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This page is about the county of Somerset in the United Kingdom. For other meanings of Somerset, see Somerset (disambiguation).

Status: Ceremonial & (smaller) Administrative County
Region: South West England
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 7th
4,171 km²
Ranked 12th
3,451 km²
Admin HQ: Taunton
ONS code: 40
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 22nd
207 / km²
Ranked 25th
Ethnicity: 98.5% White
Somerset County Council
Executive: Liberal Democrat
Members of Parliament
Brian Cotter, Adrian John Flook, Don Foster, Liam Fox, David Heath, David Heathcoat-Amory, David Laws, Ian Liddell-Grainger, Dan Norris
  1. South Somerset
  2. Taunton Deane
  3. West Somerset
  4. Sedgemoor
  5. Mendip
  6. Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary)
  7. North Somerset (Unitary)

Somerset is a county in the south-west of England. Its county town was historically Somerton but is today Taunton.

Somerset adjoins Gloucestershire to the north east, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south east and Devon to the southwest. Much of its northern edge is the shoreline of the Bristol Channel. Somerton was the original county town, but in recent years that role has been transferred to Taunton. It has two cities, Bath and Wells - the latter of which is one of the smallest in the country.

The name is pronounced as though spelt Summerset. It is commonly alleged that local people pronounce it Zummerzet as per the strong local West Country Accent.

Other important towns include Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Yeovil. The latter town is important in the manufacture of helicopters. Glastonbury is famous for its open-air rock festivals and many mythical associations. Much of the county is very scenic and relatively unspoilt. The Cheddar Gorge is famous for caves open to visitors. Apple orchards were plentiful and to this day Somerset is linked to the production of strong cider, arguably more so than any other part of the world. Somerset contains England's oldest prison that is still in use, in the small town of Shepton Mallet.

Yarn Market was built in 1609 for the trading of local cloth]]

Tourist attractions include its coastal towns, part of the Exmoor National Park, the West Somerset Railway (a heritage railway), and the museum of the Fleet Air Arm at RNAS Yeovilton.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Towns and villages
3 Places of interest
4 External links


The traditional northern boundary of the county was the River Avon, but this has gradually crept southwards, with the creation and expansion of the City of Bristol. In 1974 a large chunk of northern Somerset was removed to form the southern half of the County of Avon. Avon has now been abolished, and North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset have reverted to Somerset for ceremonial purposes, but are now independent counties in their own right for local government purposes.

Towns and villages

Places of interest

External links

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