Half term in Somerset

It’s the time of the year when teachers breathe a massive February sigh of relief, and parents look for Things To Do With the Kids.   It’s a popular time to leave the UK, maybe to get a bit of late winter sun, or take in some skiing.  But if you’re staying around Somerset (or maybe visiting our county from elsewhere), there’s plenty to do nearby.  We’ve found five places to keep you, and the kids, entertained.

 

16-23 February; the egg theatre, Bath
One of the jewels of Somerset’s theatre scene, the egg is the place to go to see some of the best productions created for children & young people.  Over half term, there are three shows on offer including ‘Star Flower’ for ages 5yrs +, The Ladybird Detective Agency for ages 6m-4yrs and an exciting looking Hansel & Gretel for ages 5yrs+.  Click here for more info.

 

16-24 February; Museum of Somerset, Taunton
As usual, the brilliant Museum of Somerset has got loads on over half term.  ‘The World Before Yesterday’ is an interesting looking photography exhibition of the work of Stanley Kenyon; an exhibition on the legacy of Somerset and the First World War tells some amazing stories from 100 years ago; a trail following in the footsteps of Somerset’s own John Haning Speke (he discovered the source of the Nile) and Castle Day – activities inspired by the building itself.  And there is so much more.  You could probably spend a week here!  Have a look right here for more information.

 

19-21 February; Fleet Air Arm Museum
Fancy a bit of helicopter engineering fun?  Learn how a helicopter’s blades work by making your own helicopter spinners and testing them from the Concorde gallery.  No booking necessary, although you’ll need to buy a ticket to the Museum.  Have a look here for more information.

 

22 February; The High Sheriff celebrates Somerset: and you’re invited!
Yes, Somerset has a Sheriff.  And he has a sword.  He doesn’t have a badge, or chase around after Robin Hood.  But he is marking the end of his year in office by reviving the traditional High Sheriff Concert.  This time, it’s at Wells Cathedral, and there is a FREE family event in the morning, before a ticketed gala event in the evening which features, among others, Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons reading TS Eliot’s poem ‘East Coker’.  Look for @celebratingsomerset on Facebook & Twitter, or visit here for tickets.

 

23 February; Glastonbury Occult Conference
Perhaps not for little ones, Glastonbury Town Hall plays host to a weekend celebration of ritual, ancient mystery, magic, and a divine giraffe (among other things).  Have a look at the website for more information, including ticket prices.

 

Whatever you decide to do, have a great half term.

The Snowdrops of Somerset

As February is the last month of winter it brings with it the appearance of snowdrops. Until some research today I had not realised just how popular snowdrops are, but I can see why. Whether you find them at the side of the road or in a secret woodland, these little flowers are always a treat to see.

Somerset has certainly picked up the mantel of celebrating the end of the cold and welcoming these first flowers of the year. There are many festivals and events across the County to celebrate this single little flower, so I could not resist dedicating this blog to five that I found.

Shepton Mallet. Snowdrop Festival.

On 16th and 17th February Shepton Mallet will be hosting its snowdrop festival. It is organised by the not-for-profit Shepton Mallet Horticultural Society with the aim of planting thousands of bulbs and restoring the Allen family memorial in the town cemetery. It is billed as being a festival for the whole community with poetry and photography competitions, talks parades and much more.

 

Exmoor, Wheddon Cross. Snowdrop Valley 2019.

This one tends to top everyone’s snowdrop bucket list, including BBC’s Country File. Open until 3rd March the aptly named Snowdrop Valley is opening up access to its carpet of snowdrops. Due to high demand and limited parking there is a park and ride running from 9th to 24th February.

 

Wells, Bishop’s Palace. Snowdrop Celebration Weekend.

The Bishop’s Palace has a weekend dedicated to celebrating everything about the snowdrop. On 23rd and 24th February drop by between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to enjoy the flowers and various craft stalls (note, there is an entrance fee).

 

Chard, Forde Abbey. Snowdrop Weekends.

Every Saturday between now and 24 February the Head Gardener is leading the tour of the gardens and its snowdrops. There is a warm cup of tea and slice of cake on offer as well. Tickets are £10 and the walk starts to 10:30 a.m. For more details follow this link.

 

East Lambrook Manor Gardens. Festival of Snowdrops.

Finally, check out East Lambrook Manor Gardens on the 7th and 9th February at 2:00 p.m. where there are free talks and tours of the snowdrops around the gardens.