Legendary Kings of the West Country

King Arthur and Alfred the Great

The quieter corners of the west of England are home to many ancient stories and legends. King Arthur and King Alfred the Great are amongst the best known and most enigmatic. This tour begins in Glastonbury and explores a range of sites off the beaten track linked with what we believe we know about these heroic leaders and the locations identified with the series Merlin (BBC) and Bernard Cornwell's 'The Last Kingdom' (BBC / Netflix).

On your tour you could:
  • Begin the day at Glastonbury with a climb up the Tor for a 360 degree panorama of the West of England including Wearyall Hill where the Glastonbury Thorn is said to have grown from Joseph of Arimethea's staff.  Return via Chalice Well.

  • Visit the ruined Glastonbury Abbey to see the grave of Arthur and Guinevere.

  • Visit Cadbury Castle; an iron-age fort and site of a 5th Century battle; often identified as Camelot.

  • Go out to the mysterious Somerset Levels where we discover the site of Alfred the Great’s refuge from the Danes; where he burned the cakes, lost a jewel and planned a great battle.

  • Visit the village of Wedmore, where the peace treaty made with the Viking leader Guthrum allowed Alfred to rebuild the kingdom of Wessex and begin the process of creating a unified England. Refresh at one of the excellent local village pubs.

  • Stop off at the Willow and Wetlands Centre to learn about the ancient craft of willow growing and basketry and enjoy a locally sourced Somerset tea. 

 

Other options:

This tour can be altered or extended to include: 

  • Visit Winchester Alfred's capital of Wessex and home of King Arthur’s Round Table in the Great Hall of Winchester castle.

  • Head to Tintagel to see Merlin's cave and the great promontory that is Cornwall's contender for Camelot.

  • Visit Stonehenge said to have been built by Merlin.

  • The White Horse near Edington in Wiltshire for the site of Alfred’s great battle in AD 878.

Courtesy of English Heritage

DURATION: 8 HOURS

The services of a local expert Blue Badge Guide.

Time and local insight to design your tour.

Local food and drink venues to suit your tastes.

Links to coach and car services or help with trains and public transport for travellers wishing to minimise their carbon footprint.

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Practicalities

Courtesy of English Heritage

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