Extending for almost 70 miles from County Gate on the western border with Devon to Farleigh Hungerford in the east, the beautiful county of Somerset is unparalleled anywhere in Britain for its varied landscape. The uplands of Exmoor and the hinterland of the Bristol Channel contrast significantly with the Somerset Levels and the Blackdown and Mendip Hills, the latter forming a natural border to the north of the county. Somerset is dotted with small hamlets, villages and a scattering of larger areas of habitation. Inland are a myriad of ancient monuments, historic relics and the delightfully restored West Somerset Railway, once again providing a steam passenger service used by both locals and visitors.
Somerset: Exploring the Summerland offers a wonderful glimpse of the coastal regions, moorlands, hills and idyllic countryside uncovering numerous delights along the way. Setting out from where Exmoor meets the sea, the coastline runs for over 40 miles to Brean Down north of Burnham- on-Sea. East of Exmoor are the more gentle uplands of the Quantock Hills with delightful hidden hamlets and a rich literary past before we reach the historic county town of Taunton. To the south the landscape rises once more with the Blackdown Hills running parallel with the Devon border, a land where ancient monuments and historic houses can be found amid fantastic pastoral scenery. Heading north the Somerset Levels and Moors cover some 250 square miles, some below sea level, providing a unique landscape in stark contrast to the rolling uplands. Encircled by the Levels is the mystical Isle of Avalon with the spiritual town of Glastonbury at its heart. The impenetrable Mendip Hills, a bastion of the Roman Empire, were traversed by the Somerset & Dorset Railway in the nineteenth century. The Mendip Hills boast a wealth of attractions including the world famous Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole and are home to Wells, the smallest city in England.
All this and more is explored by John Bailey, who reveals this fascinating county through an informed text and more than 200 glorious images so that the reader can truly discover Somerset afresh.
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