England: Six Hidden Gems in Somerset
Somerset offers so much more than the Glastonbury Festival!
By Daniel Robinson
When one thinks of Somerset England, they think of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival and not much more.
Despite the county being layered with iconic green spaces, Somerset is home to more than a few hidden secrets which even the savviest tourists will struggle to find.
To draw upon these rural rarities, one of the leading Somerset hotels, Webbington Hotel and Spa, has drawn up six must-see secret hotspots from in and around the region.
If you want to explore some of these wonderful places, get a rental car in London and head out to the country!
From the glorious grade one listed buildings to museums rich in infatuating historical beauty, Somerset isn’t short of a picturesque landmark. Here are Webbington’s top six secret gems.
GEM ONE: Cheddar Gorge
Explore the UK’s largest gorge with dramatic cliffs and mind-blowing stalactite caverns. This world-famous site draped in natural beauty will provide a great family day location if you are looking for thrill-seeking history and adventure.
GEM TWO: Brean Down
With a remarkable heritage, there has been life on Breen Down since 10,000 BC. It is believed to have been home to a number of extinct creatures including mammoths and woolly rhinos; both of which have been discovered there since.
Breen Down was also an iconic battleground during the Second World War which played a key role in defending the South West from German fighters.
GEM THREE: Glastonbury Tor
Clearly identified in the Somerset skyline, Glastonbury Tor sits watchfully above the flat Summerland meadows. There are a number of myths and stories associated with the Tor such as the belief that is was home to the Lord of the Underworld and King of the Fairies. Others believe that in medieval times, it was a place where monks would retreat to at certain times of the year.
GEM FOUR: Wells Cathedral
Located in the medieval city center of Wells, the Cathedral was built between 1175 and 1490. Since then the Cathedral has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”. It is really only by visiting in person that you can properly experience this wonderful and holy place and the grandeur of its stunning architecture and attention to detail.
GEM FIVE: West Somerset Railway
Whether you’re looking for a nostalgic train ride back in time or to brush up on your railway and industrial heritage knowledge, the West Somerset Railway is worth a visit. Explore the historical steam locomotives, coaches and wagons, and the infrastructure of its ten unique stations while traveling along twenty miles of the scenic journey. The surrounding countryside is as varied as it is beautiful.
GEM SIX: Fleet Air Arm Museum
For those who like a spot of plane watching or the odd wartime documentary, you’ll love this place. With four exhibition halls, over ninety aircraft, over 2 million records, and 30,000 artifacts, the Museum is Europe’s largest naval aviation Museum. The museum is also home to the first British Concorde which you can board, view the cockpit, and visit the award-winning Aircraft Carrier Experience.
Daniel Robinson is a freelance writer from Leeds, England.