Radstock and Midsomer Norton
Radstock is a town in Somerset, nine miles south west of Bath.
There has been a settlement in Radstock since the Iron Age, but the real growth of the town occurred after 1763, when coal was discovered in the area and today Radstock is one of the best preserved former coal-mining towns in England.
The Radstock Museum is housed in the town's former market hall. It has a fascinating range of exhibits which offer an insight into north-east Somerset life since the nineteenth century. Locals and visitors alike are able to immerse themselves in the history of the area and many of the exhibits relate to local geology.
The town is also home to Writhlington School, famous for its orchid collection, and the Anglican parish church of St Nicholas, which has a west tower dating from the fifteenth century.
Running into the town are two routes for cyclists - the local Greenway and a section of the national cycle network, which runs from Bath through Radstock and onto Frome and the South Coast. There is also a wide variety of walks, such as the seven-and-a-half mile circular Miners and Black Mountain trail.
Just down the road from Radstock, you will Midsomer Norton. Situated within the very attractive rural area between Bath and the Mendip Hills, the town has been a traditional market town for centuries.
On the first Saturday of every month Midsomer Norton has a Farmers' Market in the Methodist Church on the High Street. Here you can find meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, local cheeses, organic quiches and salads and herbs.
On a sunny day it is lovely to sit by the River Somer, which runs through the centre of the town, and just watch the world go by. There are some fine historic buildings, and Hollies Garden offers a central green space for shoppers and others to meet.
Whenever you go to either Midsomer Norton or Radstock, you will always receive a warm welcome, whether you wish to shop, use the local facilities and services, discover local history, explore the area, simply spend some time relaxing - or do all of the above!