Somerset is one of England’s most special and unique counties! It’s a sleepy, peaceful corner of England with the picturesque cathedral city of Wells at the centre and the beautiful city of Bath located to the north. Somerset is famous for lush countryside and rolling hills, eccentric English folklore traditions, gorgeous country pubs and excellent food and drink, in particular cider and cheddar cheese. Somerset’s landscape varies from dramatic coastline and rocky beaches to apple orchards and the sprawling Exmoor moorland. Book a Wimdu self-catering cottage here for a relaxing holiday, or bed and breakfast accommodation if you really want to chill out! Head on down to Somerset for a taste of the good life and a stroll in the English countryside!
- The Glastonbury Festival is the world’s largest performing arts festival – over 175,000 people attend every year, making it the biggest settlement in the whole of Somerset while it is on!
- The village of Cheddar is where the cheese of the same name got its name from
- Comedian John Cleese who wrote and starred in Fawlty Towers and Monty Python was born in Somerset
- The Somerset city of Wells is England’s smallest city
Where to Stay - Self-Catering Cottages and Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in Somerset
Somerset welcomes tourists from all over the world and there are many bed and breakfasts and holiday cottages available for rent throughout the county. Check out Wimdu’s list of excellent holiday accommodation in Somerset – we have self-catering cottages in the beautiful Mendips, homes with wifi and en-suite bathrooms in Taunton and hillside farmhouse cottages offering bed and breakfast in the Quantocks. If you’re planning on visiting Somerset be sure to check out our list of inspiring accommodation first!
Things to do in Somerset
Bath: Bath is Somerset’s biggest city and one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations. Bath is famous for the local white/yellow sandstone that was used to build the beautiful Georgian houses that make Bath such a recognisable and popular place for tourists. Bath is a historic Spa town, and the amazing Bath Abbey and Roman baths are a must-see. Bath has the only natural hot water springs in the UK. They were discovered by the Romans who constructed complex and clever bathing systems in order to make the most of this rare phenomenon! Also check out the amazing architecture at the Royal Crescent, the unusually designed Pulteney Bridge and the excellent Museum of Asian Art. Bath is relatively compact city and you can explore the whole of the city centre on foot with relative ease. The countryside around Bath is beautiful and you may prefer to stay in a bed and breakfast cottage just outside the city and have day-trips in, rather than choosing self-catering accommodation in Bath itself.
Glastonbury: The Glastonbury Music and Arts Festival has certainly put the town on the map and people have been making the pilgrimage to the legendary festival for over 40 years. The festival attracts an astonishingly high calibre list of musicians and artists each year and remains the elder statestman of the current pack of music festivals. The town of Glastonbury also has its own interesting identity that has arisen from the ancient folklore that originates in the area. Glastonbury Tor, a steep hill next to the town, rising up from the Somerset Levels has had religious and spiritual significance since ancient times and many people come to Glastonbury to climb the hill and take in the atmosphere of the area. Glastonbury town is an excellent place for those looking to enjoy walking in the area and there are some great pubs and cafes along the high street that should satisfy appetites and thirst! Wells: Wells has the unique selling point of being England’s smallest city, with only about eleven thousand inhabitants. However, don’t let its small size put you off visiting! It has much to offer tourists, including the impressive cathedral, picturesque streets, and lovely country pubs and restaurants. The surrounding Mendip Hills are beautiful, and make it a popular day trip. The historic centre of the city is a marvel to behold – do take a walk and explore this intriguing city. Wells Cathedral is one of the earliest examples of Gothic architecture and was built in the 12th century. Take a walk through the well-kept grounds and explore the extraordinary interior of the building – it’s breathtaking! Make sure you get a glimpse of the famous astronomical clock that hangs in the cathedral – it’s amazing!
Eating and Drinking
Somerset is the heart of ”cider country” and you mustn’t have a holiday without trying some of the local produce, from farmhouse scrumpy that will knock you for six, through to delicate apple brandies. Most cider farms will let you turn up on spec to buy some of their cider, and some of the larger ones will even be able to take you on a tour of the orchards.
If you don’t mind taking things slowly, then Somerset’s comprehensive bus network might suit you. The train network can take you from one side of the county to the other, but a lot of branch lines have closed over the past years. If you want to get to some of the more isolated areas, or travel quickly between towns without rail or bus facilities, then you really need to rent a car.
The nearest airports are at Bristol, and Exeter in Devon.