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Things to do in

South West England

Our most recommended things to do in South West England

From Poole: 2-Hour Jurassic Coastal Cruise

1. From Poole: 2-Hour Jurassic Coastal Cruise

Begin your trip at Poole Harbour and board an open deck boat fitted with seating and comfortable saloons. From here, you will be taken on a journey through 185 million years of history along the Jurassic Coastline. On your cruise pass a number of Dorset's most famous landmarks like the golden beaches of Sandbanks, Brownsea Island, and the Old Harry Rocks, named after a notorious pirate. Enjoy expert commentary from your captains as you glide by. Once reaching Swanage, head back towards Poole and capture the perfect picture of the famous chalk formations from the boat's outer deck.

Bodmin: Bodmin Jail Entry Ticket & Dark Walk

2. Bodmin: Bodmin Jail Entry Ticket & Dark Walk

Step into the past with skip-the-line entry to the Bodmin Jail in Cornwall where over 55 executions took place. Uncover the dark history of this haunted site built by King George III and explore the recently renovated wings and cells. Feel the cold against your skin as you walk down the Naval Wing. Travel just outside the town center to find Bodmin Jail and marvel at its imposing structure on the skyline as you reach the entrance. Count yourself lucky as you walk into the prison as a visitor and not as an inmate. Face a cold walk along the original Naval Wing and get a first-hand impression of what the dreary days and nights behind bars were really like. Look into grimy cells and listen to stories of prison punishments. Learn about the tragedies within these walls and the tales of the criminals who called Bodmin Jail home. Exit the prison after seeing the only original and fully working Victorian hanging pit in the United Kingdom.

Stonehenge Admission Ticket

3. Stonehenge Admission Ticket

Stonehenge is perhaps the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. It was built in several stages, beginning as a simple earthwork enclosure. The unique linteled stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period, around 2500 B.C. Your timed admission ticket gives you access to a site that has continued to attract interest for centuries. Today Stonehenge, Avebury, and other associated locations comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring a unique and dense concentration of prehistoric monuments. Stonehenge has been the subject of speculation and fascination since at least the early medieval period. How did Neolithic people construct this masterpiece of engineering using only the simple tools and technologies available to them? Hundreds of prehistoric objects from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site are on display in the visitor center. One of the new features at Stonehenge is an outdoor gallery that includes several reconstructed Neolithic houses. Using archaeological evidence and authentic materials, these buildings provide a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Neolithic people who built Stonehenge. Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today. It is an icon of Britain, a wonder of the world, a spiritual place, and a source of inspiration.

Poole Harbor and Islands Cruise

4. Poole Harbor and Islands Cruise

Take a cruise around Europe's largest natural harbor, home to the town of Poole, the golden beaches of Sandbanks and Brownsea Island. From either open deck seating or comfortable saloon you will see stunning views of the exceptional landscape that surrounds it. Your 70 minute trip will start on charming Poole Quay with its old buildings and buzzing atmosphere.  Next you will go past Brownsea Island, home to wildlife and picturesque Brownsea Castle, built to protect against French invasions. After that comes the Sandbanks Peninsula and the luxurious houses of the ‘Golden Mile’. Then you will tour the great natural expanse of the harbor and the remaining islands: Green, Furzey, Long and Round. Fronting onto beautiful scenery it helped inspire classics like Lord of the Rings and Gulliver's Travel. 

Bath: Guided Ghost Tour

5. Bath: Guided Ghost Tour

Join your guide as they take you on a journey to discover the many haunted locations around the city of Bath. Hear tales about the ghosts of medieval monks, hanged criminals, tortured witches, poltergeists, and more. Learn about the history and haunting of each site and visit famous locations like Bath Abbey, Queens Square, Theatre Royal, and Victoria Park. Wander down hidden alleyways and stop at haunted hotspots, including a particularly grim location directly next to Jane Austen's last known residence in the city. Enjoy an interactive walking tour where visitors are encouraged to be part of the stories. Feeling brave? Volunteer for a paranormal experiment towards the end of your tour, a highlight of the exciting evening.

Bath: Sightseeing Boat Cruise with Prosecco

6. Bath: Sightseeing Boat Cruise with Prosecco

On sunny days, enjoy an open cockpit roof on the boat and on cooler days, stay cozy and warm with a real coal fire. As you enjoy your trip in this authentic and lovingly restored 1960s small cruiser, your skipper will point out the key attractions.  See the entrance to the Kennet and Avon Canal, which links London with the Bristol Channel, and cruise under North Parade Bridge. Look out for nesting peregrine falcons at the 19th-century St. John’s Church, and marvel at the views of Pulteney Bridge, the rushing weir, and the city center architecture, including the 17th-century Bath Abbey. Enjoy your view with 2 glasses of Prosecco while you pass under Halfpenny Bridge and see the location where the old wharves used to stand, the central point of Bath’s trading links with Bristol since the 18th century.

Bath: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour with Blue Badge Tourist Guide

7. Bath: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour with Blue Badge Tourist Guide

Experience the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath on this 1.5-hour guided walking tour. Your expert guide will explain the history, architecture, and some of the many stories that have made Bath such a fantastic place to visit. During the tour see the iconic sights of Bath including the Royal Crescent, The Circus, Queen Square, Pulteney Bridge, and Bath Abbey. Wander through the city as your guide brings the history, architecture, and the people of Bath to life through a lively and enjoyable commentary at each of the stops around the city. Ask them lots of questions and maybe even test the edges of their knowledge. Get insider knowledge on the best times to revisit certain sights.

Bath: City Walking Tour with Optional Roman Baths Entry

8. Bath: City Walking Tour with Optional Roman Baths Entry

Begin your tour in the morning or afternoon at Bath Abbey in the city center. See the very best of Bath, both past and present. Meet your guide and kick-off by visiting a selection of highlights including Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey. Proceed to the Roman Baths, and follow your guide to see the fascinating items and legacies left in Bath by the Romans during their occupation of the area. Witness the miraculous phenomenon of Bath's hot geothermal springs. Then, take in the enchanting Georgian architecture of this unique city. From the magnificent Royal Crescent to the mysterious Circus, see the best of the pomp and luxury of the 18th-century. Walk from the central Pump Rooms to the lavish Upper Assembly Rooms and finally arrive at the sumptuous Royal Crescent and the mysterious Circus. Bath offers a stunning variety of breathtaking architectural gems. The tour has been specially devised to show you the very best of Bath. Your guides are fun, engaging local professionals who will make the city’s history truly accessible for visitors of all ages.

Bath: City Boat Trip and Walking Tour

9. Bath: City Boat Trip and Walking Tour

Enjoy an informed, leisurely overview of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath. Discover the city's main sights on both a river cruise and a guided walking tour with a local guide. Meet at Bath Quays on the riverside in central Bath. Be greeted by your skipper and guide to start your unique land and water tour. Begin with a river cruise along the River Avon, taking in sights such as the Half Penny Bridge, St. John's Church, Bath Abbey, Parade Gardens, Pulteney Bridge, the Weir, and the Mill. During your cruise, head to the onboard bar to purchase a soft drink or an alcoholic beverage to enjoy as you watch the sights go by. Once back at the mooring, take a short 50-minute walking tour with a crew member. Get an overview of Bath's rich history and learn how to orientate yourself within the city. The tour includes the main sights of the Roman Baths, The Abbey, Guildhall, the Ancient City Wall, the Theatre Royal, and Queens Square. There won't be time to enter the sights, but you will be able to explore these on your own at the tour's conclusion. The tour includes a kid's quiz to help keep them entertained on the walking tour.

Bath: The Jane Austen Centre Ticket

10. Bath: The Jane Austen Centre Ticket

Discover a permanent exhibition that tells the story of Bath's most famous resident, the author Jane Austen, at the Jane Austen Center. Explore the effect that living in the Georgian city had on her life and writing. Costumed guides will take you through the exhibition and be on hand to satisfy your quest for knowledge of all things Austen. Taste some period-recipe food, dress up in Regency costume, and have your photo taken with the world famous Jane Austen waxwork. There is a delightful gift shop on the ground floor, which sells unique items bespoke to the Jane Austen Centre, and a delicious Regency Tea Room on the 2nd floor, which offers 17 varieties of leafed tea to go with locally baked cakes. The guided tour runs every 30-minutes.

Top sights in South West England

Frequently asked questions about South West England

What top attractions are a must-see in South West England?

The must-see attractions in South West England are:

Other Sightseeing Options in South West England

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What people are saying about South West England

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 16,558 reviews

Very organized tour and guide was very helpful. The bus left an arrived on time. Unfortunately our tour of Windsor castle was cancelled since the Queen passed but we appreciate that we were still brought to the castle grounds to walk around and see tributes to the queen.

Phil, our guide, was great especially considering the weather. It rained all through. He was happy, friendly and very knowledgeable. He kept us all informed and engaged throughout. A really enjoyable walk.

We had a wonderful trip thanks to Kaiti and her well timed and well pitched enthusiasm for the history and surrounding areas of the canal. Thank you for a superb experience and memorable trip.

Excellent highlight tour! Fred was an excellent guide - so much knowledge and very down to earth!

Great day trip. Eugene, our guild, was very knowledgeable and funny.