Whether you are visiting the UK from afar or simply want to unearth more of your home country, the South West corner is certainly a prime location. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of London, life moves at an entirely different pace here with the rolling countryside, quaint villages and friendly local pubs overflowing with local scrumpy cider wishing you a warm welcome. The south west is indeed a large area with thousands of things to see and do but I’ve decided to peer through the keyhole and choose just some of the very best sights and attractions in this part of the UK. So, without further ado here are some of the prime pickings…
Glastonbury festival has well and truly put Somerset on the map but if you aren’t a festival fan, you are more likely to have heard of this country as a result of Cheddar Caves and Gorge. Located near to Mendip Hills in the village of Cheddar, this natural sight is one of the most celebrated in the country and rightly so; it’s the largest gorge in Britain. It also boasts cliffs which clamber to the cavern above at a height of 450ft, making it a prime location for rock climbing. Don’t worry if you aren’t all about the adrenaline though, you won’t have to scale the sheer cliff face for a peek; the two main caves, Gough’s Cave and Cox’s Cave are easily accessible! Located a mere 12 miles from Bristol Airport.
Cornwall is another area of the South West which receives a lot of attention and duly so. One sight which is definitely worth seeing is St Michael’s Mount; a small tidal island just 400 yards from Mount’s Bay. It is interesting because of its history; 1,000 years of it in fact. Upon the island there is plenty to uncover from the historic castle which dates to the 14th century, to the harbour and even a priory. Wait for low tide to access this fascinating part of Cornwall via the causeway!
Exmoor National Park is a defining portion of the south west of England. Celebrated for its variety of landscapes from hilly moorland to rolling pastures, with a dramatic coastline too, it’s certainly an area of the country you should plan to explore. Not favoured simply for its outstanding natural beauty, Exmoor National Park has something else extra special up its sleeve; the Exmoor ponies which roam the countryside here! They aren’t wild in the typical sense as they all belong to someone but they are free to roam the countryside as they please. Other wildlife also flourishes with plenty of birds and red deer to be found, not to mention a variety of insects and plenty more. Whether you like to go walking, drive around or set up camp and explore slowly, you will be sure to have a memorable time in this fantastic part of the world.
In a country that is known as having fairly terrible weather, the possibility of international standard golden sandy beaches in the UK rarely breaches most people’s thoughts. In the South West of the country however, there are beaches to rival even the best beaches in Spain and this portion of the country welcomes the most sunshine. The Jurassic Coast in Devon is a stunning example. Here you will find 95 miles of wide sandy beaches and during the summer, when the sun does decide to shine, it’s simply glorious. The appeal of this region doesn’t end there though, it is named the Jurassic Coast for its historic associations; many of the beaches here are backed by cliffs which are simply dripping with ancient fossils and there are rocks in the region which are 185 million years old. As a result, it is England’s first natural World Heritage Site, not to mention an area you would be crazy to miss!
The Eden Project is a unique attraction within the whole of Europe; it brings natural environments from around the world to one location, allowing you to experience nature in all its glory in the midst of the South West countryside. Boasting various biomes, which resemble large transparent golf balls, such as the Rainforest biome and Mediterranean biome among many others, there is plenty to see. Meet the butterflies, study the strange and varied plant life and appreciate the incredible architecture and art work dotted around the site. With gigs, concerts, children activities and playground as well as workshops and trails, organic and fair trade food and even an ice rink during the winter, this is an attraction fit for the whole family.
So there you have it; just a small selection of the many wonderful attractions in the South West of the UK. Venture here and uncover it yourself; with so much more to see and do the biggest challenge you will face is returning home.
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