Browse our 'Top 10 Recommendations' lists for South West England to find hotels and weekend breaks, places to visit and things to do. Ideas include museums, rainy days out, parks, galleries, views, cathedrals and railway journeys.
Sponsorsed Advertisement

Top 10 Recommended Towns in South West England


Towns in South West England
Given the sheer number of beautiful and interesting towns in South West England, this is a difficult list to compile. Most choices are coastal but we'd suggest you browse more specific lists within our county, National Park and AONB summary guides for further ideas. For example, look at our 'Top 10 Recommended Towns' in Devon and Dartmoor National Park. By James Penman.

Lyme Regis

Exceptional seaside town and tourist resort on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Try also Sidmouth to the west and Bridport/West Bay to the east. Inland, Beaminster is impressive.

St John the Baptist Church, Cirencester

'Capital of the Cotswolds' and once Roman Britain's second city 'Corinium'. Home to the 'Cathedral of the Cotswolds' and a superb museum. The remains of an Roman ampitheatre, too.

Marlborough, Wiltshire

Beautiful Wiltshire market town in an exceptional location. Close by are the UNESCO World Heritage Site(s) of Stonehenge and Avebury. Then there's Silbury Hill, Pewsey Vale, several AONBs ...

St. Ives

Famous Cornish seaside town. Spectacular setting and exceptional light. The beaches around St Ives Bay are top class. South of the town are Land's End, Sennen, Porthcurno. You must visit.

The Saxon Church Of St Laurence, Bradford On Avon

Famous for its Saxon church, this is a good base to explore both the south of the Cotswolds AONB and Bath. It's a beautiful town with a fascinating history.

Sidmouth, Devon

Hunched between mighty red cliffs, Sidmouth is a must if you're heading to L511 East Devon] or West Dorset. Try Ladram Bay, too, a little further to the west.

Swanage, Dorset

A very popular destination at the end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Big sand beach, buzzing town, pier, boats and loads of attractions inland.

Dartmouth, Devon

One of the South West's finest. Easy access north to The English Riviera and south/south west to the South Devon AONB which includes Salcombe, Kingsbridge, Plymouth.

Padstow, Cornwall

On the south bank of the Camel Estuary and across the water from Rock. Stunning location and geared towards those looking to eat, drink and then walk them off.


The Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary is awesome. Salcombe is a very beautiful and busy town on that Estuary. Perfect for the South Devon AONB.