Magna Carta to Mayflower and the Modern World: 
Founding Story Tours

This series of day long tours explores the long standing relationship between England and North America through visits to some world renowned sites and others, less well known, that reveal some of the most fascinating and illuminating links between us.  

 

Prices for these tours are based upon groups of 1 to 6 guests using a chauffeur driven premium class USV.  Prices start at £100 per person per day depending upon guest numbers and your preferred itinerary. If your require a larger vehicle or you wish to vary the programme please enquire for a quotation and itinerary tailored to your particular requirements. Tours include time for lunch in local pubs or restaurants. We can also provide information on possible locations to stay during your tour.

 

Experience the full sequence of themed tours as a programme or choose a selection of the days for a shorter visit. If you have particular preferences or are interested in areas that are not included here please don’t hesitate to ask as we specialise in individually prepared tours. 

Day 1 Royal Connections Day – Windsor and Runnymede  

 

Our day begins with a visit to Windsor Castle, a royal stronghold since the Norman Conquest of 1066 and favourite home of our present Queen Elizabeth. King George III spent much time here during the American War of Independence whilst St George’s Chapel, within the castle walls, was chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their wedding ceremony. We explore the state apartments, throne room and chapel before heading out into Great Windsor Park and on to Runnymede where King John sealed the Magna Carta with his rebellious barons and JFKs  memorial is located. The day ends with a visit to the glorious Savill Gardens.

Day 2 Founding Links: Salisbury and Southampton 

 

Come face to face with one of the most significant constitutional documents ever written; Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta and witness the results of the great upheavals written into the fabric of this outstanding cathedral that are testimony to the religious forces that drove the Pilgrim Fathers to seek freedom across the Atlantic. We then head to Southampton where the Mayflower and Speedwell met to begin their journey to the New World. Our visit includes Southampton’s medieval walled town and waterfront that the Pilgrims knew and the Mayflower Monument. We also uncover Southampton’s part in the story of the great transatlantic emigration, the tragedy of the RMS Titanic and the port’s vital role embarking US and British troops for the D-Day beaches in 1944.

Other options for the day

 

Beaulieu – once a great monastery founded in the reign of King John, Beaulieu became the home of the Montague family after the Reformation. British warships were built on the estate at the time of Nelson and special operations teams trained here in WW2. Beaulieu is now home to the National Motor Museum.

 

Winchester – an Anglo-Saxon and Norman capital, Winchester is one of the oldest and most interesting cities in England.

Day 3 Dorset – Faith and Enterprise:  Dorchester and Sherborne 

Come face to face with one of the most significant constitutional documents ever written; Salisbury Cathedral’s Magna Carta and witness the results of the great upheavals written into the fabric of this outstanding cathedral that are testimony to the religious forces that drove the Pilgrim Fathers to seek freedom across the Atlantic. We then head to Southampton where the Mayflower and Speedwell met to begin their journey to the New World. Our visit includes Southampton’s medieval walled town and waterfront that the Pilgrims knew and the Mayflower Monument. We also uncover Southampton’s part in the story of the great transatlantic emigration, the tragedy of the RMS Titanic and the port’s vital role embarking US and British troops for the D-Day beaches in 1944.

Other options for the day

 

Minterne House and Gardens – a private visit to discover the family home links with the war of 1812 and the Churchill family.

 

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Drive – enjoy spectacular landforms and great fossil stories along the scenic coast road from Weymouth to Lyme Regis or Poole.

 

Poole Old Town and Harbour – Discover the later links between Newfoundland, the cod banks and the wealthy port of Poole.

Day 4 Dartmouth – An Explorer’s Haven 

In August 1620 the Pilgrim Father’s took refuge in Dartmouth Harbour to carry out urgent repairs to the Speedwell. Tucked behind high cliffs and a narrow entrance the estuary of the River Dart is one of the most historic and scenic harbours in Devon. Plantagenet armies set sail for France and the great Devon explorers of the Elizabethan Age; Raleigh, Hawkins and the Gilberts knew these waters and since Victorian times the Britannia Royal Naval College has trained officers for naval service around the Globe. Experience a river cruise, explore the Tudor streets of old Dartmouth, Bayards Fort and the Cove where the Speedwell moored, enjoy Dartmouth’s art and foodie culture before heading to the grandeur of the Naval College to discover how British Naval Officers are trained for command around the Globe.

Other options for the day

 

Greenway House – originally home to the Gilbert family of Elizabethan Explorers, the estate became the favourite home of crime writer Agatha Christie and was requisitioned in WW2 for the US Coast Guard. A stunning location, beautiful gardens and fascinating history.

 

Coleton Fishacre -– Coastal Art Deco house and wonderful garden inspired by the D’Oyly Carte family; famous impresarios, theatre proprietors and owners of the Savoy Hotel.

Day 5 Plymouth – The Mayflower City 

The Pilgrim Fathers finally set sail across the Atlantic from Plymouth in Devon to establish a permanent colony they named Plymouth in what became the state of Massachusetts. An exploration of historic Plymouth revels much about their story and their times. We will uncover the truth about the Mayflower Steps, tour the historic Barbican area of the city which includes many buildings of the period.  We visit the Mayflower Experience, Sutton Harbour and st Andrew’s Church to remember the Daughters of 1812 and we experience the views of Plymouth Sound from the Hoe where Sir Francis Drake played bowls as the Armada approached. Refreshments at the Plymouth Gin Distillery on the site of the Priory where some of the Pilgrims stayed will be followed by a visit to The Box and the Mayflower Exhibition (open April 2020), a harbour tour or a visit to?

Other options for the day

 

Buckland Abbey and the Gardens – the last of the Cistercian monasteries to be built in medieval England. In the reign of Elizabeth I it became the home of Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe and his descendants lived here for 400 years.

 

Saltram House – a beautiful Georgian mansion and gardens built around an older Tudor house here when the Pilgrim Fathers came to Plymouth

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