Nestled in the South West of England, Somerset is the quintessential English countryside. Alive with history, natural beauty, and diverse urban areas, Somerset blends charm and convenience effortlessly. Whether you're captivated by the historic city of Bath, enchanted by picturesque villages, or drawn to the rural lifestyle, Somerset is a location its residents are proud of and visitors are drawn to.

In our area guide, we delve into the richness of this portion of the West Country. Somerset encapsulates both carefree rural living and vibrant city life in the cities of Bath and Wells. We are here to guide you through aspects like property rates, education, transport and historical landmarks of this spellbinding county.

History of Somerset

Known for its agricultural roots, Somerset has a history steeped in farming and mining. From Bronze Age settlers, Roman invasions and Viking incursions, the region has witnessed significant periods of English history. Its name is a testament to its past, ‘Somerset' being derived from the Old English ‘Sumorsǣte’, meaning 'the people living at or dependent on Sumortūn' (the greater settlement). Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site within Somerset, is globally renowned for Roman Baths and Georgian architecture.

The county’s history has also had its share of rebellion, being the prime site for the Monmouth Rebellion and the English Civil War. The industrial revolution saw transformation in the region, with the growth of railway, mining and settlement expansion.


Some of England's most iconic landmarks are an intrinsic part of Somerset’s landscape. The medieval Bath Abbey, a stunning piece of Gothic architecture, is a testament to the history and culture of the region. Glastonbury Tor, with its panoramic views of the county, holds a mythical appeal. Somerset's Cheddar Gorge, Britain's largest limestone gorge, is a natural spectacle with an underground river and impressive stalactite formations.

Landmarks we love

  • The Roman Baths: Located in Bath, these ancient baths showcase the opulence of Roman Britain. The Baths, filled with natural thermal waters, offers insight into the lives of Romans, making for an engaging historical experience.
  • Wells Cathedral: Constructed in the early 13th century, this stunning cathedral in Wells boasts breathtaking gothic architecture and is famed for its beautiful West Front that has over 300 medieval statues.
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge: Providing a spectacular gateway to the city, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol offers remarkable views of the Avon Gorge it straddles. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it's a marvel of 19th-century engineering.
  • Montacute House: Located in Montacute, this stunning Elizabethan mansion provides visitors with a fascinating glimpse into Tudor life, set within breath-taking gardens.
  • Cheddar Cheese Company: Situated in Cheddar, a visit to the Cheddar Cheese Company offers a unique experience of witnessing the artisanal process of Cheddar cheese production within the region it takes its name from.

Top 10 things to do in Somerset

  • Visit the Glastonbury Festival: Known worldwide, this music and performing arts festival is a must-do. Famous for its eclectic line-up and bohemian vibe, it's an experience like no other.
  • Explore Exmoor National Park: Covering an expanse of untamed landscapes, Exmoor is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities such as hiking, horse-riding, cycling and wildlife-watching are abundant.
  • Discover Bristol's Maritime History: The historic city port offers numerous waterfront attractions, with the Bristol Aquarium and Brunel's SS Great Britain amongst the hot-favourites.
  • Stroll Through Bishop's Palace Gardens: In Wells, enjoy the peaceful ambiance and beautiful plants at Bishop's Palace Gardens.
  • Tour the Somerset Cider Brandy Company: Discover the home of Somerset Cider and sample their unique produce.
  • Go Caving in the Mendip Hills: Home to Wookey Hole Caves and Cheddar Caves, the Mendip Hills provide an adventure for the brave.
  • Explore the vibrant nightlife of Bath: Famous clubs, traditional pubs, comedy clubs and jazz bars – Bath has it all.
  • Visit Weston-Super-Mare’s Grand Pier: Offering beautiful sea views and a range of attractions, it's a family favourite.
  • Enjoy a Pint at Butcombe Brewery: Renowned for its quality ales, it's the highlight for anyone who appreciates good beer.
  • Admire Classic British Cars at The Haynes Motor Museum: Located in Sparkford, it exhibits an exceptional array of cars from around the world.

Our recommended areas to live in Somerset

  • Bath: Known for its historic architecture, Bath provides modern amenities amidst impressive heritage. It offers a lively art scene, top-rated schools, and easy transport links to London.
  • Wells: As England's smallest city, Wells provides charm, tranquility, and a sense of community. Its vibrant markets, historic attractions and excellent educational institutions make it an appealing option for families.
  • Bristol: With a buzzing culture scene and a thriving economy, Bristol combines urban living with beautiful landscapes. It's ideal for professionals looking for a dynamic, yet balanced lifestyle.
  • Somerset West and Taunton: Offering a mix of urban and rural living, it's a charming area with rich cultural heritage and excellent amenities. It's a perfect base for exploring the stunning Quantock Hills.
  • Cheddar: Known for its natural beauty, Cheddar offers a perfect tranquil setting for outdoor enthusiasts. It's also an excellent spot for food lovers, being the birthplace of Cheddar cheese.

Best schools in Somerset

Somerset offers some of the best educational institutions in the country. Providing a range of options from public to private, there's a school for every child's needs. Noteworthy schools include Kingswood School and the Royal High School in Bath, renowned for their outstanding academics and rich extra-curricular options. Millfield School in Street is another top independent board and day school known for its arts, sports and academics.

The county offers numerous high-performing state schools. Hayesdown First School in Frome and Northgate Primary School in Bridgwater are highly rated. Widely recognised for providing quality education, these institutions assure a sound academic foundation. For higher education, the University of Bath, known for its excellence in teaching and research, stands out in the city of Bath.

Transport links in Somerset

With excellent transport links, Somerset provides smooth commuting within the county and beyond. The M5 motorway passes through the county offering swift connections to Bristol and the South West. Bristol Airport, located in North Somerset, provides flights to multiple domestic and international destinations.

Well-connected by rail, England's First Great Western service links London, Bath, Bristol and the West country. Furthermore, regular bus services run throughout the county connecting key towns and villages. For cyclists and walkers, Somerset boasts an array of scenic routes savoured by both residents and visitors.

In conclusion, Somerset is a county where the old and new harmonise beautifully with both rural charm and urban buzz. Its history, natural beauty, range of activities, and educational institutions accompanied by its warm local community make it an idyllic place to call home. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat in the English countryside or a bustling city life, Somerset's varied property offerings, from cosy countryside cottages to Georgian townhouses, have something for everyone. Experience Somerset for yourself and fall in love with this divine portion of England.

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