Historic Towns and Cities
Bath and the stunning countryside surrounding it is one of England's most beautiful places to visit. Bath is a unique city; its hot springs, Roman Baths, splendid Abbey and Georgian stone crescents have attracted visitors for centuries. Set in rolling Somerset countryside, just over 100 miles west of London it is a beautiful and unforgettable place to visit. Come and explore this compact city on foot. Delights to savour include the Georgian architecture, independent shops, a diverse range of restaurants, theatres, and pubs along with unique museums and a wide range of guided tours.
Frome is a town of enormous charm with its steep, winding streets, wealth of beautiful old buildings and its friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It has more listed buildings than any other town in Somerset (357 at the last count), many of them reminders of a rich Wessex industrial history of cloth, agriculture and country market trading. It remains the biggest of the five Mendip towns and is renowned for its thriving arts & crafts community. Older than Bath (13 miles north) its history dates from AD685, when St Aldhelm founded a mission on the River Frome. The Frome continues to meander through passing the unique, Grade 1 Listed Blue House. Frome has largely escaped insensitive redevelopment, bequeathing it a legacy of 18th century cloth merchants' homes and Trinity, one of the country's best examples of industrial housing from the 1600s.
Technically the presence of a cathedral makes a town into a city, so that qualifies the quiet Somerset backwater of Wells as a city. Yet thinking of Wells as a city is misleading, for this beautiful home of the Bishops of Bath and Wells has much more of a rural town or very large village feel about it. With only about 10,000 residents Wells is the smallest city in England. The highlight of a visit to Wells is the magnificent cathedral. Wells Cathedral is one of the architectural highlights of Britain replete with intricate Gothic carvings, a unique scissors vault to brace the building against shifting medieval foundations and a marvellous chapter house.
Salisbury has been a favourite destination for visitors for the past 800 years or more. With first class visitor attractions, theatres, events, shopping, eating and drinking it’s no wonder that last year Salisbury was voted, by Observer readers, in the top ten of the best British tourist destinations! Discover how perfectly the past merges with the present as you enjoy the delights of this medieval city surrounded by beautiful English countryside as well as nearby World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. There is an abundance of historical buildings peppered throughout the city to explore – including the majestic sight that is Salisbury Cathedral’s spire, Britain’s tallest, standing at a breathtaking 123 metres, together with modern high street shops that are mixed with specialist retail outlets with something for everyone.