There are no words to describe the sheer beauty of South West England's landscape. From quaint picturesque villages, stunning rugged coastlines, and bustling cities it almost looks as though the whole region has come straight out of a fairytale. AutoEurope will guide you through the top 10 landscapes and locations to visit in your rental car, to create an experience that will forever be painted in your memory.
Begin in Bristol, the largest city in England's South West. Collect your hire car and head over to Bristol's historic harbour side. This was once the busiest port in the world, and has now been transformed into an entertainment hub full of museums, galleries, markets, restaurants, and recreational activities.
Forest of Dean is located in the county of Gloucestershire, approximately 1 hours drive from Bristol. Adventure lovers will enjoy the thrill of zipping through the ancient woodlands with an abundance of activities available. Parts of it have been known to be the inspiration for scenes in JRR Tolkien's series Lord of the Rings, as well as Harry Potter and Star Wars. Nearby Symonds Yat provides a breathtaking view overlooking the Wye Valley.
Also located in Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds stretch from Stratford-Upon-Avon to Bath, and are full of English charm. Arlington Row situated in the heart of the Cotswolds is described as 'the most beautiful village in England'. Wander the captivating villages of this region and discover the various market towns, gardens and farmlands. The Cotswolds is also home to the world famous Cheltenham Racecourse, put on your best dress and enjoy a classic English day at the races!
One of the biggest mysteries in the world is located in Wiltshire, approximately 1.5 hours drive from the Cotswolds. Although there are many myths and legends, no one has yet discovered why around 5000 years ago a stone structure was built that coincidently aligns with the rising and setting of the sun. That is what makes Stonehenge remain one of England's most famous icons to this day.
Once you have finished solving mysteries in Wiltshire, drive approximately 1.5 hours south towards Dorset. Your first taste of South West England's rugged coast line will leave you speechless as you take in the 150kms of Jurassic coastline, designated as England's first UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Geology, fossils, dramatic cliff faces and Durdle Door (a natural limestone arch) are all waiting to be discovered!
Bournemouth, also located in Dorset, is where you will swap ancient ruins and pretty towns for 12 kilometres of golden sand along Bournemouth Beach. Soak up the sun as you relax in one of the 250 beach huts, and indulge in an ice cream- or two!
The sunny weather continues in Cornwall, approximately 3.5 hours drive south from Bournemouth. Plunge into emerald waters at one of Cornwall's best kept secrets at King Arthur's birthplace, Tintagel Castle. Located underneath the castle is a small lagoon of crystal clear water and rock pools, perfect for swimming and admiring the ruins. Stroll through the landscaped gardens of Eden Project where plants from worldwide are housed inside two giant bio domes, creating the largest indoor rainforest in the world.
If walking paths, bike tracks, river valleys and grasslands sound like your cup of tea then Devon is the place for you. Approximately 1.5 hours drive from Cornwall, Dartmoor National Park is the place to roam rugged gorges. Walk, cycle or horseback is the preferred method of travel here as the fast pace of life slows down, and you reconnect with nature in one of the last great wildernesses in the UK.
Not too sound cheesy, but the next leg of this journey will be pleasing to any cheddar fan. Located in Somerset, Approximately less than an hour's away from Devon, is the village of Cheddar. And if you haven't already guessed, Cheddar is home to the legenDAIRY cheddar cheese. Take a tour of a local manufacturing plant to see the process first hand, using milk from local farmers, and try plenty of delicious fresh samples.
Our last stop on this itinerary is Bath, a city renowned for its thermal baths, and the only city in the UK classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located approximately 1.5 hours from Somerset, the city is built around its natural hot springs, steam vents and historic plumbing systems. Visit the Roman Baths, known to be the best preserved Roman remains in the world. Whilst here, sample the mineral filled waters in the Pump Room or bathe in the therapeutic waters in the Thermae Bath Spa.
AutoEurope offers the convenience of returning your hire car in Bath for a one way journey or you may continue back to Bristol to complete the round trip. To discover South west England, visit our online search engine or call us on 1300 656 601 today!