We think Somerset is so much better than the Cotswolds
Somerset is a brilliant place to live, we all know that. Since the pandemic there has been a rise in the number of people from London moving to the countryside and Somerset and the Cotswolds are top favourites. Places like Stroud and Tetbury in the Cotswolds have become popular, but we say Somerset is so much better.
READ MORE: Villagers fume as top food critic labels them 'fat fingered farmers' Somerset is just cooler, more arty, more Boho, trendier, and it is never dull or boring, there is a great sense of humour, we don't take ourselves seriously. And our accent is legendary.
Here are some reasons why we say Somerset is so much better than the Cotswolds.
1) Our beautiful beaches and coastline
We have a wonderful coastline and beaches and we are much closer to the stunning coastal walks in nearby Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. We have places like Porlock Weir and Kilve Beach with its amazing rock formations, as well as Dunster with its lovely walks and castle. As well as our own beaches we are only an hour-and-a half from the gorgeous Lyme Regis, so much better than other coastal towns with its quirky art and pottery shops and trendy cafes and pubs.
2) Our towns and villages are just so much cooler
We know the Cotswolds are beautiful with stunning little towns like Tetbury, Stroud, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold.
But don't you think they can be a bit twee? Lovely looking, lots of tourists and bus tours, great places to retire to but just a little bit boring? You have to agree our towns and villages are just cooler, trendier, more arty and quirky with lots more to attract young people, they have the edge.The wonderful St Catherine's artisan quarter in Frome beats anywhere in London
The wonderful vintage dress shops, so fashionable, it's no wonder all the celebrities flock there. Then there is Bruton, one of the trendiest places in the country. I could go on and on.
3) We have Bath and Bristol
What more can we say?
Bristol with all its hipster chic, great jobs, the BBC, all the teckie start-ups, the harbour with all its bars and restaurants, it is one of the coolest cities in the UK no question. Then only 12 minutes by train from Bristol we have the majestic city of Bath, world-famous, loved by the Romans and probably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. But the best thing is we can get to the countryside and seaside so easily from these cities, and London is only an hour-and-a-half away by train.
4) Our villages are arty, quirky and beautifulThe beautiful village of Mells is not just pretty, it is quirky and arty as well
Not only are our villages quintessentially beautiful, they are also interesting, with lots going on.
Think of Mells near Frome, beautiful on the outside but so stunning on the inside as well. There's all the arts and crafts, the Walled Garden restaurant with pizza oven, the amazing Talbot Inn where all the celebrities from Babington including the Beckhams go, the craft fairs at the tithe barn, it is a seriously cool village.
5) The train to London is less than 1.5 hours and is every half hour
The great thing about Somerset if we can get to the capital so easily if we want to. It makes you feel you are never far away should you need to go to London to work, go to the theatre or art galleries.
There is a train every half hour from Bristol or Bath and it now takes one hour 20 minutes, which is really nothing. And it runs late at night so you can go to a top West End show and be back in your bed by midnight.
6) We have the world-famous and mood-changing ciderOur gorgeous distinctly orange coloured cider is world-renowned
Yes the nectar of Somerset, the best apples, the best cider farms, the world-famous happy juice comes from right here in our wonderful Somerset. Somerset is just so much more fun.
There are great cider pubs like Tucker's Grave in Faulkland, frequented by people like Mick Jagger and other celebs. There are so many great events and festivals around our great cider-making tradition in Somerset, like the tasting tours at the Newt hotel and gardens, and just the great fun we have with our cider, especially in the summer. The pink sparkling ciders made at Showerings in Shepton Mallet, small companies like Honey & Daughter in Midford, the cider trucks and stalls at festivals.
7) We have GlastonburyGlastonbury Festival has made Somerset famous for music and arts
What more can we say?
The most famous music festival in the world Glastonbury is right here in Somerset. During that week in June the eyes of the world are on our county, with top artists like Adele, Dolly Parton and Kylie Minogue seen plodding around our countryside in wellies drinking our world-famous cider. They are only here for a week, we are here all the time.
We are so proud of our Glastonbury roots, making us the coolest county in the UK.
8) We have the best art galleries
We have wonderful art galleries in Bath and Bristol, and one of the best galleries in the world Hauser & Wirth has set up home in Bruton, Somerset. People come from all over the world to visit Hauser & Wirth in a farmhouse in the middle of the countryside, it is so cool.
9) We have Babington
The world-renowned, membership-only Soho Home has its mother ship right here in Somerset with Babington House. A hotbed for celebrities and trendy townies and creatives, it draws well-known people from all walks of life to enjoy our stunning but not boring countryside.
Bradley Cooper was seen there recently, but the area is so used to celebrities, there is no fuss.
10) Our food is amazingMasterchef winner Ping Coombes is just one of the famous chefs who made Somerset their home
Our produce is so good it attracts chefs from all over the world. Our lush countryside produces the very best of fruit and veg, and our cheese is world-renowned. We have amazing restaurants in Bristol and Bath, and some of the countryside pubs have the best food.
There is nothing quite like a good old Sunday roast in one of our Somerset country pubs, with all our local ales and ciders. We have easy access to the great fish markets in Devon and Cornwall and great fruit and food markets in Bristol. Top-notch chefs like Masterchef winner Ping Coombes and Gordon Jones have really put us on the map, not to mention top restaurants like Casa Mia and The Pony & Trap in Bristol.
11) We have Cheddar cheese
The world-famous Cheddar cheese is made right here in Somerset.
Not just cheddar, all our cheeses are delicious and grace the top restaurants and delis in London and Paris. Companies like The Fine Cheese Co and other great cheese makers in our county have really put Somerset cheese on the map, it has become a delicacy. Bath Soft Cheese is absolutely delicious and is award-winning, sold at the top artisan markets around the country.
12) We have great writers and artists
Not just Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley and other great writers flocked to Bath for inspiration.
Bath is famous for art, with so many galleries and local artists who exhibit at the people's Victoria Art Gallery. So many films and TV series like Bridgerton and Poldark are filmed here and around Somerset, you can see why.
13) We are famous for music
With places like The Cheese & Grain and The Forum in Bath, we attract world-famous artists and musicians. The Foo Fighters and The Smiths famously played at The Cheese & Grain in Frome, and The Pavilion and Forum attract top artists every week.
We are also famous for comedy with the Bath Comedy Festival one of the top gigs in the country for emerging and established stand-ups.
14) We have great theatre
The stunning Theatre Royal in Bath is the actors' favourite, we get to see shows before they go to the West End, it is one of the most beautiful theatres in the country right here on our doorstep. The Old Vic and Hippodrome in Bristol are famous for top productions, and there are wonderful theatres and cinemas in every town in Somerset.
15) We have a great sense of humour
And last but not least we have a wonderful, wry sense of humour, we are famous for it, we can laugh at ourselves. That tongue-in-cheek wit and irony is so unique, we don't take ourselves too seriously and love a good laugh and pint in the pub.
Don't try to be pretentious in Somerset, you won't get away with it, not for a minute. The word on the street is Get Over Yourself, we have no time for any nonsense, we are straight, down-to-earth people who love a good laugh which makes our county so much fun to live in. We could go on and on, and on and on, there is neither time nor space here, but there is absolutely no doubt Somerset is the best county bar none with so much variety and something for everyone.
Sorry, lovely Cotswolds, you are beautiful - but there is simply no contest.