South & Southwest of England
Central Southern England and the Southwest contain many of England’s top seaside resort areas, particularly in Devon and Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and along the Dorset coast. Inland, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire are characterised by attractive countryside, pretty villages and significant ancient and historical monuments. The major coastal cities, such as Portsmouth, Bristol and Plymouth, have h2 seafaring traditions, while Oxford and Bath are among the most popular English cities with visitors. Off the far southwest tip of Cornwall, the sub-tropical Isles of Scilly attract those looking for a quieter holiday.
Major historic port, and boasting many visitor attractions. On the harbourside, At-Bristol is a complex containing an IMAX cinema, the Explore science centre and Wildwalk, an interpretation of natural history. Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first iron steam passenger liner, is restored and open to visitors. The Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the City Museum and Art Gallery and the Industrial Museum are important attractions, while Bristol Zoo at Clifton is close to Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. Bristol Cathedral dates from the 15th century, but its origins lie back in the 12th century. Close to the city is the Severn Bridges Visitor Centre.
Northwest of Oxford, on the fringes of the Cotswolds, is the impressive Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The market town of Banbury is an attractive historic location, honoured with a nursery rhyme of its own. To the south is Didcot, whose Railway Centre is popular with steam train enthusiasts. On the banks of the River Thames is Henley, scene of the annual regatta, and possessing no less than 300 buildings of architectural and historic interest, including a fine 18th-century bridge. To the east of Wallingford is Stonor Park, a manor house dating from Medieval times, once a secret Catholic h2hold in times of religious repression.
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