Landscapes with spirit.
Glastonbury Tor sits at the heart of a drained sea steeped in Pagan myth and Arthurian legend. There are low-lying reedbeds, some of the world's oldest Neolithic trackways, and rolling hills rich in peat, cloaked in lush vegetation. Head down to the marsh near St. Michael's Tower at daybreak and you might just spy Fata Morgana, an optical illusion where its silhouette appears to rise from the earth.
Cathedral-like proportions and fascinating geology renders the caves in and around Cheddar among the finest in England, but the history makes them all the more fascinating. Ancient elders used the caves as a meeting place. The Victorians saw the potential for a vibrant tourism scene. And evidence suggests a lost cannibalistic civilisation lived in Gough's Cave 16,400 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age.
Cities with character.
Honey-coloured stone and Classical symmetry and proportion render Bath not only a beautiful, but a fascinating place to visit. Recognising the healing properties of the Roman Baths, the beauty of the natural landscape enveloping the city walls, and the magnificence of the Gothic abbey towering high above them, the Georgians worked to create one of the world's most liveable and monumental cities.
Wells might be the smallest of England's cathedral city, but it certainly packs a punch. Without Wells, the Gothic might never have taken root across the Channel. Its spectacular cathedral was the first in England built in the style, but also one of the most architecturally sophisticated full stop. With the Bishop's Palace and Europe's oldest street just beyond its walls, it's a heritage enthusiast's dream.
Market towns with heart.
Glastonbury is dominated by the Gothic ruin of the once-prominent Abbey church, but its identity is shaped more so by the humble Chalice Well. Vestiges of the Neo-Pagan movement which found solace in its magical waters are reflected in the focus of the local shops, cafes, and healing rooms in and around the town centre, in the advanced yoga and meditation economy, and at the Festival itself.
Like Glastonbury, Frome pairs a rich architectural heritage with a forward-thinking sense of self. Its residents tend to be creative and passionate about what they do. You can see for yourself in the number of artists studios, antique emporiums, and workshops round and about selling artisan pottery, jewellery, and crafts. Scout out the secret cocktail bar and you'll have your evening sorted as well.
Food for the mind.
Bristol Old Vic
Awash with talent, the port city of Bristol is home to some of Europe's best-regarded cultural venues. West End musicals are frequently on the menu at the Victorian Hippodrome. Cutting-edge ideas are exchanged night after night at the Tobacco Factory. And the architects of this century's masterpieces are just waiting for you to join them at the Old Vic, the oldest theatre in the English-speaking world.
Theatre Royal Bath
Exquisite architecture, a storied history centred on ballroom dancing, and a Classical approach to the Arts combine to make Bath one of the country's most prestigious cultural destinations. Dress up in your finest attire for a night at the Opera, make time for a matinee, or simply stop by for some street theatre. The Theatre Royal and the Ustinov, its avant-garde cousin, are just a short drive away.
Food for the eyes.
Once a special interest event for hot air balloon enthusiasts, the Bristol's Balloon Fiesta has grown to become a cornerstone of the English eventing calendar. Some one hundred balloons take off and land in the city every August, providing a spectacle worthy of a Jules Verne novel. You can choose to keep your feet safely on solid ground or book in for a flight for a truly multi-dimensional experience.
With its culture-defining Pyramid Stage hosting musicians of international renown, Glastonbury is by some measures the largest music festival in the world, but it remains committed to supporting new and emerging talent. Moving around the village, between slam poetry competitions, interpretive dance workshops, and stand-up comedy sets, you may well come across England's next big name.
Food for the soul.
Cider and Somerset have gone hand in hand for generations, and the production of this palatable nectar is not going anywhere soon. Orchard tours and tastings run across the county all year round, so whether there's blossom or ripe apples on the tree, there's nothing to say you can't get to know our local speciality a little better. Showerings is the most local, but there are hundreds to choose from.
Somerset's blessed with an abundant of fruit, but also flowers. Just a stone's throw from our hotel are acres of flower fields, coloured purple, yellow, and red depending on the time of the year. Why not head down to Somerset Lavender for a post-spa activity with family and friends? You can observe the drying process firsthand and learn about the calming properties of this Mediterranean herb.