There’s something magical about Somerset. Its elegant market towns and rolling countryside are steeped in myth and legend – enchanting everyone from Romans to Round Table Knights, poets to filmmakers. Go in search of the Holy Grail in Glastonbury, or seek out the Witch of Wookey Hole Caves. Stop by the spiritual home of cheese at Cheddar and pick strawberries from surrounding farms. Try Bath’s mystical spa waters for yourself, and then dip into its independent boutiques, artisan coffee shops and cocktail bars. With luxury hotels housed in Georgian splendour, it’s easy to fall for.
A place of legendary landscapes and chic cities, infamous stories and world-renowned events.
Things to do
Plan a visit to England’s smallest city – Wells – and when you step inside the cathedral, look up at the extraordinary 14th-century clock and Jesse window. Climb the green hill of nearby Glastonbury Tor and look out across the Vale of Avalon – the place to uncover Arthurian legends. Or venture into Cheddar Gorge. Tolkein visited during his honeymoon in Somerset, and the towering cliffs are said to have inspired Helm’s Deep in his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The best place to view Bath is up high. Follow the Skyline walk for panoramic views of the city and countryside – with woodland and wildflower meadows to explore en route. Or book a private hot air balloon ride for a whole new perspective. You could bike through the Two Tunnels – a railway turned cycle track – and on to quaint villages and cosy pubs. Or escape to the Somerset levels to spot water birds, otters and dragonflies.
Somerset has a sporting legacy that’s cherished by locals. Pack a picnic and enjoy a game of cricket in pastoral surroundings, or watch an action-packed rugby match at the Rec in Bath. Spend a day at the races or enjoy a round of golf at one of the region’s idyllic courses. Accompany your day with a real ale or glass of local cider and you’ll be all set – just watch out for ‘Scrumpy’, it’s potent stuff.
See Somerset through the eyes of the literary world. Discover Coleridge’s beloved Quantocks, Henry Fielding’s birthplace at Sharpham Park, or pay homage to war poet Siegfried Sassoon in Mells.
Top Tip from SLH