Away from the main hubs of Frome and Bruton, Somerset is full of out-of-the-way spots that are well worth seeking out, including a surprisingly fashion-forward town and the site of a certain music festival
Montacute House and Gardens
This under-the-radar little town recently found itself catapulted to the forefront of the fashion world’s consciousness when Alice Temperley relocated her London atelier to a lovely old Victorian building in Ilminster’s main square. The multipurpose building also houses a shop which sells Temperley’s current collection and pieces from the archive, and a handsome bar where the mixologists make good use of her dad’s highly regarded cider brandy.
This cute little village near Yeovil is worth a visit for the National Trust-run Montacute House, a stunning and remarkably unchanged Elizabethan mansion with glorious gardens. When visiting, make sure you don’t miss Ladies’ Walk, an atmospheric woodland that in spring is carpeted with bluebells. A mile or so west of the village is Ham Hill, a beautiful country park with an Iron Age hillfort at its centre, and an excellent pub, the Prince of Wales, for a well-earned pint after you’ve hiked up to the top.
It might be called Glastonbury Festival but the Eavis family’s Worthy Farm, where they stage the annual bacchanal is actually in tiny little Pilton, a 20-minute drive east of Glastonbury town. The farm is criss-crossed with public footpaths which means you’re free to explore the site and get a sense of what it’s like when there aren’t 200,000 people crammed into it. Look out for the Pyramid Stage and Stone Circle which are there year-round. Once you’re done, head to The Crown in Pilton, recently taken on by new owners who are giving it an overhaul that aims to replicate some of the impish joy of the festival.
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