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Somerset

Glastonbury

About

The Mendip hills and levels of Somerset offer a magical blend of history and legend, easily explored from Bath. From Arthurian and Christian monuments to woollen medieval towns and geological landmarks this area is a delight to discover.

Glastonbury is the Mendip district's most famous town. Steeped in Christian and Pagan legends, the modern-day town is overshadowed by Glastonbury Tor, a dominant feature of the local landscape. The town is a mixture of old and new, with its great Abbey ruins, reputedly the birthplace of Christianity in England and associated with the legends of King Arthur. Today Glastonbury is also famous for its eponymous music festival.

Wells is England's smallest city and is dominated by its cathedral. The medieval city remains remarkably unspoilt and has many beautiful buildings including the moated Bishop's Palace, home to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The famous Cathedral has over 300 original medieval statues adorning the West Front, and Wells Market Place has lively markets twice a week. There are also narrow streets and an eclectic mix of building styles which reflect the development of the city.

Close to Wells are the famous Wookey Hole Caves and Papermill. The caverns were formed from the Mendip limestone. Other geological landmarks include the dramatic cliffs of Cheddar Gorge, Britain's biggest gorge, and the stunning Cheddar Caves.

Positioned on the Wiltshire border, Frome has picturesque streets and historic buildings, a legacy from its involvement in the wool and cloth industry. It has a thriving arts scene, epitomised by its annual festival.

Other towns that prospered from the wool and leather industries of Somerset include Street. The town has historic connections with the sheepskin trade but has also made its name from a world-famous shoe industry founded by a local family, Clarks. Today, Street is known for its factory shopping complex, Clarks village.

To the south are two attractions that bring the stories of speed and flight to Somerset. Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton is packed with historic aircraft, including Concorde.

Nearby, Haynes International Motor Museum boasts Britain's biggest historic car collection.

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