How to get to Somerset
How to get to the West country
The West country is accessible via these routes:
From London and the East the M4 motorway (taken from the M25) links directly to the West country via Swindon and Bristol. Take the M5 motorway, which runs from Bristol into the heart of the West country, terminating at Exeter. Alternatively take the more scenic route by following the M3 from London and then join the A303 which will take you through many villages and towns, as well as past Stonehenge.
From the north of the country the M6 followed by the M5 provides the quickest route to the South West, going through Somerset and Devon, terminating at Exeter.
By public transport
Using public transport is an environmentally friendly way of visiting and getting around in the West Country. It is possible to visit the West country without bringing your car.
The West country is served by an extensive rail network, which covers the whole region. The main railway routes stop at stations including Taunton, Exeter St. Davids, Plymouth, Truro and Penzance. Routes from the north of England are direct and pass through Birmingham New Street and Bristol.
From London the mainline stations of Paddington and Waterloo both offer quick and direct services to the West country
National Express coaches offer regular services to the main cities and
towns in the West country including ~ Bath, Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth,
Bodmin, Newquay, and Penzance. They have many special offers and deals,
as well as disabled facilities and scheduled coaches to and from Britain’s
airports. For more information on fares and timetable go to www.nationalexpress.com
Or call 08705 808080.
You can find useful information on public transport in Somerset by visiting the local government website www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/transport_streets.cfm and visiting the Transport and Street section about public transport which has information on local bus services, timetables and train lines.
Portsmouth , Poole and Plymouth are closest to the West country and a number of Ferry companies run services from abroad to these ports.
Brittany ferries runs services from France (Roscoff, St.Malo, Caen, Cherbourg) to Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. There is also a service from Spain ( Santander) to Plymouth. Go to www.brittanyferries.co.uk
P&O Ferries run services from France ( Cherbourg, Le Havre) to Portsmouth and Spain ( Bilbao) to Portsmouth.
The regions main airports are Bristol, Exeter, Newquay and Plymouth.
Once you get there
It can be a liberating experience to leave the car at home for a day, allowing visitors to take the time to appreciate the beautiful scenery around them. For a wealth of inspiring ideas for ‘car free’ excursions in Devon and Cornwall, including lovely old railway lines, open top buses, walks and cycle routes, go to www.carfreedaysout.com/.
For those wishing to visit Exmoor National Park using public transport go to www.countrygoer.org/exmoor.htm where you will find information on scenic railway lines, bus routes and special ticket deals.