Our Louise took a group of German travellers to explore South West England by car, and there they encountered gorgeous seaside villages, famous period homes and ancient cities…
Headland Hotel, Cornwall
My first day in Cornwall and the sun was shining. First stop was the prestigious Headland Hotel in Newquay. We spent a delightful afternoon relaxing on the veranda overlooking the idyllic coast, sampling some of the local dishes, and using the spa facilities. Then it was time to head to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant, where we watched the sunset and experienced Jamie’s signature Italian dishes with a Cornish twist.
Padstow, Clovelly and Chumleigh (North Devon)
We enjoyed a scenic countryside drive up the Cornish coast towards Padstow. We stopped off at Prideaux Place, a charismatic Elizabethan manor that has been home to the same family for 14 generations. It has a special affinity with the German audience as it is a location for Rosamund Pilcher films that gained enormous popularity in Germany. Many other period films were shot here including Oscar and Lucinda and Coming Home. After the tour we tucked into a traditional Cornish cream tea with scones, which was simply delicious. The weather was still in our favour, so some of the prizewinners took the opportunity to do some sunbathing in the gardens, and even the family’s dogs came out to say hello and enjoy the sunshine with us!
We headed further north to a hidden gem – the timeless village of Clovelly in the Torridge district of Devon. One of the most special aspects of this town is the fact that no cars are allowed access. I spoke with one of the locals about her experience and she said it is like a dream come true living somewhere so unique, bursting with character. Everything that needs to be taken into the town goes by a sledge – from daily groceries to household furniture. There are many things to do in Clovelly. Walk down the cobbled village streets to the harbour, take a village tour with one of the residents, and browse the independent shops where you can find unique gifts with a local touch.
After another enjoyable afternoon, we drove further into the countryside to a charming off-the-beaten-track town called Chumleigh. Here, we stayed at the delightful recently refurbished 17th-century Red Lion Hotel. We had delicious food in the restaurant and sampled the local ales and ciders. It was great to sit among the locals, who were all very friendly and welcomed us to their local pub.
Today we headed to Bath, Somerset. First stop was to check into the 5-star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel. The expression on the prizewinners’ faces was delightful when they arrived! We then went on a walking tour around the beautiful city, so rich in history. We had worked up an appetite ready for a traditional afternoon tea at the famous Grand Pump Room in the Abbey Church Yard. Then it was time to hit the shops before relaxing in the beautiful hotel. We enjoyed drinks overlooking the hotel’s gardens in the evening sun. From there, we walked into the city centre and had dinner at the Crystal Palace Pub, an authentic English pub with a hidden garden and log fires.
On our last day it was time to hit the city. We hopped on the Original London Bus Tour. It was a great end to a wonderful trip, highlighting that Britain not only has stunning countryside, but also magnificent cities.