Great escapes in Somerset

Dark skies, poets and starlings are among the attractions being used to tempt green tourists to Somerset in a new publication.

The magazine promoting Somerset as a sustainable rural tourist destination has been distributed this month in the national BBC Countryfile magazine.

The publication, ‘Somerset & Exmoor – Great Escapes’, was made possible after Somerset County Council and partners secured funding as part of the EU Interreg funded COOL tourism project to grow and promote sustainable rural tourism.

Produced by Greentraveller, the guide highlights 30 different ideas to encourage breaks in Somerset and Exmoor. These include everything from staying in unique accommodation and observing starling murmurations on the Somerset Levels to indulging in gourmet local food, walking in a poet’s footsteps and experiencing Exmoor’s International Dark Sky Reserve.

Over 100 local tourism related businesses that offer products and services that support these iconic experiences were identified. They include accommodation providers, guided tours, food and drink providers and transport providers.

Both the experiences and supporting businesses are also being promoted online on various websites, including the Visit Somerset website, and through social media. A supporting video has also been produced to further promote the broad range of experiences available for residents and visitors to the county.

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “I am delighted to support this initiative which should really help to highlight everything that Somerset has to offer at this crucial time of year, when so many potential visitors are planning ahead for their breaks. We are also working closely with Visit Somerset to encourage more hits on the Visit Somerset website which gives residents and visitors great ideas for day trips and longer breaks.”

The supplement publication has been jointly commissioned by West Somerset Council, Exmoor National Park Authority, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council as part of the COOL tourism project to grow and promote sustainable rural tourism.

Greentraveller was commissioned to research, collate and promote a range of rural tourism ‘experiences’ across Somerset to encourage visitors and residents to take more breaks in Somerset

The COOL tourism project has been selected in the context of the Interreg IVA France (Channel) – England European cross-border co-operation programme, co-financed by the ERDF.

The ‘Somerset & Exmoor – Great Escapes’ supplement was inserted into the January 2015 issue of BBC Countryfile magazine as an advertisement feature.

An online version of the supplement can see viewed at:

The experiences and supporting businesses are promoted online via the following websites: