Things to do in the South West

Here are some ideas for things to do in the South West of England, UK for holidays, weekend visits or short breaks in Devon, Somerset or Cornwall.

Minack Theatre in Penzance Cornwall

The South West of England, encompassing the counties of Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset, is a region rich in natural beauty, historic sites, and cultural attractions. From dramatic coastlines and picturesque countryside to historic towns and innovative attractions, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do and places to see in these counties:

 

Cornwall Things to Do

  1. Eden Project, Bodelva near St Austell – A unique global garden housed in tropical biomes that nestle in a crater the size of 30 football pitches. It’s a dramatic global garden filled with plants, crops, and landscapes from around the world, offering educational insights into the relationship between plants and people.
    Learn more and book tickets on the Eden Project website.
  2. St Michael’s Mount, Marazion – Accessible by causeway at low tide or by boat at high tide, this historic island offers a medieval castle, sub-tropical gardens, and panoramic views. It’s a living community, with a small population residing on the island.
  3. Minack Theatre, Porthcurno near Penzance – An open-air theatre carved into the granite cliff and set in beautiful gardens, offering a dramatic backdrop of the ocean. It hosts a variety of performances, from Shakespeare to modern musicals, during the summer months. Even if you don’t see a performance, just seeing this open air theatre should be on your list of things to do in Penzance if you’re visiting the area.
    If you do want to see a performance, you can see what’s on at the Minack Theatre and book tickets online.

 

Devon Things to Do

  1. Dartmoor National Park – Known for its stunning moorlands, Dartmoor is a haven for walkers, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s dotted with ancient stones, wild ponies, and quaint villages, offering endless opportunities for exploration and photography.
  2. The Jurassic Coast – Stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset, this World Heritage Site offers 95 miles of coastline rich in geological history, with cliffs, fossils, and stunning sea views.
  3. Plymouth Hoe – Offering stunning views of Plymouth Sound, Drake’s Island, and the English Channel, the Hoe is a historic public space where Sir Francis Drake is said to have played bowls before the Spanish Armada’s arrival. It’s perfect for picnics, walks, and soaking up maritime history.

 

Somerset Things to Do

  1. Cheddar Gorge & Caves – Britain’s biggest gorge, with dramatic cliffs rising 450ft and stunning stalactite caverns. It’s a great place for hiking, learning about prehistoric man, and cheese tasting – Cheddar cheese originated here!
  2. Glastonbury Tor – A hill near Glastonbury in the Somerset Levels, topped by the roofless St Michael’s Tower. It’s associated with Arthurian legend and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  3. Roman Baths, Bath – Explore the well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. It’s a fascinating historical site with ancient Roman artefacts, thermal baths, and an interactive museum, located in the heart of the beautiful city of Bath.
    Visit: www.romanbaths.co.uk to learn more and book tickets online.

These attractions are just a glimpse of the many things to do in the South West of England. Each county brings its own unique experiences, making the region a must-visit for its blend of natural beauty, historical depth, and cultural richness. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking to explore some of the most scenic spots in the UK, the South West has something special for you see or explore.

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