top of page

Fri, 23 June



Great British Thinkers II - Cornwall, Wales, Scotland

Join Fred Watson on this astronomical, train tour, that visits the home of great writers, dark skies, and engineering delights! Visit bridges by Brunel, Canals by Telford and the UNESCO listed Jodrell Bank.

Registration is closed
See other events
Great British Thinkers II - Cornwall, Wales, Scotland
Great British Thinkers II - Cornwall, Wales, Scotland

Time & Location

23 June 2023, 10:00 am – 07 July 2023, 10:00 am

Bodmin, Berrycoombe Rd, Bodmin PL31 2NR, UK

About the event


With Fred Watson

DATES: 23 June – 7 July 2023 (Main Tour)

STYLE: Fun and light adventure



Pre-DAY 1 – Monday 19 June 2023 – Guernsey

Flying From London today (*not included), you will meet the group for your flight to Guernsey where we will spend 4 nights at the Cobo Bay Hotel.  Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands (48 km) west of Normandy, France, and roughly triangular in shape. With gloriously unspoilt stretches of sand right on our doorstep, Cobo Bay is literally one of Guernsey’s gems. Join everyone at the hotel for a welcome dinner tonight.  (D)

Pre-DAY 2 – Tuesday 20 June 2023 – Guernsey

During our island visit today, we’ll explore some of the military history that surrounds the area. Steeped in history that includes the English Civil War and the German occupation of the islands during World War II the German Military Underground Hospital and Ammunition Store is the largest structural reminder of the German Occupation existing in the Channel Islands During the occupation of the islands, these wards accommodated up to 800 patients.(B,D)

Pre-DAY 3 – Wednesday 21 June 2023 – Guernsey

Heading to the Dark Sky Island of Sark today by boat, we’ll explore this islet by horse and carriage. This lovely little island was the first of its kind, declaring dark sky status with the International Dark Sky Association as the first island of its kind. Whilst we will not be there at night to enjoy its rich dark skies, we will embrace the island’s history and unspoilt island lifestyle. (B,D)

Pre-DAY 4 – Thursday 22 June 2023 – Guernsey

Today is yours to explore Guernsey as you desire. Enjoy time on Cobo Beach, on one of the multitudes of coastal walks or perhaps the little chapel. (B,D)


DAY 1 – Friday 23 June 2023 – Bodmin

Today we leave from London for Cornwall, the holiday paradise of the United Kingdom. 

If you are travelling by Ferry and making our way to Falmouth in Cornwall where we will stay for two nights at a hotel with a difference. The Bodmin Jail! –  Please note if you are travelling from Guernsey the travel times are subject to extreme tidal differences and are announced only a few weeks ahead of departure. (B,D)

DAY 2 – Saturday 24 June 2023 – Bodmin

Our first stop is a short train journey from Falmouth to Truro. On arrival, we’ll visit the Truro Cathedral one of only three cathedrals in the UK featuring three spires.  We’ll then head to St Alberts Bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened by Prince Albert on 2 May 1859. Brunel died later that year and his name was then placed above the portals at either end of the bridge as a memorial. We stop at a china clay pit that has been transformed into a living theatre of plants and people - the Eden Project before visiting the coast towns of Mevagissey and St Austal where Marnie in her late teen years we’ll enjoy a pint of Scrumpy Jack to celebrate old times in her local! (B,D)

DAY 3 – Sunday 25 June 2023 – Falmouth

Today we’ll discover a wealth of stunning coastline, charming gardens and towns, and historic and cultural sites as we head towards Penzance via Goonhilly Downs. Situated just south of Helston and the Royal Naval Air Station famous as the location of the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station. At one time the largest in the world these huge satellite dishes seen for miles, were an iconic landmark. The downs themselves are largely sparse heathland, making it the perfect radio-quiet destination for this work. We overnight in Falmouth at the Royal Duchy (B,D)

DAY 4 – Monday 26 June 2023 – Falmouth

Heading to the most western part of England, we board the Bodmin Railway, en route to Penzance. This station originally constructed by the Cornwall Railway in 1859, became part of the Great Western Railway in 1876 is located in the picturesque Glynn Valley, about 20 metres above the River Fowey. (B,D)

DAY 5 – Tuesday 27 June 2023 – Bath

Leaving the Cornish Peninsular behind, we travel to the majestic city of Bath, taking in a stop at Port Isaac. This north-facing town is best known as the quaint setting for the TV Series starring Martin Clune – Doc Martin. Lunch will be at Glastonbury – the home of gumboots and muddy music festivals! We overnight at the historic Francis Hotel Bath-MGallery. (B,D)

DAY 6 – Wednesday 28 June 2023 – Llianell

It was in the garden of the German-born British astronomer, composer, and brother of Caroline Herschel – William Herschel- that the planet Uranus was discovered. His home, now a museum, is filled with objects of astronomical and musical desire. Prior to entering into Wales, we’ll view the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The bridge is built to a design by William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw, based on an earlier design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We overnight in Llianell. (B,D)

DAY 7 – Thursday 29 June 2023 – Betws-Y-Coed

One of the highlights, before we leave the south, is the Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk. In 1944, Dylan wrote 'Poem in October' a poem about his love of Laugharne and getting older on his 30th Birthday. We’ll visit the Discover PortmeirionGardens. The subtropical forest at Portmeirion, affectionately known as The Gwyllt (Wildwood in Welsh) features some of Britain's largest trees, secret gardens, a derelict castle and rare flowers. Staying three nights in the Waterloo Hotel within the dark sky park of Snowdonia, we get to some of the more rural areas of Wales. (B,D)

DAY 8 – Friday 30 June 2023 – Betws-Y-Coed

Combining two great men of steel constructions today, we journey on the festibiog railway to Menai/Porthaethwy; referred to colloquially as Y Borth. This overlooks the Menai Strait and lies by the Menai Suspension Bridge, built in 1826 by Thomas Telford, Menai Heritage Bridges Exhibition celebrates the Menai Suspension Bridge, built by Thomas Telford, and the Britannia Bridge, built by Robert Stephenson. In stark contrast, we stop at the prehistoric Bryn Celli Dhu burial chamber before returning home to our hotel. (B,D)

DAY 9 – Saturday 1 July 2023 – Betws-Y-Coed

Today we head north to Conwy, visiting the Bodnant Gardens, and taking another rail journey on the Orme Tramway.  The Great Orme Tramway is Britain's only funicular, or cable-hauled, tramway that travels on public roads. Delighting visitors since it opened in 1902. The Tramway climbs a mile (1500m) through the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve to the Great Orme's spectacular summit. Tonight, we meet the Conwy Astronomical society for dinner and some *stargazing! (B,D)

DAY 10 – Sunday 2 July 2023 – Knutsford

Moving back into England, but before we cross the Welsh English border en route to Knutsford we cruise along The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Designed by Thomas Telford the 18-arched stone and cast iron structure is is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest canal aqueduct in the world. We spend two nights at Cottons Hotel Knutsford. (B,D)

DAY 11 – Monday 3 July 2023 – Knutsford

You may be aware of Jodrell Bank as a world-leading astronomical telescope, but did you know it is also listed as a World Heritage space by UNESCO for its dark sky significance? Today we’ll explore the site with a behind-the-scenes tour with Fred’s colleagues from the SKA.

DAY 12 – Tuesday 4 July 2023 – Grasmere

Taking in two more great authors, we visit the homeland of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter with an overnight stop in Grasmere. Visiting Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse home. Full of her favourite things, it appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk with one of her very colourful animal characters.

DAY 13 – Wednesday 5 July 2023 – Edinburgh

We’ll give you some time to enjoy a walk around the grounds of our hotel, or in town, before heading further north into Scotland via the cultural icon - Hadrians Wall. A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path. The largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, it runs a total of 117.5 kilometres in northern England. We have two nights at the Holyrood Hotel & Spa. (B,D)

DAY 14 – Thursday 6 July 2023 – Edinburgh

Returning to an old favourite, we visit the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh with time spent in the marvellous Crawford Collection. The Crawford Collection is one of the most extensive and valuable astronomical libraries in the world, gifted by James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (formerly Lord Lindsay) in 1888. Lindsay was a distinguished amateur astronomer who set up a private observatory on the family’s country estate. We end our tour with a special dinner. (B,D)

DAY 15 – 7 July 2023 – End

Our tour ends after breakfast today.



Cost: $7500 per person (10 - 15 people)

Cost: $7200 per person (15 - 20 people)

Single Supplement: $1575

*Tour will operate with a maximum of 10 guest with two different pricing categories. 


Cost: $8500 per person (10 - 15 people)

Cost: $8200 per person (15 - 20 people)

Single Supplement: $2175

Deposit: $1,000pp


· Tour Host – Fred Watson

· Tour Manager – Marnie Ogg

· Accommodation as listed

· Breakfast and Dinner daily

· Entry to all sights, and activities listed

· Air-conditioned motorcoach and driver

· Local Guides

Not included:

· International Flights

· *Flight from London City to Guernsey (BA 3281 depart 10:50 arrive 11:55am) 

· Tips

· Drinks

· Items of personal nature

Share this event

bottom of page