Where to live in Somerset?

Deciding where to live can be one of the biggest and most difficult decisions in the home buying process. Do you choose to live close to family and friends? But what about close to your work? Or how about you pick somewhere completely different and start a fresh?

When you can pick anywhere in the world, where do you choose?

Well, here at Windsor Hill Mortgages although we help clients all over the UK our office is based in the lovely South West county of Somerset so it is no surprise that we think Somerset is a great area to consider. If you are struggling for inspiration, we have picked a few of our top favourite towns and villages within Somerset to give you some ideas.

Where is Somerset?

To begin, where actually is Somerset? Well, the county of Somerset is based within the South West region of the UK and is bordered by Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon. Somerset is a rural county, known for its glorious countryside and rolling hills including the Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park.

Where is Somerset?
Where is Somerset?

Frome

Having recently been crowned The Sunday Time’s best place to live in the Southwest 2021 it is no surprise that the quirky town of Frome has made it to one of our favourite places in Somerset. Based in the eastern part of the county with great transport links to both Bath and Bristol, Frome is also in a great location for commuters who are looking for house prices slightly cheaper than the two cities.

Aside from Frome’s charming history and beautiful architecture there is also a thriving community of independent and specialist shops lining the cobbled streets throughout the town. There are regular markets hosted in the town centre including the renowned Frome Independent Market that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the UK. This market showcases a collection of the best food, drink, produce, plants, designers, collectables, street entertainment and many more.

Schools: Hayesdown First School, Selwood Academy, Frome College

 

Catherine Hill, Frome town centre

Bruton

The quaint village of Bruton located on the A359 between Frome and Yeovil and has been identified as one of the most in-demand countryside living destinations in England. Although nestled in beautiful Somerset countryside the village is brimming with independent shops including delicious cafes and restaurants providing the perfect balance between urban and rural.

Located in Bruton countryside is the stunning and very well-known country estate, The Newt. This magnificent estate boasts acres of woodlands, gardens with so much to see and do including Cyder tasting and Beeswax lip balm workshops.  As well as garden eateries and farm shops the estate is also home to a breath-taking hotel for anyone who might fancy a Somerset staycation.

Schools: Westbourne School, King’s Bruton, Bruton Primary School, Bruton School for Girls

 

Wells

Wells’ claim to fame is that it is the smallest city in England. Home to a humble 12,000 inhabitants Wells is classed as a city due to the famous 13th century Cathedral encompassed within the city’s centre. As well as the stunning Cathedral, Wells is also home to many other historic gems including the moated Bishop’s Palace, St Cuthbert’s Church and local museum.

Within Wells there is a busy city centre and just a stone’s throw away from the city are the famous attractions of Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole, Glastonbury Abbey and Stourhead among others. Street is a short car drive away where you will find a large shopping outlet village, Clarks Village which is home to over 90 designers and high street brands.

Schools: Stoberry Park School, Wells Cathedral School, The Blue School

 

Wells Cathedral

 

Keynsham

The rural market town of Keynsham is a town located between Bath and Bristol, being a mere 8 minute train journey from Bristol Temple Meads it is the perfect location for commuters working within Bristol city centre. Apart from the great transport links, Keynsham also has a lot to offer with a monthly market showcasing the high-quality produce local businesses have to offer. There is also a large memorial park extending 26 acres which in the summer months is a hub for Keynsham Music Festival which is one of the South West’s top music festivals.

However if you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle, Keynsham is also close to the River Avon and the Avon Valley Woodlands. Along the canal are a number of cosy pubs that you can stop off at for a quick bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink in the sunshine. If you fancy a longer walk in nature, Avon Valley Woods is over 139 hectares of stunning wildflowers and a wide variety of tree species all brimming with wildlife.

Schools: Wellsway School, St Kenya Primary School, Castle Primary School

 

Bath

Unsurprisingly Bath is one of the most sought-after areas to live not only in Somerset but within the whole of the UK, with attractions to suit all ages it’s not difficult to see why the city of 100,000 residents can have in excess of 5 million visitors a year.  In Bath the obvious attraction to visit is the Roman Baths, but aside from the beautiful history Bath is full of fun, modern and contemporary activities to enjoy. The list of places to eat in Bath is endless ranging from Michelin starred restaurants, craft beer ale cafes to some well-known budget friendly pub chains, there is a wide selection for everyone to enjoy.

For sport loving fans there is a huge rugby community within the city with regular games at The Recreation Ground. Throughout the year there are plenty of other events on including festivals, carnivals and of the course the popular Christmas Market.

Schools: Oldfield School, King Edward’s School, Royal High School, Prior Park College

 

Bath city centre

Chew Magna

The quaint village of Chew Magna is based in East Somerset, although small in size with only around 1,200 residents the village is home to two schools, three churches, four pubs and a number of shops. Chew Magna is draped in history with many listed buildings within the village that was once a fundamental part of the wool trade in the Medieval times. Chew Magna is located on the B3130 road only 10 miles from Bristol and Bath so it is in a prime location for individuals who work within these cities.

Venture to the South of the village to Chew Stoke and you will encounter Chew Valley Lake. A reservoir stretching 1,200 acres, the landmark is a hub for wildlife and has been classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a wealth of wildlife being drawn to the site throughout the year there is never a bad time to visit. Nearby nature reserves such as Burledge Hill and Folly Farm are also less than 4 miles away. Similarly, less than 2 miles away is Stanton Drew Circles and Cove located in the village of Stanton Drew. The Stanton Drew Circles are the third largest complex of standing stones in England and are estimated to have been laid 4,500 years ago.

Schools: Chew Magna Primary, Chew Stoke Church School

 

Minehead

If seaside living takes your fancy you may want to consider the coastal town of Minehead, located between the wild landscape of Exmoor National Park and beautiful beaches you can get the best of both worlds. A textbook seaside town with a lovely promenade and busy harbour, Minehead attracts visitors from all over the country. There are a whole host of activities to take part in including; sailing, windsurfing, rugby, cricket, golf as well as the UK’s longest walking trail that stretches all the way to Poole.

Despite the peaceful surroundings of this Somerset seaside town Minehead is very easily accessible via A39 and A396. For those commuters Minehead is in easy travelling distance of some neighbouring cities including Bristol and Exeter which also gives access to some great nightlife for visitors.

Schools: St Michael’s C of E First School, Minehead First School, Minehead Middle School

 

Dunster, Minehead

 

Bishop Sutton

Bishop Sutton is a village located on the northern facing slopes of the Mendip Hills within the affluent area of Chew Valley within Somerset, lying East of Chew Valley Lake. Similarly to other villages we have mentioned, Bishop Sutton also has great transport links to Bristol and Bath for those who enjoy working or socialising within a city whilst also enjoying country living.

Bishop Sutton is surrounded by a wealth of attractions and landmarks meaning that you would never be short of things to do. As mentioned previously Bishop Sutton is located very close to Chew Valley Lake meaning easy access to the reservoir to observe the incredible wildlife. Nature reserves such as Folly Farm are also within easy reach of the village.

Schools: Bishop Sutton Primary School, Bishop Sutton Pre-School

 

Cheddar

The picturesque village of Cheddar lies just a mile away from Cheddar Gorge and is a flourishing community with busy tourism, farming and quarrying sector providing a wealth of jobs for residents and locals. Unsurprisingly there is a lot to do in and around Cheddar. Firstly the spectacular Cheddar Gorge which draws thousands of visitors to the area every year, there are miles of foot paths to follow and you can even join a guided tour of the Gorge. Not too far away from the Gorge is Cheddar Reservoir, a 2 mile stretch around the 1350 million gallon lake it can be a nice gentle afternoon stroll.

Around the village is lots of shops and cafes where you can purchase the famous cheese and local cider. Cheddar is also home to an adventure golf course and soft play arena to keep children entertained, for more adventurous individuals there are also caving and climbing tours of the Gorge.

Schools: Cheddar First School, Fairlands Middle School, The Kings of Wessex Academy, Sidcot School

 

Cheddar Gorge

Langford

A pretty village nestled in the heart of North Somerset situated on the edge of the Mendip Hills, Lower Langdon is encompassed in miles of beautiful hilly paths to explore. Lower Langdon has a pub at the centre of the village which acts as a hub for the community, there are also a small number of other amenities including a memorial hall and a hotel. Lower Langdon is also home to two lovely churches, St Mary’s and Langford Evangelical Church which run a number of Christian Orientated children’s clubs.

Schools: Churchill C.E.V.C, Churchill Academy & Sixth Form

 

 

Somerset Countryside