Great Cathedrals of the Southwest
Romanesque to Gothic
This tour in the heart of South Western England offers you an architectural journey of a collection of some of our most glorious cathedrals. From the Norman Conquest to the 16th century Reformation, you will tour the breadth of the Middle Ages, with access behind the scenes of these magnificent edifices. Immersed in the minds and lives of past masons and monarchs, this tour unravels the extraordinary construction of the cathedrals so intricately laced with the political, social, economic and cultural history of England. Each of the cathedrals is important, historically and architecturally, in its own right. Salisbury Cathedral is famed for its breath-taking 123-metre spire, as well as for housing one of only four extant copies of Magna Carta. In turn, Winchester—an outstanding example of all the main phases of English Norman and Gothic—was once one of the most important royal churches in Anglo-Saxon England and is the burial place for some of the earliest kings, including King Alfred the Great. Lastly, Wells Cathedral, described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals” and set in the medieval heart of England’s smallest city, is the earliest English cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. Explore the lives, legends and scandals of the people who built these magnificent skyscrapers of glass and stone – both up the pinnacles and down in the crypts.
Your Departure date
Deposit: £250 Single supplement: £115
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 - Salisbury -
Today we meet in Salisbury in the afternoon and, after settling into our hotel, we will have an evening lecture about the extraordinary cathedrals and treasures we will be seeing on this tour.
|Hotel||The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury|
Day 2 - Salisbury & Winchester -
This morning, we will embark on an expert led tour of Salisbury Cathedral, built in the 13th century and made extraordinary because of its enormous spire, as well as its treasures. In addition to the cathedral, we will explore the cloisters and chapter house where we will see the best preserved copy of the Magna Carta. We will also climb a spiral staircase to the triforium, the highest balcony, to get a unique glimpse into the Cathedral's past. Following this, you will have the option of either doing a tour of the Tower, where the ancient scaffolding can be seen, or the stone masons’ yard. After lunch, we will explore the extraordinary Winchester Cathedral, first built in the 11th century and one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. Its royal connections date even further back than Alfred who made Winchester his seat of power; it is where Henry the Young was crowned, Mary I was married and where the funeral was held for William II. After visiting its treasures, you will have free time to explore the exhibit on the Winchester Bible.
|Hotel||The Red Lion Hotel, Salisbury|
|Meals included||All meals included|
Day 3 - Wells -
The last of the cathedrals beckons us today when we explore the Wells Cathedral, considered the first wholly Gothic cathedral in Europe. Your expert Guide Lecturer will show you aspects of the cathedral not normally viewed, including a special interest tour of the Gothic architecture, stained glass and carvings. After lunch, we will embark on a behind scenes High Parts Tour, where you will climb the spiral staircase to walk in the footsteps of Cathedral masons. Alternatively, you can take a tour of the Chained Library for a behind-the-scenes look at a special space which is not generally open to the public.
We return back to Salisbury at around 17.00 to the hotel
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Meals as per the itinerary, wine and tea or coffee with dinner
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|2 September 2021||ASCA210902||2 September 2021 (Thursday)||4 September 2021 (Saturday)||Dr Emma Wells||£600
|24 March 2022||ASCA220324||24 March 2022 (Thursday)||26 March 2022 (Saturday)||Dr Emma Wells||£645
|1 September 2022||ASCA220901||1 September 2022 (Thursday)||3 September 2022 (Saturday)||Dr Emma Wells||£665