Somerset Travel Guide

Glastonbury in Somerset

Introduction & Overview

Somerset Travel Guide explores the southern English county located in south west England. The area guide includes travel information on local entertainment, sites, transport and travel, events, facts & figures, maps and accommodation. The guide outlines local attractions, places of interest for visitors and offers useful tourist information for travellers.

The county has many aspects to it from the seaport of Bristol to the rural delights of the Somerset countryside, showcasing the English countryside at its finest. There are some historic sites in the county along with iconic festivals such as the Glastonbury Festival.

There are interesting contrasts with the gentle, rural countryside associated with much of the county to the fun filled festivals. The virtues of a relaxing quiet holiday and taking it easy can be contrasted with the trills and spills of the energetic activities on offer in Exmoor National Park.

The Quintock Hills are An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and among the most scenic parts of the UK. The area does not have any major cities and towns with a number of unspoilt villages and countryside with a rural landscape to enjoy. The Quantock Hills offer walkers with some scenic walks where visitors can see local wildlife.

Somerset has some well known stately homes such as Montacute House; a stunning Tudor mansion that currently houses period paintings from the National Portrait Gallery. Whilst Lytes Cary is a 15th century manor with a chapel that is located in rural Somerset, it offers visitors the chance to see the arts and crafts gardens and enjoy walks in a peaceful environment.

Bath is located in the north east of the ceremonial county of Somerset. The city is among the great tourist attractions in the UK, less crowded than most cities with its attractions conveniently concentrated in to an area that can be easily navigated around by foot, it makes for a historic, interesting visit that is full of its own unique character.

Most famous for the Roman Baths, Bath has many attractions and visitors may well find they want to devote some time to exploring its attractions further.

The City of Bath became a world heritage site back in 1987 in recognition to its great historical and architectural importance. There are several famous sites that fall under the world heritage site such as the Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey, Pump Room and the Jane Austen Centre.

The city is known for its impressive Georgian architecture which are evident in many historic buildings including the famous Circus and the Royal Crescent both of which are Grade I listed buildings.

The city holds a number of festivals each year including the Bath International Music Festival, Bath Film Festival, Bath Literature Festival and many more. The city is a centre for the arts with a number of theatres including the historic Theatre Royal that includes opera, jazz, proms, drama, concerts and more.

There are a number of art galleries in the city including the impressive Victoria Art Gallery that includes British art works from the 17th century up to the present day.

Taunton is the county town of Somerset, located in the south of the county. The river Tone flows through the town, where there is over 1,000 years of history in the town, it was once home to the wool and silk weaving industries. The advent of the railways and the Great Western Canal helped connect the town transport and trade wise to the rest of southern England.

Shopping facilities include well known high street names along with a number of smaller niche, specialist and independent retailers. Clarks Village is a designer shopping outlet with over 90 stores; located 20 miles from Taunton close to the famous town of Glastonbury.

Local attractions include Gray's Almshouses; a Grade I listed building managed by English Heritage, the Museum of Somerset that recounts the storey of the county from its origins to the present day with a number of exhibitions, collections and artefacts.

Vivary Park is located in the town, it includes mini golf course, tennis courts, play areas, open spaces with a notable rose garden. Located close by is Hestercombe Gardens that includes three historic gardens covering three centuries that have been restored to their former glory,

There are a choice of friendly pubs, bars and restaurants in the town along with entertainment facilities including the Brewhouse Theatre where visitors can find drama, dance, comedy, music, exhibitions and more.

Western-super-Mare is located 33 miles north from Taunton, it is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Somerset offering a range of traditional seaside attractions. Historically a relatively small settlement until the 19th century when the town became a popular seaside resort, the town faced some challenging times when traditional industries began to close.

The future of the town now looks much brighter with a regeneration programme providing new developments. The beach at Weston has designated areas for water and wind sports making it a favourite for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can go on one of the boat trips around Weston Bay and further away.

Weston Bay includes miles of sandy beaches along with a promenade providing wonderful views over the Channel. In recent years the seafront and promenade areas have been subject to refurbishment along with the Grand Pier that includes a number of rides including dodgems, go carts, land train, 4D cinema, arcade games and choice of hot and cold food and drinks at a number of eateries and cafes.

Local attractions include the Weston-super-Mare Museum tracing the origins of the town up to the present day with a number of exhibitions, collections and exhibits. The Helicopter Museum with over 80 helicopters and Autogyro from around the world. The SeaQuarium is an aquarium with over 30 exhibits showcasing marine life from around the world.

Entertainment venues include the Playhouse Theatre where visitors can find live shows of opera, ballet, comedy, musical shows and pantomime.

Burnham-on-Sea is a charming traditional seaside resort located 20 miles from Taunton. A small village until the 18th century the town began to grow thereafter as a seaside resort. The town is well known for its nine-legged wooden lighthouse and for being the home of one of the shortest piers in England.

Visitors can enjoy miles of sandy beaches and a scenic coastline here along with traditional seaside attractions include donkey rides. The pier building is noted for its Edwardian architecture and includes an amusement hall along with a number of small shops selling food and drinks.

The town centre includes a number of high street shops along with traditional small outlets. St Andrew’s Church is a Grade I listed building dating back to the 14th century famous locally for its leaning tower. The Apex Leisure & Wildlife Park is located close by offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lakes, enjoy the local wildlife or something more energetic.

Yeovil is a historic market town located just under 30 miles from Taunton in the south of Somerset close to the border with Dorset. Once a centre for the glove making industry, the town grew during the 19th century more recently the town is home to AgustaWestland helicopter manufacture.

Yeovil has long been a traditional market town, today visitors can still see street markets two days a week along with a monthly farmers market. The town centre includes a mix of well known high street names along side smaller independent retailers specialising in arts and crafts, foods and pottery including goods distinctive to the West Country.

The Quedam shopping centre includes a range of shopping facilities and is designed as a village street.

Local attractions include Yeovil Country Park is a place that include woodland offering a peaceful and scenic place where visitors can enjoy walks in a tranquil setting. The Museum of South Somerset outlines local history and geology with a number of galleries and exhibitions for visitors to see.

Somerset has some great visitor attractions such as the world famous Glastonbury Festival has put the county on the world map. There some great heritage sites such as the Roman Baths in Bath and Glastonbury Abbey, sure to please fans of history and culture.

Exmoor National Park gives visitors to enjoy the great outdoors and there is plenty of the gentle English countryside on offer in Somerset, it is perfect for a relaxing break. The county of Somerset is sometimes overlooked in the rush by visitors to go to the south coast, but with its own brand of attractions visitors to the county are unlikely to be disappointed.



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