Top Reasons to Go to the West Country

Coastal walks: For high, dramatic cliff scenery, choose the Exmoor coast around Lynmouth or the coast around Tintagel. The South West Coast Path is 630 miles long.

Riding or hiking on Dartmoor: Escape to southern England's greatest wilderness—a treeless expanse dotted with rocky outcrops; there are many organized walks and pony-trekking operations.

Seafood in Padstow: Celebrity-chef Rick Stein rules the roost in this small, pretty Cornish port, and any of his establishments will strongly satisfy.

Tate St. Ives Gallery: There's nowhere better to absorb the local arts scene than this offshoot of London's Tate Museum in the pretty seaside town of St. Ives. A rooftop café claims views over Porthmeor Beach.

A visit to Eden: It's worth the journey west for Cornwall's Eden Project alone—a wonderland of plant life in a former clay pit. Two gigantic geodesic "biomes" are filled with flora.

Wells Cathedral: A perfect example of medieval craftsmanship, the building is a stunning spectacle.

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