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National Geographic names Somerset in the top 16 of international places to visit in 2016 along with Washington DC and the Great Barrier Reef.

10th December 2015

Categories: Business News

Somerset, a county of contrasts from its rich heritage to its spectacular scenery, sandy and rocky beaches, has just been named in The Cool List as one of 16 must-see destinations in the world to visit in 2016.

Image Ian Brodie - Copyright Visit Somerset.

The National Geographic Traveller Magazine names Somerset alongside Costa Rica, Washington DC, Shanghai, Mozambique and Rio de Janeiro to the delight of tourism bosses.

John Turner, chief executive of Visit Somerset, said: “We have always known Somerset is special and for the county to be recognised as one of the best places in the world is fantastic.

“To get this kind of recognition is just incredible news and it’s just wonderful that we are being seen alongside destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef and Washington DC.

“The county is steeped in history, heritage, myths and legends with Somerset inspiring the Romantic poets, Coleridge and Wordsworth, sustaining the tales of King Arthur and his Knights and providing a home for Jane Austen’s characters and the fictional Lorna Doone.

“We are home to the National Park of Exmoor, four  areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty including England’s first, the Quantocks, plus England’s smallest city, Wells, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bath with its world-renowned Georgian architecture and Roman Baths.

“Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton was found in the caves at Cheddar Gorge, one of the oldest manmade tracks in Europe – the Sweet Track – ran across the Somerset Levels plus the foundations of Christianity in England are reputed to be at Glastonbury Abbey and West Somerset Railway is the longest standard gauge independent heritage railway in the UK.

“Our illuminated carnivals are the biggest in Europe and, of course, we are home to the world-famous Glastonbury Festival and the country’s only four day agricultural show, the Royal Bath and West.  Wookey Hole Caves and Cheddar Caves & Gorge give visitors the chance to explore below ground.

“We have an  incredibly diverse and exciting county which is being celebrated with lots of other new developments on the horizon. This includes the launch of a 200 page E book guide relating to Somerset's history and heritage and food and drink with over 2500 images and historic stories that will once again help us become a leading destination. The E book is a UK first and is being created by Ian Brodie MBE, an International award winning author and photographer of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit location guides.”

Image Ian Brodie -  Copyright Visit Somerset. 

For further details. 

Wendy Best

Communications Director

Somerset Tourism Association

07715 770242

Somerset Tourism Association 

Community Interest Company

Wookey Hole Caves, Wookey Hole

Wells, Somerset.


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