The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of (from west to east) Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, and is often extended to include Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, in the South West region. Some definitions also include Herefordshire. The West Country is host to distinctive regional English dialects and accents as well as to the Cornish language.
The West Country is bounded by the English Channel in the south and the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary, or Herefordshire in the north. The eastern limit is less clearly defined. Some definitions match that of the official South West England region. Others refer to three counties, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset; while some take in Herefordshire (officially part of the West Midlands region.
West Country Lamb and West Country Beef are 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 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 Westcountry Television with its main studios in Plymouth in 1993.
West Country Carnivals are held in many towns in and around Somerset. A 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 and Exeter to the southwest specialised in its own distinct textiles and clothes.
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