The South West of England is a land of postcard beauty. This is the home of Stonehenge, quaint country cottages, and castles of Arthurian legend. This part of the country also boasts the best weather, so with miles of sandy beaches and a seemingly unending coastline, the South West of England is the perfect place to spend your 2012 summer holidays.
Travelling to the South West couldn’t be easier. With great rail, road, and air links from across the UK you should have no trouble finding an inexpensive and efficient way to get to your holiday destination. International travellers might find it easiest to arrive into one of the major London airports and pick up a rental car upon arrival. The drive from London to Bristol takes approximately 2 hours, but takes you through some lovely towns and scenery along the way. Stop for lunch in Highclere, home to the real-life Downtown Abbey, and make a detour to see the beautiful Roman spa town of Bath.
What to do:
No matter how you travel to the South West you will find no shortage of things to do upon arrival. Of course no trip would be complete without visiting the famous ancient monument of Stonehenge, an archaeological conundrum that has stumped researchers for centuries. It’s best to arrive at the site early as it can be rather busy.
Another sight not to miss is the amazing Eden Project, an eco attraction near St Austell, Cornwall that boasts the world largest greenhouse. Here you can tour the massive biomes that are planted with thousands of plant species from around the world while learning about conservation. You could easily spend a whole day exploring this unique attraction, especially if they are holding a great special event.
On the coast of North Cornwall you’ll find the magical Tintagel Castle, the castle which is believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur. The views around the castle are some of the most dramatic in the country and at low tide you can visit Merlin’s Cave on Castle Beach below.
Where to Stay:
There is no shortage of great places to stay while visiting the South West. If you’re looking for a great city break consider heading to Bristol, a city of art, steamships, and nightlife. The city is home to infamous graffiti artists Banksy and has a thriving street art community which can be experienced in the street or any of the cities galleries. The city is also home to the Brunel’s ss Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner. Other great options for city breaks include Exeter, Bath, Salisbury, and Gloucester.
If you’re more interested in enjoying the delights of the countryside there are endless town, villages, and hamlets to choose from. Set yourself up in a charming self-catering holiday cottage in Dartmoor National Park and spend your days exploring the heather covered moors that are home to the beautiful Dartmoor ponies. For something with a little bit more action consider the seaside resort town of Torquay, home to 5 star hotels, quaint bed and breakfasts, and beachside holiday rentals that are perfect for a summer getaway.