Heart of England
South of England
Discover why Cornwall is England’s surf central at one of its many glorious beaches! The thriving town of Newquay is a must-see, with crashing waves at its golden beaches and a welcoming and bustling atmosphere. Take a trip out to sea from the busy Newquay Harbour, or discover animals and sea life galore when you visit the Newquay Zoo and the Blue Reef Aquarium.
There’s a lot you can enjoy on a visit to South West England. Wander through the peaceful Trenance Gardens, with a quaint tearoom so you can settle in and enjoy a warming hot drink. The thriving St Ives is a delightful harbour town with cobbled pavements and traditional British cottages: stop by one of the local restaurants for a serving of fresh fish – or perhaps a Cornish pasty is more your fancy! Meander down coastal paths and explore gorgeous gardens when you visit the historic town of Redruth, and be sure to stop in one of the fantastic local eateries for a spot of lunch. Redruth has a long mining history, so head into the King Edward Mine Museum to learn the story of Cornwall’s mining past, or take a trip out of town and venture into the Poldark Mine for a guided tour through this ancient tin mine.
Take a trip to Port Isaac, a historic fishing port with winding streets and gorgeous sea views – why not take a boat out on the water and try a spot of fishing? Cornwall is also home to the famous Eden Project, with two biomes containing a diverse selection of plants from a variety of climates. For more luscious greenery, head to the Lost Gardens Heligan, a collection of restored botanical gardens with bamboo tunnels and ancient woodlands. If history is your fancy, head to the remains of Pendennis Castle, a grand coastal fortress with magnificent views out to the sea, and an internal exhibition detailing the life of the castle during the First World War.
Visit Devon for its sandy beaches, ancient cliffs, and picturesque towns and cities. Exeter is an ancient and beautiful city with tons of heritage, including a magnificent Gothic cathedral and mysterious underground passages. Devon has a selection of traditional seaside resorts: visit Charmouth and spend your afternoon unwinding on beautiful sandy beaches, whilst listening to the crashing waves. Head to Torquay, home to the award-winning coastal zoo and aquarium Living Coasts, or visit Paignton for its golden beaches, bustling pier, and the sprawling outdoor water park, Splashdown Quaywest. Take your pick from the diverse range of bars and restaurants for a night out on the town!
Explore the coastal village of Dartmouth: perched at the edge of the River Dart, this quaint town has delightful cobbled streets, impressive historic houses and picturesque views of the area. Enjoy all manner of attractions: take a walk along the riverside or have a go at one of the many options for water sports. There’s plenty of natural space to explore in Devon, including the incredible Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site stretching 95 miles! This diverse landscape offers stunning views along beautiful coastal walks, with a unique geology and a fascinating history: stop by the museums and visitor centres to learn more about the area’s exceptional heritage. Discover the Dartmoor National Park, a vast stretch of moorland with Bronze Age stone circles, rugged landscapes, and bubbling streams. There is also tons to do for adrenaline-lovers: head to The Milky Way Adventure Park for array of exciting attractions and spectacular shows, or Crealy Theme Park & Resort, a family-friendly with over 60 rides and attractions, live entertainment, and adorable animals!
For ancient architecture, rural landscapes, and charming towns and cities, be sure to explore Somerset! The city of Bath is an absolute must-see: visit the Roman Baths and step back in time to see how the city’s previous residents used to rejuvenate and unwind! There are interactive exhibits and digital reconstructions to show you just how this stunning site used to look. Enjoy some revitalisation yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa: these natural hot spring waters will release any leftover tension, and the incredible rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city will truly make it a trip to remember.
Bath has a variety of remarkable Georgian architecture: visit the stunning Bath Abbey, admire the magnificent details on the vaulted ceilings and intricate clock, and venture up to the top of the tower for more picture-perfect views. There’s culture aplenty in Bath, with a wide selection of local museums: visit the Jane Austen Centre for exhibits detailing the history of Austen’s time in Bath, step into the Holburne Museum, a Grade 1 listed building with an impressive selection of fine art and sculpture, or explore the Fashion Museum for a whistle-stop tour through years of fashion history. For a quintessential British seaside town, head to Weston-super-Mare, with a magnificent sandy beach and the Grand Pier with attractions and amusements aplenty.
Take a boat out to the secluded Steep Holm, a small island that will make you feel like you’re at the edge of the world. Visit the bustling town of Frome, with plenty of markets and the picturesque Catherine Hill, a cobbled street just perfect for a spot of retail therapy. Frome is close to Longleat Safari Park, where you can discover a wide variety of animals from across the globe, as well as magical mazes and an impressive stately home to explore! Somerset has heaps to choose from when it comes to varied landscapes and distinctive terrain: visit Cheddar Gorge for dramatic cliffs and craggy terrain, then venture down below into the caves and admire the spectacular caverns deep underground.
Wander around the Somerset Levels, a coastal plain and wetlands area with acres of moors and tons of wildlife to keep an eye out for. The Mendip Hills are another highlight – this Area of Outstanding National Beauty has striking views and ancient woodlands to explore, and the peaceful Chew Valley Lake which is ideal for bird-watching. For even more history and heritage, take a hike up to the Glastonbury Tor, a fascinating landmark with a mysterious history, then enjoy a well-deserved glass of Glastonbury Tor’s apple cider! Visit Glastonbury Abbey, an ancient monument and the legendary burial place of King Arthur, or explore Wells Cathedral, a breath-taking medieval church with magnificent stained glass, intricate stone carving, and daily tours of the building so you can learn of its fascinating history.
Enjoy the natural and cultural wonders of South West England when you explore the county of Dorset. Head on down to Poole, a delightful coastal town with tons to see and do. Visit the haunting ruins of Corfe Castle, and keep an eye out for the fascinating model village! Wander around the Compton Acres, a beautiful collection of gardens with five themed sub-gardens along a circular route, with over 300 different plant species. For more rural exploration, venture into Upton Country Park, a sprawling walled park with an impressive stately home and guided tours to explore the secrets within.
Poole Harbour offers tons of opportunity for sailing, birdwatching, or simply watching the boats float by. For something to spike your adrenaline, head to Cumulus Outdoor Adventure, for an array of activities including coasteering, kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling! Dorset is home to Monkey World, an ape rescue centre providing sanctuary to hundreds of rescued and endangered primates.
Listen to one of the many daily keepers’ talks to hear the heart-warming tales of the primates and gain an insight into the daily goings-on of the centre. Be sure to stop by the orangutan creche! There’s an onsite café, plus a Great Ape Adventure Play Area for the kids to tackle. Take a boat out to the Isle of Portland, with rugged cliffs and challenging coastal paths. The Church Ope Cove is the perfect spot for adventuring and discovery, then head up to Portland Castle, a 16th century fort looking out to the roaring sea, surrounded by delightful gardens.
Finish your trip by stopping into the Portland Museum, a selection of historic cottages containing heaps of history relating to this tiny isle. Dorset is popular for its fascinating natural sights: view the Old Harry Rocks, a distinctive formation of rocks standing tall on the South Coast, or head to the Durdle Door, a naturally-formed limestone arch ideal for photo opportunities! For a little bit of culture, explore the unique Sculpture by the Lakes, a wonderful selection of sculptures amidst a beautiful natural setting.