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Things to do in

South West England

Top sights 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.

Stonehenge Admission Ticket

2. 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.

Bath: Sightseeing Boat Cruise with Prosecco

3. 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.

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: The Jane Austen Centre Ticket

6. 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.

Bath: City Boat Trip and Walking Tour

7. 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. 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: 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.

From London: Stonehenge Half-Day Tour with Audio Guide

9. From London: Stonehenge Half-Day Tour with Audio Guide

Explore one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world on a half-day tour to Stonehenge. Travel to the site from London by air-conditioned vehicle and enjoy views of the English landscape en route. The tour is unescorted, but visitors can download an audio guide on their smartphones. Situated on Salisbury Plain in the Wiltshire countryside, the cluster of 40-ton rocks was constructed more than 5,000 years ago.  Although the function of Stonehenge is still a matter of fierce debate, what is known about the UNESCO World Heritage Site is that it has been a site of pagan worship for centuries. Make up your own mind as you uncover the history behind the extraordinary monument. A new world-class visitor center is now a short shuttle bus ride away from the stone circle site and combines cutting-edge audiovisuals with exhibitions of ancient objects.

From Bournemouth: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door Trip

10. From Bournemouth: Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door Trip

Discover some of the most scenic coastline in southern England on a bus trip from Bournemouth. Travel along the famous Jurassic Coast, via Poole Harbour and Sandbanks, to experience the nation's only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit both Lulworth Cove and the natural limestone arch of Durdle Door and get plenty of information and maps to help you along the way. Use the time to go for a light nature walk from Durdle Door over the hill to Lulworth Cove and get magnificent views from Hambury Tout. Spend the time at Lulworth Cove if you prefer to give your legs a rest and get a beautiful view of the arch on an optional boat ride from the beach, at your own expense. Benefit from a map highlighting the main features, or feel free to follow your own nose and explore independently. Find a nice cafe or restaurant in the village of West Lulworth or avail of the small shop in the holiday park at Durdle Door.

Frequently asked questions about South West England

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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 15,369 reviews

Really good trip. The microphone wasn't working so couldn't hear the commentary. Driver and guide very amenable. Only downfall was there was a group of students, 2 of whom were 15 minutes late when we were due to return. The teachers couldn't contact them and had no idea where they were. The coach was not running, due to local guidelines in the parking lot and emission of fumes - students were complaining about this, even though they were the cause of having to sit in a stuffy coach! Driver and guide 10/10, students 0/10!

Really lovely guide called Jim was friendly from the minute we met him and explained briefly how it would work and got us friendly with others on the tour. Happy birthday Dayo! Very very informative and funny and was considerate of our beef fir shade with our dog! Exceptionally good and we really enjoyed the your and learned loads! Thank you Jim!

We had a fantastic trip on your boat, the weather was beautiful and the sea swell was good,very informative narrative. My granddaughter’s loved it.l would recommend it to anyone wanting the thrill of the high seas & having a couple of hours to spare. Definitely worth the money & plan to take our next visitors on on the same trip!

Paul (skipper) was very knowledgeable and this tour helped us understand more about the history of Bath and plan the rest of our break

The tour was lovely. The Crewe were polite and talked through the sites with good local knowledge.