The Writer's Escape to the South West! *

The South West is a dream landscape for writers. With the rugged moors, long cliffs and beaches reaching out into the explosive ocean. It’s no wonder that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes fell in love with Devon, or that William Golding found inspiration in Cornwall. These places are made for writers with all the drama of the landscape and the tiny villages dotted through it.

(Image via  Kaboompics)

So, a typical writer will dream of escaping to places like this; places that speak in a different language that complicates and simplifies at the same time. Everyone should travel at some point, and if you are new to solo travel, why not try a more local expedition first, before flying a little further away?


Exeter still proudly wears its medieval roots, with cobbled streets and tiny churches on every corner. The Cathedral is worth a look as it contains some gorgeous graffiti dating back to the 17th century. While there, you should also look for the elephant (clearly carved by someone who had never seen an elephant and added a couple of cute ears on top just to be sure)...

Though Exeter may not be known for its arts scene necessarily, there are a few tiny theatres here as well as the Northcott Theatre on the University Campus. There is also a big arts festival in the summer that promotes local talents of all kinds.


Once a Roman trading port and now the home of ferry companies like Brittany, Plymouth has always looked out to the ocean. Plymouth is wonderfully obsessed with writers too, with a whole area called Poets Corner containing streets like Chaucer Way and Dickens Road. You know you’re in #inspo territory when the streets are named after the late and great authors!

Plymouth has some great B&B options that will give you beautiful views of the sea. Many of the buildings are Victorian or Edwardian in design; you can expect the lovely large windows to bring in plenty of light. Take a long walk along the front, treat yourself to a Devon cream tea (cream then jam) and soak up that sea air.


Known for its comedy pirates, Penzance is so much more that Gilbert or Sullivan could have imagined. Some say this small town is the gateway to the very tip of the Cornish coast. The town centre is just a 25 minute drive away from the famous Minack open air theatre, where they put on performances all summer long – well, as long as the weather plays nicely!

Follow the South West Coast path to find Newlyn, a village Dylan Thomas thought was the prettiest in England; take time to admire Jubilee Pool and the remnants of old tin mines. Watch out for rabbits and rabbit holes, though…!

Taking some time out to explore the South West is the perfect way to get some fresh air and adventure, while at the same time following in the footsteps of some truly great writers. Now, go explore and get inspired!



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