Somerset (England)West Country of England.
- Bristol (often considered a separate county and not covered in this article)
- — England's smallest city.
- Bath — Roman and Georgian spa town with Roman baths and Georgian architecture; the entire city is a .
- Taunton – the county town
- Clevedon – seaside resort with pier
- — a town known for its Tor and New Age associations, plus its nearby music festival
- – small town in the heart of the Levels
- Shepton Mallet
- Weston-super-Mare – traditional seaside resort
- The Exmoor villages of Dunster, Oare, Porlock, Porlock Weir, Selworthy and Winsford are found in the Exmoor article.
Because of several local government reorganisations, the exact definition of the county of Somerset depends on whether you are talking about the modern administrative or the traditional county. This article specifically covers the current administrative county of Somerset, plus the unitary districts of "North Somerset" and "Bath and North East Somerset", which constitute much of the traditional county of Somerset. It does not cover the city of Bristol, which by tradition and in modern times is a county in its own right.
A large part of the Exmoor National Park is in Somerset, although Devon has the western part. The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also shared with Devon but two fall entirely within Somerset. These are the Quantock Hills and the Mendip Hills.
Another significant difference is demonstrated by the 'r' in the word cider. RP speakers will not pronounce the /r/ in this word (they will say SIGH-da), while WCE speakers will always pronounce /r/ after a vowel (they will say SIGH-der or even SOY-der).
In Somerset, as in other counties of England, you will also encounter non-native English speakers alongside the speakers of the local and standard varieties, particularly in the larger towns and cities of Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Taunton, Yeovil and Bridgwater. However relative to other parts of England, Somerset has very few non-native speakers (around 2% countywide, around 10% in central Yeovil).
There are major railway stations at Bristol (Bristol Temple Meads) and Taunton. Both are served by trains from London (Paddington), Cardiff, Manchester, the North of England, Devon and Cornwall, from the Great Western Railway and CrossCountry operators. Bristol is also served by trains from Portsmouth, Weymouth, Hampshire and Dorset.
There is also a slower South Western Railway line between London Waterloo and Exeter which serves the south of county with stations at Yeovil and Crewkerne.
By car, the major routes are the M5 serving the north of county (Bridgwater, Taunton) and the A303 in the south (Yeovil, Ilminster).
See West Somerset Railway, for details on the main heritage railway in the area. There is also the minor East Somerset Railway near Shepton Mallet
address: Cheddardramatic limestone gorge and show caves, home to paleolithic archaeology, and the famous cheese
address: Clevedonclassic Victorian pleasure pier
address: RNAS Yeovilton, near YeovilEurope's Largest Naval Aviation Collection
address: Glastonburyoverlooks the historic Glastonbury Abbey, and with their many associations with myth and legend, New Age shops prosper in the town
address: Tauntonhosts first-class cricket
Stanton Drew stone circlesthe larger of which is the 2nd biggest in Britain
address: WraxhallSpectacular Victorian Gothic Revival house with gardens and parkland (National Trust)
address: near Wellsseries of limestone caverns open as a show cave/ tourist attraction
There are some amazing walks to be done around somerset and its many undiscovered treasures.
BirdwatchingSomerset hosts numerous RSPB and WWT nature reserves, and the wetlands of the Levels are a true avian hotspot, with literally millions of starlings coming to roost in one of England's most dramatic natural displays
CavingAs well as the easily tourist-accessible show caves listed under "See", the Mendips is riddled with more challenging and complex caves available to experienced cavers. Paid guided expeditions are available for the brave but inexperienced
Glastonbury Festivalone of the largest and most famous festivals of performing arts in the world
Priddy Folk Festivalthree days of folk music on the Mendip plateau
At the shore of the Bristol channel, the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station is worth a visit to those with an interest in science and technology. Visitors first need to register at the in Bridgwater. An identity check is part of the pre-visit registration process, so do not forget to bring your passport.
phone: +44 1278 654600An active nuclear power station with 2 operational 650 MW reactors of the AGR (Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor) type, the first of their kind to be connected to the British power grid in 1976. After an introduction, visitors are taken on a tour through the power station, visiting the turbine hall, the reactor hall, and the control room. The tours are guided by Bob, a retired plant operator with over 50 years of experience in nuclear technology, who is able to answer almost any question. A tour takes about 4 hours (including safety checks) and requires a fair bit of walking. Decent shoes and proper clothing are required.
Hinkley Point CConstruction site of the Hinkley Point C power station, to be commissioned in 2025. Tours are organized around the site where this megastructure is being erected, including the concrete factory producing the concrete required to pour the reactors continuously for over 50 hours, the excavations for the turbine hall and back-up generators, and the 3 km long pipeline with a 3.5 m diameter to suck in cooling water.
Don't miss the local genuine farmhouse cheddar cheese, a world apart from the generic factory cheese often sold under the cheddar name.
phone: +44 1278 653582address: Gurney St, Cannington, Bridgwater TA5 2HWA watermill of 15th Century origins converted into a B&B. Comfortable rooms with character. Pleasant grounds with water features. Good quality home cooked breakfasts.
Helpful HolidaysIs a family business with over 600 high quality, inspected holiday cottages in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.
Classic CottagesEstablished in 1977, with over 750 handpicked and personally inspected holiday cottages throughout Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.