The South West of England is made up of seven counties, with rural areas surrounding key student cities – from Plymouth and Bournemouth up to Bath, Bristol and Cheltenham & Gloucester. You'll find many a festival – including the world-famous Glastonbury. And if you're a cider or cheese buff, you'll have plenty to try in the South West. You can always walk it off in Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, or beautiful countryside from the Cotswolds to Land's End. Cornwall, Dorset, and Devon are big coastal favourites, with idyllic beaches and waves to test the bravest surfers.

Providers in the South West

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Counties of the South West


Tucked between Somerset and Gloucestershire, many forget that Bristol is both a city – known for its alternative and creative culture – and its own county.

Well connected to Wales, Cornwall, London and Birmingham, Bristol combines plenty of styles, architecture and music – plus the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge over Avon Gorge.


With over 300 miles of coastline, you'll be dazzled by Cornwall’s magnificent beaches, dramatic cliffs, winding roads and Bronze Age remains.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite on the waves or in the hills, there are plenty of tasty local treats too – from Cornish pasties, to fudge and ice cream.


Life moves at a gentle pace in most of these parts, with small seaside towns scattered across its two delightful coastlines.

Meanwhile, its two biggest cities, Plymouth and Exeter, have all the bustle, nightlife and shopping you could want.


Just under half of Dorset is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while the captivating Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching almost 100 miles.

It’s no wonder Dorset has inspired authors, filmmakers, and tourists alike – with Bournemouth a popular destination for students and beach enthusiasts.


Many consider Gloucestershire to offer the quintessential English experience. You'll find Cheltenham’s rows of white regency architecture, Gloucester's splendid Cathedral and docks, and many a cute village in The Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

A big festival county – including Cheltenham's world-famous Literature, Science and Jazz Festivals – Gloucestershire's also home to the intelligence agency, GCHQ. 


Largely rural, with a small population for its size, Somerset’s main centre is Bath – a popular student city and a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for its preserved Roman baths and Georgian architecture.

Plus, many believe Cadbury Castle to be the fabled Camelot of King Arthur.


Rural Wiltshire has some intriguing landmarks, most notably the incredible Stonehenge. Attracting over a million visitors every year, the prehistoric monument has baffled experts.

Lesser known are Wiltshire’s White Horses, carved in the rolling hills across the county.

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