This post was most recently updated on June 27th, 2018
The West Counties of England (Devon, Somerset, and Cornwall) are a rich hodgepodge of cultural history and modern ingenuity.
These areas are famous for their specialty foods, friendly locals, and breath-taking views. If you want to explore all that the English countryside has to offer, then you will definitely want to visit these lovely places.[/two_third_last]
No 1: Cornwall Smugglers
The sea-faring county of Cornwall provided an excellent venue for smugglers. One of their favorite contrabands was tobacco. Even though they were involved in illegal activities, these men were not blood-thirsty pirates. They were often seen as local heroes to those who could buy their wares at cheaper prices than what the Crown charged. Today, people still love Cornwall’s picturesque shores.
No 2: Devon Cream Tea
Perhaps nothing is more English than a hot cup of tea with scones and clotted cream. There is a debate between Devon and Cornwall as to who developed clotted cream first. The food regulation department of the UK regulates what may be called Devon Cream. In order to be labeled as such, it must be made in Devon. If it is made anywhere else, it may only be labeled as clotted cream. This English treat is delicious on a scone with fresh strawberry preserves.
No 3: Somerset Cider
In the same way that certain areas are conducive to growing vineyards, Somerset County in West England has the ideal soil composition for quality apples. This county is world-renowned for its delicious cider since the Norman Conquest over a thousand years ago. Its taste is unmatched and has been cherished by generations in the UK. They are still making it in farmhouses like they have for centuries.
No 4: Bristol
Bristol is one of England’s most popular destinations and is easily accessed by most types of transportation. It has awe-inspiring architecture and centuries of fascinating history. Some of the cathedrals in Bristol are unrivaled in the UK. Bristol represents the quintessential combination of antiquity, marvelous landscapes, and modern convenience.
No 5: Cornish Pastie
Just about every culture has its own version of sweet or savory hand pies. These delectable goodies are made in just about every little bakery in Cornwell. The recipes for Cornish pasties are as varied as the people who make them. In general, they are a tender pastry that is folded over a hearty blend of meat and vegetables. Then, they get an egg wash and are baked to a golden brown.
No 6: Glastonbury Festival
For over 40 years, the Glastonbury Festival has celebrated the performing arts in Pilton, Somerset. It has a distinctive Bohemian vibe that was inspired by the counter-culture movement of the 1970s. Many famous bands have been showcased in Glastonbury. All types of artistic talent are represented by this grand festival. It attracts thousands of visitors every year.
No 7: Cheddar Cheese
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Cheese connoisseurs often travel to the little Somerset village of Cheddar to sample the cheesy goodness that bears its name. Years ago, villagers cured their cheeses in the cool caves of the Cheddar Gorge. The unique bacteria and ideal environment produced a sharp, velvety cheese that quickly gained popularity in the British kingdom. Authentic Cheddar is still produced in the village and is shipped around the world. Although there are yellow cheeses that are labeled as a type of cheddar, the Somerset product is the original.
No 8: Dartmoor
Dartmoor National Park is located in Devon, England and has the largest deposit of granite in the kingdom. It is a renowned moorland that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Dartmoor is home to a large number of native plant and animal species. It also has several natural monoliths and is the setting for many local legends.
No 9: Eden Project
The Eden Project is a grand-scale experiment in Cornwall, England. Basically, the researchers have collected thousands of plant species from all over the world and are growing them in special biospheres. The premise of the project is to see how plant life can be preserved out of its natural growing habitat. It is a popular attraction for people interested in botany and the Green Movement.
Bath, which we’ve profiled before, is a gorgeous town dating from the Roman times.
It is also the best English example of the popular Georgian style of architecture.