OK, for those who might have interest, I'm continuing travelogue for English countryside adventurers. This time, I'm focusing on the SW section of England (part of Wessex), with a focus on the areas of Somerset and Cornwall, two of the perhaps less-traveled areas of the country. It's not the charm of the Cotswolds (mentioned in last report), nor the rolling hills of the Lake District, but SW England has a distinctive of its own, as do most other areas in England. The people of Cornwall for years spoke their own language, a hybrid of Welsh and Breton tongues; it's a place where Tennyson wrote of King Arthur in his story of Tristan and Isolde, a place called "Cornwall".
For those who don't want to travel by auto, you can skip Somerset and take a train from London to Falmouth and a B&B Hotel where we've stayed before (Tresanton, St. Mawes) will come pick up up at the train station (pictures posted), or you can take King Harry's Ferry :
From there you can rent a car and explore the Cornish Coast, Falmouth, the cliff cottages in Cadgwith; Lizard Point, 300 feet above the sea, and Kynance Cove, the entire area belonging to the National Trust. Drive along the coast to the A394 and stopping at St. Michael's Mount, near Marazion. If you arrive in the morning you can take a small boat to the island, walk up the trail and tour the historic castle and then in the afternoon walk back down and across the causeway to the shore when the tide is out. St Michael's Mount :: Home
At Penzance, drive south to Porthcurno and then drive out to Land's End, the southern most coast of England. Or from Chyandour, head north to St. Ives and drive along the picturesque coastal road (B3301), head back to the A30 and end up at Tintagel, the supposed ruins of of King Arthur's Castle and his soothsayer, Meryln. Take some time to climb the cliffs, and when you return to the valley, you've earned a clotted cream with strawberries on scone dessert. (photo) Stop by the old Post Office. It's 1.5 hour drive on the A39 from Tintagel to Barnstaple, unless you stop by Boscastle Harbor. In Barnstaple, you might stay at the Downrew B&B. (photo) You can cut across country and the Exmoor Forest to Lynton/Lynmouth, where the English poet, Shelley lived, swing out to the coast at Blue Anchor to Watchet, where Coleridge wrote "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner", and then connect with the M5 to Bristol.
Back to travel via auto (my recommendation), you can take the M3 from London M25 ring road to the A30, or A303 to Cornwall, and stop along the way, particularly at Salisbury, in Shaftesbury (west of Salisbury). Walking through the hilly town is a delight - take your camera with you! Take a side trip north on A350 to the A303, walk through Stonehenge (you can see it from the road), then spend a few hours walking through the National Trust gardens - Stourhead. (If you plan to visit several N.T. gardens and/or houses, it might be cheaper to join the N.T. than pay fee for each visit.) You can actually stay inside the gardens at Stourton House. Stourhead Gardens Bed and Breakfast
Continue on the A303 to Martock and visit Montacute House (N.T. house), one of the grand English country homes.
Drive around the Dartmoor (A30) to Okehampton and go south on A386 to A38 and take in another delightful garden, Lanhydrock (N.T.) (photo) and spend the night in Lostwithiel.lanhydrock house and gardens - yahoo Image Search Results
We stayed at a B&B here on the weekend of England's celebration of 50th anniversary of V-E day, attended church service and parade, and were treated as "royalty" (since we stood out as Americans). From there you can drive south to St. Mawes, a must.