Somerset Weekend Guide – What to See and Do

Somerset Weekend Guide – What to See and Do


Somerset is one of the UK’s most stunning counties, with rolling hills and a long tradition of fine food produce. It’s easily reached by train or car from London in one and a half hours. That’s just as well, because you wouldn’t want to miss the delights of Bath, Wookey Hole and Caves, Cheddar Gorge and Wells. We’ve put together a Somerset weekend guide to help you make the most of your stay.

BATH

Somerset’s main town is one of the most beautiful in the UK, with honey-coloured Georgian buildings galore, a huge array of independent stores and some top tourist attractions. No visit to Bath would be complete without a visit to the Roman Baths, so let’s start our exploration there…The Romans loved Bath as much as I do, and built this temple in 60-70 AD at the source of natural hot springs. The Baths and the Grand Pump Room attract more than a million visitors each year. Minerva’s Head is one of the major finds in the Roman Baths museum. Discovered in 1727. she is all that remains of a bronze statue of the goddess Sulis Minerva.

bath-roman-head
After visiting the Roman Baths, pop into the Pump Rooms – a drink of the hot spring water is included in the price of admission to the baths. The water which actually doesn’t taste as bad as I remembered from my last trip to Bath, when I visited the Roman Baths by night.

bath-water-somerset
Bath Abbey or the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, to give it its full title is a former Benedictine monastery and Anglican parish church .

bath-cathedral-somersetThis new installation in front of the SouthGate Shopping Centre is a contender for most Instagrammable city attraction – along with the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent, of course!

Bath Fashion Museum is well worth a visit, it’s one of the most important fashion museums in the world and has the added benefit of letting you try some of the costumes on 😉

bath-period-costumeThe Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic sights, and parts of it are currently being renovated yet it’s still very impressive.

bath-royal-crescent-somersetNo. 1 Royal Crescent is a must-visit, a historic house museum depicting life in Georgian England. Not only are the interiors charming, but the volunteers in each room are a mine of information about life below and above stairs.

bath-crescent-museum
It started pouring with rain soon after our visit, so we took refuge in the nearest tea room which turned out to be rather unique. The owner of Comins Tea House really knows his stuff and has designed a special table where you can pour away any excess hot water.

bath-tea-room

WOOKEY HOLE AND CAVES

The UK’s oldest tourist attraction and largest cave system, Wookey Hole, is somewhat kitsch but great fun! Before you even enter the attraction, you’ll meet a moving dinosaur that was making children giggle.

wookey-hole-review
Four hundred years ago, cheese was matured in the caves as the 11°C temperature was ideal. The owner of Wookey Hole Caves, Gerry Cottle, who previously owned Britain’s major circus, has now revived this tradition. The caves have been in use for over 45,000 years and were the site of the first cave dive in the country, by Jack Sheppard and Graham Balcombe in 1935.

wookey-hole-caves-boat
We wore hard hats for part of the tour, although there was no danger. It did add to the sense of excitement.

wookey-hole-caves-review

CHEDDAR GORGE

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Cheddar Gorge was composed entirely of cheese? Sadly, that’s not the case, although there are a couple of good Cheddar cheese shops in the picturesque village ;-). However it’s another really impressive sight, and a great base for hiking.

cheddar-gorge-somerset-visit
This limestone gorge is where Britain’s most complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man was discovered in 1903. He was around 9,000 years old. Sadly we didn’t have time to explore the caves and the gorge in depth but I’d love to hear any tips that you have as we’ll definitely return. We did catch sight of some rather cute mountain goats though!

cheddar-gorge-goats

WELLS

Wells is a lovely little market town with a striking Gothic Cathedral. Its facade has over three hundred sculpted figures.

wells-cathedral-somerset-visitThe Bishop’s Palace is next to the cathedral and was constructed from 1210 onwards. The current bishop still lives here.

bishops-palace-wells-somerset
You might be lucky to chance upon a group of Morris dancers as we did. For those not familiar with this very British tradition, it’s a type of folk dancing, originally dating from the Middle Ages. Check out their nifty moves in this video:

STAY

Ston Easton Park is a stunning country house hotel with a relaxed feel and it’s own spaniel, Oscar, whom guests can take for a walk. It’s a great base for exploring this beautiful county. I hope you like my tips for what to see and do in Somerset, have you ever been there?

ston-easton-park-somerset

  • We really enjoyed our visit to Bath last year. 🙂

  • Ambitiouswanderer

    This makes me want to go here! Great sights and adventures. Love it (: Is it possible on a budget or is everything really expensive here?

    • There’s lots of little cafes and quite a big selection of accommodation and B&Bs

  • Nina

    Gorgeous pictures.Bishop’s Palace looks so pretty.
    Nina
    http://www.ninasstyleblog.com

  • Wonderful article. I look forward to using this information next month 😀

  • No.1 Royal Crescent truly is a fascinating place and I completely agree about the volunteers – they’re so willing to impart their knowledge 🙂 Wookey Hole and Caves looks brilliant too, I’ve been meaning to visit for a while now, thanks for the reminder Suze!

    aglassofice.com
    x

    • I forgot to mention a tip for the caves, it’s quite cold in there so take a jumper! Weirdly, you even get mobile reception in a few areas

  • Funnily we went to Somerset not long after you did. We obviously visited Bath abut then went to Glastonbury. I wish we had popped into Wells and stopped in cheddar gorge rather than just driven through it. But there is only so much you can do in a weekend

  • Thank you for this comprehensive guide for somerset, Suze. I haven’t been anywhere in the UK except for London, but this should change. Bath surely looks like a town I’d love to visit and so does Wells. As for the Caves, they look magnificent but I am a little claustrophobic and I’m not sure I’d feel Ok there. Great post!

    • Do let me know if you’re coming over, Anda – and as for the caves, I’m a bit claustrophobic too but they’re really roomy inside

  • Paola

    Such an interesting guide, perfect tour! Lovely installation!
    xo Paola
    Expressyourself
    My Facebook

  • So many lovely places to see in Somerset! The umbrella installation in Bath looks beautiful!

    • It’s such a great idea to have an installation like that.There was one in London in Borough Market but it’s fallen into rack and ruin

  • I’ve had the chance to visit Bath but I have never been to the caves and Wells! There are so many beautiful places in England.

    • I’m sure that you’d enjoy visiting both the caves and Wells – I’d been meaning to visit both for a long time and wasn’t disappointed

  • Love that umbrella shot – so pretty!

  • I could do with a collection of umbrellas like that given the number of them I manage to brerak or lose! Haven’t been to Wookey Hole since I was 11 on a school trip but Bath sounds like a perfect UK destination for a romantic break and I’m heading to Bristol in August so would love to see if Ican tie the two together. Love the fact that you can try on the costumes at the fashion museum!

    • You could definitely tie the two together, they’re very close. It was great fun trying on the outfits at the fashion museum!

  • You look lovely in your costume 😉 I haven’t visited Somerset yet, seeing the photos made me realise how much I am missing!

    Ela BellaWorld

  • Oh wow I am so taken back at all the beautiful photographs.
    You look lovely !

    I haven’t been travelling as much as I had hoped to.
    Thanks for sharing.

    xx

  • This is a beautiful part of the UK – as your photos show. I’d love to revisit Bath and maybe even try on one of those Jane Austen costumes!

  • Ellie Adams

    I’ve always been told such amazing things about Bath and it really does look stunning. The umbrella installation reminds me of the one at Borough market and I loved that. Fab post Suze!

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

  • Ohh I love Bath, it is such a gorgeous city! Wells looks awesome too, need to take a visit!

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • Lucy

    Bath is one of my favourite places to visit, not only is it steeped in history but it offers wonderful food and shopping Lucy x

  • So gorgeous, always wanted to go!

  • Wells has got a very interesting looking cathedral. I’ve been to Bath, it’s a gorgeous place:)