Southwest England, Bath to Penzance

Old Oct 28th, 2000, 07:16 PM
  #1  
Tom
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Southwest England, Bath to Penzance

We have visited much of England, but never the part that is southwest of Bath. My family (4 adults, 1 eleven year old girl)will be in Bath Nov. 17-20. We have BritRail passes and will also have a rent car for one day.

We are interested in castles, seashore, senic countryside, small villages, antiques, lighhouses, historic non-touristy areas, car-boot sales, markets, etc. Literature from England's National Trust, indicates that about half of England's historic properties are in Cornwall, Devon & Dorset. But, we have been unable to find many ideas on day trips to the area, out of Bath -- what to see or do -- and whether to use the train or car, or guided tour. The area must be off the beaten path. With all of the history in that area, what should we do? In November, I assume it will be chilly, damp, foggy and rainy -- but otherwise, is it worth the effort -- or should we just follow the usual routes to Cotswalds, Oxford, Stratford, Stonehenge, etc.

Many thanks for any ideas, especially if you live in the area or have visited a special place there. Tom

 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 01:22 AM
  #2  
Kay
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Tom,
My husband and I drove from Bath to Penzance a few years ago when on holiday in the UK. We left Bath first thing and arrived in Penzance about 5pm so it's a fairly long drive. One place we stopped at along the way was great, it's a little village called Tintagel, on the coast. You walk to the ruins of what is supposedly King Arthur's castle, the coastline is quite rugged and windswept. We loved it. It was run by an organisation connected with National Trust (Heritage something?). You can catch a land rover back up to the village if you don't want to walk all the way back, we did this to save time (and we were a bit lazy!).
As to the weather, we were there in summer and it was cold and rainy so in November, I would bring warm clothes and an umbrella!!
Have a great time,
Kay
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 08:28 AM
  #3  
pat
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There are many beaches in cornwall, devon area, some are sand beach. I suppose there may not be many people enjoy outdoor at the beach during the time you're going to be there.
New quay is a surfer paradise there, Tintagel, a small village, has a castle. The upper coast is more beautiful than the lower one. Land's end is the place for the lighthouse.
What's about going to Wales from Bath?
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 12:33 PM
  #4  
lydia
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Beware that most National Trust properties, which are wonderful places to visit, will be closed from the end of October till next April. Depending on whether you hope to make a day-trip from Bath (perhaps with your rental car?) I would suggest a visit to Lyme Regis. This is a very interesting and historical Dorset coastal town, where some of the more famous scenes in 'The French Leiutenant's Woman' were filmed. There are plenty of small shops and a musuem to occupy you even in mid-winter, and the drive south from Bath takes you through some gorgeous Somerset countryside. Another good destination is Dunster, on the north Somerset coast, which is again very historical and picturesque, with a castle dominating everything (sadly, National Trust, so closed in winter). We have a weekend cottage in Somerset and therefore know of many nice places to visit, so do e-mail me directly if you'd like more suggestions.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2000, 01:25 PM
  #5  
adina
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We spent about 2 weeks in that area this past July. Considering that you will be there in November and it seems that you are interested in day trips I think that Corfe Castle in Dorset and the Durdle Door/Lulworth Cove area might be a good idea. Corfe Castle should be a dramatic ruin in any season and there are great little villages all around. These are all pretty near Dorchester/Thomas Hardy country but I think that his cottage and the homes/gardens nearby are best left to spring or summer-- but if they is open you might want to check out Aethelhampton House, Forde Abbey, or Montacute House (its been used as the site of many recent movies, the British Tourist Authority has a pamphlet on movie sites in England)
 
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 07:24 AM
  #6  
JP
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See http://www.bestloved.com/PLACESsearch.asp for "West Country". Also, please note that Montacute House (mentioned above) is closed after October.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 07:35 PM
  #7  
Tom
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You are the experts because you have been there and know what you are talking about. Sounds like southwest England is a wonderful place, but may be better in spring or summer. We are still considering our alternatives. Thanks to all and especially Lydia with your offer for direct email. Tom
 

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