A delicious combination of chocolate-box villages, undulating hills and elegant cities (Bath and Wells), Somerset is the sort of place where honey-laden bees buzz lazily through orchards, perhaps pausing on a fallen apple.
This is the real West Country, where the local accent burrs in the same way it did back in Thomas Hardy’s day, and you’re just as likely to be held up on the road by a herd of cows as you are a tractor. Its gateway city, Bath, has been popular since Celtic times, and people still come from all over the world to relax in its mineral-rich waters and take tea in its elegant Georgian crescents. Further afield, the Cheddar Gorge and the Mendips provide see-for-miles viewpoints and rewarding walks. Rushing seems to be frowned upon here. It’s as though the whole county is working to a different, slower clock – come and stay in Somerset for a few days of hard-earned downtime, and you can, too.
Spring is glorious, with impossibly green fields and spreading flowers; summer can be wonderful but you'll have competition for the best picnic spots and hotel rooms; autumn is our favourite time, when sunsets are red and mornings are crisp.