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An A-Z of everything great about Somerset

PUBLISHED: 11:30 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 16 January 2018

A summer's day in Bath (c) Valdis Skudre / Shutterstock

A summer's day in Bath (c) Valdis Skudre / Shutterstock

Archant

We scroll through the alphabet and reveal 26 reasons why Somerset is such a wonderful place to visit and for residents to call their home

A is for adventures. Explore the UK’s largest caving system under the Mendip Hills, Wookey Hole.

B is for beaches. Somerset is home to some of the UK’s most gorgeous seaside spots.

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C is for Cheddar Gorge. The country’s largest gorge, and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, is a truly remarkable sight to see.

D is for Dunster Castle, the hillside Norman fortress that served as a lavish country home to the Luttrell family during the 19th century.

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E is for eating. The county is brimming with quaint tea-rooms, cafes, award-winning restaurants and charming pubs to enjoy locally sourced, homemade fare.

F is for festivals. Music, food and drink, arts and culture, and many more – there’s always something going on in Somerset. We’re of course known worldwide for the legendary Glastonbury Festival.

G is for Glastonbury Tor. Rich in history and legend (and even a spooky tale or two), the National Trust managed Glastonbury Tor is a pleasure to trek up and admire the views from St Michael’s Tower.

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H is for Hestercombe Gardens. Enjoy exploring the Victorian Shrubbery, a Georgian Landscape Garden and Edwardian Formal Gardens of Hestercombe Garden, and the intriguing buildings of Hestercombe House.

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I is for Ilminster. Enjoy an exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre or a show at The Warehouse Theatre, or perhaps sample some of the town’s tastiest food and drink after a day of shopping.

J is for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. The celebrated author paid two long visits to the city towards the end of the 18th century, and from 1801 to 1806 called Bath home.

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K is for the King John’s Hunting Lodge, a timber-framed structure sitting proudly on the corner of Axbridge’s medieval town square.

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L is for Lytes Cary Manor. The medieval manor was once home to herbalist Henry Lyte and its gardens were later restored in the 20th century by Sir Walter Jenner.

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M is for Montacute House. The Elizabethan Renaissance gem makes a stunning backdrop to the beautiful gardens that surround it.

N is for National Trust Holnicote Estate. The varied landscape of 12,000 acres of the Exmoor National Park is home to heathland, coast, woodland, farms and charming thatched cottages.

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O is for The Oakhouse Hotel in Axbridge. One of the many lovely locations to enjoy an afternoon tea in Somerset.

P is for piers. Take a stroll along Weston-Super-Mare’s Grand Pier, Clevedon Pier and Burnham-on-Sea’s The Pavilion.

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Q is for Quantock Hills, a stunning landscape which was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956.

R is for The Roman Baths. Visit and see the remarkable preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world.

S is for Somerset Lavender. Between May and September, soak in the beauty of row upon row of lavender at Horsepond Farm in Faulkland.

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T is for Thatchers Cider. Winner of Best Local Producer of the Year at Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2016, Thatchers Cider has been producing its well-loved cider for more than a 100 years and the likes of Gold, Katie, Old Rascal and Green Goblin are known worldwide.

U is for unexpected phenomena. With landmarks steeped in history, coaching inns housing tragic tales and plenty of scary stories throughout the region, its little wonder Somerset is full of haunted locations to visit if you dare!

V is for views. Cranmore Tower is just one of the places you can soak in some of Somerset’s most mesmerising vistas.

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W is for England’s smallest city, Wells. Wander down the picture-perfect Vicar’s Close, through the grounds of Bishop’s Palace and enjoy the sight of the spectacular Wells Cathedral.

X is for Xmas. Christmas is taken seriously here; from the host of festivities at Dunster by Candlelight to the dazzling Christmas light display at Trinity Close in Burnham-on-Sea.

Y is for Yeo Valley Organic Garden. Renowned for their dairy products, Yeo Valley is also home to one of Britain’s few ornamental organic gardens bursting with colour.

Z is for zebras at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol. There’s plenty to see and do, including spotting the herd of beautiful Chapman’s Zebra.

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