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Destination Guide to the South West of England

A region of contrast, the South West is an ancient land of myth and mystery whilst remaining synonymous with sunny summer coastal resorts.

The South West of England covers an area which was once known as the ancient land of Wessex, stretching south and west from the city of Salisbury to England’s western extremity and most southerly point at Land’s End. The region enjoys the warmest climate in England and encapsulates five of England’s most charming counties in Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It is home to some of England’s most unique vistas including the mysterious chalk hills of Wiltshire and the Salisbury Plain to the rolling hills and gorges of rural counties Somerset and Dorset. Devon provides a county of contrasts, with the mysterious moors of Dartmoor and Exmoor inland and a series of stunning Victorian beach resorts along her coastlines whilst Cornwall is a county of unfettered natural beauty with the coastlines of this rugged peninsula alternating between sweeping golden bays and rocky cliff faces.

The entire region is a cultural patchwork, home to ancient historic sites, modern music events, birth-place of renowned English food, drink and traditions and enshrouded in an abundance of myth and legend. Wiltshire is home to the unexplained prehistoric stone-circles of Stonehenge and Avebury and mysterious white horses carved in to the chalky hillsides. Over the border in Somerset you’ll find traditional scrumpy cider brewers and the home of cheddar cheese whilst Devon remains the home of jam, scones and clotted cream with Cornwall offering the Cornish pasties indulgent Cornish ice cream and the ultimate destination to enjoy “fish and chips, a truly British meal. The town of Glastonbury is not only home to possibly the world’s greatest annual music festival but also, along with neighbouring Wells, a wealth of Arthurian legend and connections to the Holy Grail. Dorset provided the back-drop for Thomas Hardy’s literary works whilst Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles reputedly roamed the moors of Devon. Finally Cornwall is home to the modern horticultural experiment at the Eden Project as well as ancient folkloric tales of pirates and smugglers who sought refuge in her treacherous coastal caves.

There are few large cities in the south west but the most notable is certainly the stunningly preserved Georgian city of Bath. Bath is of such historic significance that the entire city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Neighbouring Bristol is a modern, vibrant commercial city whilst the cathedral cities of Salisbury and Exeter are both well worth a visit. The village of Wells is technically a city due to its glorious medieval cathedral and bishop palace and Plymouth is home to a wealth of naval and seafaring history. The smaller towns of the region are, however, equally rewarding. The “English Riviera” consists of a host of charming seaside resort towns which sprung up in Victorian times and offer enduring icons of English summer holidays such as rows of coloured beach huts, wooden deck chairs and opulent Victorian piers reaching in to the waters. In Cornwall, not to be missed are numerous tiny fishing communities such as Padstow, the funky surfers haven at Newquay and the artists’ retreat at St Ives.

Whether seeking modern or historic culture, unravelling ancient mysteries or exploring beautiful land and seascapes, the South West of England is an intrinsic part of your vacation to England.

Relevant Tours

  New for 2021  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, Britain Coast to Mountain takes you on an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rustic dales of Yorkshire and the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, York, Chester and Edinburgh and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. Britain Coast to Mountain is the perfect immerse yourself in culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

  New for 2021  
Cornish Coast, England

A Cornwall Coach Tour – Enjoy a leisurely journey of discovery through the beautiful landscapes of the South West of Britain taking in South Wales and the coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall. From London you’ll see the charming landscapes of the Cotswolds, the wilderness of the Welsh Brecon Beacons, barren Devonshire moorlands and craggy Cornish coastlines. Home to classic British charm the South West is region is characterised by honey-coloured villages, stately homes, ancient historic sites and quintessential fishing towns, just some of the highlights waiting to be explored on this leisurely paced tour along the country roads of Wales, Devon and Cornwall.

  New for 2021  
Britain City Tours - Westminster

An English Literature Tour – this uniquely themed coach tour of England takes you on an incredible journey following footsteps of some of Britain’s most renowned authors and playwrights. Travelling across the English countryside, immerse yourself in the lives of literary greats from William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the charming city of Bath that stole Jane Austen’s heart, the coasts of Dorset and Thomas Hardy Country to the rural idylls of Yorkshire and the Lake District, stomping ground of the Bronte Sisters and William Wordsworth. Along the way, we’ll see historic cities and England’s rustic landscapes.

Tours of England - Bath

A Castle Tour of England - Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, opulent manor houses, historic sites, stunning landscapes and England’s cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and country manor house accommodation!

  New for 2021  
Chelsea Flower Show, London

An English Garden Tour – Is there anything more beautiful than the quintessential English Garden? This elegant escorted coach tour takes you on an incredible journey across England and Wales to visit some of the UK’s most renowned gardens. Explore royal palaces and stately homes to discover the secrets of their formal gardens and rambling estates and enjoy the scenic drives through Britain’s wonderful countryside. A highlight will be your visit to one of the most esteemed garden shows in the country – the Chelsea Flower Show.

Tours of England - Bath

A Cotswolds Small Group Tour - Heart of England takes you on a journey through one of Britain’s most iconic and traditional regions, encompassing Oxford, Stratford-upon Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. On your five day trip we’ll experience Oxford’s dreaming Spires, visit enchanting film locations, explore honey-coloured Cotswold villages, ancient abbeys and stately homes not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath.

  New for 2021  
Britain City Tours - Westminster

A Britain Coach Tour – Take a journey through the Highlights of Britain on this tour of England, Scotland and Wales. This itinerary takes you through renowned visitor destinations and lesser-known gems alike – experience the heritage cities of York, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Bath and enjoy a number of Britain’s scenic rural regions including the Scottish Trossachs National Park with Loch Lomond, and the English Lake District, The Cotswolds and West Country. The perfect way to explore the very Best of Britain.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations.  Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours England - York

An England driving tour - England Explorer is a comprehensive tour of this great nation taking you from the heart of England to its far-reaching corners including the beautiful Lake District and the coastlines of Cornwall. You’ll experience classic English countryside including the Cotswolds and Yorkshire Dales and a host of historic cities including York, Chester and Bath not to mention a couple of nights in the vibrant English capital city, London.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Cornwall - St Michaels Mount

A small group tour of Cornwall – Treasures of Cornwall takes you on a leisurely journey through England’s enchanting West Country. This region is home to a unique Celtic heritage and beguiling landscapes; we’ll travel from the elegant Georgian city of Bath through the rolling hills of Somerset and across the barren moors of Devon to the dramatic coastlines of Cornwall. Along the way we’ll visit ancient stone-circles, taste local specialities, unearth Arthurian Legends, discover cliff-side castles, hear smugglers tales and explore rambling fishing villages. Cornwall’s many treasures are just waiting to be discovered.

  New for 2021  
Britain Tours - Lake District

An England Small Group Tour – Discover the rich history and rustic landscapes of England on this diverse journey from the far South West to England’s Northern territories. England’s Coastline and Countryside takes you from the golden bays and craggy cliffs of Cornwall through the quintessential villages of the Cotswolds to the rugged landscapes of Yorkshire and the Lake District. Along the way we’ll visit the elegant cities of Bath, Salisbury, Oxford and York and enjoy a host of local visits and experiences to truly immerse ourselves in England’s unique charm and heritage.

England Tours - St Ives Cornwall

A Cornwall small group tour – join us on an intimate five-day tour of Cornwall and the Cotswolds; from London we’ll pass through the English countryside to visit some of Britain’s most renowned destinations along with lesser-known gems. From Bath and Stonehenge we’ll journey along the beautiful coastlines of Cornwall and meander through the quintessential rolling hills of the Cotswolds on this tour of spectacular scenery, winding country lanes, unique history and authentic local flavours…

  Improved Itinerary  
England Tours - Stonehenge

The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour of York England

An England Rail Tour – Make use of England’s extensive and far-reaching rail network to explore the corners of this great nation.  From the capital city of London your journey will take you to England’s farthest reaches in on the Cornish Peninsula and the Lake District. Along the way you’ll visit a host of heritage cites including Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, Chester and York. You’ll take in scenic rail rides along the Cornish Coast and over the Yorkshire Dales and enjoy small-group day tours to reach those less accessible spots including Stonehenge, the Cotswolds and the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

Tours of Cornwall - St Michaels Mount

Visit England’s West Country including Devon and Cornwall. This region is an ancient land shrouded in legend and myth from King Arthur and Merlin to the Pirates of Penzance. The sunny West Country gave England our beloved cider, fish and chips and jam and scones. The Road to Cornwall tour takes you from London through the majestic city of Bath over the Devonshire Moors to the fishing towns of the Cornish coast, returning to Salisbury and Stonehenge via the English Riviera.

England Tours - St Ives Cornwall

A small group tour of Cornwall – this tour takes you through the beautiful West Country of England, a region which has it all, from history and architecture, to breath-taking scenery and fine food. See wild ponies in the Dartmoor National Park, visit Doc Martin’s Port Isaac and explore a maritime past in Falmouth. Enjoy regional specialties including Cornish Pasties, cream teas and a meal at Rick Stein’s renowned ‘The Seafood Restaurant’.

England Tours Salisbury

A week-long tour of England - Icons of England takes you on a journey of discovery of England’s most renowned sites, cities and landscapes.  You’ll experience English icons including Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman Baths, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds countryside, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon Avon, York Minster, the colleges of Cambridge and a wealth of attractions across the English Capital London.

Tours of England - Liverpool

A driving tour of England and Scotland - indulge in a unique trip taking in two of Britain’s most unique nations.  Your self-drive vacation will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

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