|School of Medicine|
A Guide to the South West
The Southwest is one of the most beautiful and popular parts of Great Britain, offering a stunning array of activities and opportunities.
Set in the far south west of Devon, Plymouth can boast easy access to the best beaches on both sides of the peninsula.
A dream for surfers, sailors, divers and anybody else who enjoys getting wet in or on the sea. With lots of schools and clubs there are lots of opportunities for complete beginners.
And for those preferring dry feet the entire coastline has a footpath around it offering 630 miles of exploring. From the edges of the city rise the 365 sq miles of the Dartmoor National Park.
This offers fantastic opportunities for hardy outdoor types, such as climbing, mountain biking, canoeing and trekking. For those preferring more gentle persuits, the natural beauty, cosy pubs and pretty walks along river valleys provide a perfect antidote to the ward round or surgery.
Plymouth city centre doesn’t win any beauty contests, but it is being developed rapidly, with a new shopping area, and lots of waterfront development.
There is a good theatre, cinemas, and the Pavillions is a venue for touring bands and comedy.
The Barbican offers pubs, street cafes and dining at the water’s edge, while the Hoe offers wide ranging views across the natural harbour of Plymouth Sound, and even a dip in the waterfront lido if it’s warm enough.
A short ferry ride and you’re in the Mount Edgcumbe country park with its gardens, beaches and views.
Situated on the River Exe in the beautiful county of Devon, Exeter can boast the best of all worlds.This diverse university city is rich in culture, history and nightlife while also surrounded by some of the most impressive and exciting landscapes the country has to offer.
Cafes, pubs and restaurants sit side by side with historic buildings such as the Cathedral and the Guildhall. The Exeter Phoenix is a burgeoning arts centre with quality theatre, live music from around the world and children’s events.
And when you fancy a break from city life you have some of the country’s most attractive countryside right on your doorstep.
The South West is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, and with good reason.
Exeter is just nine miles away from the glorious beaches of Exmouth and is perfect for sailors, water-skiers, windsurfers and swimmers alike.
The beautiful, rolling Dartmoor is also right on the doorstep with its rich history, incredible wildlife, fantastic walks and opportunities for horse riding.
Whether you want take a relaxed walk around one of the many attractive market towns or you fancy more active pursuits like rock-climbing or orienteering, Dartmoor is the perfect destination.
Most of the hospital posts in the training scheme are at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, right in the middle of one of the most beautiful and interesting areas of England.
Cornwall is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations and that is not purely down to the wonderful climate – although it helps.
Cornish beaches are unrivalled in the country for their variety and beauty, offering a host of outdoor pursuits. From windsurfing and diving to some of the best surfing available and most exciting walks possible, the Cornish coast offers the lot.
But that is far from the extent of Cornwall’s attraction.
Beach towns such as Perranporth and Newquay sit side by side with enchanting fishing villages including Looe, Padstow and Falmouth.
If gardens and stately homes are what interest you then you will be spoiled for choice with exciting destinations such as The Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Lanhydrock House.
The sheer beauty of St Michael’s Mount near Penzance is also a must to visit.
But the variety of things to do just keeps coming with the amazing outdoors Minack Theatre and the megalithic monuments scattering the breathtaking Bodmin Moor and West Cornwall countryside.
For the more adventurous there is a wide range of outdoor pursuits such as horse-riding, orienteering or rock-climbing.
North Devon is an ideal location, offering the ability to enjoy the most active of weekends as well as the most relaxing of days.
For those who like to get out and about there is a wealth of golden beaches, safe bathing waters, the chance to go horse riding and some spectacular walks along glorious coastlines that offer some of the best surfing in the country.
But the region has also been voted among the top three most tranquil areas in England with top quality fishing, sailing, and golf.
For the arts, theatre and live music there is the Queen's Theatre in Barnstaple, the Landmark Theatre at Ilfracombe and the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington.
Local arts festivals and literary events are widespread throughout the region and the year.
Or you can take a visit to Exmoor, 267 square miles of heather-filled moorland packed with wild red deer, ponies, tucked away inns and picturesque villages.
Barnstaple is the unofficial but beautiful ‘capital’ of North Devon. Set on the Taw Estuary, shopping is a genuine pleasure.
The traditional Pannier Market, filled with different produce each and every day, sits comfortably next to the modern Green Lanes Shopping Centre with its wealth of big name stores.
The wonderfully individual Butchers Row is also well worth a visit with its collection of open-fronted Victorian shops.
The Torbay region offers a host of different ways to unwind from day-to-day pressures.
If your interests take in active pursuits then you have a wide choice to pick from. Excellent mountain-biking, horse-riding on the moors, rock-climbing or numerous water sports are all open to you.
For those with a more leisurely approach, the coastline of the English Riviera offers many beautiful walks and some of the most stunning beaches Britain has to offer.
The region also encompasses the delights of the English Riviera with the towns of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay offering an excellent array of nghtlife, shopping and the arts. Many galleries, theatre groups and cinemas are all at your disposal.
Paignton boasts long, sandy beaches, colourful atmosphere and fabulous attractions while by night its attractive illuminations light up quality bars and restaurants.
Torquay has been one of Britain’s top tourist attractions for many years – and with good reason. The waterfront is the heart of the town with its palm-lined promenade, lively harbour, Victorian villas and an international marina.
In addition to all this there are also amazing restaurants, pavement cafes and a wide range of good quality shops.
Brixham features everything you would expect from one of Britain’s busiest fishing ports.
You can wander around the range of harbourside shops, sample fresh catch from the quayside’s fish stalls or take an entrancing stroll around the works on display at the famous Artist’s Corner.
If you can pull yourself away from the harbour you will discover a maze of narrow streets and some of the Riviera’s most dramatic scenery within easy walking distance.
Whatever your interests, you will find that this delightful region has everything you could possibly want.