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Our guide to luxury Somerset holidays

The local lilt draws you in, but it’s the West Country’s wild expanses of coast and country that linger long in the memory. Here, slow travel finds new meaning; this is our Unique guide to luxury Somerset holidays.

Home to five AONBs and dotted with historic cities – including Wells and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath – all a hop, skip, and a jump from London, it’s no wonder so many seek the serenity of Somerset. Long associated with Arthurian legend and romantic roots, this is a county moving forward; once agrarian villages like Frome are serving brunches more akin to Bondi than bucolic Britain, whilst a former farmstead in Bruton hosts world-class contemporary art. Of course, cheddar and cider are on the menu, but there’s change afoot on the local food scene, with Michelin-starred restaurants putting Somerset firmly on the culinary map.

One thing that remains reassuringly unchanged is the landscape; offering the best of ocean and inland, it’s hard to resist the county’s evergreen pull. From Cheddar Gorge’s ragged cliffs to the woodlands of the Quantock Hills, the warren of walks along the South West Coast Path to musical Glastonbury, it’s a good place to dine, dance, and capture the whole experience on film. So, whether you’re here for a last-minute weekend to escape the city sounds or a long-term let in a charming village setting to finish that first novel, we’ve uncovered everything to see, do, and where to eat while in the West Country in our guide to luxury Somerset holidays.

Locations in Somerset

Step into cider country, where the Quantock Hills quench travellers´ thirst for the great outdoors and Glastonbury´s ubiquitous beat drums on. From Frome to Wells, we´ve got every coveted corner of Somerset covered.

Collections in Somerset

Gather the family and head for the hills, where the biggest dilemma is: wild swim, hot tub, or outdoor pool? From gothic manors for groups to garden retreats for two, you´ll find a luxury Somerset staycation in these collections.

Things to do in Somerset

Hop on England´s longest heritage railway, roving through Exmoor towards golden shores for a day of rock pooling, or take a safari drive-through at Longleat, where littles can spy Rhesus monkeys and red pandas at play.

Things to see in Somerset

There´s no shortage of dramatic views at Cheddar Gorge, even underground, where its stalactite caves hide. All about, there´s photography opportunities in spades; think Dyrham Deer Park, Barrington Court, and Bath Crescent.

Where to eat in Somerset

Sip orchard cyder straight from the source, feast on just-picked vegetables in glasshouse dining rooms under ficus trees, or take your pick from a host of olde-worlde inns, where chalkboard menus follow country yomps.

Journals about Somerset

Seek refuge in stories from the hills, or dive head first into secret pools in country piles. Raring to go? We´ve pinpointed the finest hiking trails along the South West Coast Path, where seabirds´ song replaces the city rush.

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Somerset FAQ´s

Looking for advice on choosing between Kilve and Dunster beaches? Want to know the story of the cheddar? If you have a Somerset-specific query, you might find the answer here. For everything else, visit our general FAQs.

What is Somerset famous for?

Peppered among Somerset’s rolling hills lie acres of apple orchards, ready to produce the county’s most famous beverage – lip-smacking cider. Its rich, cider-making heritage stretches back to the 11th-century, brought over by the Romans. It was once considered a health supplement, beneficial for the skin, and even used to christen babies until the 15th-century. Now, Somerset cider is best enjoyed in the sunlit gardens of a thatched pub or at one of many raucous cider festivals across the county. Dry, sweet, flat, or sparkling: there’s no shortage of flavour or variety, just be prepared to throw the usual rulebook out the window. Truly local scrumpy is usually homemade in small batches; it tastes delicious but the owner has no idea how strong it is.

When is Glastonbury Festival usually held?

With hazy, summer days at their longest and the British weather (supposedly) at its peak, over 200,000 free-wheeling music lovers descend on the tiny village of Pilton for Glastonbury Festival every year. Whilst exact dates vary year-to-year, the festival is usually held on the last weekend of June, unless a ‘fallow year’; one in which the ground is allowed to recover and no festival takes place. Traffic over this weekend in the immediate area can be chaotic, with stationary jams sometimes lasting over four hours or more. But even those without tickets can’t help but to absorb the energy, its infectious positivity urging all around to dance to the beat of their own drum.

What is the largest town in Somerset?

Somerset is a rural idyll, coated with barley fields and wildflower meadows in the summer. But if you’re craving a little buzz without the chaos of London, head to Bath, Somerset’s largest city. Where magnificent Georgian architecture presides over royal crescents and old style boutiques dot networks of tiny streets, Bath is the only city in the UK to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From steaming Roman baths to art installations like the Southgate Umbrellas, the city has plenty to colour the memory books, all you need to do is decide what mood you’re in.

Which village is famous for its cheese?

Cheddar. Originating from the village with the same name, the UK’s favourite is still made with traditional cheese-making methods today. This tiny village sits at the mouth of Cheddar Gorge, its high street transitioning into a snaking road that carves its way dramatically through the rock. Formed during the last ice age, explore the gorge’s other-worldly caves that hide elders’ meeting chambers and secret caverns, many of which are used to mature Cheddar cheese. Then head back to the village for a hearty Ploughmans, sampling the very best that Somerset has to offer.

Where are the best beaches in Somerset?

There are over 30 beaches to choose from in Somerset, stretching from Exmoor to Weston-super-Mare. Take the children fossil-hunting at Kilve Beach, where rocky shores meet gentle tides, or for ice creams that threaten to slither off cones at sandy beaches like Brean Beach, Berrow Beach, or Dunster Beach. Whether it’s to be the setting for a teatime picnic or bracing walk in the salty air, these popular and hidden stretches of the Somerset coast are just the place:

Middle Hope Beach

Brean Beach

Dunster Beach

Minehead Beach

Weston-super-Mare Beach

Stolford Beach

Clevedon Beach

Porlock Weir

St. Audries Bay

Own a property in Somerset?

Are you the keeper of a hilltop manor? Or the custodian of a secret shack by the sea? From Bath to Frome to Crowcombe, we´re seeking Somerset´s most unique homes to join our growing portfolio.

Follow us @uniquehomestays


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