Somerset is a very large county. It features the seaside resorts of Weston-super-Mare (the second-highest tidal range in the world, so follow warning due to sinking mud). It’s also home to inland villages with thatched roofs (so-called ‘Tess country’).
Exmoor (one of England’s smallest national parks) is mostly in Devon but also partly in west Somerset. Home to wild ponies and a rare butterfly, it’s home to a wooded coast, the highest sea cliffs in England, the highest (and lowest) tides in Europe, plants that grow nowhere else – and rocks that are gradually moving north. The longest-walking path (South West coast) also begins in Exmoor.
Cheddar Gorge (a valley between hills) was in the news recently, when archeologists used DNA methods to discover that the 10,000 year old skeleton of a human (found in 1903) was in fact (wait for it BNP – black!) He had blue eyes too, very unusual. Dr Tom Booth said it’s wrong to assume our ancestors had pale skin, but it’s likely he was European with skin adapted to absorb UV light.
Of course the national drink here is scrumpy! 400 varieties of this popular fermented apple juice, and good organic brews to be sipped in local pubs. And if you think 70s group The Wurzels only sang of ‘being a cider drinker’, check out their cover of Ruby by Kaiser Chiefs. The singer is an amazing guitarist (who knew?) And instead of the chorus ‘Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby – da-da-da-da‘), the Somerset audience change the lyrics to ‘oo arr, oo arr, oo arr, oo arr!‘