Charm, cheese, cider, caves: A trip to Somerset
The last port of call this holiday was Watchet, Somerset. A little cottage with the world’s most awkward wifi system was where we stayed. Previously my family came here on holiday and I stayed with them for a weekend, before going back to university. This time around, I was able to have a proper explore of the surprisingly many places the county has to offer (click the photos to see them in more detail!):
Somerset is absolutely brimming with history, and we definitely got to explore that to its fullest. Barrington Court is a lovely Tudor house, that was restored by the co-founder of the sugar company Tate & Lyle Colonel Lyle. What was once a dilapidated mess set to turn to ruins is now a great house, beautifully preserved, surrounded by rich and fruitful gardens. Dunster Castle was also a place of restoration, with the Luttrell family having kept with the Victorian fashion of adding modern features to a home, whilst keeping traditional elements. The woods that lay beside it lead to the 18th Century Dunster Working Mill – where even today you can still buy the flour it produces (and we did!).
The Caves are also big parts of Somerset’s heritage. Our day trip to Cheddar Gorge was pretty much my ideal day out – history paired with cheese. The caves consistently keep the temperature of 11 degrees, perfect for maturing cheese. Of course, we had to buy some for ourselves, as well as traditional Scrumpy Cider. I adore this kind of cider and got a whole litre of it to take home. Strongbow, eat your heart out! We also visited Wookey Hole, which had more of a theatrical take on the cave experience, playing on the Witch of Wookey Hole myth rather than the informative side- but it still made for an interesting day out.
My favourite place that we went to actually took me by surprise a lot; Glastonbury, the town of hippies, the home of one of the world’s most infamous festivals. The town had such a great relaxed vibe, that hummed down the streets in the form of a barefooted boy playing the guitar. We walked up the Glastonbury Tor (not taking the cheat bus like some people!), which was one of the shortest walks of the holiday, but gave us an astounding view. There was even a spring bursting with the smell of incense, that was strange yet enchanting at the same time. Some atmospheres you can’t simply write, but you have to be there to feel. That was Glastonbury for me.
Somerset marks the end of my summer, and I am now preparing to go back to university. It is going to be a bit of a shock to the system, going back to the old grindstone after what has been a magical few months of exploration old and new. But when I’m sitting at my desk tearing my hair out… I will be able to look up at a wall of photos, that map out the amazing times that I have had.