Travel to Southwest England – Episode 416

categories: europe travel

Hear about travel to Southwest England as the Amateur Traveler talks to Edith about her adopted home.


This episode will look at the area southwest of Bristol, two hours west of London. Edith says that the area of southwest England is “archetypical English”. “If you go away from the big cities you’ve got these really narrow country lanes. You’ve got the old stone walls. You’ve got the houses. You’ve got the hedgerows. You’ve got the birds chirping, people working in their gardens. You can sit outside and enjoy cream tea. You’ve got the National Parks of Exmoor and Dartmoor and the beautiful coastline as well.”

“If you are out to discover the heart of the countryside then it would probably be best to stay in a place like the city of Wells which is a nice, rather small, city but it’s got a beautiful cathedral and cathedral square, a nice market square as well. You could also station yourself in Bristol and then just do trips from the city of Bristol if you are more of a city dweller.”

Edith starts her itinerary in Bristol which is near the sea on the River Avon with sites like the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Ashton Court Estate on the far side of the bridge from the city. From there she directs us to the town of Cheddar, like the cheese, and the Cheddar Gorge with its caves that were used to keep the cheese. Axbridge nearby is a medieval town with King John’s hunting lodge. She recommends a stop for tea or lunch at Axbridge.

“Wells is just towards the east of Cheddar. It has the cathedral and the bishop’s palace. You just think it is a place that isn’t real. It’s out of a fairytale in a way. If you go to the city center of Wells you got the massive cathedral. It’s just mind-blowingly big because Wells itself is rather a small town. Go and see the cathedral which, even if you are not religious, I would recommend you do.” The Bishop’s palace still has a protective moat and looks like a “fairytale castle”. Wells has a market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Wednesday’s market is more food-oriented.

Further south we get to Dunster Castle and then to Exmoor National Park. Exmoor is a park with lots of moorlands and lush lower valleys. They also have the Exmoor ponies that roam on the moors. Dunster Castle is a beautiful castle with wonderful gardens. It is an old bailey castle that overlooks the sea.

Edith also recommends walking on the Southwest Coast Path, visiting Dartmoor, and attending the Glastonbury Festival.

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Show Notes

Travel to the Tyrol (Tirol) Region of Austria – Episode 207
South West England
Churchill, Somerset
Clifton Bridge
Ashton Court
Cheddar Village
Cheddar Gorge
King John’s Hunting Lodge
Wells, England
Wells Cathedral
Bishop’s Palace
Wells Market
Dunster Castle
Exmoor National Park
South West Coast Path
Glastonbury Festival
Banwell Castle
Two Bridges Hotel
Mendip Hills
The Crown Inn


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Chris: Amateur Traveler Episode 416. Today The Amateur Traveler talks about castles and cathedrals, villages, and festivals as we go to Southwest England. Welcome to The Amateur Traveler.go to NEWS


I’d like to welcome back to the show Edith. Edith was on the show previously talking about her native Tyrol in Austria, but has come to talk about her new home in England. Edith, welcome back to the show.

Edith: Thank you for having me again Chris. It’s great to be back.

Chris: And I say England, but we’re not going to cover all of England so tell us which region we’re going to be covering.

Edith: We’ll be talking about the Southwest of England. Which is roughly the area Southwest of Bristol, which is quite a big city just South of Wales and about two hours West of London. Just so that people have a picture.

Chris: Okay and I think a lot of people have plans to visit London and they have plans to visit England, but they don’t know necessarily the region that you’re talking about. So why should they? Why should they go there?

Edith: Well if you talk about England in general it is a very nice place in terms of archetypical English. If you go away from the big cities you’ve got this really narrow country lanes. You’ve got the old stone walls. You’ve got the houses. You’ve got the hedge roads. You’ve got the bird chirping. People working in their gardens. You can sit outside and enjoy cream tea. And you’ve got the national parks of Exmoor and Dartmoor. And the beautiful coastline of course as well.

Chris: And what drew you to that area?

Edith: For me it was work.

Chris: Okay.

Edith: And I had never been before and I was actually really delighted to see that it was such a nice part of The United Kingdom that I was going to.

Chris: Okay. And then how would you recommend we tackle it? Should we home base, I know you’re in Churchill.

Edith: I’m in Churchill, which is a tiny little place about 18 miles South of Bristol. It really depends on what you want to do. If you’re out to discover the heart of the countryside then it would probably be best to stay in a place the city of Wells, which is a nice rather small city, but it’s got a beautiful cathedral and the cathedral square which is like a nice meter out in front of the cathedral and nice old heart of the town. Which has a nice market square as well. You could station yourself in Bristol and then just do trips from the city of Bristol if you’re more the city dweller.

Chris: Okay. And then this sounds like something where we’re gonna want to, as they say in England, “Hire a car.”

Edith: Hire a car would definitely be handy. Although you could do most of the things that I like doing in and around the area. You could do it by public transport as well. Or if you are a very outdoorsy and sporty person also on a bike.

Chris: Okay. And then let’s talk about the itinerary that you would recommend.

Edith: Well I would definitely recommend in Bristol you should go and see The Bristol Suspensionary Bridge. Bristol’s an interesting city because it’s quite close to the sea and it’s got the River Avon. And over this thousands and thousands of year the River Avon has cut a gorge and Bristol actually sits on a couple of hills and one of these hills is cut into by the River Avon and what we’ve got now is the Avon Gorge and there is a suspension bridge that spans the gorge. And it is pretty amazing. And you’ve got this deep cliff going down and the tidal River Avon underneath it. So the Bristol Suspension Bridge should definitely be on your itinerary.

Chris: And you said a suspension bridge I pictured something really modern, but as I look at a picture here that is not what I’m looking at.

Edith: No it was, I don’t have the exact facts, but it was built by Brunel. And Brunel was an engineer that he was responsible for so many buildings in The UK. And it was I think one of the, when it was first built, it was just massive. It was mind blowing for the people and it still is. If you stand there it is a couple hundred years old I think.

Chris: And it looks like it finished in 1864.

Edith: 1864. Yeah. That’s it. It is a massive building and the people of Bristol are very proud when it comes to their Suspension Bridge. And there’s only be one day in the history of the Bristol Suspension Bridge that it was ever closed for wind. And that was a couple weeks ago when we had the massive storms.

Chris: Oh. Okay.

Edith: And it’s free as well so you can walk across the bridge and there’s a very nice public park on the other side. Which is Ashton Court. So if you’re in Bristol you just walk across the bridge and you follow the road and you come to Ashton Court. Ashton Court once belonged to a family that was in the tobacco trade. Bristol and Bristol Harbor were massive harvests when The United Kingdom had the big empire. And they made a lot of money in the tobacco trade. And Ashton Court is now a public park. And it’s got wonderful trees. And it’s got a deer park. And you can just go for a stroll there which is fantastic.

Chris: Excellent. Where to next?

Edith: So we’ve now covered the area around Bristol. And something else that is quite interesting is the Village of Cheddar. And when you hear Cheddar–

Chris: Cheddar, like the cheese?

Edith: Like the cheese.

Chris: Okay.

Edith: Exactly. Cheddar has got a gorge and in the gorge, there are a lot of caves and to Cheddar, the verb to Cheddar is actually a special way of making cheese. And they used to make the cheese and store it in the gorge to have it ripen there. So you can go and look at the massive caves where they have the cheese and you can have a look at the gorge which is the biggest inland cliff in all of England. And they’ve just cleared the trees of the past couple years. You can actually really see the gorge well now. And it’s a nice walk up. And they’ve got a viewing point up there, a little tower, that you can climb. And you can also see the Somerset levels which is a low lying area just South of Cheddar and from up the hill you can see that very well. And Cheddar itself, the gorge is really nice, and there are lots of cafes and shops, but it might be falling into the tourist trap if you go and have tea there because the prices are quite high. And if you’ve just come down in a bus from Bristol there is actually a really nice little place quite close by called Axbridge and Axbridge is a medieval town. It’s got a medieval square with King John’s Hunting Lodge there, which you can visit in the summer months. And it’s amazing. And it’s an amazing old structure. And there’s also little cafes and several pubs as well on the market square, and you can sit outside in the summer if the weathers nice. It’s really quaint and lovely old pubs and cafes where you can have a sandwich or chicken and potato wedges. One of the staple lunchtime favorites of the Brits anyway.

Chris: And you’ve mentioned cheese and my thoughts immediately went to England and cheese rolling but that’s just a little further North just the other side of Bristol, right? Up in Gloucester?

Edith: That would be in the Cotswold’s in the Gloucester area, yes. (see Cotswold Way–3 Day Walk Through West England)

Chris: Okay. All right then.

Edith: There was something going on about having it outlawed because having rules and regulations against it because of health and safety.

Chris: I think they’ve changed it to use artificial cheese. And I don’t know why that would be. Maybe it has better safety characteristics?

Edith: Or maybe it’s not that heavy.

Chris: That could be it. But I interrupted you. Where to next?

Edith: So we’re at Cheddar or Axbridge now and I’ve already mentioned the town of Wells. Wells is just towards the East of Cheddar. It has a cathedral and it has The Bishops Palace. And you just think it’s a place that isn’t real. It’s out of a fairy tale in a way. If you go to the city center of Wells you’ve got the massive cathedral. It’s just mind-blowingly big because Wells itself is a rather small town. It’s not huge but it’s got this massive cathedral and if you’ve stood in front of it, it’s just so impressively big. But you can go and see the cathedral which even if you’re not religious I would really recommend you do. And then you’ve got Bishops Palace, which it has still got water around it as a protective feature. And especially if you go there with somebody you love it’s just so romantic. You can sit there and you can have a lookout at Bishops Palace which looks like a fairy tale castle. And if you can time it right Wells has got a market on Wednesdays in the mornings from like eight to about 2:00. And the same on Saturdays. And it’s on the market square really close to the cathedral. And it’s just something out of a picture book again. You’ve got lots of stores and they sell more or less everything. On Wednesdays, they’re more food-oriented but there’s lots of food on Saturdays as well. But on Saturdays, you can also buy handicrafts they make in the area. Cattle skins and sheepskins and shoes and whatever you want to have, you can buy there. It’s kind of like one of these old fashioned village square town square markets. It’s really nice.

Chris: Excellent.

Edith: So we’ve been to Wells now. I would definitely recommend going to Dunster Castle. Dunster is near Minehead, so we’re traveling further South now. And we go towards the national park of Exmoor. E-X-M-O-O-R.

Chris: Okay.

Edith: It is a national park that has a lot of moorland. So it’s rather barren, but once you drop into the valley they’re really lush. And the people used to use the lower lying areas for agriculture whereas the higher parts they could only send cattle and mostly sheep up to. But it is the barrenness of the higher ridges compared the lushness of the valleys with the rivers that is just absolutely magnificent. And they’ve also got the Exmoor ponies there. Which is a special hardy breed of ponies that roam semi-wild on the moor. And it’s quite a sight if you go there and you just go for a walk and you suddenly see a herd of ponies cross your path. And they won’t run away. You can walk up to them and pet them but they will walk away so they are semi-wild. So the Exmoor ponies are quite something. And Dunster Castle is just a magnificent castle with very very nice grounds around with beautiful gardens. The English are known for their gardening traditions anyway. But Dunster Castle definitely has very interesting grounds as well. And especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Chris: Is there any particular things that we should see at the castle? We should take a tour?

Edith: You should go and see it on your own so you don’t have to take your castle. It is an old Bailey castle and it was later used as a country house. And it is on top of a steep hill so it overlooks, you can actually see the coast as well from there. It is not so big that you can’t see it all in one go. So I think you should go and explore it as your own pace and if you want to they do tours obviously but you can just go on your own as well.

Chris: Okay.

Edith: Something else you should go and see what they have in the Southwest as well, which you can just do step by step or just you don’t have to do all of it in one go is the Southwest Coast Path. And it is just as the name says it’s a coastal path. And it goes all the way from Minehead, which is really close to Dunster, around the Southwest coast of England. And the coast is just beautiful if the weather is nice. And you go up and down the coastline and they’re beautiful beaches and you’ve the ocean glistening out ahead of you. And if the weathers nice and you’ve got good visibility if you’re in the Exmoor area you can actually see as far as Wales and the hills of Wales. On the other side of the Bristol channel. So that’s quite quite something.

Chris: And I’m picturing we’re walking across farmers’ fields and closing the gate behind us.

Edith: Especially if you’re from a country like The Unites States where you don’t have a right of way system. Back in the medieval ages all of England was crisscrossed by footpaths. And what you have in England is you’ve got tons and tons of foot paths that are all over the place. You can go from A to B to C to Z on a foot path or a bridleway and the council, the local council has a duty to keep these paths open to the public. And they have to make them so you can still use them. So if you take a map, and I really recommend taking a map, because they’re not always sign posted, so you need to have a map and preferably a compass. Especially if you go out onto the moors you should have a compass because the weather changes quite dramatically quickly if you are anywhere in the Southwest of England because we’re so close to the coast. And the weather just comes in over the ocean and it changes so quickly. So you can be in a nice summers day and an hour later everything’s covered in mist and you can’t really see where you’re going. But the foot path system is just, it is just amazing. And if you’re walking on the Southwest Coastal Path it will definitely be way marked. So if you are planning on going walking and you don’t feel so happy using a compass or using a map then using one of the national trails, which the Southwest Coastal Path is one of them, is definitely recommended because they are sign posted. And in terms of walking paths they are more or less highway. So you can’t miss them, but they’re quite undulating so it’s up and down all the time. So if you’re out for a really just really relaxing stroll you might only want to embark on like half an hour of it because even though they don’t have any mountains in the Southwest of England it does go up and down quite a bit. So you accumulate quite a bit of altitude gain over the course of a day.

Chris: Is there a particular, you’ve mentioned the weather, is there a particular time of year that you would recommend or a particular day of year that you would recommend visiting this area?

Edith: In terms of weather it is quite changeable. It is a moderate climate we’re influenced by the Gulf Stream and if you look at the world map, if you draw line out we would be like somewhere around Newfoundland or that far, I think. But because of the Gulf Stream the weather is quite mild and moderate. So for example this year we had hardly any frost over the course of the winter although two years ago we had a lot of snow and England just comes to a standstill if there’s snow. So winter, I would say winter generally don’t come. If you have the choice don’t come in winter. Just because it’s all gray and what makes England so beautiful is that it’s such a green island. If you can choose the date you come make it anything from late March to end of October. Probably early October because then you’ve got all the trees have their leaves on. And it’s all green and Spring is actually a very nice time because of all the bulbs are flowering. So for example there are loads and loads of snowdrops. You’ve got whole woodlands covered in snowdrops.

Chris: And that’s a white flower?

Edith: That’s a white flower, yes. Or you’ve got daffodils and there are lots of wild daffodils out as well. Or people have planted daffodil bulbs and over the years they’ve become wild and they’ve bred and now you’ve got entire meadows filled with daffodils which is quite a sight as well. Or wild garlic or bluebells. Wild garlic is white and bluebells are blue. And sometimes they occur at the same time in the same woodland and then you can imagine the entire woodland being filled with white and blue flowers. And the wild garlic if you step on it you will know you’ve stepped on it because you can smell quite a pungent garlic smell. And it’s just absolutely beautiful. It’s really really nice.

Chris: And then in terms of day of the year, any particular festivals or holidays that are just you got to see it to believe it?

Edith: You got to see to believe is the Glastonbury Festival. It’s one of the mothers of all festivals and I think even people who never been to England have probably heard of the Glastonbury Festival.

Chris: Music festival.

Edith: It’s a music festival, indeed. And the Rolling Stones for example opened it last year. And it’s very big. Although you have to be very to secure tickets because they sell out within more or less seconds.

Chris: And I’m picturing tens of thousands of people.

Edith: It is tens of thousands of people and they all wear wallis because it tends to be a very mucky festival because of the weather.

Chris: Ah wellies. Wellingtons.

Edith: Yes wellington boots, sorry.

Chris: I was trying to translate from English to English there, okay.

Edith: Yeah wellington boots, yeah. It’s a very relaxed festival and Glastonbury is just South of Wells. It’s about ten miles I’d say or probably just even five miles. And it’s a completely different world.Wells is a very middle class and rather posh town. People talk nicely and you’ve got the market. Whereas Glastonbury is also said to be the mythic home of Avalon. This old ancient kingdom, and it’s got Glastonbury Tor. Which is an old tower on a hill over the levels of Somerset. And Glastonbury is this absolutely hippie town. You will see people reading your palm and reading cards. And you have tons of hippie shops where you can buy all kinds of herbs and incense and whatever if you’re hippie you will love Glastonbury. And if you can combine a visit to Wells and Glastonbury and if you can do it within a day it’s black and white. It is so cool the change within a couple of miles is just absolutely amazing.

Chris: It’s like chalk and cheese then you say.

Edith: It is yeah. Yeah.

Chris: Any other places we should hit within the area?

Edith: If you can make it go down to Dartmoor. Dartmoor is also a national park and it’s got quaint little villages that are settled in the protective areas in the valley’s. There are lot of places where you can have creamed tea. And cream tea might sound a bit odd to somebody who’s not been introduced here saying, “Would you pour cream into your tea or something?” And it is actually clotted cream. Clotted cream is a milk product.

Chris: Kind of like heavy cream or a whipped cream.

Edith: It’s very heavy cream. It’s like if you whip cream for a long time you kind of go towards the butter side and it’s a very Southern specialty. Buttery substance that you put onto a local delicacy called a scon or scone. It depends on where you’re from. And there are lots of stories on whether you should put the cream on first and then strawberry jam or whether you actually put strawberry jam on first and then the cream on top. So people can go into riles about what should come first. But I say just have it cause it’s delicious. A scone is a flour based, it isn’t really sweet. It’s kind of sweet and they come in either a cheese scone but then you wouldn’t have it with cream and strawberry jam. Or you have like a fruit scone which has got raisins or sultanas in it. And then you have it with cream and strawberry jam. And it has come from the Southwest of England and it’s now spreading all over England and all the way up to Scotland just because people love it so much. But traditionally speaking it is from the Southwest of England.

Chris: Well since Starbucks have them we can get them all over the place now.

Edith: Hold on Starbucks makes them in the US as well? Oh wow. I think I must go back to you guys and see for myself. Then you should try it in the Southwest of England because that’s where it comes from and see whether it’s any different. And there are lots of places that sell them like country homes and then you sit on the balcony or a terrace of a big stately home and overlook their grounds. And have cream tea and sip and it’s really nice.

Chris: And you mentioned having cream tea and overlooking the grounds. Are there any particular places you would recommend to stay that would be interesting experiences?

Edith: There’s one place, actually two places. Nearer to Bristol I would recommend the little cafe in Axbridge I’ve already mentioned. Or Banwell Castle. It is actually a folly castle so it’s not that old. It was built, I think, at the end of the 19th century early 20th century but it overlooks the Chu Valley the Machu Valley and a village called Windscombe. And it’s got this nice terrace and the landlord serves the tea and you sit there on the terrace and you overlook the hills, the Mendips, and it’s just really really nice. It’s one of my favorite places to have cream tea. In the summer they are open every day in the afternoon. But if you come in the shoulder season it’s best to call first and see if they’re actually open. And if you’re down in Dartmoor there are hundreds of places and you will see signs out everywhere. But one place that is particularly nice I think is The Two Bridges Hotel near a town called Princetown on Dartmoor and they’ve got this old ancient bridge there over the river, I think it is the river Dart but I’m not 100% sure. And it is a very nice old hotel and if the weather isn’t that nice still head there because they’ve got a massive open fireplace. And they’ve got sofas and couches in front of the fireplace and you can just sit there and huddle together and have a nice cup of tea when the weathers not that nice.

Chris: Excellent. I have been to England but I haven’t been to this part of England. What’s going to surprise me?

Edith: If you go there in the summer you might actually be surprised at how good the weather can be. It’s never going to be super-hot and something else that might bring a smile to many people’s faces is if I tell you last year there was a weather warning and people said it was on the radio they said, “Please make sure you drink enough. It’s going to be really hot today. Make sure you don’t get dehydrated and you cool down. We will reach temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade today.”

Chris: Okay.

Edith: Yeah. Do I need to say more? It can be really nice but the temperatures are moderate so people from places like Arizona or somewhere in the South of The United States they might definitely want to bring a jumper.

Chris: Well and then just for those people who don’t think in Celsius that is not even 80 degrees in Fahrenheit so.

Edith: People have a different perception of temperature here.

Chris: Excellent.

Edith: In this country. But apart from that beautiful countryside. Bring your walking shoes.

Chris: Do you have a favorite walk? You mentioned The Coast Walk.

Edith: The Coast Walk is definitely something you should do. If you want to walk somewhere closer to Bristol I would definitely recommend The Mendips. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty just about 15 to 20 miles South of Bristol. You can go for a walk directly from Cheddar which I have already mentioned into The Mendips. One walk that I like especially is there is a pub called The Crown Inn in Churchill and it is a pub that has to be seen. It’s very rustic and it’s got a lot of tradition and culture and it’s got its own quaint feel to it. And it is frequented by locals which is always a very good sign. And they serve food for lunchtime and they say the evenings are for drinking only. But if you go there if you have the pub as a start cause they got quite a big car park and then go for a walk it’s about a 12 kilometer round trip. That would be about eight miles I think? And you go into Robera which is a forested area and then you go up on to a hill which is called Beacon Batch. Like the beacon light. It’s called Beacon Batch. And the area around Beacon Batch during the second World War was used to create a fake Bristol. So they lit up Beacon Batch and the area around it. And Bristol itself was in Blackdown. So that when the German planes came in that they would drop all the bombs on the uninhabited area of Beacon Batch. And nowadays it is quite an interesting and varied walk because you walk through forested areas and then you come onto heathland which is quite rare so close to a big city like Bristol. And everything else is so green and lush and you come up on to that heathland and you walk up to the trig point up on Beacon Batch and then you can come down Avira, an old ancient hill fort.

Chris: The trig point you’ve?

Edith: A trig point is when they were ordinate survey is the British map making company. And the British maps are actually really really good and the trig point is what they used for trigonometry to measuring out distances.

Chris: Oh okay.

Edith: So from each and every trig point.

Chris: So it’s a medallion on the rock or something.

Edith: They occur all over The UK and from each trig point you should actually be able to see at least two other trig points.

Chris: Got it.

Edith: And it’s usually about a meter high so that would be three feet high and it is a structure made of either concrete or bricks. It’s kind of like you’ve got crosses on the summits in Yelps and sometimes people just like to go to some place where there is a trig point cause it gives them a focus to go to and something they can kind of take off. There are actually people who’ve walked all trig points in The UK. So.

Chris: Interesting.

Edith: But you definitely know you’re on the summit if you are at the trig point.

Chris: And speaking of people, is there any locals that you would really love for everybody to meet?

Edith: I would just say go meet people. Talk to people. They’re very friendly. Chat to them. If you meet people out on the walk they will smile at you and greet you and say, “Hello.” Just chat to them for a second about the weather and then they will talk to you about their country. And Bristolian is actually a local dialect. The Southwest does have its own dialect then Bristolian is a very strong variety of this dialect. It’s a so-called rhotic dialect so it rolls the R.

Chris: Oh okay.

Edith: And I can’t put a Bristolian accent on but it is quite distinct for the area and it always brings a smile to my face because it just almost feels like home already because I’ve been here for so long now. And if you’re in Bristol go to the markets and talk to people and see if you can find somebody who can still speak a true and thick Bristolian because it is something else and it’s really cool.

Chris: Excellent. Before I get to my last three questions do you have anything else that people should know before they go to Southwest England?

Edith: If you don’t feel comfortable driving on the wrong side of the road, which is the left, don’t rent a car because if you go anywhere away from any A roads, an A road is usually a wider road. Roads can get very narrow and you also have to be able to back up for hundreds of meters sometimes.

Chris: Because you’ll meet somebody coming the other wide.

Edith: Yeah there will be somebody coming the other way and people do go quite fast on these narrow lanes as well. So you have to watch the road all the time. It’s not like being a highway and you just go. You have to be very alert all the time.

Chris: And I’m picturing the smallest of these roads. You can have somebody reach out both the left and the right side and touch a brick wall.

Edith: Yes definitely. A 100% or a hedge. Yes.

Chris: Or a hedge.

Edith: Definitely yeah. And I’ve had people come and say they wouldn’t dare to go any faster than like five miles an hour. And if you stay here for long enough you will go like 40 50 miles an hour on them. You just get used to it. You wouldn’t get anywhere if you don’t. You just have to be very very vigilant and alert and have the foot on the brake as well. Just to be able to make sure that you can stop the car.

Chris: Excellent. Last three questions. One thing that makes you laugh and say only in Southwest England?

Edith: Can people have a rile whether it is cream first or jam first.

Chris: I can imagine that that is not going to happen at a lot of other places.

Edith: No.

Chris: And finish this sentence, “You really know you’re in the Southwest of England when.” What?

Edith: When you can visit the coast in the morning then have cream tea in a castle in the afternoon and then go and enjoy a good nightclub in Bristol in the evening.

Chris: Excellent. And if you had to summarize Southwest England in three words what three words would you use?

Edith: Hills steeped in history. That’s four words.

Chris: We’ll give you four. It’s your second time on the show. You get a bonus word.

Edith: I get a bonus word. Thank you Chris.

Chris: And again if you’ve enjoyed listening to Edith now you might want to go back and listen to that show about the Tyrol. Lots more hiking mentioned in that episode as well.

Edith: Yeah and see if my accent actually changed over the past four years.

Chris: I think it has actually. I believe it has.

Edith: So all the lemurs out there go and compare.

Chris: Well thank you so much for coming back on the show and telling us about your new home in Southwest England.

Edith: Thank you very much for having me. Bye bye Chris.


Chris: I’m your host Chris Christensen. Before we get into this week’s interview I do have three news stories for you.

The first one is “The Tale of Ramir Ranama” Mr. Ranama was flying to Manchester and was dismayed when his bag failed to arrive. He filled out all the necessary paperwork and was eventually reunited with his bag. Unfortunately at that point the police did detect the 200,000 British pounds worth of opiate in the bag. And he was arrested.

If you’re interested in getting into the hotel business there’s a hotel for sale in New York City. Now this is a hotel that won the TripAdviser “Dirtiest Hotel In The World” award three times. Also in 1999 a clerk killed a co-worker near the front desk and another body was found a few years later under a bed. Surprisingly enough of all the hotels in New York, the 446 on TripAdviser, this hotels ranks 361 so there’s a number of hotels that get worse ratings than it. So if you’re interested The Hotel Carter is for sale.

One thing that won’t be on sale much longer in California if a new law passes is tickets to SeaWorld’s Killer Whale Shows. A new bill being proposed in California would outlaw the performances of killer whales. If you’re not sure why then you haven’t seen the movie, “Black Fish.” For links to all three of those stories check out the show links at


Chris: In news from the community this week I heard from T. Nick who said, “Enjoying your pieces. I listened to your piece on Pittsburgh. I hope you have gotten there. That has to be the most underrated city in The United States. I’m a New England snob. I think most large cities outside of New England and the Northwest are ugly and drag. I visited a few years ago and was shocked how nice it was. I was expecting a dingy dump. I now recommend it to European visitors who wanted to see an interesting and unique city. I hope you have since made it there.”

I wrote back, “I have not actually made it to Pittsburgh. I’ve have been very near there. I’ve have been around that area. My daughter actually went to college at the other end of the state but my first trip to Pittsburgh is still sometime in my future.”

Jim commented on the episode that we did last week on Nova Scotia. “Chris, I was glad to hear you interject about the deportation of the Acadians. It would of been wrong to have a podcast about Nova Scotia without that being mentioned. But it seems your guest was unaware of that part of our history.” And let’s just say not everyone is as much of a history geek as I am.

With that we’re going to end this episode of The Amateur Traveler. If you have any questions feel free to send an email to Host [at] You can also join the Facebook community or follow me on Twitter @Chris2x. To send a pre-populated Tweet go to and as always thanks so much for listening.

Transcription sponsored by JayWay Travel, specialists in Central & Eastern Europe custom tours.

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Travel to Southwest England – Episode 416”

Marie @ Budgeting for Travel


I heard a lot things about England and honestly I really love their accents. If I have a chance to visit there, I would first go to beautiful cathedral and cathedral square.

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