Trip Planning: South West England

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While we’ve been fortunate enough to go on several memorable trips over the last 10 or so years together, more often than not, the destinations have largely been dictated by a work trip. Michael went to Edinburgh with his co-workers in 2014, so I came over after his trip wrapped up to explore Skye and the Highlands. In 2012 I shot a wedding in France, so we bookended that weekend of work with time spent in both Paris and Provence. Having one of us tag along before or after a work trip is such an affordable way to vacation and it certainly helps that we both have flexible enough schedules to usually make that happen.

For awhile now, we’ve both been squirreling away some rewards points from our credit cards in hopes to use them on a vacation of our choosing in Europe. (That is, one not dictated by work commitments!) It’s a little overwhelming to simply pick a place, no strings attached, and while we considered crossing off a city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen on our travel bucket list, or returning to explore more parts of Italy or France, in the end we’ve decided on a trip that has been brewing in my head for quite some time now – South West England!

What started as a longtime dream to visit the Cornish coast has morphed into a spring road trip through Dorset, Cornwall, and Somerset counties, with one quick night in London. We finalized everything yesterday and now it’s all I can think about.

I’ve been pinning a lot to my Travel board lately, but similar to our last Trip Planning posts, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of the resources we’ve been browsing while the trip continues to come together, in case anyone else has been daydreaming about a similar journey through this part of the English countryside. Of course, the tips we’ve received from readers over the years have always steered us in the right direction, so we’d greatly appreciate any recommendations you might have about this area of England in the comments below.

A Long Weekend in Cornwall, England – Pets Included
It breaks my heart just a little bit that the place we’re staying in Cornwall is dog-friendly and Orvis won’t get to partake in the fun. Thankfully, Orvis will be in great hands back here at home while we’re exploring Cornwall, visiting as many Poldark filming locations as we can.

From Beaches to Bistros: Exploring England’s Somerset and Dorset Counties
I remember reading this article in CNT a couple of years ago, but rediscovering it online sealed the deal for the Somerset + Dorset inns we ended up booking.

62 Brilliant British Hotels for Weekend Breaks
If we lived in the UK, I would try my hardest to work through the best of these inns. This list is fantastic!

Finding Home in an English Harbor Town
I still have this T+L article about Dorset dog-eared, with all of its stunning photos.

Ben Pentreath + Charlotte-Anne Fidler on Instagram
Finally, some of the biggest inspiration for tacking Dorset and Somerset counties onto the road trip out to Cornwall were two of my favorite Instagram accounts. In addition to following Ben’s wonderful blog, I’ve been taking notes on some of the places that they each visit and share on Instagram.

That’s it, for now. I wouldn’t be surprised if another England-inspired post (or two) finds itself to the blog before we leave later this spring. In the meantime, we’d love to read through any tips you might have about Cornwall, Dorset, or Somerset counties! 

One thought on “Trip Planning: South West England

  1. Your blog was such a help when we roadtripped in both the South and Maine and I am so excited that you are now travelling to the area I was brought up, which I love most in the world, so that I can repay the favour.

    Cornwall: this is where we got married and, in my opinion, the most beautiful place in the world. I think it is like the British Maine. My personal favourite part is the Roseland pennisula, and our wedding venue (the Rosevine) would be a wonderful dog friendly place to stay. It is a a gorgeous tiny modern hotel with incredible sea views. Whilst you are in Cornwall you also must visit St Ives (art, incredible light, lovely cafes), Padstow (Rick Stein) and Trellisk (a National Trust property with incredible walks).

    Devon: when driving from Cornwall to Dorset I strongly recommend stopping in both Dartmoor and Exmoor. Dartmoor is rugged and wild and known for its native wild ponies. Hotel Endsleigh is a wonderful place to stay in beautiful rooms and incredible grounds. Exmoor is more coastal and manicured. I particularly recommend a walk on the South West coast path around Lynton and the Valley of the Rocks – Orvis would love it!!

    Dorset: also an incredibly beautiful place with so many wonderful things to do. I would highly recommend visiting Burton Bradstock and the Hive Beach cafe, a long walk on Chesil Beach and a drink and the Square and Compass.

    Somerset: I am from Bath which is a city you have to visit. Whilst you’re there my strongest advice is just to wander and soak in the incredible architecture including the Circus, the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey. In terms of other places to visit in Somerset the Quantock Hills are an untapped gem and I have heard wonderful things about Bruton which has recently become very B on trend. I am desperate to stay at the Chapel, Bruton but having just had a baby you guys may make it there first.

    London: is my home now and I could wax lyrical about a million things to do here but you’ll only be here for a short time. I will say what I say to everyone though; visit Hampstead Heath – you won’t regret it.

    Email me if you want any more tips. It has been such a pleasure writing this and thinking about all my favourite places!

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