If you mention Somerset and people will return with “Somerset, home of the scrumpy cider” in their best West Country accent! It is true and fair to say that the landscape gives rise to some of the best grassland, along with beautiful apple and pear orchards so it is of no consequence there are an abundance of Artisan Cider companies in the area and home to the famous Thatchers. However, let us not forget Somerset is also a charming county with magnificent coastlines, seaside sandy beaches, colossal limestone gorges, low-lying wetlands, uplands and moors with panoramic views.
If you are charmed by nature and appreciate architecture you won’t be disappointed as there are some stunning scenes, Wells Cathedral, Forde Abbey with its thirty acres of lawns, arboretum and the tallest powered fountain in England. Kilver Court gardens are set against a 19th century viaduct and then you have The Newt, a splendid country estate with gardens, woodland and farmland, or visit Somerset Lavender and take in the beautiful aromas and scent as you wonder through the gardens and see over five acres of Lavender and listen to the soft humming of the bees whilst they collect pollen, definitely a Sunday outing especially if you like honey but it doesn’t stop there Somerset has many historic places and properties whose mysteries are waiting to be discovered.
Ask someone to name a cheese and chances are they will come up with Cheddar and rightly so as Somerset offers not only a wide range of things to do and see but a splendour of quality local food and drink and plenty of Cheddar! The farming tradition is celebrated at many events such as The Royal Bath and West Show, The North Somerset Show and Yeovil Show. Somerset even has its own Cheese Show at the Frome Agricultural Show each September.
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, the well-known Glastonbury Tor and of course let us not forget the beautiful Gorge in Cheddar. Do not worry if it rains because there is no shortage of impressive museums including Haynes International Motor Museum, The Fleet Air Arm Museum plus many more, in fact there are nearly forty museums in Somerset for you to choose from!
Where will you live?
East Somerset is focused on the town of Frome, highlighted as one the Times ‘Best Places to Live in Britain’ packed with historic buildings and independent shops. The area also boasts Bruton and Wincanton as well as the villages of Castle Cary and Nunney.
There are also several County towns, Ilchester, Somerton and Taunton all of which have secrets to share about their colourful pasts. In the Vale of Taunton, as well as the County Town, we have Wellington with its connection to the Iron Duke and Milverton with its attractive Georgian thoroughfare, North Street.
In the Mendips you have the medieval Axbridge and Shepton Mallet while the villages have Cheddar and Rodney Stoke which are full of history and interest.
Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Langport are the principal towns to most important wetland areas in England. The Somerset Levels is also dotted with charming villages, North Curry, Cannington, Muchelney to name a few.
South Somersets depicts itself with the honeycomb coloured stone from which great houses and picturesque cottages are built, the best-known towns are Yeovil and Crewkerne while it has far too many attractive villages to mention, although perhaps Montacute and Barrington stand out due to their fabulous Country Houses.
Wherever you choose to live you will be sure to call it home.