Our package includes :
- From 5 days / 4 nights
- Return Executive Coach Travel from selected local pick up points
- 4 nights half board accommodation
- 4* Warner Leisure Cricket St Thomas Hotel including Warner’s nightly live entertainment
- Excursion package - see sample itinerary
- NT & EH properties which are free for card carrying members, non- members will pay these locally
- 1 free place for every 20 paying passengers i.e. 21st & 42nd free
- Group Organiser FREE upgrade to a Historic Room (subject to availability)
Day 1 - Travelling towards Somerset this morning we make a stop in Bristol where you may choose to take a guided tour of Brunel’s SS Great Britain (payable locally) which has covered a million miles. She has sailed to New York & Melbourne, been run aground, rescued, sold, carried troops to the Crimean War and seen her most famous captain (John Gray), start and mysteriously end his career, all before Bell invented the telephone in 1876. The SS Great Britain, retired in 1933 and in 1937, in what looked like a bleak ending to her working life, she was scuttled in the Falkland Islands. When the world wars broke out she was a coal supply for battleships, iron plates from her hull were used to repair HMS Exeter and her timbers were used to make souvenirs and sold to raise funds for Spitfires.
Day 2 - We start today with a visit of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ which achieved World Heritage Site status because of the unique insight it provides into the Earth Sciences. This spectacular coastline clearly depicts a geological ‘walk through time' spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. We begin at Lyme Regis where the cliffs are 200 million years old and mark the start of the Jurassic Coast. The old town dates back to the 14th century and is an ideal place to explore the local shops, art galleries, newly replanted gardens with a myriad of places to stop for refreshments. Built round the river Lym, Lyme has its own working water mill, recently refurbished to include an electricity generator. The Cobb attracts visitors – not just for its visual splendour and its magnificent naval architecture, but also for its connections with great literature. Departing here we continue on to Abbotsbury Tropical Gardens (payable locally) which were established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. Developed since then into a magnificent 20 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world, many of these plants were first introductions to this country, discovered by the plant hunting descendants of the Countess. Our final visit of the day is to the seaside town of Weymouth where you might like to visit Brewers Quay where amid the labyrinth of paved courtyards and cobbled streets of this redeveloped Victorian brewery, nestles a unique Shopping Village packed with specialist shops and attractions. Set within the historic Hope Square, alive with cafes, bars and bistros, Brewers Quay offers a unique experience for all ages. The 17th century town’s waterfront is steeped in history with links to the Black Death, Spanish Armada, the Civil War & D Day Landings. Another option for today is a pre-bookable visit to Athelhampton House (extra cost, which is one of the finest 15th century manor-houses surrounded by one of the great architectural gardens of England. The house contains many finely furnished rooms including The Great Hall, Great Chamber & Wine cellar. The Gallery in the west wing exhibits works by the Russian artist Marevna who lived at the house in the 1940’s/50’s. The Grade I Listed garden dating from circa 1891, is full of vistas and gains much from the fountains and River Piddle flowing through. We return to the hotel for your evening meal and entertainment.
Day 3 - Today we begin with a private tour of Cothelstone Manor, giving you access to a house not otherwise open to the public. You will hear about the history of the Manor and church from its beginnings in 1066 through the turbulence of the English Civil War to its renaissance in the nineteenth century. At the end of the tour we include a light lunch. Help yourself to sandwiches and cake from the kitchen and take a seat, as you would if you lived in the manor. From here, we make a stop at Street, the home of Clark’s Shoes and the Clark’s Outlet Shopping Village. The shopping complex offers over 90 stores offering huge savings everyday on a fantastic range of designer labels and famous brands. If you love great brands, but dislike high street prices, Clarks Village is the place for you. Our final visit today will be to the city of Wells, which is a city like no other in Britain. There is the great Gothic Cathedral and Cathedral Green which is the centre piece for a complex of buildings and streets, equally old and fascinating, including the moated and walled Bishop’s Palace with its 14 acres of gardens & Vicars Close. We return to the hotel where dinner and entertainment is included this evening.
Simply Groups reserve the right to make minor changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.