England's southwest – or the West Country, as it's often known – offers something for everyone: buzzy big cities, iconic monuments, green countryside and golden beaches galore. Stone circles and hilltop castles litter the landscape, while stately homes and serene cathedrals give way to a patchwork of green fields, wild moors, quiet villages and fishing ports. Surrounded by the sea, the region's long history of seafaring lives on in Portsmouth, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Falmouth and the dynamic city of Bristol, while beautiful Bath is a dazzling showpiece of Georgian architecture, and without doubt one of the gems in England's crown.
But it's the pleasures of coast and countryside that draw most people here: whether it's fossil-hunting on the Dorset Coast, hiking on Dartmoor, kayaking the Fowey River or surfing in Cornwall, the southwest is above all a place to enjoy England's outdoors.
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