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THE POOH GUIDE TO LIFE's 25 SIMPLE PLEASURES... AND HOW TO ENJOY THEM WITHOUT LEAVING THE WEST COUNTRY

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 21, 2014

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1 Enjoying a fish supper on Blackpool Pier, Lancashire. Why bother when you can go to Weston-super-Mare?

2 Indulging in afternoon tea, Devon. Fine by us, but don't stop at cream teas when there is so much delicious local produce to taste?

3 Picnicking on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District. This one's hard to beat but the kids would not know the difference if you took them to Burrator Reservoir or Wimbleball Lake.

4 Rock-pooling in Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall. Lovely beach but there's nothing to stop you trying one of the many nearer to home.

5 Camping in the New Forest, Hampshire. Is it any prettier than the Forest of Dean? Doubt it. And they don't have wild boar either.

6 Marvelling at Stonehenge, Wiltshire. No complaints about this one.

7 Getting lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace. I'm sure it's nice but Longleat is a lot nearer than London and the West Country is packed with maize mazes. Wiltshire's crop circles might be more exciting too.

8 Taking a stroll beside Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland and Cumbria. Alternatively you could walk another ancient landmark which is so much nearer to home. Offa's Dyke divides England and Wales and the Wye Valley scenery is stunning.

9 Boating day out on the Norfolk Broads. Have you ever tried driving to Norfolk? It has to be the most boring drive on the map. Stick to Cotswold Water Park or the river Avon and Wye.

10 Watching the puffins on the Farne Islands, Northumberland. Sounds lovely but the Somerset Levels and Slimbridge are a lot closer if you want to study stunning waterbirds in their natural habitat.

11 Stargazing in Exmoor National Park, Somerset and Devon. You might want to combine this with a picnic at Wimbleball Lake which been nominated to be the first Dark Skies Discovery Site on Exmoor.

12 Taking in the vista from the peaks at the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire. Lovely but don't bother until you have seen the views from the Mendips or the Cotswold escarpment.

13 Trying to make the Queen's Guard laugh at Buckingham Palace. We may not have the Queen's Guard based locally, but there are usually plenty of living statues to tease into giggles in Bristol city centre.

14 Watching the changing of the Guards at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. OK, OK, I can't find a real alternative to this one unless there is a military event on. But the West is teeming with royalty so if it's blue blood you are after you could try watching the polo at Cirencester Park or heading out to Prince Charles' home at Highgrove.

15 Fossil-hunting on Brook Beach, Isle of Wight. Really! Why would you do that when you live so close to the Jurassic Coast?Pick a point between Orcombe Point near Exmouth to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage and go looking.

16 Exploring the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Pretty spectacular I'm sure, but the cliffs at Cheddar Gorge look fantastic and come with the additional bonus of cheese-tasting. Beat that, Dover.

17 Playing Pooh Sticks at 100 Acre Wood, Sussex. Just because it has links to Winnie doesn't make it any better than woodlands across the West. Why can't you play Pooh Sticks at Severnake in Wiltshire or any of the others on your doorstep.

18 Rolling down the hills around Corfe Castle, Dorset. Bring some ginger beer while you are at it. The Famous Five are more interesting than Winnie the Pooh anyway.

19 Visiting a honey farm in Devon. Fine. You don't have to buzz off anywhere for this.

20 Skimming stones at Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumberland. You can try skimming stones at Clevedon, Dunster Beach or Blue Anchor Bay but if you are still missing the pagan mysticism of Holy Island, head up to Glastonbury and fill your boots.

21 Picking blackberries on Box Hill, Surrey. That's a long way to go for some berries when you can pick them from hedgerows across the West or call into one of the many fruit picking farms which often offer added entertainment.

22 Riding a narrow boat through the canalways of Birmingham. Mmm. Wouldn't you prefer to enjoy the scenery between Bristol and Bath as you float between pubs? If you want to see some industrial archaeology head up to Monmouthshire where the canal passes through stunning countryside and an area considered to be the cradle of the industrial revolution.

23 Taking in the grandeur of Chatsworth House from the park, Chatsworth, Derbyshire. Stunning, yes, But have you seen the views of Stourhead near Bath? No! Then don't bother getting on the M6 North until you have.

24 Seeking out the deer at Richmond Park, London. You don't have to seek that far. Simply head to Ashton Park in Bristol or Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire. You can even do deer safaris in the Forest of Dean.

25 Admiring Bamburgh Castle from the beach, Northumberland. Great view but can it really beat St Michael's Mount in Cornwall? The West is choc full of castles, mock and otherwise.

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