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Best Places To Live In Somerset [My Honest Opinion]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

Are you looking for the best places to live in Somerset? You’ve come to the right place.

This county is brimming with picturesque villages, bustling market towns and serene countryside. It’s no wonder I’m often asked, “What’s the best place to live in Somerset?”

From the historic city of Bath to the tranquil village of Cheddar, Somerset’s diversity offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or a foodie, you’ll find a spot that feels like home. Let’s delve into the best places to live in Somerset, and you might just discover your perfect match.

5 Best Places To Live In Somerset

Historic City of Bath

Bath

Brimming with rich history, phenomenal architecture and a vibrant cultural scene, Bath is certainly among the top places to live in Somerset. As England’s only UNESCO World Heritage city, it’s no wonder that Bath beckons both history lovers and architectural aficionados alike with its endless charm.

Here, I’m greeted by remarkable Georgian architecture around every corner. The Royal Crescent, a sight to behold, is a standout example. This semicircular terrace is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Georgian architecture and never fails to impress.

Languages, histories and cultures merge in the heart of Bath, particularly in the Roman Baths. Packed with treasured relics dating back to AD 43, it’s a step back in time, delivering a deep dive into the city’s Roman heritage. The Crystal clear, thermal spa waters have attracted visitors from far and wide.

Bath isn’t just about the past, though. The city has a thriving contemporary life. I’m constantly dazzled by the myriad of independent boutiques, art galleries, and opulent restaurants that punctuate its historic lanes. Completing the allure is Bath’s status as a renowned global hub for arts and culture.

Pulteney Bridge is another iconic fixture – one of the few in the world ducked with shops on both sides. Walking at this architectural marvel, it’s hard not to be entranced by the exquisite craftsmanship and unique design.

For green space lovers, Bath doesn’t disappoint. Magnificent gardens like Prior Park, with its Palladian bridge and stunning landscapes, offer ideal spaces for peaceful contemplation. Moreover, Bath’s close proximity to the countryside offers residents an easy escape. There’s nothing quite like a serene hike in the Mendip Hills after a hectic week.

Bath’s impressive educational institutions, such as the renowned University of Bath, provide great opportunities for personal development.

Certainly, Bath offers all the comforts of city living, but with an inviting, town-like atmosphere. Its historic heart, thriving arts scene, and stunning nature reserves are just some of the reasons to consider it a top place to live in Somerset. What awaits next in this captivating county showcases the diversity of experiences.

Tranquil Village of Cheddar

Cheddar

After exploring the bustling hub of Bath, it’s time to discover another jewel in Somerset’s crown, the tranquil village of Cheddar. Nestled in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar is well-renowned for its spectacular gorge, the largest in the UK.

Cheddar Gorge, a natural wonder, takes centre stage, captivating with its vertical limestone cliffs that rise high above the ground. An adventurer’s paradise, the gorge offers a plethora of outdoor activities – from invigorating walks created for all abilities, to thrilling rock climbing experiences that incite courage and challenge the daring. Sheltered within the gorge are the remarkable Cheddar Caves, where show caves of stalagmites and stalactites narrate the prehistoric tales of our ancestors.

But it’s not just the geology that’s impressive here. Cheddar is a gastronomical delight, home to the world famous Cheddar cheese. I’d certainly recommend a visit to the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, the only traditional cheese maker remaining in the village. Here, you can not only savour this delectably matured cheese but witness its creation right from the curdling of milk to the maturation process.

Cheddar rounds up its appeal with its snug community vibe, good quality schools, local amenities and its accessibility to larger cities. With all of this on offer, the village stakes its claim as one of the best places to live in Somerset.

The trivia on Cheddar doesn’t end here of course. There’s still more to share about this charming village.

Bustling Market Town of Frome

From the tranquillity of Cheddar, let’s take a jump into the bustling market town of Frome. Known for its rich history and strong community spirit, Frome boasts cobbled streets lined with independent shops. What’s captivating about this place is its mix of the old and new – a blend that gives it a unique charm.

The town prides itself on its fantastic array of local businesses – from unique boutiques to artisan bakeries – all contributing to the vibrant local economy. Frome’s market, operating since the 12th century, truly brings the spirit of the town to life. With stalls selling fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and unusual antiques, it’s a treasure trove for those interested in getting to know the essence of Somerset.

Nature lovers would fall in love with Frome’s surrounding rustic countryside – crisscrossed with public footpaths that are ideal for romantic strolls or energetic hikes. Additionally, the town is blessed with several green spaces within its limits, including the famous Victoria Park – a perfect spot for family picnics or head-clearing solo walks.

Frome’s community hubs like the Cheese and Grain venue regularly host events, from music gigs to food festivals. The local theatre and independent cinema keep the arts scene vibrant, and creative spirits would thrive in Frome’s Creative Quarter, teeming with artist studios and design workshops.

The educational facilities are excellent, with good local schools and colleges available for all age groups. Importantly, the convenient transport links to larger cities like Bath and Bristol make any commute a breeze, adding to the wide array of benefits that come with living in this enchanting town.

Historic, bustling, and brimming with community spirit – life in Frome can be a delightful experience. It moulds the conveniences of the city life with the appealing simplicity of country living, making it an intriguing part of Somerset’s tapestry worth exploring. As we delve deeper into Somerset’s offerings, there’s more to see in this picturesque county. We shall uncover another gem next, so stay tuned.

Picturesque Coastal Town of Minehead

As we continue our journey, I can’t help dashing straight to the charming coastal town of Minehead. Home to a perfect blend of natural beauty and enchanting history, Minehead holds its own unique charm among Somerset’s most liveable places. You’ll find it resting on the edge of the Exmoor National Park, offering panoramic seaside views that are second to none.

Sophisticated, yet deeply ingrained in its roots, Minehead is a vision to behold. Its high street is a mash-up of traditional shops and quaint cafes. Here, charming cottages meet Victorian architecture in an interesting juxtaposition rarely found elsewhere. And let’s not forget the spirited Minehead Harbour, full of colourful boats bobbing gently on its surface. It’s a painter’s dream, to be utterly honest.

Minehead, famous for its sandy beaches and fun-filled arcades, packs quite a punch on the leisure front. Not to mention, the town’s spectrum of eateries boasting local Somerset produce are a gastronomical delight to the palate.

While being a hiker’s paradise, Minehead’s accessibility via road and railway networks also makes it an ideal place for those commuting to the larger cities for work. As an added bonus, residents enjoy a strong sense of community, making it not just a town, but truly a home to its dwellers.

Moving from the tranquillity of Cheddar and the energy of Frome, Minehead turns a new leaf in Somerset’s story. By presenting the combination of seaside serenity merged with the hustle and bustle of a town, it’s evident that Somerset has a variety of choice that aims to suit every lifestyle. Now, shall we sail ahead to our next charming Somerset paradise?

Serene Countryside of the Mendip Hills

Glastonbury

Following on from the vibrant town of Minehead, let’s focus our lens on a contrasting location. Vaulting from the seaside to the countryside, we land at the Mendip Hills. If you’re in search of tranquility and amazing landscapes, the Mendip Hills should definitely be on your list of the best places to live in Somerset.

I’ve travelled extensively and have seen some striking sceneries, but Mendip Hills offers something uniquely captivating off-the-beaten-track. A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, these hills span nearly 200 square kilometres, providing one-of-a-kind vistas of sculpted cliffs, rolling pastoral landscapes, and limestone grasslands.

Nestled in the heart of the Mendip Hills are the charming hamlets and villages of Cheddar, Wells, Glastonbury, and Shepton Mallet. These settlements offer an assortment of beautiful stone-built buildings, thatch cottages, and ancient market towns that ooze rustic charm.

  • Cheddar has a vibrant community spirit with a wide variety of shops, cafes and eateries. Here, you’ll get to enjoy the infamous Cheddar cheese in its hometown.
  • Wells, the smallest city in England, is replete with striking historic buildings like the Wells Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace.
  • Glastonbury, renowned for its namesake music festival, is also home to mystical legends and age-old spirituality that add a sense of intrigue to the local lifestyle.
  • Shepton Mallet is known for its cider mills and wide selection of local Somerset produce.

Another significant feature of the Mendip Hills is that it’s dotted with nature reserves and wildlife sites – ideal for all nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Choosing whether to settle in a sophisticated town like Minehead or in the serene countryside of the Mendip Hills, is quite a gratifying conundrum isn’t it? One thing’s for sure, Somerset is full of picturesque locations to call home. But we’ve only just begun our journey. Next, we’re off to explore…

My Closing Thoughts

I’ve taken you on a journey through the best places to live in Somerset, from the vibrant seaside town of Minehead to the tranquil Mendip Hills. We’ve explored the rustic charm of hamlets like Cheddar, Wells, Glastonbury, and Shepton Mallet, each boasting unique attractions. Whether you’re drawn to the coastal allure of Minehead or the peaceful countryside of the Mendip Hills, the choice is yours. Somerset’s diverse offerings cater to all, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie. So, if you’re looking for a picturesque place to settle, Somerset’s got you covered. It’s not just a county, it’s a lifestyle.


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