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