Places to Visit
King Alfred’s Tower (4 miles)
King Alfred’s Tower is a folly linked to the Stourhead estate built in 1772. Its size and beauty make it an imposing addition to the landscape, and the views from the top are breathtaking. The tower was intended to commemorate the end of the Seven Years’ War against France and supposedly stands near the location where it is believed that Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, rallied the Saxons in 878 before defeating the Danish army. The tower is 49 metres high and has 205 steps to the top, where visitors can enjoy the fantastic 360-degree views.
Open limited hours
Westcombe Dairy (5 miles)
Westcombe Dairy is located in a beautiful secluded valley in east Somerset called the Batcombe Vale. A small family-run artisan dairy, Westcombe uses a handcrafted approach to make award-winning cheeses from their very own cows’ milk. Visitors are welcome at the dairy where they can taste cheese directly from the aging room, sample some craft beer from The Wild Beer Co, or try one of the amazing apple spirits from The Somerset Cider Brandy Co.
Dairy shop opening times: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5.30 pm
Saturdays, 10 am – 3 pm
Stourhead (8 miles)
When Stourhead first opened in the 1740s, a magazine described it as ‘a living work of art’. A unique Palladian mansion it has a world-famous landscape garden complete with a magnificent lake reflecting classical temples, mystical grottoes, and rare and exotic trees. The Hoare family (who were also previous owners of Durslade Farm, the site in which Hauser & Wirth Somerset is located) history can be uncovered in Stourhead House, which features a Regency library and fabulous collections of Chippendale furniture and paintings, all set amid delightful lawns, parkland and a 1,072-hectare nature conservation estate.
Cranmore Tower (8 miles)
Cranmore Tower is an old folly prominently sited on a high point of the East Mendip range in Somerset. Built in the 1860’s the Tower still stands today proudly overlooking the countryside and offering spectacular views from an elevation of 1050 ft above sea level. As well as climbing the towers steps, visitors can also enjoy walking through the deciduous Cranmore woods and tea, coffee and cakes at the Tower Tea Rooms.
Opening times: Daily between 9 am – 7 pm
Kilver Court Secret Gardens (9 miles)
Hidden in the heart of the Mendips are the Secret Gardens of Kilver Court. They were first created over 100 years ago by Ernest Jardine and the 3.5 acre site offers an ‘Oasis of Tranquility & Reflection’ for all visitors.
Opening times: Daily between 9 am – 5.30 pm
Frome (12 miles)
Packed to the rafters with artisans, historic buildings, beautiful independent shops and creative people, Frome is a wonderfully vibrant and eventful town. Frome is a town with a charming historic centre and has a wealth of architectural interest. Frome hosts regular markets every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then on the first Sunday of each month from March to December, ‘The Frome Independent’ comes to town. The Frome Independent is a mini festival that takes over the whole town attracting thousands of visitors. It brings together the best artisan food and drink, local artists and designers, local produce, plants, flowers, retro, vintage, collectables, homewares and street entertainment and is well worth a visit.
Shearwater Lake (13 miles)
Shearwater is a man-made freshwater lake near Crockerton village, close to the town of Warminster in Wiltshire. Part of the Longleat Estate, the lake is surrounded by mature woodland and is popular with anglers, walkers and cyclists.
Wells (14 miles)
The smallest city in England, with its splendid 12th Century Cathedral and Bishops Palace, 14th Century Vicars’ Close, and 18th Century Town Hall. A traditional open-air market is held every Wednesday and Saturday at the old Market Place, and the city boasts a wide range of shops, pubs and restaurants.
Glastonbury Tor (14 miles)
Glastonbury Tor is one of Britain’s most iconic and evocative landmarks, offering magnificent views of the Somerset Levels, Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales. Steeped in history and legend, Glastonbury Tor is known as being one of the most spiritual sites in the country. Its pagan beliefs are still very much celebrated. It’s a beautiful place to walk, unwind and relax.
Glastonbury (17 miles)
The Abbey, the Tor, the Chalice Well, and the Druid sites – for Glastonbury is the stuff of legend, magic and the Holy Grail. There are a variety of esoteric shops along the high street and a handful of good places to eat and drink too.
The Mendip Hills (17 miles)
An area of outstanding natural beauty, offering way-marked walks, nature trails, and mountain bike routes of varying degrees of difficulty. By foot, bike or car you can visit an iron-age hill fort, a nature reserve, medieval houses, ancient villages and numerous public houses offering excellent real ales.
The Colliers Way (18 miles)
The Colliers Way – Route 24 of Sustrans National Cycle Network – is a multi-user recreational path extending 23 miles from Dundas, just outside Bath, through Radstock to Frome following a largely traffic free route.
Bradford on Avon (21 miles)
Set perfectly in the dramatic Avon Valley, it is a rare combination of river, canal and architecture of true character. It’s no surprise that this place has drawn people through the ages. Stroll through the town and you will walk through time. Wander and wonder. The Romans, Saxons, Normans, Georgians and Victorians have all left their mark – each creating a chapter in Bradford on Avon’s remarkable story. www.bradfordonavon.co.uk
Somerset Cider Brandy Company (24 miles)
Somerset Cider Brandy Company sits amongst 160 acres of cider apple orchards at the base of Burrow Hill, a famous Somerset landmark that looks out across the Somerset Levels. The farm has been pressing cider for the past 150 years and distilling the cider into Somerset Cider Brandy since 1989. Visitors are welcome to come to the farm, view the distillery, walk around the orchard trail and visit the cider house shop.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5.30 pm
Cheddar (25 miles)
An ancient village, now associated forever with its famous cheese and the eponymous gorge and caves, it lies within a designated site of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding beauty. You can visit the gorge and caves, the local cheese factory and brewery. www.cheddarvillage.org.uk
Bath (26 miles)
Roman Baths, 15th Century Bath Abbey, the Jane Austen Centre, and so much more, the city is a World Heritage Site packed with things to do and see. Shopping includes the usual high street outlets, but also independent booksellers, galleries, antiques, music and specialist food shops.
Holburne Museum, Bath (26 miles)
The Holburne Museum is located in Sydney Gardens, Bath, Somerset. The city’s first public art gallery, the Grade I listed building is home to fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne. The fascinating pieces that adorn one of Bath’s most beautiful buildings vary from Renaissance treasures to masterpieces by Gainsborough. There is so much to see and explore, even if you are a regular visitor you can discover something new with the continually changing temporary exhibitions.
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm www.holburne.org
Bristol (30 miles)
Explore Bristol’s maritime heritage from pirates and slavery to Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and everything else a major city can offer – theatres and music venues, art galleries and a wide range of modern restaurants and bars. Bristol is also a magnet for shoppers, from the city centre and the new Cabot Circus development to the huge Cribbs Causeway indoor shopping centre situated just off the M5 motorway at junction 18. www.visitbristol.co.uk
Spike Island, Bath (31 miles)
Spike Island is an international centre for the development of contemporary art and design. Based in Bristol, it is home to a gallery, cafe and working space for artists, designers and creative businesses. A vibrant hub for production, presentation and debate, they offer opportunities for audiences to engage directly with creative practices through participation and discussion.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 – 5pm www.spikeisland.org.uk
Arnolfini, Bristol (27 miles)
Arnolfini is a centre for contemporary arts based on Bristol’s harbour-side in the heart of the city. Founded in 1961, the organisation is dedicated to producing and presenting visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, underpinned by a commitment to a dynamic civic role in the city. In 2016, Arnolfini was a finalist in the Art Fund’s Museum of the year, recognised for its extraordinary commitment to broadening participation and engagement with the arts. Under the new leadership of Director Claire Doherty, from August 2017, Arnolfini has undergone significant change throughout 2017/18.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 6pm www.arnolfini.org.uk