Places to visit in South West England
South West England is a beautiful coastal region that is home to unique attractions, breath-taking scenery and family days out. The attraction of South West England for many is the stunning beaches of Cornwall, Dorset, Devon and Somerset but there are also inland wonders to be seen, culture to absorb and culinary experiences to be had with exceptional seafood, cream teas and ciders.
South West England is home to some of England’s most enchanting places to visit. It manages to maintain a sense of remoteness and tranquillity like few other regions. Yet the counties of Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset make up vast area and can be action-packed for first-time visitors. We’ve curated this list as a starting point for those unfamiliar with the region to put forward some of our highlights of South West England and help you on your way.
Minehead is an ideal base to explore Somerset as well as neighbouring Devon. Nestled between Exmoor National Park on one side and the Quantock Hills on the other, there’s certainly plenty to satisfy nature lovers. However, Minehead also offers everything you could need for a family seaside holiday.
The town has a long flat sandy beach, charming harbour, and a bustling town with plenty of independent shops and cafes and heritage attractions. With our wonderful Doniford Bay Holiday Park, one of the South West’s finest caravan parks just down the coast, discovering this region has never been easier.
One of the jewels of Somerset, Burnham-On-Sea is a thriving seaside town with beaches, a beautiful pier, gardens, and a 42-acre Apex Park which is enjoyed as a space for picnics, games and wildlife watching. The town lies at the southern end of what is the second-longest strip of sand in Europe and as a result, naturally boasts several superb beaches.
The Victorian resort town is also conveniently home to a picturesque Haven park located next to two panoramic lakes. You can spend an afternoon fishing or hire a pedalo for a quick spin and do some boating at one of the best caravan parks in the South West.
Many consider Lulworth to be the heart of Dorset due to its endless stretches of stunning coast and magnificent beach and rolling countryside. The area is also fringed by five miles of World Heritage Jurassic Coast which includes the world-famous Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, two unmissable sights on any Dorset journey.
Trek along the Southwest Coast Path national trail to reach the cove and you will find the view, even more, satisfying on your arrival. This area is truly home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery in the UK.
Weymouth is a bastion of the family seaside holiday with long sandy and shingly beaches and traditional seaside amusements such as donkey rides and Punch & Judy. This pretty Dorset town has an ever-increasing selection of activities to enjoy from Weymouth Sealife Park to the revolving observation tower Jurassic Skyline and the Victorian Nothe Fort which offer fantastic harbour panoramas.
With Haven Littlesea Holiday Park, one of the South West’s best caravan parks located so centrally, you can also uncover destinations further out such as pebbly Chesil Beach, one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks. This unrivalled group of things to do put Weymouth comfortably on the list of best places to visit in South West England.
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Lyme Regis is known as the "Pearl of Dorset" for good reason, it boasts gorgeous scenery and a nostalgic atmosphere that make it one of the best places to visit in South West England. The seaside town is perhaps most famous for the Cobb, the iconic curving harbour wall that offers a dramatic location for a walk.
The natural landscape of Lyme Regis has also earned plaudits with its unique geology earning it World Heritage Site status as the so-called “Jurassic Coast”. So why not go hunting for fossils yourself? Even if you don’t get lucky, you can discover the prehistoric wonders for yourself at the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum, an attraction for the whole family.
Newquay, one of the nation's favourite coastal towns and no list of places to visit in South West England would be complete without it. The charming seaside location is lined by 12 majestic sandy beaches that have earned it the reputation as the capital of surfing in the UK, leaving visitors spoiled for choice when it comes to seaside fun.
Newquay makes for a great family resort just a 20-minute drive from one of the South West’s best holiday parks - Haven Perran Sands. Also boasting Cornwall’s largest zoo, an immersive aquarium, and a colourful harbour, Newquay will not sell you short on things to see and do.