Things to do/see near Somerset
We are proud to share our magnificent cluster of towns and countryside in Somerset, the UK’s seventh largest county with our visitors. From the city of Bath in the east to Exmoor in the west, historic Crewkerne in the south and Portishead on the northern coast, our varied landscapes, cultures, and architecture will astonish anyone. Come and explore our moorlands, coastal cliffs, village greens, and town centres for an unforgettable visit. We have hi-lighted a few of our most pleasant places to visit below.
Hauser & Wirth Gallery
Experience art and architecture inspired by the lovely Somerset landscape at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset’s world-class gallery and multipurpose arts centre on Durslade farm. They sponsor an artist-in-residence programme to integrate Somerset’s beautiful surroundings with locals. The grounds include an attractive landscaped garden designed by famous landscape artist Piet Oudolf. It includes an amazing 1.5-acre perennial meadow.
The gallery site includes a grand six bedroom farmhouse dating back to around 1760 sitting proudly in the countryside near the edge of Bruton. Also, stop and enjoy locally sourced seasonal produce and cocktails from local drink producers at the on-site Roth Bar & Grill.
Bruton is a small town in South Somerset situated between Yeovil and Frome in the beautiful valley of the River Brue. Home to only 3,000, this charming town is one of England’s smallest, a status the townsfolk are proud of. One can easily see its history in the stone streets and stucco houses that reflect ancient times. On a hilltop that overlooks Bruton stands the 14th-century church of St. Mary and a 16th-century dovecote.
No direct train service to London may explain the off-the-beaten-path atmosphere of Bruton. However, Bath and Bristol are easily reached from by car or train. The Castle Cary is nearby as is Stourhead House and Gardens. Burton has some quaint restaurants, cafes, and shops that are a joy to visit, and the aforementioned Hauser & Wirth Gallery at Durslade farm is located here.
Haynes Car Museum
Be sure to visit the Haynes Car Museum in Sparkford, Somerset. John Haynes of the hugely successful Haynes Publishing Group started the museum after he ran out of storage space for his evergrowing collection. Today he shares his huge collection of vintage cars and motorcycles from around the world in a WWII munitions dump. Knowledgeable hosts will speak with you and answer questions. Open since 1985, the collection grows and changes so check the What’s On section of their website. An on-site cafe adds to the pleasure of this trip.
Fleet Air Museum
The Fleet Air Arm Museum has a thrilling collection of Naval aircraft. In fact, it is Europe’s largest and includes the first British Concorde. Given the impression of flying by helicopter, visitors will arrive “by helicopter” to the replica flight deck of the Ark Royal. Two projections screens show the aircraft taking off and coming in for a landing. View air-sea rescues, nuclear bombs, go aboard the Concord and more. The museum is beside an operational Army/Navy airfield. Parking is easy and free and the site has a great cafe. This trip is loved by everyone, especially children.
Frome Market Town
Frome is a historic market town with architectural gems to explore. Built on steep hills, the town has cobbled streets over parts of Medieval streets. Cheap Street has a sparkling stream that follows it.
Frome has several Galleries and contemporary Craft Centres. Art is represented in two theatres, a multi-purpose venue and a delightful ten-day Festival in early July. Specialty shops along Cheap Street and Catherine Hill have a growing reputation for boutique shopping with their unique and quirky merchandise.
Wincanton Market Town
When visiting Winton, it is easy to imagine a dozen or more stagecoaches a day passing through town over two hundred years ago. It is located in the north of Somerset on what was once the main London Road. The streets are still wide and lined with handsome old houses and staging inns. The town is officially twinned with Ankh-Morpork from author Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.
Come to Wincanton to attend the races, visit the Discworld Emporium, and shop in the independent shops.
Castle Cary is a small town filled with lots of Old World charm. The old part of town is still the town centre. The Market House, the Round House, and the Old George Inn runs along the foot of grassy Lodge Hill where cattle used to graze. The remains of one of the largest castles in twelve century England can be found here.
Castle Cary has many great pubs and quirky shops. The town is also proud of its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century houses and factories, all surrounded by spectacular countryside. A convenient 10-minute link to London makes this an even more attractive trip.
Queen’s Arms Pub
The Queen’s Arms Pub in Sherborne, Somerset is a quintessentially English Georgian Inn in a picturesque rural setting. In cold weather, enjoy homemade pork pies and a pint by a cozy fire. On mild days, enjoy the terrace with lovely views over verdant farmland. The pub is family friendly and accommodates children and dogs.
Chapel Campus Restaurant, Bruton
At the Chapel, in the Somerset town of Bruton is a unique restaurant created in a former 17th-century chapel. The restaurant is open all day to serve breakfast, coffee, lunch, tea, cocktails, and dinner. Enjoy food with a Mediterranean flavor or fresh pizza cooked in an authentic stone-built wood-fired oven. This award-winning restaurant uses only the best local country produce, and the smell of freshly baked bread from the bakery wafts down the streets of Bruton each morning. The Winestore is filled with delectable local wines. In warm weather, enjoy the sunny, jasmine-scented terrace.