Somerset, United Kingdom
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When to go
Spring is glorious, with impossibly green fields and spreading flowers; summer can be wonderful but you'll have competition for the best picnic spots and hotel rooms; autumn is our favourite time, when sunsets are red and mornings are crisp.
PlanesIf you’re coming from the sky | then Bristol airport is the best point of access. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies in from Derry; easyJet (www.easyjet.com) jets in from Belfast | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Inverness and Newcastle.
TrainsThere are regular trains from London Paddington to Bath Spa; the journey takes around 90 minutes. Bristol is also easily accessible from Birmingham and the Midlands, and there’s an unmanned station at Frome, on the Cardiff-Weymouth route. Connections aren’t great though, so a car is advisable if you plan to explore properly.
AutomobilesFrom London | Somerset can be reached in around three hours along the M4. The journey along the M3 and wonderful A303 is more leisurely | taking you up and down rolling hills | and right past Stonehenge.
TaxisTry Bath Spa Taxis (01225 313131) in Bath, Mike’s Taxis (07773 900274) if you’re in the Mendips, or Valley Cars (01749 343888) in the Shepton Mallet area.