Atlantic Coast Odyssey

From £995.00

Sunday 2nd to Saturday 8th June 2019

A New Venture

We have run a happy and successful annual European Holiday (primarily for Bijou Opera members) in each of the past six years, including 2018. However, because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit in March 2019, and in particular, the effect on the Sterling/Euro exchange rate, we have decided not to proceed with a European holiday next year but instead, offer you one in the UK. Like all the holidays we plan, each is selected because we know the area well, especially the hotels and local attractions.

On that basis, we have decided upon the North Cornish coast, using Bude as our base. We have been holidaying there for many years and the place never seems to lose its charms.

Bedruthan steps at high tide.

The Atlantic Coast

Nothing sums up the wild nature of this section of coastline better than the old saying:

“From Padstow bight to Hartland light,
be a sailor’s grave by day or night.”

There is a dramatic beauty about this strip of coast which in centuries past was indeed the graveyard of many sailing ships. We hope to show you some of this unique scenery on our various days out and at Bude itself.


Perched on the wild Atlantic coast, there is something unspoiled about this relatively small resort. It has resisted fashionable moves to become modern and trendy, while quietly updating its facilities and making the best of its charms. The town has some interesting local shops, a picturesque small harbour, linked to a restored canal and above all, a magnificent coastline with lovely walks across the clifftops and on the sandy beaches (at low tide!).

The Falcon Hotel (

Well over 200 years old, this lovely traditional hotel has been and continues to be kept tastefully updated, with each en-suite bedroom beautifully decorated and well appointed. The public rooms, the restaurant and extensive coachman’s bar and grill are of a similar high standard and there is a lift to all floors.

We will be staying on a half board basis, so not only will you have the challenge of the “full Cornish breakfast” each morning, but a three course dinner with varied choices each evening. All this will be served in the Lord Tennyson Restaurant (Yes, he did stay there!).

Finally we should mention that the hotel continues to be privately owned and run by the fifth and sixth generations of the Brendon family. Service at the hotel is always attentive but discreet, as we can testify, having stayed there many times over the years.

Your Atlantic Coast Holiday, day by day

Sunday 2nd June – our outward journey

We will depart from Cheltenham by private luxury coach just after lunch for the three hour journey to Bude. The generous journey time will allow us to make a couple of comfort stops. The coach will deliver us to the front of the hotel, so no walks from coach parks with your luggage. The remainder of the day will be free to settle in before we all take dinner together.

Monday 3rd June – An introduction to Bude

Our first full day will be a relaxing one with an opportunity for you to get to know Bude. To help with this, we have arranged a guided walking tour of the town in the company of a local expert, who is also something of a “character”! We personally recommend a stroll out along the Victorian breakwater which will give you a close experience of the power of the sea, especially at high tide. If you like something more relaxing, try a walk along the quiet rural canal towpath, where you are likely to see a variety of waterfowl.

Tuesday 4th June – Hartland Abbey & Hartland Quay

Comfortably after breakfast, our coach will take us north on a journey of less than one hour to Hartland Abbey. Founded by Augustinian monks in 1157, it survived the Dissolution in 1539 because the Abbey was gifted by King Henry 8th to a favoured courtier. His descendants still live there today and have lovingly maintained the building and carried out a major restoration of the extensive gardens and grounds.

On arrival, we will have a guided tour of the Abbey, followed by plenty of free time to explore the gardens, grounds and perhaps even walk to the sea. A buffet lunch has been booked in a private room for all of us.

We will leave mid afternoon with a short detour to Hartland Quay. Here you can witness the rugged coastline and the power of the sea as evidenced by its destruction of the old Victorian harbour. We return to Bude by late afternoon.

Wednesday 5th June – Padstow, Port Isaac & Boscastle

Today we turn south and after a little over an an hour will reach the well known and pretty town of Padstow, with its fishing harbour and a certain well known fish restaurant! There is much to see and if you have the energy, a lovely walk along the river estuary toward the sea.

In the early afternoon, we will follow the coast going north for a short stop at picturesque Port Isaac. (We are not sure if the coach will be able to take us down to the actual harbour). If you are a fan of the TV series, Doc Martin, you will know much of the action is filmed here.

Finally we will continue up the coast for a stop at quaint Boscastle, with its narrow streets and sheltered harbour between steep cliffs. Return to Bude late afternoon.

Thursday 6th June – Pencarrow House & Camel Valley Winery (an optional extra)

Our journey takes us inland towards Bodmin and the stately home of Pencarrow House. This was built in the 18th Century and is entirely different to Hartland Abbey. Once again, on arrival, we will have a guided tour of the property and a buffet lunch will be provided in a private room. There are extensive gardens and walks to enjoy.

For a small additional charge, our coach will take those who enjoy a glass of choice wine, on a short visit to the nearby Camel Valley Winery. We will then return to Pencarrow to collect the other members of our party before returning to Bude.

Friday 7th June – a free day in Bude

After three busy days, we felt you would appreciate having your last full day free to wander at your leisure or indeed, just sit and look at the stunning views. This might be your opportunity to sample a Cornish cream tea.

Saturday 8th June – goodbye to Bude

After a leisurely breakfast and time to pack, our coach will leave around 11.00am for the return journey to Cheltenham. We will again make a couple of stops, with one of these being long enough for a spot of lunch.


There has already been a high level of interest in this, our first UK Bijou Holiday and there is a limit on the size of the group we can take and the hotel can accommodate. We therefore suggest you book promptly to secure your place. There will be a closing date for bookings of Saturday 3rd November 2018.


Total price:


£50.00 per person. The payment balance will be due at the end of February 2019.

Making a booking

To make a booking, please email for further information.