the classic guide

A guide to the West Country from the people that know…

Guide Highlights

by  Katie Chown Posted . 23 Oct 2013

Things to do when it rains

It is inevitable, unavoidable. But not the end of the world. A bit of rain is refreshing, replenishing, life-giving. But not necessarily what you want on your one holiday of the year. It doesn't have to mean your holiday home becomes a prison, little faces pressed against waterfall windows and the dog whimpering at the stable door. Embrace the rain, or ignore it by having a day out in the West Country with one of these activities, safely housed out of precipitation's way.

by  Katie Chown Posted . 30 Jul 2013

Crazy Culture West Country Events

The West Country isn’t just ‘a local place, for local people’, but it’s true – some of our cultural displays would fit right in an episode of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. At any time of year, you will likely come across a traditional fayre or little-known festivals in the West Country but now is the time to truly indulge in the obscure. We’ve cherry-picked a few of the craziest to bring out the weirdo in you.

by  Katie Chown Posted . 29 Mar 2012

Hunting Giants

Giants, dragons and horned beasts. A colourful cast of mythical creatures lurk in the woods, the hills and the waves. Their roots stretch back to the Pagan, the Celtic and the pure fantastic. The West Country collective imagination has given birth to a pantheon of the strange, the wondrous and the downright bizarre. Believe them, or not, the tales run deep in the soil, the sea and the stone of the landscape. Take them with a pinch of seasalt. But there's no denying the hold they've had for hundreds of years. And there's nothing like the flash of a mermaid's tail or the whiff of a dragon to get the little ones tugging you out of the door for a walk.

by  Katie Chown Posted . 09 Feb 2012

Into the Wild

If you're after a guaranteed encounter with wildlife in the South West, here are a few suggestions for family days out for wildlife lovers. Some have extra activities to entertain the troops. Lots are good for rainy days. All of them put the animals centre stage, where they'll scuttle, scamper, swing and snaffle their way into your heart. One thing we can't promise is a blessing of unicorns, although the South West wilderness is a pretty magical place… it's always worth keeping the binoculars at the ready.

by  Katie Chown Posted . 23 Jan 2012

Ten Classic Castles

The South West's castles come in many different shapes and sizes. From romantic towers and turrets to barren, windswept ruins. They have served as the legendary seats of kings and giants; as prisons, homes and battlegrounds. History pulses in the rock and the ruins of the South West's hillforts, fortresses, castles and keeps. They provide glimpses into the lives of kings and giants, princesses and knights, tycoons and soldiers. Here are ten of our favourites. We recommend packing up a picnic for your day out delving into history – and slinging in a pair of sturdy shoes (the walks at some of these castles are breathtaking, in every sense of the word).

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