A coastal county in Southwest England, Somerset offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles. Typically English and indisputably romantic, this region is defined by its verdant green pastures, herds of fluffy sheep, and quaint villages. Among Somerset's many attractions, the town of Bath is one of the country's most unique and beautiful settlements, while the little village of Cheddar is surrounded by a truly picturesque countryside. A land of legend and folklore, many believe that the Somerset town of Glastonbury is the mythic island of Avalon from the tales of King Arthur.
A drive through Somerset will take you through some of England's most lovely landscapes, including Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park. Along the coast, Somerset's small villages overlook sand beaches and the English Channel. A fertile land and major agricultural region, Somerset produces a large portion of England's cheeses, most notably, cheddar. To wash it down, Somerset's villages also make wonderful hard ciders from the ample apple orchards in the region.
As Somerset's biggest town, the city of Bristol offers excellent shopping in the Broadmead district, a lovely historic downtown, and unique food shopping at the charming St. Nichols market. Bristol is also a great place to visit during one of the many annual music and theater events, as well as the annual hot air balloon festival.
Here are a few additional suggestions of things to do in Somerset:
-Clevedon: Be sure to visit this lovely seaside village with a pebble beach and well-preserved Victorian downtown.
-Bath: This country town is where Roman invaders built a public bath and spa.
-Glastonbury: A cute and bohemian village, Glastonbury is home to a famous annual music festival, as well as one of the most beautiful abbeys in England.
-Weston Bay: This seaside community features picturesque beaches overlooking the deep blue waters of the English Channel.
-Wells Cathedral: This cathedral is known for its stained glass windows.
-Weston-super-Mare: This area is a great summer destination with sandy beaches and a fun boardwalk with shops and restaurants.
A vacation rental in the countryside is one of the nicest ways to enjoy Somerset. If you want to soak up the unique atmosphere in one of Somerset's tiny towns, a comfortable condo can provide more space and amenities than any of the local hotels. If you are heading to the shore, consider a cozy cabin overlooking the English Channel or a lovely beach villa.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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