Secret Spaces in Somerset
Somerset, in South West England, borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. A rural county, with many areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The mesmerising rolling hills include; Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, plus large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. These levels stretch from the coastline towns of Portishead and Clevedon, extending eastwards past Nailsea, around the Bristol conurbation, through to the city of Bath, which is famous for its Georgian architecture.
Somerset has so many surprises for the inquisitive visitor. Even those who live here can be taken aback to discover some of its gems; wildflower meadows, beach waterfalls, ancient wells, unique carvings and underground reservoirs.
The county has traditions of art, music and literature and is World famous for its Glastonbury Festival, illuminated carnivals and Arthurian Legends. The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts takes place most years in Pilton, near Shepton Mallet, attracting over 170,000 music and culture lovers from around the globe to see the finest entertainers.
Home to acres of stunning orchards and rich pastures perfect for grazing, it’s no wonder Somerset is fantastic for artisanal produce. Local farm shops and delis are brimming with regional, sumptuous fare – including world-famous brands that started here in Somerset, such as cider and Cheddar. Where better to sample it than in its birthplace? The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is the only producer of Cheddar left in the village. Its cheese, maturing in Gough’s Cave, is a memorable sight. At one time Somerset strawberries were famous too and even had their own train on The Strawberry Line. It is still possible to find them locally and well worth the effort. Recently added to Somerset menus are Porlock Bay oysters, Exmoor Caviar and Newton House Gin from Yeovil.
So, next time you think of Somerset, what should come to mind is… stunning views across open countryside, sandy beaches, superb strawberries, Cheddar cheese and of course cider!