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Visit Somerset - The Jewel of the South West
Somerset really is a county that has it all. Ranked seventh in the UK for size, it is far from being the most highly populated meaning there are vast expanses of open, unspoilt spaces waiting to be explored. What’s more, it boasts plenty of beautiful buildings - in cities, villages and bustling market towns – with a rich heritage of history and legend. In fact Somerset is a county of incredible contrasts; complete with beaches, caves, moors and levels.
Some of Britain’s most iconic brands and places can be found in Somerset as names such as Cheddar, Glastonbury, Avalon, Alfred the Great and Mulberry can testify. Since the earliest times, man has found the county a comfortable and comforting place to live. Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton was found in the caves at Cheddar Gorge and one of the oldest manmade tracks in Europe, the Sweet Track, ran across the Somerset Levels.
This is the county that inspired the Romantic Poets Coleridge and Wordsworth, sustained the tales of King Arthur and his Knights and sheltered the likes of the fictional Lorna Doone. Today it continues to delight with its castles and countryside, wildlife and wetlands but it also encourages free thinking and innovation which has led to numerous county firsts including our famous festivals and carnivals.
There are so many options when it comes to places to stay with luxury hotels or shepherds’ huts and all kinds of accommodation in between – something to suit every budget. Then check out the county’s main attractions. Whether you want family fun, a Romantic break, a literary pilgrimage, an immersion in the Arts, a wildlife safari, an extreme challenge, a shopping spree or a gastronomic adventure – there are days out for everyone in this surprising county.
With one National Park, Exmoor, and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty including the UK’s first, the Quantocks, Somerset has much to offer those who enjoy the outdoor life whether on foot, horseback, cycling or dog walking. Up there with the UK’s top spots, Somerset has a number of impressive nature reserves including coastal and wetland. It also has the second longest stretch of sand in Europe.
If it is culture you are after, Somerset has its own UNESCO World Heritage site to match its globally important landscapes – the City of Bath. Best known for its Georgian architecture and Roman Baths, Bath has many more hidden treasures that reward teasing out.
Not far from Bath is England’s smallest city, Wells. What it might lack in size, Wells more than makes up for in places of interest such as its sumptuous Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. It is just one of many delightful places waiting to welcome you.
Enjoy a relaxing self-catering break at the Gardener’s Arms Cottage in Langford, North...
A selection of cottages and lodges on the peaceful retreat Orchardleigh Estate near Frome.
Look what's in Somerset...
Glastonbury Tor rises dramatically from the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels, close to the town of Glastonbury, to a height of 158 metres (525 feet).
England's smallest city, Wells lies sheltered beneath the southern slopes of the Mendip Hills, and combines a wealth of historic interest and beautiful architecture.
Yeovil has been a traditional market town for centuries. Nowadays its bustling streets are lined with a mix of conventional high street stores and independent retailers, selling everything from crafts and clothes to pottery and food, much of it with a distinctive West Country appeal.
Welcome to the county town of Somerset. Taunton is a thriving, forward-looking town where modern life sits alongside relics of its dramatic past dating back to Saxon times.
Nestling in a fold of the Mendip Hills, the historic town of Shepton Mallet dates back to Roman times. The Fosseway (now A37) passes through the town, and there have been many significant archaeological finds here.
Nourished by natural hot springs, Bath offers a unique experience with stunning architecture, great shopping and iconic attractions
This small and ancient town clings to a hill above the valley with the river Brue running through it. With its narrow main street and crowded together buildings the town is protected from development by its geography.
Frome is an historic market town with hidden gems of architectural interest making it a hugely rewarding place to explore. It is an attractive town built on steep hills with cobbled streets.
Minehead is where Exmoor meets the sea. Sitting on the very edge of the National Park, Minehead is ideal for lovers of the coast and the countryside.
The Royal Bath & West Show celebrates all aspects of farming and rural life. The show offers a...
An open air free concert of light choral music with a Summer theme, performed by the choir from the...