So much to experience
Somerset is a county of contrasts from invigorating coastlines and seaside sandy beaches to gigantic limestone gorges, from low-lying wetlands to uplands and moors with panoramic views.
Within those contrasts there is a wide choice of things to do in Somerset. The landscape gives rise to some of the best grassland in the world, along with beautiful apple and pear orchards and fields of vegetables. Somerset offers a brilliant choice of quality local food and drink – ciders, ales, fruit juices and cheeses including, of course, cheddar! Farming in Somerset is at its most traditional with agriculture matching the landscape. This is celebrated at many traditional country shows throughout the year including The Royal Bath and West Show, Dunster Show, The North Somerset Show, The Mid Somerset Show and Yeovil Show. Somerset even has its own Cheese Show at the Frome Agricultural Show each September!
Also alongside this landscape sit Somerset’s stately homes and gardens. Be inspired by Gertrude Jekyll’s creativity at Hestercombe or Barrington Court through to the Margaret Fish cottage garden at East Lambrook Manor Gardens. The Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath offers one of the most exquisite views in Europe, a tease of the Georgian city behind.
The stunning architecture of Wells Cathedral also provides a great backdrop to the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens as does Forde Abbey to the thirty acres of lawns, arboretum and the tallest powered fountain in England. Kilver Court Gardens are set against a 19th century viaduct whereas the RHS partnered Walled Gardens at Cannington has a Grade 1 listed medieval priory backdrop. Somerset’s cutting edge in contemporary garden design can be seen at Hauser & Wirth and The Newt in Somerset.
Somerset churches also blend local stone and architecture with the unique landscape, from Culbone near Porlock which is said to be the smallest church in England, Raddington which seems to be in the middle of nowhere, to a church that actually is in a field at Low Ham! These are beautiful places to see in Somerset for those who love the outdoors and charm of nature and who appreciate how architecture blends with the landscape.
Wildlife watching is a key part of appreciating nature in Somerset. Wildlife sightseeing and bird watching is popular at RSPB reserves including Greylake, Ham Wall and Swell Woods. It’s a roll call of nature including otters, water-voles, bitterns, kingfishers, lapwing, redshank, snipe and herons.
There are so many ways that the landscape can provide for a free day out in Somerset. Amazing views cost nothing, whether from Somerset’s highest point at Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, Brean Down which acts as a natural pier into the Bristol Channel, Glastonbury Tor, Crook Peak, Cheddar Gorge or Brent Knoll.
The Boathouse at Lakeside
Fantastic venue open to non residents during low season, refurbished in 2018 with a stage, bar, coffee shop and pub grub.
Visitors to Somerset Rural Life Museum can explore rural life from the 1800s onwards and discover more about the county’s heritage including its landscape, food and farming, working life and rural crafts.
For more than a hundred years, family-run Thatchers Cider has been quietly perfecting the magic that turns apples into cider.
Here at Godminster, we create award-winning Vintage Organic Cheddar to a 90-year-old recipe. Our shop is open seven days a week and we have cheese available to sample every day.
Climb the spiral staircase to walk in the footsteps of Wells Cathedral masons with new behind-the-scenes tours of Wells Cathedral’s High Parts; one of the most memorable things to do in Wells!
In Washford lies one of the undiscovered jewels of Somerset, providing an interesting day out for families and budding historians alike. The Cistercian abbey of Cleeve is a haven of peace and tranquillity, said to contain the finest cloister buildings in England.
Somerset’s food and drink industry offers an abundance of produce available at local farm shops and delis. Find out where to shop for Somerset food and drink & more....
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Rural camping and caravanning site near Taunton, Somerset.
Grade 11 Listed, Bed & Breakfast in Somerset in the Quantocks near Taunton.
Stay at the magnificent Edgar Townhouse hotel.