Somerset

Architecture & Topography

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Overview

From Bath follow the River Frome valley south to Farleigh Hungerford Castle and King Alfred’s Tower en route to the moated Nunney Castle. Visit Tintinhull and the RAF museum at Yeovilton. Enjoy Glastonbury Tor before arriving in Wells and then exploring the splendour of Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge.

Bath

Bath has been popular for taking the waters since Roman times. The compact centre is ideal for exploring the stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture including the iconic Royal Crescent and the majestic Circus and the banks of the river. The waters are still a big draw, both the ancient Roman Baths and the modern Thermae Bath Spa, which you can bathe in.

Farleigh Hungerford Castle

In the beautiful river Frome valley this 14th century fortified mansion contains many hidden treasures - the chapel with rare medieval wall paintings and family tombs; extensive displays in the Priest’s house; and for those brave enough to enter the crypt, there’s a collection of human-shaped lead coffins.

Nunney Castle

A picturesque moated medieval castle dates from the 1370s. Much modernised in the late 16th century, the castle was besieged and damaged by the Parliamentarians in 1645, during the Civil War. Though now ruined, Nunney's dramatic great tower is very well preserved. Its four round corner towers and connecting walls are tightly encircled by the castle moat

King Alfred's Tower

King Alfred's Tower is a folly tower standing on Kingsettle Hill and belongs to the National Trust. Planned in the 1760s to commemorate the end of the Seven Years' War against France and the accession of King George III near the location of 'Egbert's stone' where it is believed that Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, rallied the Saxons in May 878 before the important Battle of Edington.

Fleet Air Arm Museum

On the route you can detour to the delightful Tintinhull gardens. The Fleet Air Arm Museum is devoted to the history of British naval aviation. It has an extensive collection of military and civilian aircraft. Located on RNAS Yeovilton airfield the museum has viewing areas where visitors can watch military aircraft (especially helicopters) take off and land.

Montacute House

Visit the impressive Elizabethan mansion of Montecute House to take in the architecture and gardens – a joy to tour at any time of the year. Enjoy the paintings in the Long Gallery - the longest of its kind in England.

Glastonbury Tor

The conical hill that is Glastonbury Tor is topped by the roofless St Michael's Tower, a Grade I listed building. Managed by the National Trust the hill of clay and Blue Lias rises from the Somerset Levels. Artefacts from human visitation have been found, dating from the Iron Age to Roman eras. The remains of Glastonbury Abbey are nearby.

Wells

Wells is named from three wells dedicated to Saint Andrew, one in the market place and two within the grounds of the moated Bishop's Palace and cathedral with its magnificent West Frontage. Its historic centre includes many fine buildings including the Vicar’s Close believed to be the most complete example of a medieval Close in the UK.

Wookey Hole

Underground is the UK’s largest show caves system, home to the infamous Witch of Wookey Hole and a new Chamber 20 and tunnels with rare rock formations make this a great day out for all the family. Nearby Ebbor Gorge cuts into the surrounding limestone.

Cheddar Gorge

One of Britain’s most spectacular natural landmarks formed of inland limestone cliffs and with stunning stalactite show caves below. The caves have been occupied by our prehistoric ancestors. Whether your preference is a stroll along the clifftop or scaling the rockface for a more extreme adventure, the views are worth a little exertion. It’s also famous for the local cheese.

Overview

1

Bath

2
9.3 miles

Farleigh Hungerford Castle

3
12.7 miles

Nunney Castle

4
10.0 miles

King Alfred's Tower

5
21.3 miles

Fleet Air Arm Museum

6
8.2 miles

Montacute House

7
17.7 miles

Glastonbury Tor

8
6.8 miles

Wells

9
2.7 miles

Wookey Hole

10
8.0 miles

Cheddar Gorge

What to see and do…

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Sheppy’s House of Cider Visitor Centre & Farm Shop

Sheppy's House of Cider, Bradford On Tone, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 1ER

Higher Wrantage Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast

Wrantage, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6DF

Nunney Castle

Castle Street, Nunney, Nr Frome, Somerset, BA11 4LW

Montacute House

Montacute House, Castle Street, Montacute, Somerset, TA15 6XP

Roman Baths

Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1LZ

Rural Retreats- The Cowshed

North Wootton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Rural Retreats- Rosemary Cottage

nr Radstock, Bath, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3QF

About the Architecture & Topography Trail

Distance:97 miles
Cities / Towns:10
Number Of Businesses:8

Start in Bath and then moving south along the River Frome valley to the mansion that is Farleigh Hungerford Castle. The impressive folly of King Alfred’s Tower is a stop on the way to moated Nunney Castle. Gardeners may want to visit Tintinhull whereas military buffs can explore the RAF museum at Yeovilton. Glastonbury Tor dominates the surrounding area and then on to the city of Wells before exploring the Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge area.

Local Stone

Stone, especially Limestone, dominates the area from carefully carved honey coloured blocks that face many of the fine buildings from Bath to Wells to the natural landscape of Wookey Hole and the Cheddar Gorge.

Water Features

Water and Limestone have sculptured the area creating great gorges and caves along the route, led to the naming of the city of Wells, after its 3 wells, and Bath where Romans visited to bathe in its spa waters.

Stone Masons

In an age where large buildings can arise in months with steel and glass construction you have to marvel at the skill of the medieval builders of the West Front of Wells Cathedral or the earlier masons working on Roman Bath House and Pump Rooms.

Also Nearby

Sheppy’s House of Cider Visitor Centre & Farm Shop

Sheppy's House of Cider, Bradford On Tone, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 1ER

Higher Wrantage Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast

Wrantage, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6DF

Nunney Castle

Castle Street, Nunney, Nr Frome, Somerset, BA11 4LW

Montacute House

Montacute House, Castle Street, Montacute, Somerset, TA15 6XP

Roman Baths

Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1LZ

Rural Retreats- The Cowshed

North Wootton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Rural Retreats- Rosemary Cottage

nr Radstock, Bath, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3QF