Stonehenge, Jurassic Coast, and Island Trails

Overview

Hike the idyllic pastoral countryside that inspired Thomas Hardy’s famed novels, walk the stunning trails of the Jurassic Coast, then take a step back in time in the Channel Islands, with their unique mix of Gallic and British charm. Our journey starts with a treat—sunset over Stonehenge—then brings us to Dorset to walk in some of England’s most cherished literary landscapes and hike the spectacular South West Coast Path. In the far-flung Channel Islands, closer to France than Britain, we hike on Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and Jersey, meet the locals, and soak up the Anglo-Norman heritage. Locally sourced food and ales will be on the menu, and our accommodations are as unique as the journey itself.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Salisbury / Stonehenge / Thomas Hardy Country / Jurassic Coast

Watch the sunset paint the stone monoliths of Stonehenge, climb to the top of Salisbury Cathedral, then explore the beautiful landscapes of Dorset, known as Thomas Hardy country, with its gold-stoned cottages and fields of sheep. One hike is along the stupendous cliffs of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, where Victorian-era fossil-hunters unearthed specimens dating back 185 million years. Our hotel is in picturesque Evershot, little changed since Hardy’s time.

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Days 4-8
Guernsey, Channel Islands / Herm Island / Sark / Little Sark

Ferrying to the Channel Islands, our hikes reveal Guernsey’s quaint villages, turquoise bays, and gardens nourished by plentiful sunshine and a Mediterranean climate. On tiny Herm Island, we hike coastal paths and look for puffins, with views stretching to France. Car-free Sark is the world’s first “Dark Sky Island” for its exceptional night skies, perfect for stargazing. We’ll visit the dark sky observatory here and hike to a craggy headland called L’Eperquerie Common, site of a ruined 16th century fort.

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Days 9-12
Jersey

This island was occupied by Germans during World War II, and we’ll visit the Jersey War Tunnels to understand the dramatic wartime situation of the islanders. Right from our hotel door, our hikes bring us down quiet country lanes, through woodlands, and to St. Catherine’s Bay, where Mont Orgueil Castle, built by King John in the 13th century, dominates the views. Depart on Day 12.

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Highlights

Highlights

Walk the trails of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site
Explore and hike in Thomas Hardy country, one of England’s famous literary landscapes
Hike the best trails in the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Herm, Sark, and Jersey), with their pristine landscapes
Overnights in historic hotels of character, including a 13th century coaching inn

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $6495  
Arrive: Salisbury, England
Depart: Rozel Bay, Jersey Island
Lodging: 11 nights hotels, including historic properties
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

A mix of easy to moderate day hikes, cultural exploration and walking tours

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