Devon and Plymouth
A full day’s tour to the Cathedral City of Exeter and onwards to Plymouth, England’s foremost western harbour from where, on 16th September 1620, the Mayflower started her three months’ voyage across the Atlantic to found the Colony of New Plymouth.
Although the city is obviously much changed the topography remains the same. It is possible to see the landscape that would have been the emigrants’ last sight of England as well as some surviving local buildings including what is now the Plymouth Gin Distillery, the Island House on the quay as well as The Merchant’s House and the Elizabethan House. These are all claimed to have accommodated some of the Mayflower migrants when the ship was forced to seek essential repairs and shelter from the bad weather before continuing on its journey to New England. The Mayflower Steps on the quay are the site of numerous celebrations over the years. There is expected to be some major celebrations here in 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing.
The tour will take in Exeter’s 15th Cathedral with its longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England. The nearby village of Chagford or its immediate surroundings is thought to have been the birthplace of John Endicott, the future many times Governor of Massachusetts, although some claim that he was actually born in Dorchester.