If you’re planning a trip to Somerset, England, you’re in for a treat! This picturesque county offers a wide range of activities that are sure to please every traveler. From exploring historic towns to experiencing the natural beauty and indulging in the culinary delights, Somerset has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll delve into ten must-do activities that will make your visit to Somerset unforgettable.
Exploring the Historic Towns of Somerset
Somerset is a county in South West England that is steeped in history and home to several charming and picturesque towns. These towns offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the region.
One such town that should not be missed is Glastonbury. This medieval town is famous for its enchanting atmosphere and is often referred to as the “Isle of Avalon.” As you take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, you will be captivated by the quaint cottages and charming shops that line the way. But the true gem of Glastonbury is the awe-inspiring Glastonbury Abbey. Dating back to the 7th century, this ancient abbey holds a wealth of history and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Explore the ruins and imagine the lives of the monks who once resided here. And for those seeking a bit of adventure, don’t miss the opportunity to climb the Glastonbury Tor. As you ascend to the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Another town that should be on your itinerary is Bath. Known for its Roman-built baths, this ancient town offers a fascinating glimpse into its rich history. The Roman Baths, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are a true marvel to behold. Step into the warm thermal waters and imagine yourself transported back to the time of the Romans. The Thermae Bath Spa, a modern-day spa that utilizes the same thermal waters, offers a unique and relaxing experience for visitors. But Bath is not just about its baths. The town is also home to the stunning Bath Abbey, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. Marvel at the intricate details of the stained glass windows and take a moment to soak in the peaceful atmosphere. As you wander through the streets of Bath, you will be enchanted by the elegant Georgian architecture that lines the way. The Royal Crescent and the Circus are two prime examples of this architectural style and are a delight to explore.
But Somerset has more to offer than just Glastonbury and Bath. The county is dotted with other historic towns that are waiting to be discovered. From the charming market town of Taunton with its beautiful castle and vibrant farmers’ markets, to the picturesque village of Dunster with its medieval castle and stunning gardens, there is something for everyone in Somerset.
So, whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Somerset’s historic towns are sure to captivate and inspire. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Glastonbury, marvel at the Roman Baths in Bath, and explore the hidden gems that await you in the other towns of this enchanting county.
Experiencing Somerset’s Natural Beauty
If you’re a nature enthusiast, Somerset has plenty to offer. Lace up your hiking boots and head to the Mendip Hills for a scenic hike. The hills are home to an abundance of flora and fauna, and you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the countryside.
As you embark on your hike through the Mendip Hills, you’ll be surrounded by a diverse ecosystem. The hills are teeming with a variety of plant species, from vibrant wildflowers to ancient oak trees. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings as well. The Mendip Hills are home to a range of animals, including deer, badgers, and a variety of bird species. Listen to the melodic songs of the birds as you make your way along the winding trails.
As you ascend to higher elevations, the views become even more breathtaking. The rolling hills stretch out before you, adorned with patches of colorful heather and gorse. On a clear day, you can see for miles, taking in the patchwork of fields, hedgerows, and quaint villages that make up the Somerset countryside.
For a more dramatic natural beauty, visit the Cheddar Gorge. This limestone gorge is a sight to behold, with its towering cliffs and underground caves. Take a guided tour of the caves and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years.
The Cheddar Gorge is not only a geological wonder but also a place of historical significance. It has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and evidence of human presence can be found throughout the area. Imagine the lives of our ancestors as you explore the caves, picturing them seeking shelter and leaving their mark on the walls.
As you venture deeper into the caves, you’ll be enveloped in darkness, with only the glow of your guide’s lantern to light the way. The air is cool and damp, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The silence is broken only by the sound of water dripping from the cave ceilings, a constant reminder of the slow and steady passage of time.
Emerging from the caves, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of the towering cliffs that surround the gorge. The sheer size and grandeur of these cliffs are a testament to the power of nature. Take a moment to appreciate the forces that shaped this landscape over millions of years, and feel a sense of wonder at the beauty that lies before you.
Somerset’s Rich Cultural Experiences
Somerset is not just about natural beauty; it is also steeped in culture and history. Pay a visit to Bruton and explore its artistic heritage. The town is home to the renowned Hauser & Wirth art gallery, which showcases contemporary art in a stunning rural setting. Afterward, take a walk through the charming streets and discover the local artisan shops.
Taunton, the county town of Somerset, is a must-visit for literature enthusiasts. Explore the Taunton Castle, which houses the Museum of Somerset. Learn about the county’s history and the literary legacy left behind by famous authors who called Somerset home. Take a leisurely stroll along the River Tone and soak in the peaceful ambiance.
Indulging in Somerset’s Culinary Delights
No trip to Somerset is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. Start by visiting the village of Cheddar, famous for its cheese. Take a cheese tasting tour and sample the delicious range of cheddar cheese produced in the region. Don’t forget to pick up a few blocks to take home as souvenirs.
For a different taste sensation, head to Shepton Mallet, known for its cider production. Visit a local cider farm and sample the various ciders made from Somerset’s famous apples. Learn about the cider-making process, and if you’re lucky, you might even witness traditional cider pressing.
Unforgettable Family Activities in Somerset
Traveling with the family? Somerset has plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. A visit to the Wookey Hole Caves is a must. Explore the underground chambers and marvel at the stunning rock formations. Take a boat ride through the underground river and learn about the fascinating history of the caves.
If your family loves amusement parks, don’t miss the Brean Theme Park. From thrilling rides to family-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone. Spend a fun-filled day enjoying the rides and games, and don’t forget to try some traditional seaside treats like fish and chips.
As you can see, Somerset offers a wide range of activities that cater to every interest and taste. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a food lover, or a family looking for fun, Somerset has it all. Plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.