Go coastal in Britain’s SouthwestEngland, United Kingdom
There's more to Cornwall's most westerly major town than the story of a leap-year born pirate. The comedic tale of a young pirate, only able to celebrate his birthday every four years and duty-bound to the Pirates of Penzance until his true age of 21 when he is reunited with his true love, may have put Cornwall's most westerly major town on the map, but there's more to this historic port than just singing pirates.
Penzance, where the Gilbert and Sullivan classic opera is set, is a picturesque seaside town on the south-west coast of England on Mount's Bay, which is a body of water dominated by the splendour the medieval tidal island called St Michael's Mount.
In a sheltered position close to the sea and just 10 miles from Land's End, Penzance enjoys the most temperate climate of the UK - you can expect to see some sunshine, here. Home of pirates, smugglers, beautiful churches, Victorian markets and UNESCO Heritage Listed Roman baths, it demands to be on your list of destinations to visit.
For the journey, begin with the Tarka Line to Barnstaple, Britain's most scenic train journey through lush green fields and imposing pine forests with sandy beached coastal views. In Barnstaple, experience the trade of a time immemorial in the Victorian Market Hall with its high vaulted glass and timber ceiling supported by iron columns. From here, jump on the Great Western Railway to the star attraction, Penzance. Founded in 1833 with a restoration returning it to its former glory, the Great Western Railway will deliver breathtakingly scenic views the whole way.
If you want to extend your journey, jump back on the train north-east of Penzance and make your way to the beautiful limestone landscapes of Bath. Set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, Bath is aptly known for its hot springs and stunning architecture. It is home to rows upon rows of Georgian style buildings and the Roman Bath Museum is a must-see, containing the original mineral springs that have proved so healing throughout the ages. Make sure you don't skip Bath Abbey, a truly magnificent building with its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows.
The Discover South Western England tour starts from US$510.
Tempo Holidays offers regional rail packages throughout Great Britain called Superbreaks, which allows travellers to combine a diverse array of available stops and sights into a single package. Plus, their flexible nature means you can create your own custom adventure.
This tip was provided by Tempo Holidays, but we’re sharing it with you because we think it’s great.