About this book
This new guide to the idyllic and popular county of Somerset from expert author and Somerset resident Norm Longley is ideal for both visitors and locals alike with its mix of visitor information, history, culture and anecdote, not to mention coverage of wildlife, birdwatching, walking, cycling and other outdoor activities. Accommodation and restaurants – and cider – are covered, too: as Longley himself says, he often spends weekends ‘roaming the Somerset countryside in search of exciting and/or novel things to do – or at the very least, hunting down good food and drink.’
Divided into seven easy-to-explore geographical regions, from Bath and north Somerset through Wells and the Mendips to Exmoor National Park and International Dark Sky Reserve, this is an indispensable companion for everyone from culture devotees to outdoor adventurers, birders to beach lovers, transport enthusiasts to event-goers, families to foodies. The Somerset Levels are covered, and so too are Quantock and Blackdown Hills, the coast, and east and south Somerset.
Somerset is consistently seductive: windswept marshes and wild moorland, enchanting upland areas, iron-flat lowland terrain, limestone gorges, and a forty-mile long stretch of coast with rocky coves, fossil-filled cliffs and a tiny offshore island. And, of course, there’s the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, with its beautifully preserved Roman baths, graceful Georgian architecture and enticing gastronomic possibilities.
Bradt’s Somerset covers all this and more, from the Glastonbury Festival to the American Museum and Gardens, carnivals to quirky local customs, the longest heritage railway in Britain to England’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and a good dash of legend and myth too, from King Arthur at Avalon and Camelot, to the country’s third largest complex of standing stones at Stanton Drew.
About the author
Longley was brought up in Somerset, attending schools in Yeovil and the
Quantocks, and after a fifteen-year hiatus – albeit still returning on a
regular basis to see family and friends and the occasional Yeovil Town game –
moved back in 2009, settling in the village of Chilcompton, roughly equidistant
between Bath and Wells. With his family he often spends weekends roaming the
Somerset countryside in search of exciting and/or novel things to do – or at
the very least, hunting down good food and drink. He has been a guidebook
writer for around 20 years and has written for The Guardian and Independent.
GOING SLOW IN SOMERSET
A Taste of Somerset, Getting to & around Somerset, How this book is arranged
1 BATH & AROUND
Getting there & around, Bath, South of Bath
2 WELLS & THE MENDIPS
Getting there & around, Wells & around, The Mendips & surrounding area
3 GLASTONBURY & THE SOMERSET LEVELS
Getting there & around, Glastonbury, The Somerset Levels
4 FROM THE QUANTOCKS TO THE BLACKDOWN HILLS
Getting there & around, The Quantock Hills, Bridgwater & around, Taunton & around, The Blackdown Hills
5 THE COAST
Getting there & around, From Clevedon to Bridgwater Bay, From Cleeve Abbey to Minehead
6 SOUTH SOMERSET
Getting there & around, Bruton to Cadbury Castle, Somerton & around, Yeovil & around, From East Lambrook to Ilminster
7 EXMOOR national park
Getting there & around, Coastal Exmoor, Inland Exmoor