Somerset, the county with the trendiest reputation in the South West. Not only is Somerset a mecca for Londoners looking for a country escape, it’s a foodie odyssey, a bohemian bolthole and a cultural sanctuary. Regular transport links to London in under two hours make commuting an option for hybrid working, whilst you also have the convenience of being within easy reach of Bath and Bristol, not to mention being accessible to the rest of the South West for weekends by the coast – Somerset is the county that provides the best of town and country living.
The reputation of Bruton and Frome lead the Somerset charge, but here we’ll also tell you of the slightly lesser-known Somerset options that are high on our radar.
Let’s start with Frome – one of the most sought-after towns in the West Country, Frome, is a quirky and artistic market town boasting a creative artisan atmosphere and vibrant independent spirit. The first Sunday of every month the town hosts ‘The Frome Independent’ where the shops all open and the steep, cobbled, boutique-lined-streets become filled with stalls belonging to independent traders with stylish crafted goods, antiques and street food – you can easily spend a day getting lost here.
Equally desirable Bruton is 10 miles from Frome and is hub for art, design and food. Full of character and charm, the high street has Michelin-starred restaurants alongside traditional, albeit award winning, cheese shops and delis. A short walk from the centre and you’ll find world-renowned contemporary art gallery, Hauser and Wirth – with other locations such as New York, LA, Zurich, Hong Kong and London, visiting Bruton will certainly make you forget you’re in a corner of the Somerset countryside. A couple of miles out of town and you’ll discover The Newt – a converted stately home and gardens into a modern fantasy countryside resort. Magnificent is the only way to describe The Newt – ideal for garden enthusiasts, for a weekend of luxury, or a delicious lunch with spectacular views across the rolling Mendip Hills.
If you’d prefer to experience suburban Somerset that balances town living with beautiful unspoilt surrounding woodlands, whilst being just 20 minutes outside of Bristol, then North Somerset’s Nailsea is perfect. With good schools and a bustling town centre, you’d really have no reason to leave!
Meanwhile the bustling village of Wedmore, a little further into the Somerset countryside, has a rich Anglo-Saxon history set in the Somerset Levels with the Mendip Hills as a picturesque backdrop. In classic English village style, Wedmore has a deli, cheese shop and a butcher’s – all family owned with produce coming from a farm in the village.
We also love Wrington, situated south of Bristol and beautifully positioned to enjoy expansive green open space and lakes. Take a walk around Blagdon Lake and enjoy the varied wildlife and calm gentle sounds of the water, followed by a lunch at the Ethicurean – a restaurant that promises to wow the senses and ensure you are connected with nature with its expanse of gardens for home grown produce and views for miles.
Somerset was once the county most famous for cider, is now the county that everyone wants to move to – it’s accessible whilst still feeling like you’ve escaped and yet it’s cool without being pretentious. The ideal combination.
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