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The Southwest is perhaps the jewel of England. The counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall form a unique corner of the country and excel in gorgeous landscapes, a stunning coastline and a chilled-out vibe, perhaps due to the milder climate, not evident farther north. There's an extraordinary diary of human civilization to discover which includes the mystical Stonehenge, Grimspound on Dartmoor, one of the best bronze age villages in Britain, the exquisitely preserved Roman town of Bath, medieval market towns, and the great cathedrals of Salisbury and Wells. Cornwall in particular holds a "wild west" mystique, and its ...

The Southwest is perhaps the jewel of England. The counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall form a unique corner of the country and excel in gorgeous landscapes, a stunning coastline and a chilled-out vibe, perhaps due to the milder climate, not evident farther north. There's an extraordinary diary of human civilization to discover which includes the mystical Stonehenge, Grimspound on Dartmoor, one of the best bronze age villages in Britain, the exquisitely preserved Roman town of Bath, medieval market towns, and the great cathedrals of Salisbury and Wells. Cornwall in particular holds a "wild west" mystique, and its strong Celtic roots give it a distinctive identity. In fact, Cornish is a separate language being revived in the region. It's a land of legend including that of King Arthur and Camelot. Delightful fishing harbors dot the coastline such as Mousehole with the world's most astonishing outdoor theater. The Southwest also offers myriad opportunities to burn off calories with walking, cycling and climbing for starters and surfing in many forms including kite and wind for the more adventurous.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: England occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. Elsewhere, it is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and English Channel.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Daylight | Rainfall | Rainfall
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  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, May to September