Included in this issue:
  • Details about the The River Parrett Trail
  • Tourism award winners and opportunities
  • Two exciting summer events - Somerset Food Trail and Somerset Art Week.
  • Spotlight on Window Seat
Dear colleagues,

I hope you had an enjoyable jubilee weekend and managed to have some "down" time with friends and family. I was reminded of the Queen's visit to Yeovil and Crewkerne in 2012, I cannot believe it was 10 years ago. I still have a strong memory of the love and respect felt by many for her, it was a very joyous occasion.

I hope you find this edition of the Tourism News informative. Please let me know if you want anything included in the Autumn edition.

Best wishes, Becky

The River Parrett Trail launch and resource packages
This much-loved long distance walking trail has been given a new lease of life thanks to a collaborative project between local councils, groups and volunteers across the County.

A celebratory event was organised to thank all those involved, to help promote the trail and share materials for local businesses and residents to use and enjoy.

Three guest speakers including Dot Walford, (retired Blue Badge Tour Guide), Martyn Smith, (volunteer for the Somerset Rights of Way team), and Rachael Whaites (SSDC’s Countryside Manager) spoke about different aspects of the trail. Each speaker had so much knowledge and such passion it was very interesting to listen to them.

The evening was also an opportunity to see some of the artefacts held at the South Somerset Heritage Collection such as a Yeovil brick, which would have been transported from Langport to Bridgwater and flax, hemp, rope and twine which were produced along with sail cloth, at mills along the River Parrett.

A wide selection of material has been produced, including a beautiful promotional film featuring Somerset’s Kitty Macfarlane’s song Man Friendship, which captivated the audience and perfectly illustrates the landscape’s wild and natural beauty.

All the material, including route descriptions, are free to share on your own website and social channels and can be accessed at

Please get in touch if you need more information or printed copies of the DL promotional leaflet.

South Somerset
Visitor Information Centre News
The South Somerset Visitor Information Centre was delighted to scoop the GOLD award for Visitor Information Service of the Year for the second year running in The Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2021-2022 recently and went on to win Silver at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards. Well done team!
The centre welcomes thousands of visitors every year and provides a valuable service to the Somerset area and beyond. The centre has a fantastic selection of free leaflets, guides, brochures and maps, and supports more than 20 local makers selling arts, crafts, local produce and much more.

Open every day, including weekends, from 9.00 - 4.00pm, and if you haven't visited recently call in - you will be amazed by what is on offer!

Due to lack of space, they do not hold accommodation leaflets and have to be selective in what they stock in way of attraction publications.

Interested in a unique advertising opportunity with access to 1000's of holidaymakers!

There is an exciting opportunity to advertise on two large digital screens, one facing inside and the other facing the busy onsite cafe courtyard at the South Somerset Visitor Information Centre.

Please email if you are interested in this unique adverting opportunity.
PS - I am very happy to meet on-site for a coffee and guided tour!

Visit South Somerset tourism website update

The VisitSouthSomerset website continues to perform well, with user numbers increasing every month. We are now attracting more than 8,000 new users every month, so this is a fantastic opportunity for local tourism and hospitality businesses to benefit from this reach, all FOR FREE.

If you haven't completed the form already for a listing, its very easy and quick to do but please remember to email a selection of images to go with your listing.

  • Things to do (attractions/ activities focus) and accommodation: please use this link
  • Food & drink businesses - please use this link

What’s On pages; there are lots of great events happening again, please remember to tell us about them. This continues to be one of the most popular sections of the site, so make sure that you tell us about events in South Somerset that you wish to share with visitors and residents. Event details can be uploaded here, and please email a suitable image (preferably landscape format) to go with your listing.

Events can also be submitted to Radio Ninesprings, via their online portal, where they will be featured on their website and read out on the radio station.

Social Media Collaboration Opportunities: We are always interested to hear from local businesses who would like to collaborate with us – we have recently worked with Fleet Air Arm Museum and The Bath and West Show offering a ticket giveaway competition, and promoting the attraction/ event. 

If you would like to speak to us about this further, please contact me, in the first instance or email:

Don't forget to follow our channels and be sure to #visitsouthsomerset. We love to see your content and share posts, stories and promote events when we can. Thank you!

  • Facebook - VisitSouthSomerset
  • Twitter - VisitSSomerset
  • Instagram - visitsouthsomerset 

Bristol, Bath and Somerset tourism awards - important information!

Massive congratulations to The Cotley Inn in Wambrook for its recent Gold for Pub of the Year in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. They were nominated for the Visit England awards following their success in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset awards and now going to benefit from amazing PR opportunities as well as some of the good old fashioned "feel good factor".

It isn't too late to take part this year for the same opportunities!

The 2022 tourism awards close at midnight on 19 June and there are categories for accommodation, experiences, attractions, food and drink, dog-friendly, visitor information, and many more, find out about them all HERE. You can enter as many categories as you like.
Businesses that enter get:
  • Free feedback - which is very comprehensive and constructive.
  • Great PR and networking opportunities
  • Help attracting staff and boosting morale
  • The chance to win regionally and nationally

If you are unsure about entering, Nell Barrington is running an extra final free online workshop to help entrants on 13 June at 2pm, details on their website. I really recommend these workshops and it can help save a lot of time when completing the forms. 
Launch of a Yeovil Hospitality Hub!

I recently attended a meeting about the proposed new Hospitality Hub being set up by Yeovil Chamber in conjunction with Yeovil College. In this instance, it isn't what they say on the tin, as they will be covering a much wider area that just Yeovil! They are interested in making contact with tourism businesses that can see the benefits of networking, sharing ideas and maybe resources. If you think this group might be for you please get in touch and I can forward your details on to the group for an invitation to the next meeting.
South West How’s Business Survey – May 2022

To help us receive up-to-date feedback on how the tourism industry in the South West is performing, we would be grateful if you could please complete this short survey for May 2022.

This is the survey link and the deadline for submissions is 30th June 2022.

Thank you - it is really helpful when businesses fill in in this survey
Visit Somerset Survey - help please!

As Visit Somerset plans its strategy for the next few years, they are inviting members and non members to help influence their direction and evolution. Please help them to understand how best to support you as a business and a member of Visit Somerset by completing this survey here - thank you

Discover the best of Somerset’s sustainable farms and artisan food producers with the Somerset Food Trail Festival
Somerset is home both to some of Britain’s most established food producers – it is the birthplace of English cheddar – and to some of the most innovative artisan food makers working in Britain today.

The Somerset Food Trail Festival on July 15-24 is an 'open farm’ and farm-to-fork showcase that puts the spotlight on Somerset's smaller-scale, nature-friendly farmers and artisan producers in all their fascinating diversity, giving visitors a better understanding of where food comes from and the many benefits of buying local.

From biodynamic vineyards to community-funded food forests; small batch, organic cheesemaking to rare breed pigs, apple orchards, aquaponics and cider making; buffalo mozzarella to milk-based vodka; the 10-day event offers a wealth of foodie experiences – and some cultural ones as well.

There will be live performance and art will complement talks, tastings and tours in over 100 venues across the county. The festival offers visitors a rare ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to the farms, landscapes, people and places that produce Somerset’s best, most flavourful food.

To find out more, including all the events, the Somerset Food Trail website will be live soon or take a look at their social media accounts -
Instagram: somersetfoodtrail22 and Facebook: @somersetfoodtrail

Another exciting event...

(24 September - 9 October)

Art Weeks returns for 2022 with the theme ‘Sanctuary’. Over 100 venues, and more than 300 artists across the county will host group exhibitions, curated shows and events from Somerset Art Works Members and invited artists.

With many finding Sanctuary in Somerset during the pandemic, SAW wants to celebrate the journey to recovery of our visual senses. It’s a bi-ennial opportunity for those interested in the arts to discover high quality shows and exhibitions in unique and inspiring locations across Somerset.

Visitors to this year’s event can expect to see art in all manner of venues including loft spaces, tithe barns, stables, museums, churches, farms, libraries, a prison… and depending on plans, maybe even a quarry or an abbey! Somerset Art Weeks Festival is always a great opportunity to venture into some of those buildings or spaces you’ve always passed by and wondered what’s in there- and the art provides another layer of interest and interpretation, or just a good excuse to peer inside!

Keep an eye on the Art Works website for details as they are finalised.
Training and Business opportunities
Escape the Everyday campaign and other Visit England resources

Visit England is offering the opportunity to be part of their domestic marketing campaign - Escape the Everyday, to highlight your business or destination to consumers.

This is an opportunity to...
  • Be part of a movement to keep UK short breaks top of mind
  • Be part of this established domestic marketing campaign
  • A chance to highlight your business to consumers with the potential to feature in the VE digital, social media and PR channels

Escape the Everyday was first launched in autumn 2020, to encourage people to book a short break across the UK, the campaign showcases the breadth of experiences to escape to. To get involved,
Download the free campaign toolkit for examples of how you can get involved in the campaign, as well as the Escape The Everyday logo for use in your own marketing activity.

The VisitEngland website is full of useful research and other useful links, such as the latest consumer sentiment trackerYou can sign up here to receive their fortnightly industry newsletter.
If you are interested in learn how to boost international bookings, you can sign up for a FREE virtual training course, Taking England to the World, to help your business reach new customers and grow your revenue.

The Virtual programme contains three two-hour sessions on the following dates.

7th,14th & 21st June - Time:11.00 - 13.00
8th,15th & 22nd September - Time:11.00 - 13.00
8th,15th & 22nd November - Time:11.00 - 13.00
12th,19th & 26th January 2003 - Time:11.00 - 13.00

To make the most of the programme please ensure you can attend all three dates of your chosen course - more details from here
A unique opportunity Data Analytic Training for Somerset businesses to receive FREE specialist training from top University of Exeter academics to help you maximise your understanding of data analytics.
No matter what size or sector your business is and regardless of whether your data analytics experience is basic or advanced. You must be based within the Somerset County Council region to register for a free space at one of the two sessions to enhance your data-analytics skillset for business success.
Thursday 16th June 2022 at The Collar Factory, Taunton
Two sessions available: 10am – 12pm or 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Spaces are limited so email ASAP with your name, job role, company name and address to register.
Cosmic have established the Velocity Project which is an exciting new opportunity for all voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Somerset, offering fully funded training, support and investment until summer 2022. It is being run through funding from the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

Full details about the trailing programme, workshops, champions network and potential technical solutions are available here

They also publishes a weekly blog, where they share tips and tricks on digital marketing on our social channels and blog, keep an eye out every Tuesday or have a look at their website
Finally a reminder about Thrive, a service provided by the South West Growth Hub, for the self-employed and small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

Thrive will offer a free diagnostic and training service, with up to 12 hours of tailor-made support that will enable businesses to improve and grow.

Enrolled businesses will be able to access 1-2-1 support, webinars and specialist support around topics such as digital skills, finance, marketing, HR, business planning and more. Click here to find out more
Spotlight on ... Window Seat

Window Seater: an amazing new way to engage with rail travellers in South Somerset!

Window Seater is a new app that provides geolocated audio stories which connect rail travellers to the world outside their window - covering subjects as diverse as history, geography, community, culture and local activities. They have audio guides for ten railway lines (and counting!) in the south west, including the Heart of Wessex line - which in South Somerset passes Bruton, Castle Cary and Yeovil Pen Mill - and all the great stories in between!

You can get the app for free on Apple or Google stores and the Window Seater team are keen for you to tell them what you think via this short feedback form.

They would also love to hear from local businesses and organisations in South Somerset - get in touch here
Exciting Exhibition Locally

The Moore Foundation, in collaboration with the artist’s daughter Mary Moore, have produced a comprehensive survey spanning six decades which extends across all five gallery spaces, in addition to an open-air presentation of seminal works.

‘Henry Moore. Sharing Form’ runs until 4 September 2022. Explore now:
In the news.....

Somerset is announced as the home of a second 'Super Nature Reserve'

Recently the Somerset Wetlands was announced as the second 'super' National Nature Reserve (NNR) by Natural England, following Purbeck in Dorset being declared in 2020. Somerset Wetlands covers an area of 6,140 hectares of salt marsh, heath and wetland, which is home to significant populations of birds and insects. To read more on this exciting news, click here.
Anything to contribute?

The tourism newsletter is generally distributed quarterly (March, June, September and December) with additional editions if there is important and relevant information to share.

It is emailed to South Somerset businesses on the tourism database and appears on the trade pages of

We love to hear and share your news and success stories, so please email items for the next issue to

Unsubscribing and your privacy
If at any time you wish to unsubscribe to the newsletter and have your details removed from the database, please email or click the button below.

Very occasional we feel it is appropriate and beneficial to forward emails and newsletters from our partners, can you please let me know if you would rather not receive this information.
For more information about how South Somerset District Council uses and keep your information secure, please see the Privacy page on our website -
Keep in touch