Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first-timer, a trip around the UK is always worth it! There are so many gems to discover no matter whether you’re inland, on the coast or in the Highlands; just make sure you pack your umbrella for those famed UK showers. Today we’re focusing on the South of the country; from the gentle hills of Wiltshire to the steep cliffs of Cornwall, read on to find out more:
No trip to the UK would be complete without a visit to Stonehenge. Although it’s no longer possible to walk in and around the stones (except during the summer and winter solstice and the spring and autumn equinox), you can still get very close to admire the beauty and sheer scale of this prehistoric monument.
The first stones are thought to have been placed around 5,000 years ago, forming the early henge monument. The remains of around 150 people have been found buried at Stonehenge, as well as several buried cremations, making it the largest late Neolithic cemetery in the British Isles.
It is possible to take tours of the stones, operated by English Heritage. These take place outside of the normal opening hours of the monument and are limited to 30 people per tour, so get in there quick if you want to book for when you’re in the area. Please not the tour is not guided and visitors are not allowed to touch the stones. This is to prevent against erosion. Tours cost £38.50 for adults and £23.10 for children aged 5-17.
General admission is managed through timed tickets and you should book in advance.
• Location: Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE
• Pricing: Free for English Heritage members, prices range from £17.50-£19.30 for non-members (adults) £10-50-£11.60 (children ages 5-17, under 5s are free) and £15.80-£17.40 (concessions). Family tickets also available.
• Parking: available on site, free for English Heritage members and Stonehenge ticket holders. All other visitors must pay £5 to park.
From prehistoric monuments to fishing villages, the village of Clovelly clings to a 400 foot cliff and is a beautiful estate in private ownership to the Rous family. As such, it has been preserved to serve as a timeless reminder of simpler times, with quaint gift shops, olde worlde pubs and a delicious fish and chip shop at the bottom.
Clovelly is and has always been a working fishing village, so whilst it is now a big tourist spot, the fishermen (and ladies) still carry on with the work of generations. No vehicles are permitted on its steep cobbled streets, with donkeys and later bicycles being the main form of transport (as well as your aching legs, of course). Tourists can park at the car park at the top of the village and walk down to the sea or take the Land Rover service that takes you directly to the top/bottom (for a fare).
Clovelly is open year-round (except Christmas Day) but longer in Summer, from 9-6 every day.
• Location: Clovelly Visitor Centre, near Bideford, Devon
• Pricing: Adults: £7.50, Child: £4.50 (7-16, Under 7s free). Family tickets also available. Dogs are permitted on leads. This charge includes a free revisit within 7 days.
• Parking: Big free car park available at the top of the visit with direct entrance to visitor’s centre. Free toilets on site.
King Arthur’s Castle & Merlin’s Cave, Cornwall
History buffs will no doubt appreciate this one; Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave are two of the biggest tourist spots in this area of Cornwall and see many, many visitors each day. Steeped in legend, this is said to have been the birthplace of King Arthur (Arthur Pendragon) and has areas dating back to the 3-4th centuries. Despite being largely deserted in both the 7th and 17th centuries, the castle has long been part of Cornish folklore.
Merlin’s Cave is beneath the castle and can be accessed without paying for entrance to the castle. It is a sea cave with a sandy floor accessible at low tide and is said to have been the home of the magician Merlin, King Arthur’s trusted advisor.
The castle is open Mar-Sept but has varying opening times down to seasonality. It is also advised to avoid windy days as the path to the castle is over a well maintained but narrow bridge, which can be scary in high winds.
The cave is accessible year round but please do be wary of visiting at high tide or in bad weather.
• Location: Tintagel Castle: Castle Road, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL34 0HE. The cave can be found beneath the castle, accessible via steps down to the beach. Can only be entered fully at low tide.
• Pricing: English Heritage members enter for free. Otherwise, Adult prices range from £9.50-£10.50, Children (aged 5-17) between £5.70 – £6.30 and concessions £8.60-£9.50. Under 5s are free. Family tickets and overseas visitor passes also available.
• Parking: There are pay and display car parks available in Tintagel village but none onsite. Alternatively, find a campsite nearby (we’d highly recommend The Headland Caravan & Camping Park on Atlantic Road) and pitch your car and TentBox up for the night, ready to explore the local area.