The UK is full of beautiful places to explore. I’m rapidly learning and realising that I have really taken this country for granted all my life. To be fair, I have lived abroad in Ghana and Dubai, so please cut me some slack. Last year, I spent a few days out in Somerset and fell madly in love. I had such a wonderful host too and was fortunate enough to stay with my grandmother’s sister-in-law, M.E., who has a beautiful house set against the backdrop of the Mendip Hills. Somerset is such a stunning and charming place, peaceful too. If you are like me and prefer to live away from the city and its pollution and noise, then perhaps you might fall in love with Somerset too. In all my life, how is it that I never thought once to spend a day or two out there? It never crossed my mind. In two nights and three days, M.E. and I squeezed in a tour of England’s smallest city (Wells), walked up to Cheddar Gorge, and took a stroll along the promenade of Weston Super-mare whilst waiting for my train. It’s definitely a place I would visit again and one I’m happy to include into my travels.
Transport Down to Somerset
As I don’t drive in the UK I took the train down to Weston Super-mare. The route is scenic, especially as you snake towards Bath Spa and catch glimpses of buildings made from the iconic honey-coloured stones. Side note: Bath Spa is another place I plan to visit soon and will be taking another few days out in Somerset in the near future. My entire journey took approximately 90 minutes.
Out and about in Wells City
You could walk through the city in about 10 minutes. OK, I’m probably exaggerating, but you really should imagine a small, medieval city, because literally, that’s what Wells is. There is a large Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, which is certainly worth visiting, as it contains a lot of historical information about the area and stunning interiors to capture on your camera. Entrance to the cathedral is free, however, there is a donation box, so do pop something inside. Areas of interest include The Clock, one of the oldest surviving clock mechanisms in the world, The Scissor Arches, and The Vicars’ Close. I would say set aside about an hour to have a good look around.
Bits and bobs at the Market Place
There is a little market place outside the cathedral with stalls selling stained glass art, second-hand books, and other knick knacks. One stall caught my attention. Run by a young couple, Rock Terrace make unique furniture, tables, stools, chairs, out of old drum kits. You can see more of their pieces on Instagram.
Cheddar Gorge and The Mendip Hills
I spent the second day of my trip at Cheddar Gorge, setting out with M.E. after breakfast. Once dawn broke we were treated to an early morning mist that rolled off the hill. The highlight of this area, aside from the magnificent beauty of the gorge is Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, which is home to, you guessed it, Cheddar cheese! It’s a medium sized shop selling cheese made on their premises. Go through the back of the shop, across the courtyard into the hut behind and you can watch a video of the entire Cheddar cheese making process. Staff going about their daily routine can be seen through a glass wall below the video loop. Naturally, being somewhat fanatical about cheese, I couldn’t leave without making a purchase. Hands down, it was the best Cheddar I’ve ever tasted. My sister said literally the same thing when she sunk her teeth into my purchase upon my return.
Special thanks go out to M.E. for being such a wonderful host and taking me around this beautiful region. Can’t wait to visit again, and highly recommend that you put it on your list of places to see in the UK.