Dismaland turned the UK’s attention to Somerset this August and is now expected to bring in £7M into the county for hotels, catering establishments and other attractions.
This confirms our view that it is always good to promote. And in AC Services series of what’s happening in the counties it covers to service and maintain Rational ovens, this week was due to be Somerset.
Of History and Sand
Located in the south west of England, Somerset is a county with a tremendous history, with evidence of human occupation from prehistoric times. Indeed, the oldest dated roadwork the UK and Ireland is the Sweet Track across the Somerset Levels, a route of wooden planks dating back to the 39th century BC. Today you’ll find plenty of roadworks: usually on the M5 although it’s quite good this year!
But once you finally get to Somerset, the county has a host of events to tempt visitors during the late summer months. The Glastonbury Festival begins the festivities in May and June then a wealth of attractions are available, not least the annual Weston Sand Festival
, celebrating its 10th year in 2015.
This year’s theme is a nostalgic visit along the last decade, with 15 world-class sculptors paying tribute to every single theme covered from King Kong to last year’s Storytime celebration! Visitors will also see the world’s biggest birthday cake reproduced from sand. The exhibition runs until the end of September.
If you want something a little different, try the torch-lit summer evenings
at the Roman Baths, which will be open its doors until 10pm every evening in August, so that visitors can see the steaming Great Bath, 2,000-year-old pavements and stunning Roman artefacts by torchlight before heading to one of the many restaurants for a late night meal.
Dance Like Austen
For those who prefer artistic interpretation, the Victoria Art Gallery
hosts period dance displays, including the Jane Austen dancers on 27 August. For the younger and less sedentary members of the family, try Pirate Month at the SeaQuarium
in Weston Super Mare, with a variety of fun activities including flag making, storytelling, swashbuckling fun and games and tours of the aquarium.
inally head down to the Bishops Palace in Wells
, this Bank Holiday weekend, which has the thrilling Bowlore Mediaeval weekend of activities including “longbow, crossbow, weapons demonstrations, combat displays, sword lessons, historical talks, battlefield medicine, hands-on weapon and armour displays, medieval tented encampment, have-a-go archery with lifesize 3D animal targets, fire-arrows and their unique flaming-sword duels.”
Somerset has an amazing array of places and events for everyone: the county has 11,500 listed buildings, 523 ancient monuments, 192 conservation areas, 41 parks and gardens, 36 English Heritage sites and 19 National Trust sites. So if you can’t find anything to enjoy in that lot, then best you stay indoors for ever more!
Or go looking for the legendary burial place of King Arthur, said to be buried in Avalon, the mystical land around Glastonbury! Or go and find the only one cheese-maker remaining in the village of Cheddar, a fact that is little known, but good to bring up at dinner parties. Or just enjoy the views before heading to the local pub!