Here in the heart of England's west country, you will find
historic houses and beautiful gardens, world-class museums,
bustling towns and pretty villages.
Best of all, this classic English countryside has perfect places
to picnic, great spots for golf and fishing and miles of footpaths
and tracks for walking, cycling and horse-riding.
We look forward to offering you a warm Somerset welcome in 2013
and showing you our special part of England…
SOUTH SOMERSET COUNTRYSIDE
1,100 miles of paths and tracks make this the perfect
countryside for people who love rambling and walking. The diverse
landscape includes wooded hills and valleys and the Somerset Levels
and Moors - one of the lowest and flattest places in the UK
and an important habitat.
Some great places to explore....
Chard Reservior Local Nature reserve
Green Flag Award winner. Peaceful countryside site. Orchid
meadows, native woodlands and excellent bird watching on open water
from hide. Good surfaced pathways.
Touches Lane, Chard
T: 01935 462462
Eastfield Local Nature Reserve
A small, south facing, grassland site alive with
insects and butterflies in the summer months.
High Ham, Langport
Ham Hill Country Park
400 acre open access Country Park, superb
countryside and Iron Age earthworks. Panoramic views of Somerset.
Green Flag Award winner.
Stoke sub Hamdon TA14 6RW
T: 01935 823617
Moldrams Ground Local Nature Reserve
Beautiful woodland and grassland wildlife site.
Ponds with dragonflies and newts. Peaceful for bird watching and
Pen Selwood, Nr Wincanton
Yeovil Country Park
Green Flag Award winning countryside site. Woodlands
and grasslands, river and lakes including Ninesprings and Valley
Brunswick Street, Yeovil
GreenBreaks is a local travel
company - offering chance to explore South Somerset and Dorset,
particularly local culture, food, customs, history, art and the
countryside through walking, cycling, and
Postal address: Manor Farmhouse, Norton Sub Hamdon,
Somerset TA14 6SG
T: 01935 881227
These towns bustle with events and activities,
quirky characters, independent shops and street
Shops range from the traditional butchers and bakers,
ironmongers and drapers, to classy clothes shops and art
galleries, books and antiques shops. There are many
places to eat and drink - quaint old hostelries, modern bistros and
fine dining in smart restaurants.
A picturesque little hillside town
on the river Brue, with Jacobean almshouses, abbey remains and a
famous dovecote (NT). Narrow alleys link the high street with a
riverside walk, 15th century Packhorse Bridge and a magnificent
More information about Bruton can be found
Bruton Museum and Local Information
Centre, The Dovecote Building, 26 High Street,
Bruton BA10 0AA
The High Street is flanked by two
streams and a variety of shops. Chard's history since the
13th century is told in the museum which also has the
Stringfellow Collection celebrating the inventor of powered
More information about Chard can be found at
Chard Tourist Information
Centre, The Guildhall, Fore Street, Chard
TA20 1PP T:
Busy market town with a winding main
street of golden stone and an 18th century round house lock-up on
Bailey Hill, one of the best-preserved town lock-ups in the
More information about Castle Cary at
Castle Cary and Ansford District
Museum and Local Information Centre, The
Market House, Castle Cary BA7 7AH
T: 01963 350 680
An important town since before the
Norman Conquest, with many fine old buildings and a magnificent
15th century church. Nelson's captain, Sir Thomas Hardy, attended
the grammar school which was founded in 1499.
More information about Crewkerne at
Crewkerne Local Information
Centre, Town Hall, Market Square,
Crewkerne TA18 7LN
Once a major Roman garrison town on
the Fosse Way and the county town of Somerset until the
19th century, Ilchester has some fine Georgian houses
and town hall and a 13th century church tower that changes from
square to octagonal as it rises.
More information about Ilchester can be
found at the...
High Street, Ilchester BA22 8NQ,
T: 01935 841247
The Minster of
the town's name stands among quality independent shops.
The open market house sits at the heart of the medieval crossroads
that lead to excellent walking and cycling
More information about Ilminster can
be found at the...
Ilminster Local Information
Centre, The Meeting House Arts Centre and
Cafe, East Street, Ilminster TA19 0AN, T:
In bygone days a busy river port,
this ancient market town is noted for its distinctive houses on Bow
Street and the 'hanging chapel' in the old town wall. The Battle of
Langport in 1645 was one of the last battles of the first civil
More information about Langport can be
found at the...
Langport Local Information
Centre, Bow Street, Langport TA10
9PR, T: 01458 253527
One of the largest parishes in
Somerset, Martock also has one of the oldest domestic dwellings -
the Treasurer's House (NT). Other notable buildings are the
parish church of All Saints, the old grammar school founded in 1661
and perhaps the prettiest Nat West bank in
More information about Martock can be found
Martock Community Information
Office, The Market House, Church Street,
Martock TA12 6JL
An attractive town of architectural
and historical interest, with old stone buildings, handsome
inns and almshouses. An octagonal, roofed market cross, locally
known as The Butter Cross, sits in the wide 17th century
More information about Somerton can be found
Somerton Local Information
Centre, The Library, Cox's Yard, off West Street,
Somerton TA11 7PR
Elegant Georgian houses and coaching
inns record Wincanton's importance as a staging post on the main
London to Plymouth road. In the 1600s the town provided stabling
for nearly 300 horses.
More information about Wincanton can be
found at wincantonmuseum.org.uk
Wincanton Local Information
Centre, Town Hall, Market Place,
Wincanton BA9 9LD T: 01963
A busy retail and commercial centre with a weekly market
and theatres, bowling complex, multiscreen cinema, nightclubs and
The imposing parish Church of St John the Baptist dates from the
1300s and the expansive churchyard is a popular meeting place,
known affectionately by locals as "the beach".
Visiting Yeovil for the first time? Click here for a list of car parks in Yeovil.
Yeovil Tourist Information Centre,
Petters House, Petters Way, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1SH
T: 01935 462781
This registered charity provides powered and manual
equipment for both short and long-term town hire. The service is
for anyone with limited mobility. You do not have to be registered
as a disabled person to use the scheme.
Basement Car Park, Quedam Shopping Centre, Yeovil BA20
T: 01935 420889
Local Markets - for information on Country
Markets (which used to be know as WI Markets) visit www.country-markets.co.uk
View here a copy of our Market Town Leaflet.
Iconic buildings, ancient sites, traditions
and folklore - the past is all around in South Somerset,
waiting to be explored...
Visit Ham Hill Country Park to see the remnants of an Iron Age
hill fort on a vast scale - archaelogists from Cambridge and
Cardiff Universities are investigating the site and
conduct tours of the excavations during July and August www.hamhillfort.info
Trace your family history on church monuments and village
war memorials. Many of the market towns have their
own museum and the Museum of Somerset has a fully-equipped
learning centre for searching the records.
For a wealth of information about the history and
heritage of South Somerset; its industeries and families visit www.southsomersetheritage.org.uk
Somerset Routes was created by the Somerset
Heritage and Libraries Service and the Museums of Somerset Group to
help visitors to Somerset unearth the wealth of heritage sites and
collections to see www.somersetroutes.co.uk
South Somerset has two great museums within a
few minutes drive of each other: The Fleet Air Arm Museum has the
largest naval aviation collection in Europe and a thrilling
international air show in July. Haynes Motor Museum shows
off fast and fantastic road vehicles with 350
amazing cars and bikes on display.
Forget sleepy Somerset - there's a lively music scene in
local pubs and clubs.
For drama and dance, comedy and concerts, opera and ballet,
Yeovil's Octagon Theatre has a year-round programme of
professional performance. There are distinguished
amateur theatre companies at The Swan Theatre in Yeovil and
The Warehouse in Ilminster and live performances at arts
centres in Ilminster and South Petherton.
The peace and beauty of South Somerset inspires a
lively community of painters, potters, wood-turners and willow
workers. Somerset Art Weeks in September give you the
chance to visit artists in their studios.
Somerset is rich in heritage craft-workers thatching,
hedge-laying, hurdle-making and weaving with locally-grown
willow. Some of these talented people offer classes and
workshops to pass on their skills.
Somerset has cottage gardens, formal gardens and
The National Trust has four beautiful houses and
gardens within easy driving distance of each other
and also linked by a cycle route. There are some
lovely private gardens opened through the National Garden
Scheme and many plant nurseries - the first known use of the
word nursery in connection with plants, occurred in Somerset in
Somerset cider is one of the most famous
flavours of England's west country and Cheddar cheese is
pretty famous too - but there's more. Try
out your taste for smoked eel, caught in
Somerset rivers and preserved the traditional way at
local smokeries. Ice-cream and beer are also produced locally
- and beef and lamb, pork and buffalo - yes,
Our quality restaurants, cafes and pubs feature locally produced
food on their menus and many food businesses have been recognised
There's a top class range of sports activities and
venues on offer in South Somerset.
Join the football crowd at a Glovers match or cheer on your
favourite horse at Wincanton Races. There's a choice of 9 and
18-hole golf-courses, fishing in lakes and rivers, racquet sports,
fitness centres and swimming pools. If you are a
keen cyclist, you can explore the South Somerset
countryside with the 80 mile cycle
route. The route can be done as an exhilerating day ride or
broken down into shorter sections - a great way to get fit and see
Touring Parks and Campsites
Bruton and Castle Cary area
Chard and Crewkerne area
Langport, Martock and Somerton area