird and more than 350 different wild flowers, some extremely rare.

In the afternoon, we cross the city to explore Kensington Palace, the day to day London residence of many royals including Prince William and Kate.

Late afternoon we return to the hotel for a bit of time at leisure before we rejoin one last time at the hotel to enjoy a farewell dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: London 

DAY 14 - Farewell to London & Home…

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred back to London Heathrow Airport in time for your flight home.

If you have some free time to relax and enjoy a few more hours in London before beginning your journey back home, why not go for a stroll in Hyde Park, do some shopping in Covent Garden or head to one of London’s famous museums – most are free to enter!

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Transport in an air-conditioned deluxe vehicle.
  • High quality accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary.
  • English speaking tour guides.
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary.

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel or medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Gratuities
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please ensure you arrive at the London hotel by 12:00pm on Day 1 if you wish to join us for the afternoon city tour.
  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 - 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.