Days Out in South West England
Choose your Day Out
Map of South West England
South West England is a mainly rural region with a coastline along both the Bristol Channel and English Channel which is by far the longest coastline in England and has many seaside fishing towns. It is the largest in area of the nine official regions of England, covering 9,200 square miles (23,800 km2) and the counties of Gloucestershire, Bristol, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, as well as the Isles of Scilly. Five million people live in South West England.
The region includes the West Country and much of the ancient kingdom of Wessex. The largest city is Bristol. Other major urban centres include Plymouth, Swindon, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Exeter, Bath, Torbay, and the South East Dorset conurbation (which includes Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch). There are eight cities: Salisbury, Bath, Wells, Bristol, Gloucester, Exeter, Plymouth and Truro. It includes two entire national parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor and a small part of the New Forest is also within the region; and four World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast.
The region is known for its rich folklore, including the legend of King Arthur and Glastonbury Tor, as well as its traditions and customs. Cornwall has its own language, Cornish, and some regard it as a Celtic nation. The South West of England is known for Cheddar cheese, Devon cream teas, crabs, Cornish pasties, and cider. It is also home to the Eden Project, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, and Cornwall’s surfing beaches.
South West England is a beautiful coastal region that has some unique attractions, stunning places to visit and family days out. Explore two National Parks. Have a culinary experience with exceptional seafood and cream teas. The biggest attraction of South West England for many is the beaches of Cornwall, Dorset and Devon. The region incorporates some of the most breathtaking and diverse scenery, which stretches from the rolling Mendips hills in the east to the rugged Cornish peninsula in the south and the Forest of Dean and Cotswold Hills in the North. In between are areas of remote moorland covered during the spring and summer with flowering heather. The climate is milder than the rest of the UK, due to its southerly location, and also because this narrow triangle of land is surrounded by the warm gulf stream.
For visitors looking for days out in the South West there are plenty of things to do and see, from exotic gardens and ancient castles to pristine stately homes. You will also find many animal farm parks, zoos and fun amusement parks for the children, along with many of the best sandy beaches in Britain for the whole family to enjoy.
The south west has some excellent areas for walking – such as Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor, the Mendip Hills, Quantocks and the Exmoor National Park – not to forget the spectacular South West Coast Path, the longest public right of way in Britain.
The South West region is probably England’s most well-known holiday hotspot, being home to some of the most famous seaside resorts and iconic monuments. Pretty villages and harbours in Cornwall, many with sweeping sandy beaches, such as St Ives, Polzeath and Port Isaac to name but a few, give way to sophisticated seaside resorts in Devon and Dorset which include Bournemouth, Torquay and Ilfracombe.