We need all the extra visitors we can muster
PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 July 2014
Somerset is a destination, not a journey, says BBC Somerset presenter EMMA BRITTON
I overheard a spokesperson for a well-known vehicle rescue service say recently that if people get stuck in traffic on the motorway travelling through Somerset to Devon & Cornwall this summer they should embrace the wonderful scenery and make it part of their trip.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to print the response I shouted at the radio. Somerset is not part of a journey – it’s a DESTINATION itself!
2014 is a year when Somerset needs all the extra visitors it can muster after a devastating winter where we saw unprecedented flooding across the county causing misery and destruction. Spare a thought even now six months on, for those who are still not in their beloved homes for this summer because of the damage caused and those businesses and tourist attractions also affected.
One thing that stood out for me during that really difficult time is the wonderful Somerset spirit and how passionate local people are about their county. I think most of us feel it but it’s at times like last winter when it was somewhat tested!
So this summer Somerset deserves a boost and if you stop to think about some of the events that take place here in Somerset every year – we really are a county that people should WANT to visit….
In May there was the annual Royal Bath & West Show near Shepton Mallet – possibly the biggest agricultural show in the country.
In June we host possibly the world’s biggest music festival at Worthy Farm in Pilton.
In July thousands of people visit the RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day.
And in August the county town of Taunton turns into the ‘Chelsea of the West’ with the Taunton Flower Show.
If you add to that the hundreds of smaller shows, community events, carnival, amazing landscape, Exmoor National Park, a popular coastline and a fascinating history – Somerset is most definitely a complete package.
So how do we spread the word about our amazing home… well may I suggest if you know of anyone making that “journey” further down the M5 that you gently point out how much fuel and time they’ll save and what they’re missing out by not stopping here in the “destination” that is Somerset! Sorry Devon & Cornwall – I still love you (just not quite so much).