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SOUTH WEST ENGLISH HERITAGE SITES TO TREASURE

George Maguire

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for some exploring. With lockdown easing and travel permitted around England why not look to our heritage sites for a dose of fresh air and inspiration. We’ve picked four enchanting South West English Heritage sites (one of which you will definitely know) that are well worth the visit. Whilst the interiors of most sites are still closed, the glorious exteriors, ruins, countryside walks and gardens around them are still very much worth a stroll!
 
To become a member of English Heritage sign up here.

1 Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Bath – link here


Farleigh Hungerford Castle. Image via English Heritage.
 
Set in a Wiltshire valley close to Bath, the epic Farleigh Hungerford Castle’s epic grounds are currently open to visitors. The 700-year-old ruined castle was built by the wealthy & notorious Hungerford family and the site’s inner court includes a former family residence, towers, a chapel, a priest’s house and more. Enjoy the countryside around as you explore past worlds – long before COVID. 
 
Come back at another date later in the year to explore the crypt with its lead coffins…
 
Where? A366, Farleigh Hungerford, Bath BA2 7RS

2 Cleeve Abbey, Washford – link here


Cleeve Abbey’s cloisters. Photo via English Heritage
 
Cleeve Abbey is a portal to what monastic life would have been like some 800 years ago.  Situated in Somerset’s delightful Washford, the abbey is home to some of the greatest cloisters in England. Sadly, the Abbey’s church was destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution in 1536 but the site still features architectural treasures such as heraldic tiles and the ‘Angel Roof’. Happily, the site is a mere 10-minute walk from Washford Train Station. 
 
Where? Abbey Road, Washford, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0PS. 

3 Stonehenge, Wiltshire – link here


Stonehenge’s inner and outer horseshoe from above. Image via English Heritage.
 
Rightfully one of the most famous World Heritage Sites, Stonehenge needs no introduction. One of the world’s great prehistoric treasures and dating back some 5,000 years, the site’s huge rock formations are steeped in ancient history and religious belief. Make sure to bring a charged-up phone for extra audio information on the story of the stones and how they may have got there from Wales! Sit back and enjoy the energy!
 
Where? Neat Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE. 

4 Tintagel Castle, Cornwall – link here


Tintagel Castle’s Image via Dezeen/ David Levine.
 
Tintagel Castle is a late Roman era gem. Perched in the rough Cornish north coast, the dramatic castle is linked in myth and legend with King Arthur as the place of his birth. With the two sections of the castle now reunited (as of 2019) by a stunning footbridge, there is now public access to visit the old ruins. Tintagel was a key link in trade with the Mediterranean as evidenced by a wide range of pottery and glass. Take it all in!
 
Where? Castle Road, Tintagel, Cornwall, PL340HE.

 

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