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Culture Secrets

One of the reasons people visit new places is to discover more about their culture and traditions. Somerset and Exmoor are certainly not short on traditions - some of which are truly weird and wonderful - and we do love a festival! From the spectacular illuminated carnivals to the sand and music festivals (21) (22), they are well worth exploring. To see all the culture secrets click 'read more' or to find more detail on each click here. We also love our myths and legends in a county said to have seen the court of King Arthur so it is not surprising we add a little magic to natural features such as springs and wells (20). Several of our rituals revolve around cider for which the county is possibly best known and today the traditional method of making it still survives as does the old way of smoking eel (17). Locally sourced food and drink are another delight for the traveller and the latest treat on offer in the county is oysters (18).

Since our early ancestors first started weaving willow from the Somerset Levels, the area has been a haven for artisans and creative people. Willow growing still plays an important role in the county and the plant is transformed into anything from a simple basket to an elaborate sculpture (15). Through the centuries artists and writers have found inspiration in the Somerset and Exmoor landscape which saw the first stirrings of the Romantic Movement (19). Among the latest art lovers to be drawn to the county is the pioneering gallery Hauser and Wirth (16).  Even the industrial landscape has proved a splendid backdrop for several gardens (23).

Among the quirkier exhibition spaces must be the old shipping containers on a quayside (24) and the watermill which houses banks of Bakelite (14). They say ‘small is beautiful’ and you can’t get much smaller than a cinema in a former coaching inn with 36 seats (25).  

  1. World’s greatest collection of vintage plastics at Bakelite Museum, Williton
  2. Cathedral woven from willow in Longrun Meadow, Taunton
  3. World class gallery Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Bruton
  4. Traditionally Smoked eel at Brown and Forrest, Langport
  5. Top class locally farmed Oysters  at Porlock Weir
  6. The home of Romantic poetry , Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey
  7. Magical St. Agnes Well, Cothelstone
  8. Super sandcastles at The Weston-super-Mare Sand Festival
  9. Brand new Samphire Music Festival, Porlock
  10. Secret Gardens in Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet
  11. Quirky exhibitions in shipping containers Contains Art, Watchet
  12. The Roxy, one of the smallest cinemas in England, Axbridge

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