Southwest England - Abbey Travel, Ireland

Begin Your Search

    • 16+ yrs

    • 12-15 yrs

    • 2-11 yrs

    • 0-23 mnth

Found Item

Welcome to Southwest England

Southwest England

The southwest region of England is picture-perfect, fitting the stereotype one has of the English countryside with rolling green hills, wild moors, quaint historic towns and rugged coastlines. It is no wonder that Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge drew their inspiration from the area.

Southwest England is home to some fascinating historical sites, including the legendary Stonehenge and the mysterious Avebury Stone Circles, both in Wiltshire, as well as dozens of slightly younger abbeys and cathedrals (including the Salisbury Cathedral). Since 1970, the Glastonbury Festival has drawn thousands of music lovers to a farm just outside the town of Glastonbury in Somerset to enjoy hundreds of top artists, as well as theatre, comedy, artwork and more, all in a Woodstock-style setting. While best known for its music festivals and cheddar cheese, Somerset also boasts such sites as the Exmoor National Park and Cheddar Gorge, with its myriad of caves that are well worth exploring.

Devon and Cornwall, on the tip of southwest England, boast some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery in the country. The south coast of Devon is known as the English Riviera, and its major town is Plymouth, whose famous naval docks are still home to the Royal Navy. It was here in 1588 that Sir Francis Drake finished his game of bowls before setting off to defeat the Spanish Armada. A few years later, in 1620, the Mayflower embarked from Plymouth to the New World carrying the Pilgrim settlers.

On the border with Cornwall, visitors will discover the rugged wilderness of Dartmoor National Park where wild ponies and hikers roam freely across a dramatic landscape dotted with 'tors' and pre-historic remains. England's most south-westerly county, Cornwall is a popular destination for British tourists drawn by the beautiful countryside and a craggy coastline pitted with small fishing villages and glorious white sandy beaches.

Southwest England is filled with fascinating sights and sounds, from small towns to vibrant cities, and from stately cathedrals to Neolithic sites, all set in the lush English countryside. The region is a must on any trip to the UK and visitors will not be disappointed.

Information & Facts

English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.

The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks. Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.

Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Sometimes known as Devonshire, this pretty county in southwest England is dotted with lakes, resort towns and beaches. Many of the towns and cities in Devon are placed in a ring along the coast, as the centre of the county is occupied by Dartmoor National Park. The towns all have their own unique character, from the fishing villages of Appledore and Brixham to the cobbled streets of Clovelly and the steep red cliffs of Dawlish. Seaside towns like Sidmouth, Barnstaple, Croyde Bay and Puttsborough offer some of the best surfing in England. The largest city in Devon is Plymouth, whose harbour has a long and important history.

Penzance is home to much more than Gilbert and Sullivan's famous pirates, though it has a long association with the arts and continues to be a centre for art and music in Cornwall. Originally a market and fishing town, Penzance has a bustling harbour area with a Victorian promenade that features an art deco open-air swimming pool. Although many of the historic buildings in Penzance have been pulled down, there are still worthwhile sights like the Egyptian House, St Mary's Church, and the Union Hotel. Morrab Gardens are a pleasant setting to spend an afternoon in good weather.

The city of Salisbury is dominated by the spire of its famous cathedral, the tallest in England at 404ft (123m). Started in 1220, the cathedral was completed by 1258, the Spire added a few years later. Built to reflect the glory of God in stone and glass, this majestic and awe-inspiring church has been a setting for many great occasions over 775 years. The grounds of the cathedral contain many notable houses open to the public. Mompesson House is a perfectly preserved 18th-century home and Malmesbury House was once the sanctuary for King Charles II, fleeing the Battle of Worcester in the 17th century.

No other site in England presents the viewer with such grandeur and mystery, nor sparks the imagination so much as this iconic circle of stones in Wiltshire. Writers, adventurers, historians and conquerors have all tried to answer the question, 'Who built Stonehenge?' resulting in tales and fables of Druids, Merlin and King Arthur, ancient giants roaming the countryside, and a highly evolved prehistoric race of men. Yet the question of who, or indeed what, managed to drag several 20-ton stones more than 240 miles (386km) from North Wales across steep hills to be aligned with mathematical and astronomical precision 5,000 years ago remains unanswered.

The Eden Project's aim is to examine the ways in which human beings interact with their environment, with a special focus on the plant world, in order to develop new ways of sustainable development by spearheading new conservation methods. Owned by a charity called the Eden Trust, the project consists of several specially created conservatories, the largest in the world, built into a giant crater in Cornwall. The Eden Project is more than a theme park, as it presents visitors with an opportunity to explore the plant kingdom, and examine our dependence on it. The park also hosts concerts during the summer with top international acts.

} ());
ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.