West Country
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The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west to east)
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a Historic counties of England, historic county and Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people ...

Cornwall
,
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north ...

Devon
,
Dorset Dorset (; archaically In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed ...

Dorset
, and
Somerset ( en, All The People of Somerset) , locator_map = , coordinates = , region = South West England South West England is one of nine official regions of England. It consists of the counties of Bristol Bristol () is a City status ...

Somerset
and is often extended to include
Wiltshire Wiltshire (; abbreviated Wilts) is a Ceremonial counties of England, county in South West England with an area of . It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county ...
and
Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...

Gloucestershire
, in the
South West The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—each separated by 90 degree ( ...
region. Some definitions also include
Herefordshire Herefordshire () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William ...

Herefordshire
. The West Country is host to distinctive regional English dialects and accents, as well as to the
Cornish language A Cornish speaker, recorded in Cornwall. Cornish (Standard Written Form The Standard Written Form or SWF ( kw, Furv Skrifys Savonek) of the Cornish language . Cornish ( Standard Written Form: or ) is a Southwestern Brittonic languages, ...
.


Extent

The West Country is bounded by the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
in the south and the
Bristol Channel The Bristol Channel ( cy, Môr Hafren) is a major inlet An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound In physics, sound ...
,
Severn Estuary , Gloucestershire Gloucestershire ( abbreviated Glos) is a Counties of England, county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dea ...

Severn Estuary
or
Herefordshire Herefordshire () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William ...

Herefordshire
in the north. The eastern limit is less clearly defined. Some definitions match that of the official
South West England South West England is one of nine official regions of England The regions, formerly known as the government office regions, are the highest tier of sub-national division in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, count ...
region. Others refer to three counties, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset; while some take in Herefordshire (officially part of the
West MidlandsWest Midlands may refer to: Places * West Midlands (region), a region of the United Kingdom **West Midlands (county), the metropolitan county in the West Midlands region ** West Midlands conurbation, the large conurbation in the West Midlands region ...
region). In a 2019
YouGov YouGov is a British international Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ' that consists of private, public, academic, ...

YouGov
survey, 72% of respondents considered Cornwall and Devon to be in the West Country, while 70% included Somerset, 69% included Bristol, and 55% included Dorset. Other counties received less than 50% agreement, with 28% including Wiltshire, 27% including Gloucestershire, 12% including Herefordshire and 9% including Worcestershire.


Specific uses

The term
West Country derby A West Country derby is a sporting fixture involving teams from the West Country, in England. Football The term has been used to describe matches between any two of the following clubs: *Bristol City F.C., Bristol City, Bristol Rovers F.C., Bristol ...
is used to refer to sports matches between such cities as Bristol and Bath or Gloucester and Bath. West Country Lamb and West Country Beef are Geographical indications and traditional specialities in the European Union, EU Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) covering products from animals born and reared in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire or Gloucestershire. "West Country Farmhouse Cheddar" is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) limited to cheddar cheese made in the traditional way in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset or Somerset. ITV West Country is an ITV (TV network), ITV franchise which broadcasts local news, weather and current affairs programmes over two regions; ITV West Country West covering the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon and parts of Dorset and Somerset with ITV West Country East covering the remainder of Somerset and Dorset together with Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. ITV West Country West was an ITV franchise in its own right until 2014 when it merged with that of ITV West, formerly HTV West, having been initially launched as ITV Westcountry, Westcountry Television with its main studios in Plymouth in 1993. West Country Carnivals are held in many towns in and around Somerset. A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, government-supported museum, galleries, and major attractions atlas matched the South West Region, save for Gloucestershire. Histories of the West Country clothing district find a distinctive, exported product from east Somerset and parts of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and sometimes Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Its main regional rival around Tiverton, Devon, Tiverton and Exeter to the south-west specialised in its own distinct textiles and clothes. The former brewery in Cheltenham traded as West Country Ales; their ceramic plaques can still be seen built into pub walls.


See also

*West Country English *Scrumpy and Western music *South West Peninsula *Thomas Hardy's Wessex *Wessex *West of England *
West Country derby A West Country derby is a sporting fixture involving teams from the West Country, in England. Football The term has been used to describe matches between any two of the following clubs: *Bristol City F.C., Bristol City, Bristol Rovers F.C., Bristol ...
*SR West Country and Battle of Britain classes (West Country-class locomotives) *Dumnonia *Durotriges


References


Further reading

*Jenner, Michael (1996) ''Traveller's Companion to the West Country''. Claremont Books (Godfrey Cave Associates) (first published by Michael Joseph, 1990) *Weir, John (1993) ''The West Country''. (Great Walks.) London: Ward Lock {{Authority control West Country, South West England Southern England