South Somerset

Market Towns in South Somerset


Petters House, Petters Way, BA20 1SH, Yeovil


Known as Ivell in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, Yeovil is mentioned in the Domesday Book as a thriving market community and is still a country town at heart surrounded by beautiful countryside. An important centre for the leather industry in the 19th century, the town is famous for its glove-making with its football club nick-named the Glovers and for making helicopters. It has numerous shops, a country park, theatre and entertainment centre.

Settled in ancient times on a major Roman route through the West Country, Yeovil means ‘town on the river’. It’s south Somerset’s centre for entertainment and shopping, and is a centre for everything from top-league football to leather goods to military technology.


Its strategic position on the Fosse Way (now A37) between Dorchester and Ilchester was vital to the Romans, and makes it easy to reach for you.

The name just means ‘town on the river’, which goes for most places round here, but no two Somerset towns are alike, and you’ll find that its character is unique. 

Throughout Saxon and medieval times the town continued to thrive.

A market charter from King John, who took a big interest in Somerset, guaranteed its status as the local farming centre.

While most Somerset towns surrounded by upland grazing went in for wool, Yeovil developed the speciality of glove making, and the name still survives in the nickname of ‘giant killers’ Yeovil Football Club – the glovers.

These days the gloves are off, and you can’t buy a pair made in the town.

We can probably fix you up with a helicopter or two, as military equipment is the town’s biggest export, and Leonardo Helicopters the biggest employer. 

Yeovil is one of these towns which is much bigger than it appears.

You can ramble for what seems like miles through the historic centre, built around the noble C14 church of St John the Baptist, passing many fine old buildings, and not passing up many shopping opportunities.

There’s a theatre, all sorts of arts and crafts, and the famous football club.

If you remember Stephen Potter’s Lifemanship books from the 1950s, they’re based on Yeovil, which Thomas Hardy had previously recreated as Ivell.

These days Yeovil only has two railway stations, a comedown from its original four, but it’s on the A37 and A30, a stone’s throw from the A303.

Yeovil Tourist Information Centre

Yeovil Tourist Information Centre  can help you with travel to the area, places to stay and eat, events and attractions - and lots more great ideas for the whole family. Easily accessible for visitors with disabilities, low counter, hearing loop. A pay and display car park is situated at the rear of the building.

Opening Times - 9.00am - 4.00pm

Please follow the link for more information on South Somerset and the surrounding area, or use the red 'What's Nearby' box to search for things to see and do in the area.

Local and national tourist information
* Somewhere to stay - both locally and nationwide
* Ideas for things to do - days out, attractions and events discount vouchers available

Tickets agents for:-
- Berry's Coaches to London
- Bluebird Coach Holidays
- Condor Ferries
- National Express
- South West Coaches daytrips
-  Advance discount tickets for local events including:-
- Royal Bath & West Show
- Yeovilton Air Day
-  Dorset Steam Fair

For visiting coach parties please call Yeovil TIC for meet and greet service as well as parking arrangements and discount vouchers .


Petters House
Petters Way
BA20 1SH
United Kingdom

T: 01935 462781



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