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Mar 23, 2011 02:27 AM

Two weeks in Somerset - Things to try?

Looking for for some local points of interest - Any organizations or people who are doing interesting things, hopefully with a little traditional context (cheeses, ciders, charcuterie?)

Anyone familiar with the area?

P.S. - I'm backpacking, and my budget is pretty limited

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  1. Hi Frosti

    I'm lucky enough to live and work in sunny Somerset! You must make it to Cheddar itself if you can; it's extremely touristy but has a character all its own, and you can still see real cheddar being made. There's lots of cider and real ale shops too (plus the Gorge is very impressive and there's caves to go round). Many pubs have excellent food - the Pony and Trap in Chew Magna has got 2 michelin stars, but there are lots of places that are much cheaper and still good. Try (sorry I don't know how to do links) for local ideas, and Rich's Cider Farm (just use google) is very well thought of for traditional cider made on the premises. There are also many farmers' markets - Wells has a good one and is a very picturesque place notable for being the country's smallest city - and farm shops too. When are you coming? Let me know if you have any more questions and I'll see if I can help.

    5 Replies
    1. re: flashria

      I know the Pony is good but only one star not two. Haven't been for a few years but it used to be normal pub prices. Good to check out the farmers markets in Bath (Saturday) and Bristol (Wednesday?). And Cider in Somerset is wonderful, lots and lots of great stuff to try - but it is lethal.

      1. re: PhilD

        Bristol farmers market is Wednesday mornings - and the slow food market is the first Sunday of the month.

        1. re: Peg

          Good to hear that there is some legit stuff happening in cheddar - The pamphlets I've seen for the city worried me.

          I'm in the middle of the Exmoor National Park (I was working for a hotel there), and I think I'll try to make my way to Bristol soon; farmer's markets are ususally bright spots for me during my wanderings.

          1. re: frosti

            Two weeks backpacking in Somerset? You win the Niche Holidaymaker of the Year award ;)

            A few quick thoughts: Wells farmers market is great, and in such a gorgeous location, too (up in the cobbled square near the Cathedral)

            May be out of budget, but the Old Spot in Wells is just lovely. Otherwise, the food in the pubs is pretty solid stuff - try the City Arms.

            Other ideas:
            The Walled Garden café at the Barley Wood kitchen garden in Wrington is great – all the veg and herbs come from the garden itself, and they’re good enough to make membrillo from the quince trees to accopmany all their cheddars.

            The Crown in Churchill – up a small side road/track… it’s just two rooms, with a bunch of casks behind the bar. Great, solid, proper sandwiches and stews. Pub heaven.

          2. re: Peg

            I just came home from this months Bristol slow food market - I scored me half a smoked eel. Oh my gosh yum.
            The head is a bit scary though.