The Somerset Bucket List: The Best Places To Visit
If you're looking for a fantastic travel destination that is rich in culture and history, then look no further than Somerset, England!
In this article, Girl About Travel takes you on a tour to Somerset; this beautiful county is home to some of the most famous sites in the United Kingdom, including Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor.
It's even been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years (Jane Austen fans rejoice!), so you can expect a lot of excitement when you visit. There are plenty of things to see and do in Somerset, so make sure to add them to your bucket list!
Somerset: A Brief History
Somerset is a county located in the South West of England, bordering Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Bristol. Bath, the largest city in the county, is located within Somerset. The county has over one million people and covers an area of approximately 3500 square miles.
Somerset has a rich history dating back to Roman times, known as Somerton. The name 'Somerset' derives from the Old English words 'sumorsaete,' meaning "the summer people," as the county was used as a summer retreat by the Saxons.
The Normans also left their mark on Somerset, with castles such as Dunster Castle and Taunton Castle built during their rule. Many beautiful churches and cathedrals in the county, such as Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey.
The county has been home to many famous people, including King Arthur and Isaac Newton.
Nowadays, Somerset is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning scenery and rich history. There are many things to see and do in the county; we'll list down some of our favorites below!
it only makes sense to start with the most famous site in Somerset, and perhaps in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge.
This prehistoric monument is thought to have been built between 3000-2000 BC and consists of a ring of standing stones. The purpose of Stonehenge is still unknown (giving rise to plenty of alien conspiracies), but it is believed to have been built for religious or ceremonial purposes.
The best time to visit Stonehenge is during the summer solstice when the sun rises in alignment with the stones, creating a truly magical experience.
There are many theories about what Stonehenge was used for, but we'll let you discover that for yourself!
Glastonbury Tor is a hill located near the town of Glastonbury in Somerset. The name 'Tor' comes from the Old English word 'torr', meaning 'rocky hill'. The hill is thought to be of spiritual significance and has been associated with many legends over the years.
The most famous legend is King Arthur, who was said to be buried on the hill along with his queen Guinevere.
The Glastonbury Tor is also home to the ruins of a 14th-century church, which is believed to have been built on an earlier church dating back to the 12th century.
The best time to visit Glastonbury Tor is during sunrise or sunset, when the views are simply breathtaking.
Bath Abbey is a beautiful Anglican church located in the city of Bath. The Abbey dates back to the 16th century and was built on an earlier Norman church site.
The Abbey is most famous for its West Front, which is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the United Kingdom.
Inside the Abbey, you can find the tomb of King Henry VII and his Queen consort, Elizabeth of York.
The Bath Abbey is open to visitors all year round, and we highly recommend taking a tour if you're interested in learning more about its history.
Babington House is a stately home located near the town of Frome in Somerset. The house was built in 1615 by Sir Anthony Babington and has been passed down through many different families over the years.
The house is open to visitors all year round and contains many beautiful rooms which are open to the public. There is also a garden that is well worth visiting in the summer months.
Babington House makes for a perfect day trip if you're interested in learning more about British history and architecture.
Jane Austen Festival
Technically not a place, but the Jane Austen Festival is definitely worth a mention!
Each year, the town of Bath hosts a festival in honor of one of England's most famous authors, Jane Austen. The festival celebrates all things Austen, from literature to fashion to music.
The best time to visit the Jane Austen Festival is during September when the town is decked out in Regency-era decorations. There are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy for Austen fans. But even if you aren't a fan, the Austen festival is still not an event you want to miss!
The Pump room
In line with all things Austen, the Pump room is a popular Regency-era attraction in the city of Bath.
The Pump room was initially built as a spa and is now home to the Museum of Costume. The museum has a collection of over 20,000 costumes from worldwide.
The best time to visit the Pump Room is during one of their special events, such as 'Dress up Day' or 'Pirate Day'. Be sure to check their website for more information!
Wells Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral located in Wells, Somerset. The cathedral was founded in 1175 by Bishop Roger de Mortimer and was built in the Early English Gothic style.
The cathedral is most famous for its West Front, which is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Europe.
Inside the cathedral, you can find the tomb of King Edward VI and his queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville.
Wells Cathedral is open to visitors all year round, and we highly recommend taking a tour if you're interested in learning more about its history.
If the thrill of exploring caves is what you're after, then you'll want to add Wookey Hole to your Somerset bucket list!
Wookey Hole is a series of caves located near the village of Wookey in Somerset. The caves are thought to be over 70 million years old and used by humans since the Stone Age.
The caves are home to various animals, including bats, cave spiders, and cave crickets.
For the bravest of souls, you can even try going on a caving expedition! Just be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Have you ever heard of a bat walk? Cheddar Gorge is home to a variety of different animals, including bats!
Each year, the Cheddar Gorge Wildlife Park hosts a bat walk where you can learn all about these fascinating creatures.
The best time to take part in a bat walk is during the summer months when the weather is warm, and the bats are most active.
Just in case you were wondering, yes, there is a place called Burnham-on-Sea!
Burnham-on-Sea is a seaside town located in Somerset. The town is most famous for its lighthouse, built during 1832.
The lighthouse is open to visitors all year round and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. If you're lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or two!
There's plenty to see and do in Somerset, so be sure to add these places to your bucket list! There's something for everyone, from exploring caves to learning about Regency-era fashion. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!