County Town - Taunton
Somerset is a beautiful and interesting county only about 2 hours travel time from London. It is served by the M4, M3 and M5 motorways, and First Great Western trains run regular services to the major towns. The principal county town is Taunton.
Somerset is bounded on the northwest by the Bristol Channel. It abuts the counties of Wiltshire in the east and Gloucestershire to the north, Devon and Cornwall to the south-west, and Dorset to the south-east. The two largest cities in the region are Bath and Bristol.
An Historic County
Somerset is sometimes referred to as the cradle of Britain because so much of Britain’s early history is concentrated here. Many famous British legends and myths are associated with Somerset. Glastonbury is linked with King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea. Wookey Hole Caves is linked with witches and fairies.
However, real history happened here too. Evidence of Pre-historic man has been found at Cheddar Gorge and Cadbury Castle. Remains of Roman villas and baths have been found at Low Ham and the most magnificent of all is the Roman Bath Complex at Bath.
Somerset formed part of the great Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex where Athelney and the Somerset Levels are linked to King Alfred.
Ancient City of Wells
Nestled in the Mendip hills is the lovely city of Wells. An important religious centre, it has a beautiful cathedral and a collection of hungry swans ringing the bell at The Bishop's Palace to get fed.
Heritage Steam Railways
Somerset is rural England at its best. It is blessed with numerous quaint villages of thatched cottages, England’s only thatched windmill at High Ham, and two restored heritage steam railways. The East Somerset Railway is located at Cranmore near Shepton Mallet, and the West Somerset Railway at Bishops Lydeard near Taunton.
Exmoor National Park
West Somerset is home to most of the spectacular Exmoor National Park. There is a huge variety of outdoor activities available on Exmoor. Lovers of the classic novel ‘Lorna Doone’ will love Exmoor’s rushing streams and brooding landscapes.
Museums & Seaside Haunts
For aviation enthusiasts a visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton is well worthwhile. Sea and sand are plentiful at Minehead, Burnham on Sea, Weston-Super-Mare and Clevedon.
Festivals & Special Events
Somerset has plenty of special events, among them the famous Glastonbury Music Festival and a traditional Country Fair, the Somerset Steam & Country Show held in July at Low Ham.
Food & Drink
The county is famous for its delicious cheeses and cider which may be sampled at many delightful pubs. There is a lot to see and do, and Somerset is a county well worth visiting.