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2019 ITINERARIES

DOWNS TO DOWNS
(AND DEEPER ON DOWN)

APRIL 8-12th

Whilst the Downs to Downs Tour obviously features the North and South Downs National Parks it actually covers other less known areas of ‘Downs’, and deeper down we visit the Isle of Wight. The North Downs are situated on the edge of London so there will inevitably more built up areas in the route than normal. However, as you would expect we have found some more out of the way places away from the busy towns.

 SUNDAY APRIL 7th     OVERNIGHT  -  Near Aylesbury

 

DAY ONE – MONDAY APRIL 8th

We leave the hotel and head straight into the Chiltern Hills. We do a circular loop before heading south west along the ridge of the hills towards Henley on Thames, where we stop for a coffee at Nuffield Place, the home of Lord Nuffield, founder of the Morris car company.

 


 

We then pass Sonning Common and go further west following the Ridgeway path, and then meander through the Berkshire Downs. After driving along the flanks of Combe Hill we head across country to lunch at Highclere Castle – better know by TV watchers as Downton Abbey.

 

After lunch we head further south again across country crossing the Watercress Line, steam railway, on our way into the South Downs National Park and our hotel near Haslemere.

OVERNIGHT – HASLEMERE

DAY TWO  TUESDAY  APRIL 9th

Today we visit the North Downs and as mentioned above we will be heading towards the busy suburbs of London but we will avoid the main roads and take to the woods! We will zig-zag our way north on country roads skirting Guildford on our way to a coffee stop at the viewpoint and visitor centre at Newlands Corner. Here there are surprising views across Surrey to the South Downs.

We then follow the north Downs eastward keeping to the wooded by-ways around Dorking to Box Hill, another stunning view point. We will have lunch nearby at a local vineyard.

The afternoon run then takes us south through more wooded countryside and pleasant villages on our way back to Haslemere.

OVERNIGHT – HASLEMERE

DAY THREE  WEDNESDAY APRIL 10th

It’s the South Downs today. We, not surprisingly, head due south, first on country lanes and then on the main road which crosses the main ridge of the South Downs. We then turn off across the ridge to our coffee stop at the South Downs Open Air Museum. This is actually a preserved village with lots of working businesses such as the Forge and the Repair Shop featured in the TV Programme of that name.

After coffee we head west through more picturesque countryside on our way to Portsmouth where we will have lunch and visit the Naval Dockyard Museums which include the Mary Rose and the Victory.

 

In the afternoon we take the ferry across to the Isle of Wight, where our hotel is just a short distance from the port.

 

OVERNIGHT – ISLE OF WIGHT

DAY FOUR   THURSDAY 11th

Today you have a choice. We will provide a circular route taking in as many of the attractions of the Isle of Wight as is practical, or, if you prefer, you can do your own thing – like taking the chair lift to the Needles!? Or simply relaxing on a beach.

OVERNIGHT – ISLE OF WIGHT

DAY FIVE - FRIDAY 12th

This morning we will visit Osbourne House, one of Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday homes. In the afternoon we catch the ferry back to Portsmouth and say goodbye.

 

Five nights, Dinner B&B plus return ferry to Isle of Wight £1499

Click to download booking form

 

2019 WEST COAST 250 TOUR

MAY 18-28th

 

The West Coast 250 Tour is CCT(MK)'s answer to the much publicised North Coast 500 tour. Personally we feel that the west coast of Scotland is far more spectacular than the east coast, so therefore why waste time and mileage going right around the top and miss some of the best bits in the west. In the tradition of some of our previous Islands and Highlands tours we have included an often overlooked gem of an island.

There is also the option to carry on with the Northumberland and Borders Tour from May 28 -30th.

FRIDAY 17th   OVERNIGHT CROOKLANDS HOTEL South of Kendal

DAY ONE  Saturday 18th

We leave the Crooklands and head north through the Lune Gorge before by-passing Penrith and Carlisle stopping for coffee at the secluded Talkin Tarn. After crossing the border into Scotland we pass through Langholm and the beautiful Ettrick Valley, before making a detour to St Mary’s Loch for lunch. We then pass the spectacular Talla Reservoir on our way into the Tinto Hills.

A short afternoon run on main roads takes us around the outskirts of Glasgow to our hotel near Cumbernauld. 

OVERNIGHT – THE WESTERWOOD HOTEL

DAY TWO Sunday 19th

Despite being in the middle of the Glasgow-Edinburgh conurbation our route this morning takes us straight into remote countryside in the Campsie Fells. We then head north to Callander before doing a loop of the Trossachs via the pretty Loch Venachar where we stop for coffee. The wonderful Dukes Pass then brings us to the shores of Loch Lomond. We follow the famous Loch northward before crossing the hills to Loch Long and have lunch before we climb the infamous Rest and Be Thankful Pass.

 

A rest at the top might be welcome before we descend through Hells Glen and on to the shores of Loch Fyne. It is then a main road run down to our next hotel on the edge of the Kyles of Bute at Tighnabruach. The group may have to be split between two hotels here.

OVERNIGHT –  TBC

DAY THREE Monday 20th

Today we cross over to the beautiful Isle of Bute and visit the impressive Mount Stuart. After a guided tour of this spectacular house you are free to explore the rest of the island and/or return via the small ferry at Colintraive to our hotels at Tighnabruach.

OVERNIGHT   as above 

DAY FOUR  Tuesday 21st

Today we head north but first we loop around the southern tip of the Cowal peninsula with more breathtaking views of the Kyles of Bute, before cutting across country through Glen Lean to a coffee stop at the Benmore Botanic Gardens north of Dunoon. After coffee we drive along the shores of Loch Eck and then loop around the northern end of Loch Fyne to Inverary and lunch at the magnificent castle.

The afternoon run then takes us up the picturesque Glen Orchy with its dramatic rapids and on to the imposing Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe. We spend tonight at a lovely hotel on the shores of Loch  Linnhe.

OVERNIGHT  The HOLLY TREE. Kentallen

DAY FIVE  Wednesday 22nd

We start with an anti-clockwise circuit of Loch Leven before crossing the little Corran Ferry to the Ardgour Penninsula. The spectacular Kingairloch coast road then brings us to a coffee stop in a secluded location on the side of the loch. After coffee we climb over the mountains to a stunning view over Loch Sunnart. We then go around the head of the loch and follow the northern shore west towards the Ardnamurchan peninsula. However we don’t go quite as far as Britain’s most westerly point as we turn back inland to have lunch at Glenfinnan, near the viaduct made famous in Harry Potter films.

The afternoon run takes us almost the full length of Loch Ness before we turn off into the forests above Drumnadrochit, on our way to our sumptuous hotel for the next three nights.

OVERNIGHT   - COUL HOUSE

DAY SIX – Thursday 23rd.

You have a choice today. You can have a ‘free day’ relaxing around the hotel, or perhaps a short run to the Falls of Rogie, just up the road, or drive the most northerly part of our route. The designated route for the day takes us via The Falls of Shin and the the full length of Loch Shin to a lunch stop at a fabulous sea food restaurant at Kylesku Bridge. There is another choice in the afternoon; a straight run back down the main road via Ullapool to Coul House or an additional detour along the rugged north coast to Lochinver, and then return via Ullapool.

OVERNIGHT – COUL HOUSE

DAY SEVEN –Friday 24th

You do not really want to miss today’s route. Perhaps the highlight of the tour. The famous (infamous) Belach na Bar = Pass of the Cattle.

We start today by heading north again towards Ullapool but this time we turn off for a stop at the awesome Corrieshalloch Gorge. From the lay-by on the main road there is a short walk down to the suspension bridge over the gorge. It seems quite innocent at first – until you get immediately above the gorge and the sudden drop of hundreds of feet to the water below! A coffee on the shores of little Loch Broom may be welcome after this early morning wake up call.

The route from coffee then follows the coast past Gruinard Bay and Poolewe and the picturesque Loch Maree before we turn off to the dramatic Torridon mountains. We will stop for lunch at the idyllic setting of Sheildaig.

 

The afternoon run then takes us to Applecross Bay which is quickly followed by The Pass of the Cattle. The road climbs from sea level to 2500ft and back down to sea level – stunning!

Fast main roads through Lochcarron and Achnasheen bring us back to Coul House. 

OVERNIGHT – COUL HOUSE

DAY EIGHT   Saturday 25th

We have to say goodbye to Coul House and head south today. First we pass through Inverness and continue on the A9 to Aviemore taking a little detour over the fells on the way. From Aviemore we will climb to the Cairngorms ski resort, where time permitting we will take a train ride to the top of the mountain and have lunch at the summit restaurant at 3.500ft.


The afternoon run is largely on main roads over the Pass of Drumochter on our way to Pitlochry for the night.

OVERNIGHT  DUNDARACH HOTEL

DAY NINE  Sunday 26th

The last, but not least, day of the Scottish Tour. We leave Pitlochry and head straight back into the mountains via the beautiful Glen Lyon and the rugged  Lawyers Dam route which brings us down to Loch Tay and a coffee stop at Kenmore. After coffee we climb over the mountains again and descend into Glen Quaich with loch Freukie ahead.

We then stop off at Glen Eagles for lunch where we meet the Borders Tour group.

The afternoon run takes us via picturesque Strathearn on our way to the Forth Bridge.

We will cross the new bridge and then make a detour to have a closer look at the famous railway bridge. It is then just a short run to our hotel for the final night.

Those continuing with the Borders and Northumberland continue from Day Three below.

Ten night, Dinner B&B £2899

 

 Link to download booking form

 

BORDERS AND NORTHUMBERLAND TOUR

MAY 25-30th

DAY ONE  SATURDAY 25th

We leave the Crooklands and head north through the Lune Gorge before by-passing Penrith and Carlisle stopping for coffee at the secluded Talkin Tarn. After crossing the border into Scotland we pass through Langholm and the beautiful Ettrick Valley, before making a detour to St Mary’s Loch for lunch. We then pass the spectacular Talla Resrvoir on our way into the Tinto Hills. A short afternoon run on main roads takes us around the outskirts of Glasgow to our hotel near Cumbernauld.