UK South West
Regional Focus
Clotted cream, cider, crabbing and coastlines. So many wonderful things to taste, see and do in the UK South West, says Nicola Hancox.

Seven counties make up the UK South West. "The region offers an extraordinary range of places to see and things to do," begins Mark Appleton, Chair of English UK South West www.englishuksouthwest.com.

 

The Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, straddles several counties, including Somerset, details Emma Devine at Xplore www.xploretheworld.com. "Everywhere you look, history flourishes."

 

The city of Bath, also in Somerset, is the jewel in the South West's crown, says Mark, who is also Principal at BEST in Bath www.bestinbath.co.uk. Famous for its spa culture and iconic sites, the whole city is a designated World Heritage Site.

 

Exmouth's two-mile sandy beach, the picture postcard town of Sidmouth and hidden gem Kingswear, all in Devon, are worth exploring, says Ella Tyler at Mountlands Language School www.mountlands.com. County capital, Exeter, meanwhile hosts a top-ranking university, Medieval cathedral and historic quayside on the River Exe.

 

 

Take a bracing coastal walk from Paignton to Brixham, suggests Lorna Howe at LAL Torbay www.lalschools.com, and catch the boat back to get a real feel for the English Riviera.

 

Cornwall is home to the world's largest indoor rainforest, the Eden Project, says Christopher Retallack at SUL Language Schools www.sul-schools.com. Hire a bike at Wadebridge and cycle along the Camel Trail, which winds its way along the River Camel up past Padstow and into the hills of Bodmin, he adds.

 

The sheltered coves at St Ives are a draw for swimmers, says Chloe Aubry at Falmouth University www.falmouth.ac.uk. While the Minack, an open-air theatre carved into the cliffs, is truly unique.
nicolahancox@studytravel.network

 


 

County highlights

 

Wiltshire
The iconic stone circle at Stonehenge is as weird as it is wonderful. There are several theories as to when, why and how this prehistoric monument came about.

 

 

Cornwall
The craggy granite cliffs at Land's End mark the UK's most south westerly point. A photo at the Land's End signpost is a must.

 

Somerset
The small Somerset village of Pilton transforms every year to host world-famous music festival,  Glastonbury, first held in 1970.

 

Devon & Dorset
The Jurassic Coast is a 95-mile stretch of stunning coastline from Exmouth in east Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. "185 million years of history under your feet!" says Ella at Mountlands Language School.

 

Bristol
Bristol is the birthplace of anonymous UK artist Banksy. Dan Steward at EC Bristol www.ecenglish.com recommends a tour of Banksy's early street art.

 


 

On the menu...


How the Cornish serve the scone in a traditional cream tea (jam, then cream, highlights Chloe Aubry at Falmouth University) differs to how one is served in Devon (cream, then jam, explains Ella Tyler at Mountlands Language School). One thing they do agree on though is that the jam is invariably strawberry and the cream is always clotted.

 

 

The South West is the main area for cider production in the UK. In Bath, "Cider is traditionally made from local apples and is the most refreshing drink," says Mark Appleton of English UK South West.


 

 

South Devon is famous for crabs, with numerous places to go 'crabbing'. Nothing beats "locally caught fish which can be enjoyed while sitting on the seafront", says Lorna Howe at LAL Torbay.

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