The South West
Each county and region has its own unique character to explore. When you consider this corner of England covers everything from Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Somerset, down through Wiltshire to Devon, Cornwall and across to Dorset, it is easy to see why sometimes heading in this direction can be hard to resist.
Gloucestershire is famed for Cheltenham and the Cotswolds; the Regency spa town of Cheltenham being the perfect place to explore and base yourself for an exploration of everything the Cotswolds has to offer, itself a picturesque area and one where art comes to life. Cirencester is Gloucestershire's original Roman town with several attractions not only charting the history of that period but also every era in Cirencester's history, right from the Stone Age to Civil War.
Bristol has a diverse range of both independent and city council museums with collections which reflect the growth and history of the city. For starters there is the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, M Shed, Red Lodge Museum, Georgian House Museum and the American Museum & Garden. Dive into Bath's incredible and diverse collection of museums and exhibitions, all set within a short stroll of each other.
The attractions in Somerset and North Somerset reflect its diverse heritage: from the large, world class collections of archaeology and palaeontology, to the specialist Dunster Dolls Museum and Watchet Boat Museum. Further south, Cornwall is a land of museums and many of which are run entirely by volunteers and enthusiasts. Reflecting a strong sense of place, these museums and their objects tell the story of Cornwall and its people Other great attractions include the Falmouth Art Gallery, Geevor Tin Mine Museum, Hayle Heritage Centre, Helston Museum, Museum of Witchcraft, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, and Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. Dorset's rich historical roots are displayed in a wealth of museums and galleries which are home to impressive exhibitions and charming collections suitable for visitors of all ages and interests.
The Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth is one of the county's most fascinating historic houses in England. Situated on Bournemouth's stunning cliff-top over-looking the sea, this exotic seaside villa was built by Merton Russell-Cotes as an extravagant birthday gift for his wife, Annie.