The Holcombe/ PR invite

It’s always worth going off the beaten track a little to find something special and in this case that something special is The Holcombe. The Holcombe is an 11 bedroom 17th century Inn (three of the rooms lodges) in Holcombe – a small parish in the northeast of the Mendip Hills. The charm of this…

The medieval village of Dunster

Having lived in South Somerset for most of my life, it’s rare that I venture north of the county so I was delighted to get the opportunity to go to Dunster and it felt like a proper break being somewhere totally new for me. I was taken aback by the beauty of this medieval village…

Space Adventurers, Taunton!

We loved our time at Space Adventurers, it was like landing in the soft play of the future! It was a great set up for both the kids and adults, and my kids age 4,6 and 8 all had a blast! The first thing I noticed were the amazing slides, the soft play here really…

Find your Christmas calm!

How do you maintain a sense of peace and calm at Christmas time? I must admit I usually prefer Halloween or Easter as they are much more low key celebrations. But there is no denying that Christmas is a magical time with the scent of pine needles in the air, spiced mulled wine, the kids…

Memories of East Coker

There was a while when I was working in Dorchester a couple of years ago, that I’d park my car in the village of East Coker, where I grew up, on the way home from work and go for a jog around the village. One of the routes I’d go was to jog up Pendomer…

Carymoor

Carymoor Enviromental Centre is a unique, magical place which combines a working landfill site with beautiful nature reserve and much much more. My youngest daughter affectionately refers to it as “Forest School” as we booked ourselves in for three Friday sessions of Carymoor fun. I’ve also taken my eldest two, but that was a few…

Somerset space walk!

Somerset space walk is a great day out, essentially a scenic walk along the Taunton and Bridgwater canal with to scale models of the solar system. I have to say it was absolutely brilliant for helping me understand how big everything is in relation to each other and the distance between planets. Particularly brilliant for…

Take 5 with artist Neil Whitehead

Welcome to my new feature ‘Take 5’. The idea is that you take 5 minutes out for yourself to have a read and learn about someone through 5 bits of work that represent them, it could be 5 yoga poses, 5 poems or in this case it’s 5 striking pieces of urban landscape art by…

Sarah talks Lost Ladies!

I loved chatting to a fellow Sarah all about the Lost Lady Society, how she found her tribe and the amazing things they are doing in the world of theatre, podcasts, pop up markets to name a few. Are you intrigued? Then please read on. Sarah’s love for wine, dogs and very trendy hats really…

Best rural play parks in South Somerset

It seems that we will be needing to avoid contact with people just a little longer and with that in mind we have been nipping out in the car to find rural, village play parks that are much quieter than some of the play parks in Yeovil where we live. Many times we have been…

Jess talks art!

Jess Egan is an artist based in South Somerset, who has been reunited with her love for art in recent years, and takes inspiration from local landscapes and seascapes. Here she talks about the importance of family, her connection with the local area and her brave leap into embracing a new life as an artist…

The mysterious Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels is a vast, flat watery landscape that covers 170,000 acres. It reaches from Clevedon near Bristol in the north, to Ilchester in the south. Its western boundary is formed from Bridgwater Bay and the Bristol Channel beyond. The landscape is magical and evocative of ancient times. It is against this backdrop that…

Somerset Shines on tour!

I’m very excited to go on a tour of the UK with you, to meet three inspiring and creative women in London, Hampshire and Swansea respectively! The thing these ladies have in common… well they each have a blog or website in which they showcase their writing, photos and in Clara’s case her illustrations! Each…

Defrost this springtime!

Having three kids age seven, five and three means I watch a lot of Disney films. A lot. And the princesses are getting more and more courageous (but that’s for another post). Today I want to look at the two flagship songs from Frozen and Frozen II, both sung by icy blonde haired Elsa. I…

What is a Smurfette?

“So what is a Smurfette? Noone wanted an answer more than Smurfette herself.” This is the opening line to the 2017 film, Smurfs the Lost Village. This is an immense film and does more for feminism than the recently unveiled Mary Wollstonecraft statue (although that isn’t hard!). The film strives to tell the story of…

Holly talks craft kits!

In this interview I talk to Holly, who was inspired to create craft kits that are good quality keepsakes that children treasure and don’t result in lots of clearing up for the parents: a win win situation! Bee and Pea’s Craft Kits is such a fabulous name for such a fabulous venture, and we all…

Somerset Shines is 1!

It’s a year since I launched my blog Somerset Shines and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way. I started the blog to share my joy in moving back to Somerset with my family just over two years ago. So here are a few tips on starting a blog…

Cupcakes and rainbows

Poppy and Branch are two characters from the Trolls movie. This movie offers so much insight into human nature that I just love watching it with my kids. In one exchange, Branch says to Poppy “The world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows” Poppy replies “Hey I know it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows but I’d…

Ali talks mamas!

If you take a look at Ali’s website, you’ll be reassured that she is as qualified as can be to talk on this topic. However, it’s clear that Ali brings more to the table as a coach and counsellor, with the empathy and insight that comes from lived experience. Interviewing Ali was brilliant, as the…

Sutton Bingham

Sutton Bingham sounds like a rather refined character from a Jane Austen novel. In fact, it’s the site of a reservoir in South Somerset, just beyond the village of East Coker. According to ancestory.com ‘Sut’ is from the Old English word for South and ‘ton’ means enclosure or settlement. ‘Bing’ means hollow and ‘ham’ homestead….