Somerset in the in the South West of England is a wonderful part of the country and home to our two parks Doniford Bay and Burnham On Sea. With vast areas of countryside and coastline, there is plenty to explore. Here are 11 facts you may not know about the area:
- The West Somerset Railway is the longest preserved steam railway in the country
- Taunton was the first town in the country to be lit permanently by electric street lighting in 1881
- They have the oldest prison in England. Shepton Mallet prison opened in 1610 and was open for over 400 years before closing in 2013
- Cider -- a favourite summertime drink. There are over 400 different varieties of cider apple grown in Somerset alone!
- The oldest complete human skeleton was found at Cheddar Gorge -- around 9000 years old!
- They have the oldest British pony! The pure bred Exmoor Pony has inhibited Exmoor moorland since ancient times!
- The Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685 was the last ever pitch battle on English soil
- They have the largest gorge in Britain. Cheddar Gorge stands at around 500 feet!
- They have the oldest working bridge in Britain. The Tarr Steps near Winsford in Somerset is thought to date all the way back to 1000 BC!
- The World’s now largest performing arts festival Glastonbury was actually started by dairy farmer Micheal Eavis from Somerset in 1970. When you think of Glastonbury you think of bright lights, loud music, live acts and mud bu it was once a farm!
- The games skittles, (what American ten-pin bowling derives from) originates from Somerset and many pubs in the county still have a skittle alley.
We went to visit Somerset to uncover all of the hidden wonders of the area. Check out our 48 hour guide to see what we got up too.