Welcome to South West England, a region rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. With a population of approximately 5.6 million, the South West of England is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and well-known towns and cities.

This guide will serve as an introduction to the best towns in South West England and recommend some of the area’s most popular festivals and events.

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Exploring the Historic Towns of South West England

South West England is home to numerous historic towns that are perfect for a day trip or a longer stay. Each town has its own unique appeal and attractions. 

Let’s explore some of the must-visit towns in this beautiful part of the UK.



Bridgwater, located in Somerset, is a lively town brimming with cultural and educational highlights. It’s perhaps best known for its annual Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, one of the largest illuminated parades in Europe. This spectacular event draws thousands of visitors each year, featuring intricate floats, vibrant costumes, and lively music: an unmissable event if you’re in the area! 

Beyond its famous carnival, The Blake Museum is a must-visit to learn about the town’s history and heritage. The town’s modern amenities, shops, and dining options, combined with its scenic surroundings, make it a great place to live and visit.



Bristol is a bustling city with an up-and-coming arts scene and a rich history. Famous for its iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain, Bristol offers a mix of modern attractions and historical landmarks. Don’t miss the popular Harbourside area, which is filled with museums, restaurants, and shops.

Bristol is also known for its street art, with works by the famous artist Banksy scattered around the city. The annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is another highlight, where the sky is filled with hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes. If you’re into music, Bristol will not disappoint with its numerous live venues and an array of festivals throughout the year.



Cheltenham is renowned for its Regency architecture and the famous Cheltenham Festival, a major event in the horse racing calendar. The town’s beautiful parks, such as Pittville Park, and its cultural scene make Cheltenham a great place to visit.

The Montpellier District, with its stylish boutiques and cafes, is perfect for an evening stroll. Cheltenham is also home to several prestigious festivals, including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Jazz Festival, and Science Festival, attracting visitors from all over the world.



Gloucester boasts a stunning cathedral that has been featured in several films, including the Harry Potter series. The historic docks area has been transformed into a lively destination with museums, shops, and restaurants. Gloucester’s Roman roots are also evident in the city’s architecture and layout.

The Gloucester Quays is perfect for a shopping spree with a variety of outlets and eateries. The city also hosts the Gloucester History Festival, which celebrates its rich past with talks, tours, and reenactments. If you’re visiting in winter, don’t miss the magical Victorian Christmas Market, which adds a festive touch to the historic streets.



Bath is known for its Roman-built baths and stunning Georgian architecture. The Roman Baths are a must-see attraction, offering a glimpse into the town’s ancient history. The Royal Crescent and the Circus are prime examples of Bath’s architectural beauty, and the town’s numerous museums and galleries ensure there’s always something to explore.

Bath’s Thermae Bath Spa offers a unique opportunity to bathe in naturally warm, mineral-rich waters just like the Romans did. The town’s literary connections are also significant, with the Jane Austen Centre celebrating the author’s life and works.



Plymouth is a waterfront city with a rich maritime heritage. Visit the historic Barbican area with its narrow, cobbled streets and enjoy the waterfront views. The National Marine Aquarium and Plymouth Hoe, overlooking Plymouth Sound, are also worth a visit.

The Mayflower Steps commemorate the departure of the Pilgrims to America in 1620, making Plymouth a town of historical significance. Plymouth’s Royal William Yard, a beautifully restored Victorian building complex, offers chic restaurants, bars, and art galleries. The town’s cultural calendar includes events like the Plymouth Seafood Festival, celebrating the town’s connection to the sea.

Festivals and Events in South West England

The towns in the South West of England host a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, offering a great way to experience the local culture and community spirit.

Glastonbury Festival

The world-renowned Glastonbury Festival, held in Pilton, attracts music lovers from all over the globe. This five-day festival takes place annually at the end of June and features a diverse lineup of musicians, artists, and performers, creating a festival atmosphere like no other.

Exeter Street Food Festival

Be part of the first ever Exeter Street Food Festival, taking place from Friday 14th – Sunday 16th of June 2024. Expect three full days of amazing food as the best 25 local and national street food vendors serve up cuisines from across the world in the heart of the city centre.

Bath Christmas Market

Bath’s Christmas Market is one of the most picturesque in the country, with over 150 wooden chalets offering unique gifts, festive food, and drinks. Taking place from the late-November to mid-December, the market is set against the backdrop of Bath’s stunning Georgian architecture making it a truly magical experience.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The Bristol Harbour Festival celebrates the city’s maritime heritage with live music, circus acts, food stalls, and boat races. Happening on the third weekend in July, it’s a lively event that attracts families and visitors of all ages.

Bristol Harbour Festival​

Why South West England Should Be on Your Itinerary

South West England’s towns offer a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. You’ll be spoilt for choice exploring historic sites, enjoying local festivals, or simply soaking in the scenery.

So why not update your travel itinerary and discover the best towns in South West England for yourself? From the buzzing streets of Bristol to the quiet canals of Bridgwater, there’s something here for everyone.

If you’re planning an extended stay or a working visit, especially if you’re a contractor looking for convenient and comfortable accommodation, KSuites offers serviced accommodations that cater to your needs. Our properties provide the perfect home base, whether you’re exploring the area for leisure or working on a project.

Book your stay with KSuites today and experience the best of South West England with all the comforts of home. We look forward to welcoming you!