Somerset is where willow is grown commercially and Stoke St Gregory is at the heart of the basket making industry. Visit the Willows & Wetlands centre to see baskets being made. It is a good starting point for walking the area and afterwards you can have homemade cakes in the tea shop.
There is a wealth of historic houses and gardens within easy reach. Dunster Castle is a fortified castle sitting on a hill overlooking Minehead and the Bristol Channel. Visit Tyntesfield near Bristol to see the conservation work the National Trust are doing on this spectacular Victorian Gothic house.
Hestercombe Gardens are also a work in progress; the cascade, temple and other buildings have been uncovered and lovingly restored. East Lambrook Manor Gardens are a plantsman’s paradise.
Cheddar Caves and Wookey Hole Caves are popular with children, as is the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Visit Glastonbury for a glimpse of alternative lifestyles. Wells is an interesting medieval cathedral city. Explore the market towns, including Langport and Somerton for a peaceful stroll and admire the elegant architecture.
A trip to Somerset wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a cider farm. Visit Perrys or Sheppys to see how cider is made and saple the local brew. Burrow Hill produces award winning cider and cider brandy – liquid gold!
This is just a small sample of the diverse attractions this county has to offer. For more details, websites, opening hours, etc, go to www.visitsomerset.co.uk and follow the links to “things to do” and “explore Somerset”.
Places to eat
We can recommend the Rose & Crown in Stoke St Gregory : www.browningpubs.com. They serve a varied menu using seasonal local ingredients in comfortable surroundings. This pub is also very accessible, with ramps, wide doors, disabled loos, etc. Try their “credit crunch lunches” in the low season.