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This tour was tailored for Richard and Sherry Cooper, from Oxford in Mississippi. Sherry, a retired teacher, was interested in English history, country houses and gardens and Richard, a retired accountant, was interested in 20th century history and aircraft.


As it was the 800th anniversary of The Magna Carta, I took the couple straight from the airport to nearby Runneymede, near Windsor, the spot where the agreement was signed. They saw the JFK Memorial and the Air Forces Memorial there too, before heading to Salisbury Cathedral, where they saw one of the original signed Magna Carta documents.


Some of the lovely estates visited throughout the tour include Wilton House, Stourhead and the National Trust’s Laycock Abbey as well as Laycock Village. The couple spent a night on the Stourhead Estate in the local pub, the Spreadeagle Inn. This was a chance to try local food and local ‘scrumpy’, a West Country Cider.


Another gastronomical highlight was a delicious lunch at Rick Stein’s fish restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall. A surprise boat trip on ‘The Black Tor Ferry’ was arranged, from Rock to Padstow, as it was a beautiful day.

Richard is a fan of Doc Martin and wanted to see Port Isaac where the TV series was filmed. As luck would have it, as they arrived, the film crew were there filming a scene featuring Richard’s favourite character, Louisa! That night was spent in nearby Port Gaverne, a tiny hamlet right on the beach. The hotel is one of the quirkiest they had stayed in, with little corridors and uneven floors, but with buckets of character.


Sherry had been asking about traditional English markets and antiques fairs, so I arranged for them to attend a local car boot sale not far from their accommodation. During this detour, it was of course important to try the local speciality, a Cornish Pasty!


Some of the other highlights of the tour was a visit to the famed Roman Baths in Bath and a sightseeing tour of the quaint city. It was then onto the Cotswolds for a very English experience, where a special afternoon tea was arranged where Sherry and Richard ate sandwiches, cakes and scones with tea on the croquet lawn at Lower Slaughter Manor. Shakespearian history was a must as well, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the charming Stratford-Upon-Avon delving further in Shakespeare’s life.


Richard was excited about the last part of the tour, heading back to London, they visited the RAF Museum at Hendon as well as Bentley Priory, The Battle of Britain Museum. Sherry was also very pleased being able to fit in a visit to Notting Hill to see the antique shops and market stalls. The tour ended on a high with dinner at their 4 start hotel, when Sherry and Richard invited my wife along too!


This case study was written by our expert Tour Leader, Paul Lamb!

You can have a look at his profile, and the profile of our other expert guides at http://backroadstouring.com/unique-travel-experience/expert-guide-companions

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