Living and working in the South West

The South West of England is a beautiful coastal region with stunning cities, picturesque seaside fishing towns and sweeping sandy beaches.

The region has outstanding National Parks, exceptional local produce and by far the longest coastline in England; most of which is protected from development because of its environmental importance. For all these reasons and more, plus the fact the area receives plenty of sunshine during the summer months, the South West is attractive to both tourists and residents alike.

Travel and industry

Despite its rural reputation, the region is very well connected. It is serviced by several main line railways. There are also three major motorways roads feeding into the region from the east and several passenger airports in the region including Bristol, Exeter, Newquay and Bournemouth.

The area is dominated by the aeronautics industry, with companies including Airbus UK, Rolls-Royce (military division) and BAE Systems having a large presence. Other sectors include defence, telecommunications, information technology and electronics. All of these companies offer exciting employment opportunities.  

In addition Ardmann, the creators of Wallace and Gromit are from the region, so creative industries are clearly welcome. Tourism is also incredibly important to the region. Outside of work, it is the vast open space which attracts people to live and work in the South West. There are two entire national parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, and even a small part of the New Forest within the region. There are also four World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast. To give you an idea of the size of the South West, Gloucestershire in the northern part of the region is as close to the Scottish border as it is to the tip of Cornwall; so that’s a lot of space!

The great outdoors

The great outdoors really is great in the South West. From the rolling hills dotted with thatched cottages to the national parks and cliff-edged bays overlooking sweeping beaches. The dramatic coastlines attract casual walkers and serious hikers alike, along ridgeways between Bronze Age burial mounds and a Jurassic coastline sprinkled with fossils and smuggler's caves.

Steeped in traditions and customs the area has its own Cornish language and some regard it as a Celtic nation. The region is also known for its rich folklore, including the world-famous legends of King Arthur. According to the locals, Glastonbury Tor is home to the King of the Fairies; the ancient oaks that can be seen on the way up the Tor are believed by some to be the last remains of a Druid avenue. Even if you don’t believe in magic or fairies it’s hard not to be enchanted with the area.

The region is also home to many fantastic activities that aren’t available anywhere else in the UK. The environmental Eden Project, the ever-popular Glastonbury Festival, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, and of course, surfing on Cornwall's beaches. All play their part in attracting visitors to the area.

But if city life is more for you, there is also plenty in the region to keep you occupied. Bristol, as well known for Brunel's elegant Clifton Suspension Bridge as for its Banksy street art, offers innovative museums, galleries and independent shops. Exeter with its 14th century underground passages and Royal Albert Memorial Museum where you  can learn about botany, archaeology, geology and fine art provides all the culture you need. It’s also very easy to see why Bath with its curves of honey-coloured townhouses, Victorian parks and Roman Baths caught the eye of royal visitor, Queen Victoria.

Food and drink

And if all this culture, fresh air and fun leaves you feeling hungry you’re in the right place. The South West is well known for all kinds of delicious food and drink; cheddar cheese originated in the Somerset village of Cheddar; Devonshire cream teas, a glorious oven-warm scone with jam and clotted cream; fresh crabs, meat-stuffed Cornish pasties, cider; the list goes on and on. Of course all of these are enjoyed across the UK; but they are so much better when you have them in their South West home. It's easy to see why the region has inspired celebrity chefs to take up residence.

With all its folklore, tradition, wide-open spaces and stunning coastline, not to mention the fantastic food, festivals and history, who wouldn’t want to live and work in the South West? 

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