South West England

Why go there?

South West England is home to eleven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two National Parks and benefits from a feeling of remoteness and tranquillity which makes it a popular holiday destination

Key gateways

Airports:
Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Newquay

Ports:
Poole, Plymouth

Cities

Bath

For centuries Bath has been the place where people came to in order to relax. The ancient Romans came here for the hot thermal waters, and the Victorians came here to take the healing waters and to shop. As a result, Bath today is a mix of ancient culture and refined boutiques, beautiful historic Georgian architecture and elegant eateries, with the Roman Baths still a centrepiece of the city.

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Bristol

Proud of its maritime heritage, the bustling city of Bristol is surrounded by the hills of South West England. Bristol’s harbour and city centre are lined with restaurants, clubs, bars, museums and art centres, waiting to be explored, as well as some of the South West’s most iconic attractions.

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Key attractions

The Roman Baths

The city of Bath has been welcoming visitors to its natural thermal waters for over 2000 years. Visitors to the Roman Baths in the city’s centre can feel the heat of the thermal waters, see the Sacred Spring and learn how the Romans relaxed thousands of years ago.

Website: romanbaths.co.uk

Stonehenge

A relic from the distant Stone Age, the method of Stonehenge’s construction remains a mystery to this day, but visitors have the opportunity to learn about the many legends surrounding this iconic monument at the exhibition and visitor centre.

Book on the VisitBritain shop

Website: english-heritage.org.uk

Dartmoor

Situated in the South West of England, right in the very heart of Devon, Dartmoor is an ancient landscape of stunning views, awe-inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces.

Website: visitdartmoor.co.uk

South West Coast Path

Go to the beach anywhere in the South West of England, turn left or right and you’ll be on the South West Coast Path and on the edge of an amazing experience. Where else can visitors walk along 630 miles of such superb coastline which makes up the longest National Trail in the UK – with a wealth of heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way?

Website: southwestcoastpath.org.uk

The Jurassic Coast

The fascinating rock formations and fossils of the Jurassic Coast chart 185 million years of Earth’s history. Enjoy the coastal walks and cliff-top views of a natural World Heritage Site, hunt for fossils, and soak up some sea air at the same time.

Website: jurassiccoast.org

Still to be discovered

For those who have visited the South West of England before, here’s a selection of attractions that they may not yet have discovered:

Cornwall’s gardens

From the wealth of traditional gardens such as Trelissick and The Lost Gardens of Heligan, to the awe-inspiring Eden Project, home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world, Cornwall’s gardens are as varied in their nature as they are in the breadth of audiences to which they hold huge appeal.

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Website: visitcornwall.com

Bristol

Just 12 minutes from Bath by train, Bristol is home to two of Brunel’s most iconic engineering feats – the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the ss Great Britain, which was launched in 1843 – now an award winning visitor attraction

Book on the VisitBritain shop

Website: visitbristol.co.uk

Salisbury

Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims as you admire an original copy of the Magna Carta, spot Europe’s oldest working clock and climb Britain’s tallest cathedral spire to look out across the Wiltshire countryside.

Website: visitwiltshire.co.uk

Picture postcard fishing villages

The perfect setting for a stroll, to explore or to watch the world go by, the rocky alcoves, colourful fishermen’s cottages and bobbing sail boats of South West England’s coastal villages make them some of the country’s prettiest harbourside locations.

Website: visitcornwall.com

Website: visitdevon.co.uk

Food and drink

The South West has become renowned for its amazing food and drink – from well-known chefs such as Rick Stein, to a wide range of food and drink events across the region, and for its fantastic produce from local cider, to seafood and artisan cheeses.

Website: tasteofthewest.co.uk

Downloadable resources