This week the gorgeous Erica Pease, our very own wonder-woman (and owner of the incredible Studio 37 gym) walks and talks us through the beautiful town of Shepton Mallet…
What’s the best way to get here?
Buses take an age from Bath to wind their way through all the lovely little villages between Bath and Shepton Mallet but don’t let that (or its more common nickname amongst Bathonians) put you off visiting this pretty little Market Town. Drive out of Bath on the Wellsway and keep going. Be sure to look out for Glastonbury Tor in the distance on your right just before you turn off the A37 to come into town.
Shepton Mallet is a small market town 40 minutes south of Bath. It is the sight of Britain’s first lager factory, birthplace of John Lewis who founded…John Lewis and despite its reputation it’s really is a lovely town full of creative people
What do your kids loving doing here the most?
The woods just outside the town centre at Windsor Hill are based around the old railway line and include a hidden viaduct and two tunnels…take a torch and look out for the bats, they love it in the tunnels! Kids can run wild in these magical woods where little reminders of its railway past can be spotted all over the place.
In the summer months Shepton is lucky enough to have its own Lido, lovingly run by a charity and heated by the factory next door. We also love the skate park which was built by the community a couple of years ago.
November sees carnival some to towns and cities across Somerset and the kids absolutely love watching the floats. This year carnival comes through town on Wednesday 14th November.
It’s feeding time, where will everybody be happy?
Any Bath east siders out there will know The Cheeky Bean from their days in Grosvenor in Bath but lovely owners Amanda and Stephen relocated to Shepton Mallet and brought their awesome cafe with them! Right on the market Square it’s the perfect place to watch the world amble by, is perfectly placed for Shepton’s great vintage shops and the food, coffee, cakes and smiles are awesome. On Friday when it’s market day it really does become the centre of the community and is great for people watching.
If a big heart bowl of pasta is more your thing then La Tavola D’Oro on the other side of the market square does a great lunchtime deal.
For those days when only a pub fire will do, and lets be honest there are plenty of them just around the corner as we head into winter, then The George at Crosscome just two miles down the road is a picture perfect country pub with a great menu and a great wine list.
There’s a tantrum brewing, help!
Collet Park has a zip wire, boating pond, two play areas and a lovely seasonal cafe for parents to get that all important caffeine fix and bribe worthy ginger bread man.
The Fairy Godmother shop at the bottom of Town Street is like a beautiful old fashioned sweet shop with pretty much every sweet you could imagine and has solved many a tantrum in this particular household!
Is it worth it in the rain?
If its raining head out of town to the Steam Railway in Cranmore. There are three stops on this restored line as well as workshops where you can see them restoring old trains.
If coffee and cake whilst the kids play is more your thing then new kids on the cafe block Loaf are a cafe and play space for kids with pastries, cakes and a small selection of sandwiches.
You can’t come here and not visit…
Kilver Court Gardens. Hidden behind the designer outlets at Kilver Court are their gardens with beautiful lakes and lawns all in the shadow of a beautiful viaduct. You can always stop off in the cafe for a coffee and the shops aren’t half bad either! Its a little hidden oasis.
Before you set off, you should know…
Avoid Monday’s (and all Sundays except the 3rd Sunday of every month when Shepton hosts its monthly artisan market) as many of the local businesses shut up shop on those days! Fridays are great as there is a weekly market where you can pick up veg, bread, flowers and lots more.