England - On the trail of Daphne Du Maurier 

Day 1 - Dover - Canterbury - Maidstone/Ashford

 

You travel by ferry to Dover, where you can already see the famous white chalk cliffs. After your ferry has docked in Dover harbour, you'll head for Canterbury and its world-famous cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral. 

 

This city is famous throughout Europe for its churches. It is situated in one of the most beautiful corners of Kent and has been welcoming visitors for over 2000 years. Once the Romans lived in this area, and it was Augustine who came to Canterbury in 597 AD and brought the Christian faith to England. The Cathedral, St Martin's Church and St Augustine's Abbey have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. 

 

Then the evening will be for your leisure with an overnight stay in the Maidstone/Ashford area.

 

Day 2 - Winchester - Salisbury - Bournemouth

 

Today you first visit Winchester. Visit the cathedral built in 1079, which is one of the most extended buildings in Europe. The cathedral is home to many bishops and monarchs, as well as the writer Jane Austen. 

 

Afterwards, you can visit Winchester Castle. 

 

After you have enjoyed lunch, the World Heritage Site Stonehenge is next on your programme. Stonehenge is a mysterious stone circle that was built between 300 and 1500 BC and has been the subject of much speculation ever since. 

 

The afternoon is spent in the city of Salisbury, which is considered a model of medieval town planning. The cathedral (entrance fee not included), a particularly beautiful example of early English Gothic architecture, is the centrepiece of the city. Afterwards, you drive through the New Forest, where Rosamunde Pilcher filmed some scenes. In the evening you will meet at your hotel in the Bournemouth area.

 

Day 3 - Abbotsbury - Cornwall

 

Today you continue to Abbotsbury to the Schwannenkolonie. 

In the Swannery one of the main characters from "Love at play" by Rosamunde Pilcher works. 

 

Afterwards, you continue to Richtung Bodmin Moor, where you will meet the second author of your journey, Daphne du Maurier. 

The legendary Jamaica Inn, once a hostel for travellers to Cornwall and a gathering place for day thieves and smugglers, now houses a hotel and museum. Daphne du Maurier spent a cold winter's day here in 1930 and used the Inn as the setting for one of her most famous books. 

 

Then dinner and overnight in the Cornwall area.

 

Day 4 - Marazion - Land's End - Lelant - St. Ives - Cornwall

 

Today is dedicated to Rosamunde Pilcher: From "Heimkehr" this sight will look familiar to you. You drive to Marazion and see the monastic fortress of St. Michael's Mount, situated on the other side of the Bay of Penzance, where most of the characters in Pilcher's novels arrived by train from London. 

 

In ancient times, this place was a Benedictine monastery. This mountain encompasses the most dramatic and famous view of England. On the quay you can find interesting shops and restaurants. The village of Marazion was also the place where Pilcher wrote the books "Shellseekers" and "coming home". The journey continues to Land's End. This charming steep coast has already appeared in several films.

 

Afterwards, you will visit the birthplace and wedding place of Rosamunde Pilcher, which lies on the north coast of Cornwall. In Lelant or Penmarron she spent many years of her life. You will continue the journey which will take you to St Ives or "Porthkerris" as she called it in her books. There you can go for a walk and enjoy the view at the scenes of the film "The Shellfisher". Here you can see how the artistic community influenced the famous author. 

 

Then dinner and overnight in the Cornwall area.

 

Day 5 - St. Sampson - Fowey - Kilmath - Cornwall

 

After breakfast, today, it is time to immerse yourself in the life of Daphne du Maurier. You drive to St Sampson and can enjoy the view of Daphne Land from Castle Dore. Via Golant, a beautiful village, you will reach Fowey, where the author lived for several years. Here you can visit the Daphne Maurier's Literary Centre. You will also see the house where she lived.

 

Afterwards, you can make a stop at Lanteglos Church where Daphne du Maurier married Major Tommy Browning in 1932. In the novel "The Loving Spirit" she renamed this church to Lanoc Church.

 

Another stop is Menabilly (private property, visibility restricted, steep paths), the home from 1943-1969 and source of inspiration for the novel "Rebecca" by Daphne di Maurier. She also wrote "The Birds" here in 1952. Another station in her life is the village of Kilmarth where she lived until her death. 

 

In the evening you will have your dinner and an overnight stay in the Cornwall area.

 

Day 6 - Padstow - Bournemouth

 

Today you will visit Prideaux Place, known throughout Britain as the best place to film movies. 

 

The Elizabethan house has a huge garden and safari park and is situated above Padstow with a beautiful view over Camel Estuary. The house has been the home of the Prideaux family for over 400 years and is full of treasures collected by the family over many centuries. Prideaux Place was used as the backdrop for the film "Coming Home".

 

In the afternoon, you will stop at Cloud Hill. This small cottage (a tiny - division of the group necessary) was inhabited from 1923 by another famous British man - T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. 

Besides impressive furnishings from the Middle East and elsewhere, an exhibition gives you an insight into the life of T.E. Lawrence. 

 

Afterwards, the journey continues towards Bournemouth, where you will stay overnight.

 

Day 7 - Southampton - Brighton - Maidstone/Ashford

 

After breakfast, you will take a short city tour in Southampton and then drive to Brighton, the chic seaside resort with the pulsating life in the "Lanes", the winding alleys of the former fishing quarter. 

 

You will also visit the Royal Pavilion, whose lavish interior is a combination of Chinese decorations with excellent furniture and furnishings, with bold and inventive colours. There are also many original items from loans from the Queen. 

 

You will have your last evening meal and an overnight stay in the Maidstone/Ashford area.

 

Day 8: Journey home

Home time!

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