From magnificent clifftop panoramas to resplendent hills and pastures, when it comes to breathtaking views, the West Country is spoilt for choice.
We’ve picked out ten from a long list of sweeping vistas guaranteed to fill your hearts with joy…
‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better’
– Albert Einstein
Start Point, South Devon
Start Point is one of the South West peninsula’s most exposed headlands with views that stretch for miles across the sparkling waters of Start Bay. This prominent jut plays host to Start Point Lighthouse, built in 1836 to alert ships of the perilous sea rocks below. It’s an incredible stretch of the South West Coast Path between the coastal villages of East Prawle and Beesands and remains a cherished spot for wildlife watchers.
Bolberry Down, South Devon
With its spectacular sea views past cliffs adorned by wild flowers, it’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with the view from Bolberry Down, the heart of the South Hams. It’s another one of the South West Coast Path’s many vantage points, boasting a gorgeous seascape that stretches all the way to Bolt Head, near the pretty sailing town of Salcombe.
Sharp Tor, Dartmoor
Above the high oak woodlands of Piles Copse and with far-reaching views across the beautiful uplands of South Dartmoor, sits Sharp Tor. This remote granite outcrop looks out over the Dart Valley – not too far off the moorland path known as The Two Moors Way – providing all those who reach its weathered summit an incredible panorama.
Morte Point, North Devon
With its sparkling views towards Woolacombe Warren and Baggy Point, Morte Point is renowned for its dramatic clifftop scenery. Once famous for smugglers and wreckers, this beautiful stretch of the North Devon coast is a haven for sea birds and other coastal wildlife, and if you’re really lucky, you might catch the odd grey seal or three bobbing close to the shoreline.
‘The sky is the daily bread of the eyes’
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Rumps, North Cornwall
Follow the South West Coast Path along Port Quin Bay and eventually you’ll arrive at a twin-headland bluff known as The Rumps. This ancient outcrop is the site for an Iron Age hill fort, its earthworks still visible from the rounding cliff path. The tiny island named The Mouls can be seen just offshore to the east and you can enjoy rugged coastal views towards the Pentire headland from Rumps Point to the west.
Pedn-men-an-mere, South Cornwall
Pedn-men-an-mere is one of South Cornwall‘s most beguiling scenic spots offering magnificent views across Green Bay towards Pedn Vounder beach and the iconic Logan Rock. Just inland from this stunning coastal point is the Minack Theatre; an open-air theatre carved into the cliffside. It’s been said that the sunsets here are a thing to behold.
Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor
Brown Willy is the highest summit in Cornwall and lies close to the hamlet of Bolventor, surrounded by the wilds of Bodmin Moor. The name Brown Willy comes from the Cornish Bronn Wennili, which means ‘hill of swallows’. Standing at its dual summit, some 420 metres above sea level, are two man-made cairns, adding to its sugarloaf appearance. Enjoy bird’s-eye views that stretch the breadth of Cornwall from Looe to Tintagel when you clamber this loftiest of mounts.
‘Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference’
– Robert Frost
Golden Cap, West Dorset
The butterscotch sandstone cliffs and plateaued hill of Golden Cap stands 191 metres tall – the highest point on the British south coast – commanding breathtaking views from Portland Bill all the way to Start Point on the South Devon peninsula. On a clear day, if you gaze inland, you’ll be able to see as far afield as Dartmoor.
Hambledon Hill, Mid Dorset
High above the Blackmore Vale stands Hambledon Hill; a nature reserve and also the site for one of the country’s best-preserved Iron Age hillforts. The surrounding grassland is home to many rare species, including an impressive array of butterflies. Excavations on neighbouring Hod Hill revealed that it once played host to a Roman legion comprised of around 600 foot soldiers and a 200 strong cavalry. The views from these hills are truly amazing, stretching as far as Wiltshire and Somerset.
Gold Hill, Mid Dorset
We finish our whistle-stop tour with a location that’s as sentimental as it is charming. The steep, cobbled lane on Shaftesbury’s Gold Hill was the setting for the classic 70s Hovis television advert that remains one of the nation’s favourites. The view from the hill, past the thatched rooftops and towards the rolling Dorset countryside, is as lovely now as it was back then…just ask Old Ma Pegotty, who we’re sure will agree.
Wake up to the West Country’s most magnificent views when you book a holiday with Toad Hall Cottages