South West England covers the areas of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. The most easterly and accessible of our resorts are Weston-Super-Mare and Exmouth. The Lizard, England’s most southerly point, is a further three hours drive to the south west.
Landscape of the South West is a feast of untamed natural beauty. Its northern coastline is an exhilarating mix of rugged cliffs, silver surf and golden beaches stretching from Ilfracombe to St Ives. On the south coast, picturesque fishing villages such as Looe nestle in chocolate box coves and snug harbours. The Torbay area is home to one of Britain’s most famous resorts, Torquay, which along with Paignton and Brixham make up the ‘English Riviera’. The hinterland is a place of wild moorland, most notably Dartmoor to the south and Exmoor to the north, as well as fertile river valleys and lush rolling hills with a sprinkling of picturesque villages and hamlets.
History of the South West is steeped in myth and legend. There are druidic, Celtic and Roman remains scattered around the area, including the ruins of Tintagel, near Newquay, where King Arthur is reputed to have held court. The region’s more recent history is one of navy exploration, smuggling and tin mining. Visit the once vibrant Georgian port of Bideford, the fascinating Maritime Museum at Falmouth to explore the South West’s maritime past or head for Plymouth which not only boasts a superb natural harbour but is also home to an enviable array of waterfront shops and open air cafés.
Towns and Cities
Bristol Tourist Information Tel:0117 926 0767
An exciting city with an abundance of attractions. From Bristol Zoo and the SS Great Britain to some outstanding museums and galleries, Bristol offers something for everyone.
Exeter Tourist Information Tel:01392 265203
Devon’s most historical city and principal commercial centre. Visit the famous Cathedral, or browse around the city’s extensive range of shops.
Minehead Tourist Information Tel:01643 702624
Situated overlooking the broad expanse of the Bristol Channel and backed by a spacious promenade, Minehead welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The pretty harbour is peppered with fishing vessels and during the summer months the famous paddle steamer Waverley is a regular feature here.
Pick of the Attractions
Eden Project Tel:01726 811911
One of the most spectacular modern attractions in the UK, its unique architecture and amazing collection of plants will captivate keen gardeners and novices alike.
St Ives Tate Gallery Tel:01736 796226
A gallery of international standard with a rotating display selected from its collection of around 300 works of art produced by the St Ives School of Artists.
Minack Theatre Tel:01736 810181
A unique open-air theatre which stages its quality performances against a stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs and endless skies.
St Michael’s Mount Tel:01736 710507
Perched astride a volcanic rock and accessible via a causeway, this romantic castle/house, with sub-tropical hanging gardens dates from the 12th Century.
Heligan Gardens Tel:01726 845100
With its Italian, walled and water gardens, as well as a famous ‘Jungle’, Heligan attracts a record-breaking ¼ of a million visitors every year.
Land’s End is the most south-westerly point in England. There are numerous attractions including The First and Last Inn, Greebs Farm, the End to End Story and Ghost Walks.www.landsend-landmark.co.uk
Bodmin Moor is one of the last great unspoilt areas of the South West. Moorland villages, crystal clear streams, huge granite outcrops and prehistoric tors create a landscape that is both bleak and diverse.www.bodminmoor.co.uk