10 of the best places to visit in South Somerset

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Lytes Cary, Somerton

The delightful manor house, making love backmost to nan 1300s, was owned for generations by nan Lyte family. The plot was cultivated by Elizabeth I’s botanist, Henry Lyte, but nan location fell into disrepair and nan plot was ploughed up. In 1909, aft a period and a half of neglect, a caller family took over. They restored nan interior (removing a cider property and farming instrumentality dumped inside) and created nan charming Arts & Crafts plot you tin still bask today. Tranquil walks done nan 350-acre grounds return you on nan River Cary. You tin enactment connected nan property successful a portion of nan main manor house, aliases successful a cosy cottage by nan entranceway gates.

Ham Hill Country Park

Formal gardens of Montacute House connected a outpouring day.
‘A masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture’: Montacute House. Photograph: Thomas Faull/Alamy

Heading westbound from Lytes Cary connected nan A303, you travel to Ham Hill. Once an Iron Age hillfort, it’s now a wildlife haven pinch awesome views and is overmuch loved by walkers and joggers. Start astatine Stoke-sub-Hamdon and locomotion to nan apical for a portion aliases nutrient astatine nan celebrated Prince of Wales pub, past towards nan sloping woodland that takes you down to nan colony of Montacute. While you’re location visit Montacute House, a masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture (pictured above) and design. Built for illustration truthful overmuch other adjacent pinch aureate hamstone quarried connected nan elevation down you, nan location is owned by nan National Trust. There are 2 beautiful lodges to rent connected nan estate, 1 by nan entrance gate and 1 successful nan parkland.

Hinton St George

A statement of cottages of aureate hamstone and thatch
‘Golden hamstone, thatched cottages and flowers that spill from walls’: Hinton St George. Photograph: AA World Travel Library/Alamy

It’s difficult to ideate a much beautiful colony than Hinton St George: aureate hamstone, thatched cottages and flowers that spill from walls and leap from each ace successful nan pavement. At nan centre of nan colony is nan Lord Poulett Arms (pronounced “Paulett”). This gastropub dates backmost to 1680 and serves a operation of locally originated ales and food. There are six bedrooms, 4 of them en suite. The Poulett family person an awesome chapel pinch galore tombs successful nan religion St George’s, which includes 13th-century carving by masons of Wells Cathedral, good worthy a visit.

Barrington Court, Ilminster

The Barrington Boar edifice and pub successful Barrington, Ilminster.
‘Don’t miss nan Barrington Boar’: edifice and pub successful Ilminster

North of Hinton St George is Barrington Court. Barrington was erstwhile nan tract of a Roman villa. The coming buildings were bought and restored a period agone by nan Lyles, heirs to nan sweetener company. With eager plans for nan gardens, they sought thief from nan legendary Gertrude Jekyll: coming you tin still bask her Rose and Iris Garden and nan largest, nan Lily Garden. Don’t miss nan Barrington Boar, an award-winning edifice and pub devoted to section nutrient pinch 4 beautiful bedrooms, aliases eat successful nan charmingly converted Pip’s Railway Carriage astatine nan adjacent Trading Post Farm Shop.

South Petherton

Six artfully designed plates of nutrient connected a information table
‘One of southbound Somerset’s astir breathtaking restaurants’: Holm successful South Petherton. Photograph: Ed Schofield

Built connected nan Roman Fosse Way, South Petherton is different colony of gleaming hamstone. A slope built successful nan 1830s now holds 1 of southbound Somerset’s astir breathtaking restaurants, Holm. Co-founder and chef-director Nicholas Balfe is devoted to local, seasonal produce. Trout is smoked in-house complete section applewood, while herbs, consequence and vegetables are harvested successful nan garden. His room is open-plan and to watch nan chefs astatine activity you tin book nan eating counter. Late past year, Holm opened 7 en suite bedrooms, filled pinch creation and furnishings by (you guessed) section makers. Be judge to sojourn East Lambrook Manor Gardens, nan English Heritage Grade I-listed masterpiece by 20th-century plantswoman and farming writer Margery Fish. It features winding paths done abundant borders and an awesome works nursery peculiarly good stocked pinch practice geraniums.


The Abbot’s House and remains of walls and buildings
‘Bring boots’: Muchelney, connected nan watery Somerset Levels. Photograph: Christopher Nicholson/Alamy

Venturing into nan watery Somerset Levels, you whitethorn want to bring boots – particularly if you sojourn nan colony pond, rich | successful wildlife pinch awesome dragonflies successful nan summer, dug by nan potter John Leach. The grandson of artist-potter Bernard Leach, John presided until his caller decease complete Leach Pottery, which shows what tin beryllium done pinch nan plentiful section clay. Signed, collectible pots are disposable successful nan shop, which besides hosts exhibitions. Muchelney erstwhile had a thriving medieval abbey. You tin still spot immoderate of it, including a thatched loo for nan monks – nan only 1 successful Britain. In adjacent Langport is nan family-run Brown & Forrest smokery, offering basking and acold smoked salmon, trout, chicken, duck, pork, pâtés and cheeses.

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River Parrett Trail

Tree connected apical of Burrow Hill is SomersetPhoto taken astatine Burrow Hill, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset UK
Rising to nan challenge: location are galore good walks and views successful South Somerset, including this 1 connected Burrow Hill. Photograph: Rodolfo Parulan Jr/Getty Images

There are galore beautiful paths for walking and cycling into nan low-lying Somerset Levels on nan banks of nan willow-lined River Parrett. Look retired for herons, otters, h2o voles, dragonflies and kingfishers. One way starts astatine Stoke-sub-Hamdon and crosses nan fields to Bower Hinton. Lunch successful nan beautiful marketplace municipality of Martock, past amble towards Kingsbury Episcopi pinch its 14th-century Hamstone religion and awesome Burrow Hill Cider Farm. Stop disconnected astatine nan picturesque Thorney Mill, past onwards to Muchelney and Langport.

Forde Abbey, Chard

View crossed Long Pond to Forde Abbey.
‘With sweeping gardens’: Forde Abbey. Photograph: Graham Prentice/Alamy

Built connected nan floodplain of nan River Exe, Forde Abbey was founded and landscaped by Cistercian monks astir 900 years agone and straddles nan South Somerset/Dorset border. It has been a location since 1649 and successful nan 18th period caller landscaping reshaped nan sweeping gardens. The coming owners person created award-winning gardens pinch topiary, an arboretum, a bog garden, astonishing outpouring bulbs and wildflowers.

The Newt successful Somerset, Castle Cary

The Farm Shop astatine The Newt
Underneath nan arches: nan workplace shop astatine The Newt. Photograph: PR

One portion luxury hotel, 9 parts visionary garden. The 17th-century manor, erstwhile location to plot designer Penelope Hobhouse, was bought successful 2013 by South African businessman Koos Bekker and his woman Karen Roos, who group astir creating a hotel and bequest estate pinch 2,000 acres of general gardens, parkland, cider orchards and woodland. Take portion successful seasonal events and tours, aliases workshops connected floristry, butchery, dry-stone walling, beekeeping – and more. Invest successful rank to spot nan plot and you tin spell respective times a year. For those arriving connected nan train, nan Creamery and café, group successful a beautifully restored beverage mill adjacent to Castle Cary Station, opened past week.


Piet Oudolf’s section plot astatine nan Hauser & Wirth assemblage successful Bruton.
‘Spectacular each year’: Piet Oudolf’s section plot astatine nan Hauser & Wirth assemblage successful Bruton. Photograph: Christopher Nicholson/Alamy

Bruton, connected nan River Brue, flourished successful nan Middle Ages acknowledgment to its abbey. Today, it is South Somerset’s astir celebrated municipality acknowledgment to its galore boutiques, farm-to-fork restaurants and particularly Hauser & Wirth, which opened its world-class creation assemblage astatine Durslade Farm 10 years ago. To observe nan anniversary, creator successful residence Oddur Roth has recreated the barroom successful nan threshing barn arsenic a afloat functioning site-specific artwork composed of salvaged materials from section recreation yards. The 1.5-acre garden, by Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf, is spectacular each twelvemonth and introduction is free. Visit nan workplace shop for meat, food and treats from nan farm.

Source theguardian