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England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   



  By Mike Valeriani
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

The South West of England


The South West map of England.The mystical South West region of England is the largest of all, with a population of just under five million souls.

It is the warmest part of the peninsula and it includes the famous as much mysterious site of Stonehenge (photo by Krebs Sebastien) the beautiful sandy Cornish beaches, thousands of acres of idyllic rolling hills and miles of romantic English countryside.

With two National Parks and more than 1000 Km of coastline, this is the ideal place for the great outdoor lovers. Most of the coastline is now protected from further development, due to its exceptional natural beauty and environmental importance.

The South West also includes the city of Bath; founded by the Romans it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts many tourists, with its particular architecture and Roman remains. Must not forget about the idyllic Isles of Scilly off the south-western tip of Cornwall, which are a place unique in the world, for both outstanding natural beauty and history.

Stonehenge with interesting lighting by Krebs SebastienThe South West is the land of the renowned King Arthur with his legendary sword Excalibur and the knights of the round table, Camelot and the Holy Grail. Most of us grew up with the tales of Sir Lancelot du Lac, Sir Parsifal, Sir Galahad, Merlin the Magician... they all came from this part of the world and here is where you will find their trails. The most famous English artists got their inspiration in this region, like William Turner, Thomas Hardy, David Inshaw and John Constable.

Most recent mysteries of this region include the crop circles and the beast of Exmoor, which by all means is not a fairy tale and it’s not limited to Exmoor National Park. Like in every country, also in England some people used to keep “big cats” as pets.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta in South West EnglandSome of those have managed to escape in the wild, but most of them have wilfully been released in the wild following a 1976 Act that made the ownership of wild animals illegal.

Before then anyone was able to purchase a lion, a panther or a leopard at Harrods.

The image on the right is a rare masterpiece by well known landscape photographer Tomas Daugirdas, who operates in the Bristol area.

It is thought that these animals reproduced themselves in the wild, resulting in thousands of recorded sightings throughout the country. For example, between April 2004 and April 2005 there have been 132 reported sightings in Devon, 127 in Yorkshire, 125 in Scotland, 123 in Wales, 104 in Gloucestershire, 103 in Sussex, 99 in Cornwall, 92 in Kent, 91 in Somerset and 89 in Leicestershire. Don’t worry! Nothing to be scared of; these animals only feed on farm lambs and wild deer and they stay well clear of humans.

Crop circles in the South West of England. The South West of England is also famous for the production of the ever so popular Cheddar cheese, which was originally from the village of Cheddar in Somerset. Dorset holidays are very popular among the British, as are short break cornwall vacations. Many people come to this site looking for the Devon Horse Show, but they get unevitably disappointed when they realize they are in the wrong country. The Devon Horse Show is one of the biggest shows of this kind and it is heald in Pennsylvania, USA.

There are newer attractions that are making the South West even more popular, like the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta where in excess of 100 hot air balloons may take off at once, offering an unforgettable visual experience. Or the Eden Project, which is a collection of plants from all over the world, housed in the world’s largest greenhouse.

It’s hard to leave out the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, which is the world’s largest open air music and performing arts event, taking 900 acres with a capacity of 177.000.

Whatever you are looking for, you will find it in the South West; no doubt about that. Visit the Wikipedia page to know more about this area.





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