June 18, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Bath Christmas Market

Visiting Somerset in Winter 2023

Winter is breathing down our necks, as the days shorten, and the temperatures start to drop. We might be holding off on turning the thermostat on for some time yet, but we shouldn’t be holding off on planning our next wintry adventure. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, cosy retreat or a festive extravaganza, there is one part of England that stands out: Somerset.

A True Winter Wonderland

Somerset is a picturesque county all year round, with many staking their own claim to this provincial paradise; there are many lodges to buy across the county, that allow their lucky occupants access to some of the best landscapes going. In the winter, though, the hills and fields become canvases for the deep wintry weather, and the forests wear the cold well.

Some standout locations that might have you browsing for that holiday home include the Somerset Levels – a vast plain stippled with hamlets, homes and beautiful wild enclaves – and the Quantocks – hilly heaths that were lucky enough to be named as England’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Glastonbury Tor near Glastonbury in the English county of Somerset, topped by the roofless St Michael’s Tower, UK

Christmas Markets

Somerset need not rely on its landscapes alone for being a quintessential winter holiday destination. Indeed, its towns, villages and country homes are riddled with Christmas spirit in the weeks leading up to the holiday, as market squares and stately gardens burst to life through local and regional Christmas markets. One of the biggest Christmas markets in the county takes place in Bath, while smaller villages ramp up the cosy factors.

There is also the Wells Reindeer Parade, which is bound to be a source of great joy for the younger ones in your family. Mind you, there’s a little something for the adults here too; while not necessarily Christmas-y as facts go, Wells is the setting for Edgar Wright’s cult action-comedy Hot Fuzz, making your Christmas visit as much a location hunt for you as a magical experience for your children.

Cosy Retreats

 

Some mention has already been made of the quieter moments between urban centres in Somerset, but here is their moment to shine. In the winter, the cosiness factor of small settlements is rapidly ramped up; old-school cottages and country homes come into their own with thatch roofs bearing snow, and roaring fires ready to receive chilled feet and hands.

Some of the best places off the beaten path are the likes of Dunster and Crowcombe; choosing slightly larger townships like Cheddar can put you close to some of Somerset’s best natural features, as with Cheddar Gorge to Cheddar.

Winter Walks

Indeed, the best way to enjoy Somerset’s wintry landscape is to get right into it. There are myriad walks and public footpaths that explore the best of Somerset’s rural backbone, from the Mendips to the walk to Glastonbury Tor.