Greenslade Taylor Hunt has eleven estate agent and chartered surveyor offices in Somerset. These are located in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Ilminster, Langport, Taunton, Wells and Yeovil. We thought that the following information about Somerset might be useful if you are considering purchasing a property in Somerset.
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Somerset must surely be one of the most interesting counties in the UK. Bordered by Devon and Dorset, the county's landscape is spectacular, ranging from the moorland setting of Exmoor to the Cheddar Gorge with its caves deep in the Mendip Hills. Venturing inland will take you to Glastonbury with its awe-inspiring tor and abbey, whilst close by is England's smallest city of Wells. Nearby is Street, traditional home of the West Country shoe making industry, and now home to one of the largest factory shopping outlets in the West of England. People are drawn to the region for differing reasons; to enjoy the open countryside, relaxed culture, warmer climate, or to take advantage of the excellent private education on offer and enjoy a slower pace of life. Typically, houses are built of stone, including the soft-coloured Blue Lias limestone of the Somerset Levels and the golden-yellow Ham stone in the south, with clay-tiled roofs. Property prices vary with the landscape, towns worthy of note are Wells, with its stunning Cathedral and architecture, mystical Glastonbury and the thriving county town of Taunton - all of which are a draw and have their individual attractions.
History of Somerset
Somerset's history is broad and varied. It has many sites of ancient interest including ancient burial grounds; hill forts whose history is shrouded in the mists of time. It is said to be the "home" of King Arthur with a Camelot and Isle of Avalon, and is claimed to be the birthplace of Christianity in England. The county's name was first recorded in AD1015 as Sumaersaeton. There are many notable Roman remains in Somerset, including a large mosaic pavement near Langport, and many later Saxon stone carvings in the church at Milborne Port. Somerset was originally part of the kingdom of Wessex, and figured largely in King Alfred's struggle against the Danes. Somerset contains several abbeys, and castles, notably at Glastonbury and Dunster, and an important cathedral at Wells.
Living in Somerset
If you are looking to buy property in Somerset and would like to work locally you will find that one of the key sectors is the food and drink industry, employing over 15,000 people. A third of these jobs relate to agricultural production, and food processing is also well represented - in particular drinks manufacture, from fruit juice to cider brandy. Gerber Foods (Soft Drinks) Ltd in Bridgwater are the largest producer of fruit juices in Europe. Another thriving sector is Aerospace and Advanced Engineering, providing over 9,500 jobs. The main employer is AgustaWestland (better known as Westland Helicopters) based in Yeovil. The Business Support and Financial Services Sector is a growing market; a number of small call centres have emerged, one example of which is Screwfix Direct Ltd, who have their headquarters and call centre in Yeovil.
There are many reasons why families with children choose to relocate to and search for property for sale in Somerset, one of the key factors is the excellent private education on offer. From Clifton College to Wells Cathedral School, to Millfield School in Street, there are many to choose from.
Most of Somerset's High Street shopping can be found in Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil, all of which provide a good range of familiar brands and also smaller specialist outlets. There is a retail outlet shopping village in Street, which has over 90 stores, including many popular brands, such as Next and Marks & Spencer.
If your preference is for town life, then Taunton, the county town of Somerset could be the place for you. The town has many amenities and much to offer shopping enthusiasts. Located throughout Taunton Town Centre and on route to many other shops is the Old Market Shopping Centre, the town's largest Shopping Mall, County Walk shopping centre and a smaller sheltered arcade called Crown Walk. There is also a Farmers' Market on the last Thursday of every month, where you can sample and buy locally produced fresh fare from the surrounding farms. People who enjoy eating out can choose from a range of small cafés and sandwich bars, and a good selection of restaurants. Taunton also has a leisure centre, a museum, a castle, golf course, a theatre and arts centre and a cinema. There is a good selection of property for sale in Taunton, including period thatched cottages, modern detached family houses, bungalows, 1930's houses, and flats in purpose built buildings, above commercial properties and in houses that have been converted into apartments.
Another town considered to be a good place to live by its residents is the thriving market town of Yeovil. Yeovil property is characterised by modern and Victorian semi-detached and terraced houses. Modern flat conversions in central areas are complemented by brand new developments of flats. Yeovil is a busy and pleasant market town with a population of approximately 38,000. The town centre offers a wide range of national and independent shops situated within the Quedam Shopping Centre and in the streets around the town centre. On the outskirts of town, trading estates offer a variety of shops and services. For those looking for leisure or sporting opportunities there is an indoor swimming pool, a ski slope, the Octagon Theatre and a multi-screen cinema. Yeovil is home to Fleet Air Arm Museum which has the largest collection of naval aircraft anywhere in Europe, and Haynes International Motor Museum.
Travel and Transport Links in Somerset
The Somerset region is easily accessible from all directions by road, rail, air and sea. To fly to Somerset, Bristol International Airport is the closest airport to the region, approximately 25 miles from Bridgwater. To arrive in Somerset by ferry, the port at Poole is approximately 70 miles from Bridgwater and has crossings to Cherbourg in France and the Channel Isles. For travel by train, the mainline from Bristol to Penzance runs through the region, with stations at both Bridgwater and Taunton. To drive into Somerset, the M5 motorway passes directly through the towns of Bridgwater and Taunton, as it travels southwards from Gloucestershire to Exeter. For those who travel with work, or have homes abroad, Bristol International Airport and Exeter International Airport are under one hour's drive away.