Seeing as several of our Big Houses are situated in the beautiful county of Somerset in the south west of England, we thought it might be a nice idea to share our insider’s guide to some of our favourite local hotspots.
Let us introduce you to some places that are well loved by the locals…
- Cheddar Gorge
Britain’s largest gorge was created over millions of years by waters from the ice age and has a depth of 449ft. Cheddar Gorge is renowned as a world famous beauty spot and well worth a visit if you are staying in the area. Take in the most magnificent 360-degree views of the dramatic landscape by climbing Jacobs Ladder all the way up to the Lookout Tower, then have fun exploring the incredible stalactite caverns, (the most beautiful in Britain) below.
This popular tourist spot attracts in the region of 500,000 visitors each year and is the site where the oldest complete human skeleton in Britain was discovered, back in 1903. The skeleton, known as ‘Cheddar Man’ is estimated to be more than 9,000 years old.
- Thermae Bath Spa
Treat yourself to an incredible spa day at Thermae Bath Spa, in the heart of the city of Bath. This wonderful setting is a unique blend of old and new as the well known historic spa buildings have been blended with new design, enabling you to bathe in warm mineral rich waters just as the Romans did more than 2,000 years ago, in a contemporary setting!
Choose from over 40 wonderful spa treatments, relax in the indoor Minerva Bath, invigorate your senses in the aroma steam rooms, or take in the spectacular views of this beautiful city from the comfort of the open-air thermal pool on the roof!
- Hestercombe Gardens
Step through over 300 years of fine garden design at this inspirational estate, which is open to visitors all year round and has excellent facilities for families and children. Wander through the Georgian Landscape Garden, take in the views from the Victorian Terrace and last but not least, explore the incredible Edwardian Formal Garden that is widely accepted to be one of the finest examples of the famous partnership between Edward Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll.
Between the extensive gardens and the excellent indoor facilities, it is easy to make a day of it at Hestercombe. Art lovers will enjoy Hestercombe Gallery with its contemporary exhibitions and if you are looking something to eat or drink, you are also in luck here!
The Stables Cafe is a fabulous stop for home cooked lunches, delicious cake and tea, or you may prefer to visit the more formal Column Room Restaurant for a three course lunch and yet more spectacular views.
- Somerset Lavender
What could be more relaxing than a visit to a small, family run farm that is entirely dedicated to growing lavender? If you have never had an opportunity to visit lavender fields in person and take in not just the fabulous scenery, but also the heavenly scent, then this is your opportunity!
This wonderful farm is situated in Radstock, Somerset and you will find something to occupy your entire group, regardless of age. At harvest time, you can take a tour and gain insight into the process that is involved in distilling the lavender to create essential oil and at other times during the year, you can visit the cafe and the farm shop where you will discover a variety of lavender plants and unique lavender related gifts for sale.