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Slow Travel Google Map: United Kingdom, England and Wales, South

Author: DavidX
Notes: England and Wales Visitors Map south of London - Bristol line. The map shows all National Parks and designated AONBs in the area, outstanding cathedrals, larger cities and other must-sees.
For both National Parks and AONBs, I have added a '*' to note those which I personally recommend. This map includes some designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty [those with no '*'] where I should not want to commit as much as a week of holiday. When I see SOME of the areas on this map classified as AONBs and I remember the areas on my northern map, that are not, I feel the need to modify the proverb 'Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder' to 'Beauty is in the eyes of the SANE beholder.'

Ancient Monuments

Stonehenge (SV)

You can really NOT leave this out if you are anywhere near.

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Areas of Natural Beauty

Blackdown Hills AONB

The website refers to the "ordinary" landscape [ordinary in quotes.] ??

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Chichester Harbour AONB

The description on the website does appeal - a wild and undeveloped coastal region.

However it is very small and I can't think it would justify more than a couple of days.

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Cornwall AONB *

The fact that this AONB is 'heavily fragmented' in the words of the website means that to see all of it involves considerable travel and it won't be only inclination that ensures it's Slow Travel.
Therefore I say either take more than a week or confine yourself to part of the AONB.
Please see WendyAsh's Travel Notes.

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Cranb Chase&W Wiltshr Downs AONB

I've managed by abbreviations or squashing words to fit names in the available space until now but 'Cranbourne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB' presented a challenge!
Perhaps it needs a long name as it's a large area and covers parts of four counties. I'm sure I've been through it but it stirs no memories so I leave it to the website.

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Dorset AONB *

There can be little doubt that this AONB that covers nearly half the total area of the county and all its highly impressive coast justifies at least a full week's holiday.

Fossils, iron age earth works, unique coastal scenery and delightful villages where many pubs have skittle alleys and real ale, all give their call.

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East Devon AONB

This is good Devonian sandstone coast but, at the risk of being regarded as a disloyal Devonian [by birth], I know I should want to skip over into Dorset for part of my week.

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East Hampshire AONB

Going from east to west I'm running out of words. This sounds like a less interesting extension of the Sussex Downs - perhaps less given over to commuters?

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High Weald AONB

I don't know this area but it does appeal more than the two further east.

However I can't think I should want to spend more than 2 or 3 nights.

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Isle of Wight AONB

I'd enjoy seeing it but as far as islands go Orkney, Shetland, Islay, the Channel Isles, Lundy and the Isles of Scilly are all further up my wish list.

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Isles of Scilly AONB *

The only area where I've never been to appear as a favourite but I've read and heard so much about it that I have no hesitation about the classification.

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Kent Downs AONB

Not an area I know but I can't imagine it holding me for long.

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Mendip Hills AONB

I feel a bit bad not giving this site as a favourite because I do like the Mendips very much.

However, unless you frequently spend time in England, I feel that a week is too long here and that it would be better to split it between this and one of the other areas.

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North Devon AONB *

Any Slow Traveller could find enough for a week here but this AONB is sandwiched between two exceptionally fine areas, Exmoor National Park and Cornwall AONB, both of which might call her/him away for some of the days.

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North Wessex AONB

I do like this area of chalk hills and white horses carved on hillsides. Moreover if Avebury weren't included in this AONB, I should have classed it as a must-see in its own right.

It's well worth 2 or three nights but, for me, not a whole week.

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Quantock Hills AONB

I don't really know the Quantocks and I have heard well of them - but I can't imagine being that near Exmoor and not feeling drawn to it.

Given two weeks, it might be worth 3 or 4 nights in the Quantocks and the rest on Exmoor.

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South Devon AONB *

Like the North Devon AONB, this site would easily justify a week on its own but a fortnight split between it and Dartmoor would be far better.

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Surrey Hills AONB

Sorry - I'm sure it could be simple prejudice but I can't work up enthusiasm to visit Surrey.

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Sussex Downs AONB

I hear moderate praise for this region, usually followed by a BUT. Apparently once peaceful rolling hills of considerable beauty are increasingly becoming commuter country.

I expect to see more of this region for family reasons in the next few months and I should love to think I might come back to make a meal of my words - BUT

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Tamar Valley AONB

An interesting area with plenty to see but with Dartmoor and Cornwall AONB so close, I can't see it holding you down for a week.

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Churches

Canterbury Cathedral

It can't need me to point out that this is a special!

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Exeter Cathedral

If you 'read more' you can take the guided tour but Exeter has far more than the cathedral, fabulous as that is. Find yourself a more general guide as well.

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Salisbury Cathedral (SV)

The spire of this cathedral is one of England's famous sights.

See Pauline's Practical Tips for general Salisbury information.

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Wells Cathedral

Like St Davids in Wales, this is a city and not much more than a village at the same time - but the cathedral is really stunning.

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Large Towns

Bath

With its Roman remains, its beautiful abbey and Georgian architecture, it's one of England's most visited cities.

Please see Pauline's Practical Tips.

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Brighton

The number of London commuters living here is always on the increase but Brighton is far away more than a commuter shelter.

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Bristol

One of the most attractive of the UK's big cities.

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London (SV)

Few even of its residents would have the temerity to claim that they really know this city with so much to see - but London does not equal England nor is it a good base for all England's attractions.

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Plymouth

My birth city! Please see my Dartmoor, Devon map.

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Portsmouth

An interesting city with proud naval traditions.

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Parks

Dartmoor NP *

Please see my Dartmoor, Devon map.

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Exmoor NP *

This is unique on my two Google maps of National Parks and AONBs marked as a favourite but without a separate Google map.
I'm not sure what makes it quite as good as it certainly is. The coast is outstanding but the moorland tops aren't in themselves as spectacular as mountain crests or tors in other favorite parks. However the views from them, particularly in the Autumn, leave nothing to be desired.

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New Forest NP

One of our smaller National Parks and one that I hardly know.

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