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South West England

The ATA tourist online information centre. Cornwall, Devon, South Gloucestershire, Somerset & Wiltshire.
Cornish Coast.
 Celtic Cornwall was influenced historically and culturaly by the Bretons, Welsh and Irish, and was virtually untouched by Roman Britain. Today it an awe-inspiring land of towering cliffs, fishing villages, mythical castles and innovative hi-tech tourist attractions as well as haute-cuisine restaurants. 
 
Touriste Atractions.
 
Eden Project. (St Austel)
Huddled in a disused clay pit Edens gigantic ecofriendly biomes nurture millions of trees and plants from tropical rainforests, Mediteranean and temperate regions. Conservation workshops are held in the core and storytellers and sculptures amuse the children.
 
Fowey.
The 15th century heart of the smart yatchting destination offers elegant terraced townhouses, sophisticated wine bars and hotels along a Esplanade and the ruins of St Catherines Castle. Inland the Georgian market town of Lostwithiel draws for its antique shops.
 
Lizard Peninsula.
With its centre at the unspoilt village of Helston, Lizard is an area of minute fishing communities and flat downlands. A challanging 11.5 mile (18.5 km) hike along the South West Coast path from Coverack to Lizard Points multi-coloured cliffs reveals glittering seas and spectacular views across to St Michaul's Mount.
 
National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
Falmouth's fascinating purpose built museum features changing exhibitions examining Cornwall's links with the sea, from diving to fishing and trading. Windows open on to the sea in the Tisal Zone, allowing a fish-eye view of the under water world, there are navigational displays and audio-visual sailing experiences. Discovery quay Falmouth.
 
Newquay.
Home to surfers, cream teas and local cider, party town Newquay sits on a promontary on the north Cornwall coast, edged by the relentless waves of the Atlantic on two sides. Beach life dominates the town, with surfers congregating on the Fistral beaches by the thousand. 
 
Padstow.
The smart boutiques of Middle Street, sandy beaches at Tregirls or Bedruthan Steps, surfing off Constantine Bay and Bout trips up the Camel estuary justifiably made the fishing village of Padstow famous long before Rick Stein opened his gourmet restaurant.
 
Polperro
A traditional fishing village clustered around  its harbour, Paperro's whitewashed houses  stragle along its steep tangle of restaurant and shop filled streets, revealing ancient bridges over the tumbling River Pol. Bracing cliftop hikes include a route  to remote Talland Bay along the South Cornwall Heritage Coast.
 
St Ives Tate.
The Tate Gallery's country outpost is a mainstay  of contemporary painting sculpture, ceramics and glassware in a dramatric, shiny white gallery overlooking enormous Porthmear Beach. Combine a visit  with the bronzes in the Barbara Hepworth Museum nearby.
 
St Michael's Mount.
Cut off from the mainland at high tide, this romantic castle perches on a rocky crag surrounded by gardens clinging to the granite cliff side. Once a Celtic monastery the castle's interior is decorated  with lavish furnishings, maritime landscapes and stained glass.
 
Tintagel Castle.
The eerie remains of Tintagel occupy a dramatic site. The castle straddles crumbling slate headlands leading down to crashing Atlantic waves far below. Legendary birthplace of King Arthur, this 13th century castle was possibly the court of medieval cornish kings.
 
Bristol.
Shaped by its seafaring history, the south-west's largest city is thriving, with revitalised docks, innovative museams and more than its fair share of quality restaurants and shops.
 
at-Bristol.
The Southwest's premier science centre offers interactive, multimedia experiences, where challenging exhibits and workshops spark the curiosity of children.
 
Brandon Hill Park.
The centrepiece of Bristol's favourite park is the 105ft (32m) Cabot Tower. With magical views over the city from its hilltop position, it commemorates John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland in 1497. (open daily admin. free.)
 
Bristol Cathedral.
The abbey founded here in1140 became a Protestant Cathedral in the 1540s, the mock-Gothac towers were added in 1888 to match the imposing 14th century tower. The nave, chair and aisles are all the same height , making this the best example of a German-style hall church in the UK.
 
Bristol Harbourside.
Bristol's fountain-filled promenade stretches from the city centre to Cumberland Basin around the harbour. Bonding warehouses now house trendy bars and restaurants, while innovative new arts centres and museums have opened. SS Great Britain is docked nearby.
 
Brunel's SS Great Britain.
Launched from Bristol in 1843, the world's first propeller-driven iron ship circumnavigated the world 32 times. Now a maritime museum , she rests in a glass 'sea' that reveals her 321ft (98m) hull and propeller.
 
Cabot Circus.
Under the glass awning of Bristol's most glamorous shopping centre are 139 top stores, including  including the flagship Harvey Nickols. Facilities include a 13 screen cinema, bars and food outlets, as well as restaurants owned by famous chefs Raymond Blanc and Antonia Carluccio. 
 
City Museum and Art Gallery.
Bristol' history and art collections have a grand Edwardian home with revanped Egyptian and archaeological artifacts on the ground floor. Upstairs galleries  showcase the French impressionists, Old Masters and contemporary art as well as important Chinese porcelain and glassware.
 
Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Completed in 1864 and 249ft (76m) high, Brunel's famous iron bridge spans the Avon Gorge between Clifton and Leigh Woods. It measures 1,361ft (415m) between its two iconic sandstone towers and is crossed by 12,000 commuters daily.
 
Museum of Bristol.
Bristol's industrial Museum, the museum houses a maritime transport collection and sensitive exibitions on the city's role in the slave trade.
 
Tyntesfield.
This magnificent manygabled Victorian mansion is surrounded by formal terraces and wooded parkland. Inside, the public rooms are omately decorated with marble, stained glass and vaulted ceilings. 
 
Bath.
Attracting tourists since Roman times for its naturally hot spring waters, glorious Bath rejoices in its golden-stoned Georgian architecture, cobbled shopping streets and dramaatic much loved abbey.
 
American Museum in Britain.
A romp through the history of the US from the Founding Fathers to the 20th century . Displays include Native American Indian memorabilia, Shaker furniture and handmade quilts housed in a 19th century mansion amid gardens  replicated from George Washington's estate.
 
Bath Abbey.
Much ruined and restored over its 1,600 year history, today's abbey was completed by 1611 in Gothic style elements of the original church are seen in the Norman Chapel. The floors and walls are covered in ornate tombs and memorials, the Vaults Heritage Museum relates the Abbey's history.
 
Caen Hill Locks.
Rising 416.5 ft (127m) through 29 locks on a 2 mile (3.2km) section of the Kennet and Avon  Canal, the main flight of 16 locks forms a straight line marching up Caen Hill into Devizes. Built by John Rennie between 1801 - 10, the flight takes 6 hours  to navigate by barge and was the last section of the Reading to Bristol canal to be completed.,
 
Dyrham Park.
A splendid Baroque mansion designed by William Talman in 1704, Dyrham's Delft chinaware, Dutch furniture and paintings reflect the tastes of the houses first owner, diplomat William Blathwayt, also featured is the work of Victorian furniture-makers Gillow and Linnell. 
 
Jane Austen Centre.
An insight into Regency Bath as the UK's favourite authoress saw it in 1801 - 06. Costumes, jewellery, letters and furnishings  illuminate Austen's world, there is also a walking tour  of sites  included in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. 
 
Longleat.
With a safari park, magnificent Elizabethan stately home , landscaped 'Capability' Brown gardens , a pets corner, maze, boating lake and the Cosmic Coaster simulator ride. Longleat provides the perfect day out for  families with young children.  
 
 
  
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
  
                                                                                      
  The Eden Project. (photograph by Dennis Smith) 
 
Montacute House
 
Montacute House near Yeovil Somerset. 
 
To puchase maps click Ordnance Survey  
 
 

South West England/cotswald's Hotels, B & B, evening meals and evening entertainment. For information & booking click county hotel link

Bath and Somerset  Devon and Cornwall  Cotwolds and the heart of England

 

North Devon Holiday Cottages click   Marsdens Cottage Holidays
 
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