Tour 2 – The west of southern England including Dartmoor and Exmoor

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The south-west of England is much more than Cornwall. On this tour we visit the counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire with beautiful coastal towns, impressive towns and mansions and devote a lot of time to the two great moors – the Dartmoor and the Exmoor.

Tour of the West (Map)

From the airport in London (usually Heathrow) you go to Winchester, the old capital of England.

Through the beautiful New Forest (small tip: Do not rush through on the motorway, but enjoy the landscape a little on small side roads) we go to the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula. Corfe Castle, although ruined, is very picturesque and impressive one. A small highlight are Durdle Door (the “rock with the hole” in the sea) and the almost circular bay Lulworth Cove. Along the coast we head to Abbotsbury on the Jurassic Coast – a very lovely place where a visit to both the Subtropical Garden and the Swannery (in May the baby swans have just hatched – don’t miss it!) are recommended. In the further course Lyme Regis is worth a visit, as is the nearby Beer (the place is really called so!).

In Exeter, at least the cathedral is worth a visit. To the south is the nice town of Dartmouth, where you can make a trip up the River Dart to Totnes. Now we arrive at the famous Dartmoor, a very special area: A national park with very different faces, for which you should definitely take a few days. On the edge of the moor are the Tavistock and the Lydford Gorge – a great gorge.

A short detour takes us across the border to Cornwall, where Cotehele House and Garden is worth a visit. This is a manor house with a huge garden and a small harbour by the river, an active mill and much more. Railway fans should not miss the Calstock Viaduct – this can be seen from Cotehele by the way.

With a small jump to the north we reach the second moor of our journey, the Exmoor. It is a very varied and beautiful area, partly deeply wooded. Extensive hikes and tours are recommended, such as to Lynton/Lynmouth with the Valley of Rocks or to the “chocolate box”, the adorable village of Selworthy. A hike to the Selworthy Beacon offers beautiful views of the Bristol Channel and inland, along with yellow-flowering brooms and grazing sheep in spring. Also a detour to the Dunkery Beacon, which is a feast for the eyes especially in late summer with flowering Heather. In Dunster you should visit the castle and otherwise the area has a lot to offer. Tip: The TIC (Tourist Information Centre) in Dunster offers excellent maps and expert advice for worthwhile excursions in the national park!

We leave the Exmoor and drive west, where at least at Montacute House in Somerset a stopover should be made. It’s not far to Glastonbury, the legendary Avalon. Their Abbey is only a ruin, but still very worth seeing. Even more worth seeing is the cathedral of Wells – certainly one of the most beautiful ones in England!
In the city of Bath, the old Roman baths are well preserved or restored, and not far from the city is the village of Lacock. Countless historical films have been made in this unchanged environment – and the village is absolutely flooded by tourists during the day. In the evening from 6 p.m. it is all the more beautiful. The same applies to the picturesque Castle Combe, just a little to the north. If you feel like it, make a detour to the ship’s staircase at Caen Hill in Devizes, where the canal boats torment themselves up the mountain via 29 locks.

From here we reach London Airport again in just one hour and a half.

For this trip you should calculate at least 14 days.

 

And here some of the places along the route:

        • London Heathrow Airport

          London from above

          London from above

        • Winchester, Hampshire, England

          Winchester, Hampshire, England

          Winchester, Hampshire, England

        • Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England

          Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England

          Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England

        • Abbotsbury with the Swannery and subtropical garden, Dorset, England

          Abbotsbury. Dorset, England

          Abbotsbury. Dorset, England

        • Lyme Regis, Dorset, England

          Lyme Regis, Dorset, England

          Lyme Regis, Dorset, England

        • Beer, Devon, England

          Beer, Devon, England

          Beer, Devon, England

        • Exeter, Devon, England

          Exeter, Devon, England

          Exeter, Devon, England

        • Dartmouth, Devon, England

          Dartmouth, Devon, England

          Dartmouth, Devon, England

        • Totnes, Devon, England

          Totnes, Devon, England

          Totnes, Devon, England

        • Exmoor, Devon, England

          Exmoor, Devon, England

          Exmoor, Devon, England

        • Cotehele House & Garden, Cornwall, England

          Cotehele House & Garden, Cornwall, England

          Cotehele House & Garden, Cornwall, England

        • Lydford Gorge, Devon, England

          Lydford Gorge, Devon, England

          Lydford Gorge, Devon, England

        • Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Exmoor, Devon, England

          Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Exmoor, Devon, England

          Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Exmoor, Devon, England

        • Lynton / Lynmouth, Devon, England

          Lynton / Lynmouth, Devon, England

          Lynton / Lynmouth, Devon, England

        • Porlock Weir. Somerset, England

          Porlock Weir. Somerset, England

          Porlock Weir. Somerset, England

        • Porlock, Somerset, England

          Porlock, Somerset, England

          Porlock, Somerset, England

        • Selworthy, Somerset, England

          Selworthy, Somerset, England

          Selworthy, Somerset, England

        • Exmoor, Devon/Somerset, England

          Exmoor, Devon/Somerset, England

          Exmoor, Devon/Somerset, England

        • Dunster, Somerset, England

          Dunster, Somerset, England

          Dunster, Somerset, England

       

    • Montacute House, Somerset, England

      Montacute House, Somerset, England

      Montacute House, Somerset, England

 

  • Glastonbury (Avalon), Somerset, England

Glastonbury (Avalon), Somerset, England

Glastonbury (Avalon), Somerset, England – Model of the old Abbey

  • Wells Cathedral, Somerset, England

    Wells Cathedral, Somerset, England

    Wells Cathedral, Somerset, England

  • Bath, Somerset, England

    Bath, Somerset, England

    Bath, Somerset, England

  • Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England

    Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England

    Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England

  • Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England

    Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England

    Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England

  • Lacock, Wiltshire, England

    Lacock, Witshire, England

    Lacock, Wiltshire, England

  • Caen Hill Ship Stairway in Devizes, Wiltshire, England

    Caen Hill Ship Stairway in Devizes, Wiltshire, England

    Caen Hill Ship Stairway in Devizes, Wiltshire, England

  • London Airport (return flight)

 

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