Welcome to the West Country!
Hello it’s Arron Trevor blogging again! I’m taking time off from pointing out mistakes in English and demystifying British sports to bring you some advice about where to go in Britain if you’re on holiday. On BritIt we have already brought you a regional guide to Birmingham so this time we move in a south-westerly direction to the West Country. It is the most popular part of the country for holidaymakers, and with good reason.
Where is the West Country?
For me, the West Country comprises the four counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, as well as the city of Bristol. Some people also include parts of Wiltshire, where the famous Stonehenge is located. It covers quite a wide area: it is over 200 miles (320 km) from Land’s End (the most westerly point of Great Britain) to Bournemouth in eastern Dorset.
Every part of Britain has its own slang phrases, and the West Country is no different. Here are a few expressions from Cornwall, courtesy of my sister-in-law who comes from there:
proper job = it’s good!
booty or beaut = when you like something
where’s that to? or where do you live to? = where are you from?
me lover or me ansom= ways of greeting someone. For example: alreet me lover?
As well as local English slang, the Cornish people have their own language. A few hundred people claim to be native speakers, while a few thousand are able to have a conversation in the language.
|Hello/ Good morning/ Good evening||Dydh da/ Myttin da/ Gorthugher da|
|My name is …||Ow hanow yw ….|
|I come from Poland||Devedhys ov a Poloni|
What can you do there?
The best reason to go there is to relax on one of the many sandy beaches. Bournemouth is currently very popular with young people, as is Newquay in Cornwall, famous for its surfing and watersports. The area in Devon called Torbay is also known as the English Riviera, and kids will love going to the nearby Paignton Zoo. As well as these, there are lots of small villages off the beaten track with beautiful beaches that aren’t too crowded.
If you’re thinking of studying in Britain, the cities of Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth have universities. Plymouth is also a historic naval port, from where Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world and defeated the Spanish Armada in the 16th century.
Perhaps the most unmissable place to visit is the Eden Project in Cornwall. Opened in 2001, it is home to plants from all over the world, housed in two huge biomes, one Mediterranean and the other tropical. From the outside, they look similar to the Złote Tarasy shopping centre in Warsaw!
Local food and drink
The West Country is also home to a range of delicious things to eat and drink. Cornish pasties are made of pastry filled with beef, onions, potato and vegetables, and can be eaten hot or cold. In Devon, you can drink a cream tea, with clotted cream (a special thick cream) instead of milk. Clotted cream is also used with jam on a special kind of cake called a scone. Interestingly, people in Devon put the cream on first, followed by the jam, but in Cornwall, they do it the other way round!
In the evening, it’s possible to go out for a beer, but for an authentic West Country experience, why not try some cider? This drink, made from apple juice, is hugely popular in the region, especially in Somerset. Popular brands include Blackthorn, Thatchers and Diamond White.
I hope you found this post interesting. Wherever you go in the West Country, you’ll receive a warm welcome. But for now I’ll say “Duw genes” till the next time!