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A Guide to Frome, Somerset

Dubbed one of the best places to live in Britain, Frome understandably attracts widespread attention for its history, culture and winsome aesthetics. Surrounded by a patchwork of fields in various shades of green and encompassing a wonderfully quirky town veined with cobbled streets and lined with historic townhouses, it has us all daydreaming about well-deserved short-breaks and luxury holidays.

Within a stone’s throw of the Mendip Hills, the Cotswolds AONB and Cranborne Chase AONB, the historic town of Frome in Somerset takes pride of place amongst some of the UK’s most stunning countryside. The original Somerset Market Town, its history dates back to the Domesday Book and beyond and was actually one of the biggest towns in the county until the 17th Century. With its handy location and once-thriving wool, cloth, and metal-working industries, it’s long been a beacon for travellers and traders and continues to attract wanderers to this day. 

Needless to say, thanks to its rich history, one of the first things you notice about Frome (pronounced “Froom”) is the wealth of historic buildings on show – many of which are listed. With much of its centre falling within a designated conservation area, its pastiche cobbled streets are lined with a medley of architectural styles, showcasing the ages through picturesque facades. If you’re a photographer, you’ll certainly want to take your camera with you, otherwise, you can simply take your time wandering the streets to drink in the aesthetics. 

For a traditional throwback, the town’s weekly and monthly markets are must-visits for anyone holidaying in the area – some of which have been taking place for a thousand years. Throughout the year, regular markets take place every Wednesday and Saturday, offering brilliant opportunities to peruse locally-produced goods and crafts. Meanwhile, the Frome Vegan Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month and the award-winning Frome Farmers’ Market occurs on the second Saturday of every month. 

From March to December, the increasingly popular ‘Independent’ street market is also held on the first Sunday of every month. With all kinds of stalls set up along the temporarily vehicle-free main street, the Independent market sees a convergence of the area’s best independent food and drink producers, contemporary designers, antique sellers, artisan crafters and more. Joining together in one colourful array, the event is fast becoming one of the most widely anticipated destination markets in the country.

As well as the fantastic markets, Frome also boasts a number of galleries and boutique shops, including cute and quaint hubs selling vintage pieces, arts and crafts, collectibles, unique clothing and more. From rustic floral designs at Bramble and Wild and pretty house plants at Pilea to dance classes at Marston Park and abstract exhibitions at the Black Swan and the Silk Mill, there is somewhere to pique everyone’s attention. There’s also the Frome Memorial Theatre and the Cheese and Grain, fantastic live entertainment venues staging performances and shows throughout the year.

Depending on when your holiday in Frome takes place – be it a summer sojourn or winter retreat – you may well be treated to one of the superb events that take place throughout the year too. Perhaps the most famous do in the town’s social calendar is the 10-day Frome Festival, a much-anticipated community arts festival held every summer with outdoor events and live entertainers. Other events include the Frome and Agricultural Cheese Show, the Carnival and the Frome Christmas Extravaganza.

For food, the town of Frome has a surprisingly diverse variety of places to dine. Enjoy French dining at Bistro Lotte, tapas at The High Pavement, award-winning dishes at Eight Stony Street and fresh loaves at Rye Bakery. As well as its atmospheric Nunney Castle, the nearby village of Nunney is also home to a traditional 17th Century pub, The George Inn. With its peaceful village setting, exposed beams, beer garden, bar and restaurant, this is a year-round favourite. It’s also dog-friendly, which is great news for four-legged friends. 

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