South Coast, UK
Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole
England's South Coast claims to be the sunniest place in the UK. It boasts seven international gateways providing easy access from Europe by air, rail, ferry or cruise ship, over 300 miles of coastline, two National Parks and four World Heritage Sites. The South Coast also boasts many iconic locations like Stonehenge, Spinnaker Tower and the Brighton Pavilion. New in Brighton, the British Airways i360 is the world's tallest moving observation tower boasting views of up to 40 km.
The castles alone offer a glimpse of England from William the Conqueror and earlier. The three castles he built at Dover, Canterbury and Rochester can still be seen. Dover Castle was begin in 1066, but finished by Henry II in 1170. Garden hunters will enjoy Scotney Castle. Considered to have one of the best gardens in the country, it surrounds the moated ruins of the 14th century castle.
It plays host to some of the UK's most legendary music and arts festivals and has a rich maritime heritage unrivalled anywhere in the world. The rolling countryside and magnificent coastline offers great opportunities for walking and cycling enthusiasts. For lovers of food and drink discover the best of British vineyards producing wines that rival those found in the Champagne region of France or indulge in locally produced beer and food at some of the great country pubs .
With all that going for it, you know England's South Coast is going to be well worth visiting and spending time there, but so too do the millions of people who live in southern England. This is their regular holiday and recreation playground so expect plenty of people to be sharing the beaches and resort towns with you, especially during the warmer months. Book any accommodation you require during Summer at least six months in advance.
Plan and Book:
South Coast: Southampton to Plymouth UK
This journey can be made by train or by car. By train, travelling from Southampton to Plymuouth takes four hours without stops, but follows an inland ruote, bypassing all the coastal towns visited here. Dawlish, Taignmouth, Paignton and Torquay can be accessed from Exeter via a branch line. The Weymouth train from Southampton visits most of the destinations listed here between Southampton and Weymouth.
There are numerous options if travelling by road which alter the distance travelled and time taken considerably. To visit every destination listed, you would need more than a single day to make the journey, as you would be covering over 350 km on a journey that would take around 7 hours without stops. Driving direct from Southampton to Plymouth takes 4 hours (260 km) but touches verry little of the coast. Deviations to include coastal destinations between Bournemouth and Exmouth will add at least an hour's driving plus stops, as would including Torquay and coastal towns to its south instead of driving inland from Exeter to Plymouth.
The New Forest is an area of southern England which includes one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in the heavily populated south east of England. It covers southwest Hampshire and extends into southeast Wiltshire and towards east Dorset. There was still a significant amount of woodland in this part of Britain, but this was gradually reduced, particularly towards the end of the Middle Iron Age around 250-100 BC, and most importantly the 12th and 13th centuries, and of this essentially all that remains today is the New Forest. There is a wealth of places to visit and explore in the New Forest from award winning gardens, museums, leisure and wildlife parks plus much, more. Each season provides a change of scene from the rich deep colours of spring and summer to the seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Enjoy a panoramic view of the boats and passing ocean liners from stylish Hythe Marina or walk around the attractive Victorian and Georgian buildings. Along one of the ten longest piers in the British Isles runs the oldest operating pier train in the world. The electric locomotives that do all the work (built in 1917) were originally commissioned for operation in a mustard gas factory during the First World War. In the 1930s, Hythe was home to the British Powerboat Company and TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) once lived in the village. Hythe is also the birthplace of the hovercraft, invented by Sir Christopher Cockerill.
Being opposite Southampton, Hythe has witnessed some legendary maiden voyages such as the Titanic in 1912, the QE2 and, more recently, the superliners.
Beaulieu, in the heart of the New Forest, is one of the UK's leading Tourist Attractions. It offers a great family day out with many attractions to discover. At Beaulieu you'll find the National Motor Museum (entry fees apply), the Palace House, home of the Montagu family since 1538, and Beaulieu Abbey with its exhibition and film of monastic life. Visit the Secret Army Exhibition, telling the story of wartime Beaulieu and the training of secret agents. The National Motor Museum is home to 250 vehicles, telling the story of motoring from World Land Speed Record Breakers to Formula 1 racers. Take a ride on 'Wheels'; a pod ride journey taking you through 100 years of motoring, and visit Jack Tucker's Garage, which recreates the sights, sounds and smells of a typical country garage from the 1930s. As well as this, take a ride around the attraction on the high-level Monorail or see the sights from the replica 1912 open-topped London Bus. World of Top Gear features the actual cars from the most ambitious challenges over the years on BBC TV's motoring show, Top Gear.
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