Bristol, Tanya Voronina
South West England is a vast area, starting around the south coast of Dorset and Weymouth (where you can take a ferry to Guernsey) and stretching right down to the large counties of Devon and Cornwall.
Shropshire and Herefordshire are two of the most rural counties in England, and also two of the most beautiful and least populated. The city of Hereford is like something from times gone by, almost like a quiet town. Aside from the cathedral, you would never guess it was a city. Shropshire has been called England’s most beautiful county with its miles of rolling greenery and the ‘Blue Remembered Hills’, alongside a memory of disused canals from the Industrial Revolution. Both counties are fairly near to the Welsh border.
Devon is one of England’s largest counties, which includes two national parks (Exmoor and Dartmoor). Both (along with The New Forest in Hampshire) are famed for their free-roaming ponies, but this can lead to car accidents. America’s Tail Lights are a fab idea (invented by a woman whose own horse was involved in an accident). Attached to the tail, they give off pretty-coloured lighting in dusk or dark, and are used by mounted police in the USA. They prevent numerous collisions, and would be great to import here. The rest of Devon is mostly a blend of maritime cities, coastal resorts and elegant sailing towns. Be careful with dogs and children in Somerset , as resorts like Weston-Super-Mare are known for sinking mud.
Cornwall is England’s most southerly county, with its own language and a strong history of folk music and painting (especially in St Ives, known for its ‘northern light). However, it’s one of England’s poorer counties, with tourism being one of the few industries (the influx of second-home buyers has pushed prices up so much, that many locals can’t afford to buy). The unique soil gives home to locally-grown Tregothan tea and wine (both Camel Valley and Polgoon are vegan-friendly). Over the water, flowers on the tropical Isles of Scilly bloom much later (note all bulbs are toxic to pets, if you are ordering). Birds often stop here for a migration rest, although it’s not all bliss: as proven by the numerous shipwrecks under these clear blue waters.
The cities of Bath and Bristol are just 13 miles apart (you can walk or cycle between them using the former railway path). Bath is a cultural mix of spas and green spaces, with a famed Royal Crescent (many people call it the most beautiful city in the world). Bristol is more happening for youngsters: a green vibrant maritime city, with a bit green and vegan movement. It also is home to the Bristol Pound.
Further inland, is the Cotswolds, a beautiful area of rolling countryside and honey-coloured buildings. Home to many superstar pop stars who come here to hide away, the city of Cheltenham is one of the most beautiful with regency buildings, spa fountains and flowery parks. Ethical Investors is based here.