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Kevan Manwaring

Author - Mentor - Guide

Legendary Tours

For a long time I have been drawn to magical, mysterious places. I will always remember the impact of visiting Stonehenge for the first time on a Geography ‘A’ level trip – I still have the sketch I made, and now live within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage area of Stonehenge and Avebury (a landscape I know on foot and love deeply).

 

As a young man I hitchhiked to the West of Ireland to climb the sacred mountain of Croagh-Patrick in early August, as countless pilgrims have done over the years. And I’ve been making pilgrimage to such sites ever since.

 

As a professional storyteller and performance poet and scholar of folklore I can weave in tales, poems, and lore to bring alive these places for you – many of which have inspired my several novels and collections of folk tales.

 

Whatever your interest (archaeology, mythology, local history, literature, art, folklore, paganism, etc) I can create a legendary tour for you.

 

I can include opportunities to sketch, write, sing, dance, meditate, make ceremony, etc, as you wish – and can facilitate accordingly.

 

There’ll be plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and to interact however you choose. It is important to have quality time at these places and allow them to work their magic on you in their own quiet way.

For bespoke tours, including longer itineraries, please contact Kevan via the Contact Form.

City Walks

I can offer informative and entertaining walking tours of my favourite cities: Bath, Oxford & Winchester (all of which I have a long-term connection with), plus town walks of Stratford-upon-Avon, Stroud, and Northampton.

 

I am happy to consider other places too - with a few days' notice I can research and design a tailor-made city walk for you.

Bath

If you want an entertaining (and informative) introduction to Bath, the City of Waters, look no further! As a Bard of Bath, I have a unique insight into Bath’s cultural heritage, and the ability to bring alive obscure facts and hidden gems; as well the timeless verse of the literary greats who have been drawn to this place of poets and muses. On this leisurely stroll you will be introduced to the major landmarks of the city – the Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and the Circus – as well as less well-known treasures of architecture, archaeology, and culture. Along the way you will be regaled with tales and verse. You will leave with a deeper sense of Bath’s many layers and continuing appeal.

Oxford

Oxford has inspired great writers for centuries, including some of the best-loved in the English language. Visit the places where Narnia, Middle Earth and other magical realms were forged. Visit the pub where The Inklings (JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield) met every Tuesday lunchtime to share their writing, woes and joys. Visit the inspiration for Hogwarts and hear about the original Rabbit hole that inspired Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. And roam the city of dreaming spires that became Philip Pullman’s Jordan College. Along the way find out about the writers, and hear some of their writing on location. An educational and enjoyable stroll guaranteed to get the imagination going!

Stratford-upon-Avon

Explore the charming Warwickshire town of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace and final resting place of the ‘sweet Swan of Avon’, William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet, actor, and the world’s greatest playwright.

 

Guided by a modern day bard (storyteller, poet, singer, wordsmith), you’ll be guided in an entertaining fashion to Shakespeare’s birthplace, school, family home, and grave. You’ll also be shown the lovely Elizabethan houses lived in by Shakespeare’s children, the river Avon and the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. With a focus on stories more than dusty dates and a unique insight into the role of the bard, by the end of this tour you’ll have a good overview of the town – with tempting options awaiting for you to explore in your own time. Be prepared for the unexpected – amusing detours and embellishments – as inspiration may strike at any minute!


Walking Tours

A two-week walking (with support vehicle for luggage) or one-week driving tour of my pilgrimage route: King Arthur Way, which runs from Tintagel in Cornwall to Glastonbury Tor in Somerset (153 miles - including 4 castles, two national parks, wild coastline, lonely moors, gentle hills, and canals).  For further information, go to https://kingarthurway.wordpress.com/

 

Other suggested itineraries for longer tours (1-2 weeks): Legendary Wales; Legendary Scotland; Legendary Ireland; Legendary Brittany.


Driving Tours

I have a full license and have been offering Driving Tours for small groups (in a 7 seater SUV) for the last four years.

 

Below you will see a list of my 'classic' day long driving tours.

 

Other tours can be designed to accommodate your interests and itinerary (eg. I am happy to consider longer tours over a weekend or week, including Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland). Get in touch.

 

 

Baths, Stones and Cathedrals

A one day driving tour taking in the sites of Bath (home to the famous Roman Baths), Stonehenge and Salisbury

Cotswold Highlights

Spend a relaxing day exploring the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a beautiful region of limestone hills, wooded vales and picturesque villages. We will wend our way leisurely taking pleasant country lanes between some of the gems of the area – timeless photogenic villages and landmarks, many of which are associated with famous writers or films.

 

Take your pick of 6 sites to visit from Stow-on-the-Wold; Broadway Tower; Chipping Camden; Moreton-in-Marsh; Upper and Lower Slaughter; Burford; Bibury; Castle Combe.

 

There will plenty of opportunities to stop, explore and take photos and we’ll stop at a picturesque country pub for lunch. The tour will comprise local history, literature, and culture. Be ready for a fascinating day out!

Magical Stones

The megalithic temple of Stonehenge is one of the seven wonders of the world, and on many bucket lists. On this tour you will be escorted personally to the stones by a knowledgeable guide who will bring alive not only the iconic standing stones, but also the surrounding landscape.

 

The awe-inspiring stone circle of Avebury, a few miles north, is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, and rightly so, but unlike its more famous neighbour, Stonehenge, is unfenced. On this walking tour of the site, you will be able to wander freely among the stones. You will learn about the origins of the Henge, walk the awesome Avenue of Stones to the Sanctuary on the ancient Ridgeway, visit West Kennet long barrow and Silbury Hill – the largest man-made mound in Europe. I’ll take you to the little-known magical spring of Swallowhead, where pilgrims leave offerings. We’ll wander back via the village, with its church and heritage buildings. We’ll end our tour at the Red Lion pub in the heart of the stone circle.

Sacred Sites of the South West

Depending on your interest we can visit a selection of key or lesser known ancient sites in the southwest region, eg Glastonbury, Cerne Abbas, Stanton Drew stone circle, or sites in Dorset, Devon or Cornwall.

 

An example of a day visiting Glastonbury:

 

A full day’s tour of the sacred landscape of Glastonbury, the mystical Isle of Avalon. Walk in the footsteps of countless pilgrims – including Joseph of Arimathea. Visit Bride’s Mound, Wearyall Hill, the White Spring, the Tor, the Glastonbury Thorn, and the ‘goblin market’ of the High St, with its many great shops and cafes. Options to visit Chalice Well, the Abbey, hold ceremony, attune to the sacred energies, and find healing & inspiration.

Time Travelling in Wessex

A day long tour from Southampton docks designed for cruise-ship passengers who wish to explore the south west (this can comfortably include 3 of the following: Winchester, Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, Salisbury, or destinations of your choosing within a 100 miles of the berth).