Somerset has five ranges of hills- the Blackdowns, Mendips, Quantocks,
Poldens and the Brendons - all with their own character. The Levels
and Moors are the flatlands of Somerset are ideal for the cyclist
and nature lovers.
Somersetís County Town of Taunton, is ideal for shopping and
as a base for touring. Nestling in the Mendip Hills is Wells,
Englandís smallest city with its beautiful cathedral. Further
south, around Yeovil, you will be delighted by the tranquil beauty
of the stately houses and gardens.
Itís a truly scenic county with long beautiful sandy beaches
and popular coastal resorts such as Minehead or Burnham-on-Sea
contrast with the dramatic rocky Exmoor coastline.
In south Somerset, villages such as Tintinhull, Clapton Court
and Barrington have classic gardens dating back to Elizabethan
times. At Montacute the formal gardens provide a grand setting
for the architectural splendour of one of the finest Elizabethan
houses in England. The 'Secret Garden' at Hestercombe, near Taunton
is an eighteenth century Landscaped Garden which compliments the
Victorian Terrace and formal Edwardian Gardens of Lutyens and
Castles - The English Civil War (1642-1651) left its mark on
the castles at the historic town of Taunton and at Dunster in
west Somerset. The magnificent ruined castle at Nunney, near Frome,
is also a sombre monument to these violent times.
The popular county of Dorset includes holiday resorts such as
Bournemouth. Its surrounding area is by far the most populous
area and it is also the primary holiday destination in Dorset.
Close to Bournemouth is the cosmopolitan town of Poole, with its
bustling Quay, some of the best beaches in England and a stunning
Lulworth Cove including the famouse 'Durdle Door' was formed around
10,000 years ago by the massive powers of a river and the sea.
It continues to evolve behind a narrow Portland Stone entrance
as the softer Purbeck, Wealden, Greensand and Chalk exposures