Somerset is home to scrumpy, rolling hills, beaches, sunflowers and many farms, quaint towns and the historic cities of Bath and Wells. It has an excellent climate and is easily accessed from the M5, as well as Bristol airport and many mainline rail stations. Here are some of the top places to enjoy this cheery and relaxed county.
The Newt In Somerset
Independently owned, The Newt is a remarkable property dating back to 1687. Set in a Palladian mansion, Hadpsen House, it’s on a working estate close to Castle Cary. The grounds are home to an orchard, maze, walled garden, cyder press, swimming ponds, a farm shop, ice cream parlour and even a gardening museum. Karen Roos, one of the owners, was once editor of Elle Decoration South Africa and has brought her exquisite taste to the 23 bedroomed hotel. Spend time rejuvenating at the Scandi style spa and feast in its two fine restaurants.
Gainsborough Bath Spa
Stay here and you’ll be able to take the waters at the hotel’s own Roman-style spa, as well as exploring the city’s famous baths. It’s the only property to have direct access to the area’s thermal waters and, in previous incarnations, has served as a hospital and art college The Gainsborough is found in the heart of the city and was refurbished by Champalimaud Design when taken over by the YTL Hotel group. Its history is captured via a combination of modern art and antiquities, including a sedan chair in the lobby. Valet parking and a turn-down service accompany impeccable service and the restaurant provides lip-smacking contemporary fare.
The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa
This Regency country house hotel surrounded by four acres of grounds has 19 bedrooms – some with hot tubs. Flanked by the Quantock and Blackdown hills, it’s a peaceful spot, yet close to the well-heeled market town of Taunton. Guests have access to the Elan Spa with a Hammam, hydrotherapy pool and experience showers. The elegant dining room features local delicacies such as Exmoor meats, Somerset cheeses, Brixham lobster and the hotel’s own smoked salmon.
The Bath Priory
Each room here is unique and named after a flower, with some boasting Juliet balconies, marble bathrooms, city frescoes and four-poster beds. The Bath Priory is perfect for a chilled city break and has the only L’Occitane spa in the UK – The Garden Spa. Here you can enjoy a welcome ritual followed by a full Provencal treatment journey. Fine dine in the hotel’s three AA Rosette restaurant or enjoy some lighter bites in The Pantry. There’s also a terrace and lounges where afternoon tea is served