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Discover Britain - Provincial Life

The County of Somerset

The County of Somerset - land of the summer people - is located in the south-west of England, and is, perhaps, the most quintessentially English of English counties. It is a rural area extending from the hills of Exmoor in the west to Bruton Forest in the east, from the Mendip hills in the north to the Blackdown Hills in the south. It is bordered by the counties of Devon, Dorset, and Wiltshire, and a long coastline looking out into the Bristol Channel and across to South Wales. It is a land of history, myth and legend. Although it is a sparcely populated region and has only one city of more than 100,000 people: Bath,  it has several small, but flourishing towns: Taunton, Weston-super-mare, Yeovil, Minehead and Glastonbury. The economy is centered on agriculture and food production, with service industries such as insurance and retailing. It is a county famous for producing Cider (an alcoholic drink made from apples) and Cheddar Cheese (named after a small town in the Mendip hills).  A recipe from the county can be found on our 'Discover Britain' food and drink page.

The photographs below, from left to right, top to bottom feature the following:

  1. A typical thatched cottage. This one is located in the village of Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset.

  2. A quiet corner of Dunster in west Somerset on the edge of the Exmoor national park.

  3. The village of Porlock in north-west Somerset

  4.  Dunster castle is one of England's finest castles.

  5. Minehead station, terminus of the preserved West Somerset Railway.

  6. Tarr steps, near Simonsbath. Legend tells us that this bridge was built by the Devil for his own personal use. He returns to tear apart people crossing without his permission now and again! 

  7.  A summer's day in the one of the parks of the town of Minehead.

  8. Part of the tiny harbour in Porlock Weir, Somerset.

  9. A country cottage in the village of Kingston St. Mary, near Taunton.

  10. The coastal region of Exmoor national park. The romantic novel 'Lorna Donne' by R.D. Blackmore is set in these hills.

  11. Porlock Weir. Location of one of the steepest roads in England.

  12. The centre of the village of Dunster in west Somerset. In the foreground is the old 'yarn' market, and in the background the Norman castle.  

  13. Glastonbury Abbey. reputed burial site of King Arthur and Guinnevere.

  14. The Somerset levels, close to Athelney. King Alfred is supposed to have hidden close to this spot from the invading Danes. Willow trees are to be seen all over Somerset.

  15. The cathedral complex at Wells. Wells is the smallest city in England.

  16. The town of Crewkerne in South Somerset.

  17. Cottages in a picturesque village, near Ilminster, Somerset.

  18. House and garden at Hestercombe, near Taunton, Somerset.

  19. A thatched cottage in the village of Mulcheney, Somerset.

  20. Cattle resting in the field of a smallholding in Drayton, near Langport, Somerset

  21. 'Jack the Treacle Eater' Folly, Barwick Park, Yeovil. Legend tells that someone called Jack moved here in the nineteenth century after a quarrel with his wife. He spent the rest of his life here eating nothing but Treacle, brought by his ever dutiful wife!

  22. Traditional 'morris' dancers at the annual midsummer festival in the town of South Petherton, Somerset

  23. The Stanton Drew stone circle in north Somerset. The stones of this prehistoric stone circle are said to be wedding guests turned to stone for dancing on a Sunday! 

  24. The Municipal Hall in Taunton, Somerset

  25. Looking across the fields towards the small town of Wiveliscombe.

  26. The centre of the county town of Taunton, Somerset.

 

Ilminster, Somerset

      Dunster, Somerset   Porlock, Somerset, England 

 Dunster castle, Somerset, England   West Somerset Railway, Minehead

Tarr Steps, Somerset   Minehead, West Somerset, England   Porlock, Somerset

Somerset cottage

Exmoor, Somerset   Somerset harbour   Dunster, Somerset

 Glastonbury, Somerset   Somerset levels   Somerset, England

Somerset church Somerset houses Somerset farm country cottage, somerset Somerset farming 

   Somerset folly   Morris men, somerset

 Somerset stone circle

  taunton, somerset   Somerset   Towm centre, Taunton, Somerset

 

OTHER SOMERSET LINKS:

The isolated hilltop village of BROOMFIELD, Somerset

The seaside town of Blue Anchor, Somerset

The town of Glastonbury, Somerset.

The city of Bath, Somerset.

The County town of Taunton.

The medieval town of Axbridge, Somerset.

The Somerset levels.

The market town of Ilminster, South Somerset.

The small town of Wiveliscombe, Somerset.

Langport, quite possibly the smallest town in England.

Exmoor National Park.

The neighbouring counties of Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire in the south-west of England.

 

External links: Visit Somerset; Taunton

 

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