Sandy beaches, beautiful fishing hamlets, tiny pebbled coves, stunning moors and rural landscapes, it’s little wonder this region is so popular.
Our South West region starts in South Devon just west of Exeter and runs around the coast to north of Bristol; encompassing Cornwall, North Devon and Somerset.
The South West region has been made popular by numerous films, TV programmes and books, drawn by the romantic landscapes and quaint fishing villages. You’ll find plenty here to entice and explore on a coastal break.
If you’re looking for activities, this is the perfect destination; its unique position and variety of landscapes make it an ideal place for outdoor pursuits, there’s a huge range of sports and activities.
Walk the spectacular South West Coastal Path which hugs the coastline, perfect for walkers of all levels of fitness. Discover stunning views only visible on foot and take a break at one of the many walker-friendly tourism businesses, giving you the chance to taste the excellent local food and drink.
Surf-ready beaches pull in water sports enthusiasts but are equally suited to water sports novices. If you're looking for things to do on the South West Coast, why not try one of a number of water-based activities from paddle boarding, to coasteering, kite surfing, diving or sailing?
Sandy coves, leisurely coastal trails, mouth-watering fresh crab sandwiches, incredible estuaries and the sunny ‘English Riviera’ – you’ll be captivated by Devon’s coastline
With sandy bays, beautiful estuaries, rolling hills and great seafood, visitors to this region should make sure they take a scenic tour along South Devon’s shores.
Plymouth is a must. Britain’s Ocean City is packed with attractions, the city buzzes with plenty to see and do year-round. Discover Plymouth Gin at the Blackfriar’s Distillery, enjoy stunning sea-vistas from the famous Plymouth Hoe and iconic Smeaton’s Tower, take in a show at Plymouth Pavillions or The Theatre Royal and be sure to explore The Box, Plymouth’s new state-of-the-art museum, art gallery and archive just steps from the city centre.
In this maritime city you’ll find the UK’s first National Marine Park, offering a line-up of tempting immersive experiences, from taking to the seas aboard Bounty for rum tastings to joining Lynher Barge Captain and his crew and living like a Victorian for a day.
With excellent venues for eating out and some of the top seafood restaurants, quirky shops and art galleries lining the Waterfront, and a market boasting 150 stalls, Plymouth makes the perfect choice for a short break trip.
You’ll also find a rich array of coastal towns, like Teignmouth and Kingsbridge, which surprise and delight visitors with their local charm. Explore the wild landscape of Dartmoor National Park with its craggy moorland and pretty, wooded valleys, and don’t miss the sunny coastal resorts of the English Riviera.
Popular for its great views and warm climate, The English Riviera is a collection of four towns, Torquay, Babbacombe, Paignton and Brixham each with their own distinct character. With miles of sandy beaches, a wide range of attractions and a year-round programme of events, there really is something here for every visitor.
Along from Brixham we find the historic town of Dartmouth. Emerging soon after the crusades, Dartmouth quickly became a bustling Port, with ships sailing for the the Crusades by the 12th Century, the arrival of the Mayflower and the Speedwell in 1620, through to being part of the WW2 preparations in the last century. It's also host to the annual Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, not to be missed! Take some time out and discover the community nestled around the River Dart.
The South Devon coast is also famous for its excellent, wide variety of seafood. Locally caught and landed at Brixham Harbour, visitors can sample freshly caught seafood, tailored for all budgets from beach-side cafés to celebrity-owned restaurants.
Journey along the relatively unknown and dramatic Exmoor and Somerset coast where moorland, wooded valleys and farmland dominate the horizon
The rural landscape of Exmoor National Park meets the coastline in spectacular fashion providing unique natural features, none more so than at the Valley of the Rocks.
This part of the coast is known for its “Dark Skies” status offering an incredible opportunity to enjoy the night sky in all its glory. On a clear night, you’ll be amazed at the number of stars that can be seen, visible year-round.
With numerous walking trails and cycle routes there’s plenty to keep you active and this area is particularly popular with horse-riders who can explore 300 miles of bridleways in the National Park.
Along this stretch of coastline you can also explore the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth connected by their unique water-powered cliff railway. The seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea and nearby Brean Down, Somerset, is a photographer’s delight with the opportunity to capture superb sunsets alongside a unique Grade II listed lighthouse.
Several trains per day to Exeter (3 hours), Newquay (5 hours) or Penzance (5 hours) from central London.
Many coaches leaving daily from central London to Exeter (4 1/2 hours) and onwards to Newquay (7 1/2 hours)
Available from airports and regionally. Collections from train stations can be arranged.
Seafood landed in the South West is varied and fantastically fresh
Two of England's biggest fish markets can be found in Brixham and Plymouth, and a huge variety of seafood is landed along the coast of Devon and Cornwall - you can sample over 40 species. Perfect ocean currents off the southwest coast produce some of the best seafood in the world. Local chefs along the coast create daily specials that honour the freshest of fish. You'll be spoilt for choice.Learn More