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Corwall and SE England in a Week-Where?

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The situation: a two-week "North Cape" cruise leaving and returning to Southampton in August 2017.
I am currently torn between simply hanging around London (for shows and perhaps a couple of museum re-visits) or flying as far as Verona for another opera overload and then back to the UK for the cruise.

August isn't a great month for opera and we'll probably go to the Met in NYC later in the year for it anyway, so I'm trying to keep Verona OUT of my thoughts.

If we do the SE thing I thought perhaps we could fly to Heathrow and rent a car there, return it, and make our way to Southampton (the cruise line will provide transfers) or fly in and go to Southampton for the rental and avoid some sort of drop charge (I wonder how much we would actually save).

Anyway, if we do this drive the one place we would want to include that isn't in Cornwall itself might be Salisbury for the cathedral.

We've never been to Cornwall or any of those other southeastern areas like Dorset, southern Wiltshire, etc.

Interests include some of those "great houses" or simply pleasant vistas; perhaps relaxing on or near the ocean somewhere.

It is all kinda disjointed thinking at the moment but I need a plan and direction.

Ask away, please, and provide ideas and direction. All of that will help me refine this and thanks.

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