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Top places to live in Somerset Ilminster

Sleepy Somerset market town which just happens to house the HQ (with shop and bar) of one of the UK's top designers. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

A sleepy, unspoiled Somerset market town close to the Devon border, with an attractive Market Square, lots of indies, surrounded by gorgeous countryside and not far from the sea… what’s not to like?

EAT

Coffee by day, cocktails and wine by night at The Somerset, Alice Temperley’s chic bar – a winning combo. Relaxed finer dining at Todays Menu. For vintage, antiques, books and homemade food try No 57 cafe or the excellent The Old Calf Shed at Jordans Courtyard. Laid back nearby foodie pubs include The Barrington Boar in Barrington, The Candelight Inn in Bishopswood, The Cotley Inn in Wambrook and The Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George.

SHOP

There’s an eclectic selection of indies set around the old Market Square, with trad Bonner’s butchers and deli, ironmongers, vintage and gift stores and more, as well as a big supermarket (and Waitrose in nearby Crewkerne). Gorgeous garb – current collection and archive – can be snapped up from Alice Temperley in the Phoenix Studios (this is her hometown). Cottage Flowers is perfect for the best blooms or try the weekly market in town. Artisan weaver Fruitbat Textiles at Rose Mills is fab for gifts and interior buys. Or for the whole shebang – lovely lunches, homewares, yoga and wellness sessions, beauty treatments, and bridalwear, head to Jordans Courtyard on the edge of town.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The Meeting House Arts Centre has live music, exhibitions, workshops and a licensed cafe. Hamstone Tudor manor house and gardens at National Trust Barrington Court is worth a visit. And there’s the working cider mill, Perry’s Cider for a tipple and education on cider making. If you want walks you’re spoilt for choice with routes in the countryside and by the sea. The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Jurassic Coast are both within easy reach. The annual illuminated carnival (a unique Somerset tradition) is a popular event with locals and visitors.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Last year the average house price was £318,877, with detached properties fetching an average of £400,638, semis £255,274 and terraced £234,324.

HOT PROPERTY

Newly refurbed 4-bedder with spectacular views from The Beacon, £525,000

SCHOOLS

State schools include the ‘outstanding’ Greenfylde primary and Holyrood Academy in Chard. Private options: Queen’s College Taunton, Taunton School and King’s Taunton are all about half an hour’s drive away.

BEST KEPT SECRET

The Ilminster beacon was one of the beacons lit up around the world as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. And another tip… dino lovers keep your eyes peeled – there are Jurassic fossils hidden in amongst the rocks on the coast.

COMMUTE

To London Waterloo in 2 hours 30 mins from Crewkerne station (7 miles) or to London Paddington from 1 hour 40 mins from Taunton station (13 miles).

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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Best Place to Live in Somerset Reader Vote

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Langport

Thriving laid back indies and a spirit to match on the edge of the Somerset Levels (and with the possible return of the railway it could be a good time to buy).

Ilminster

Sleepy Somerset market town which just happens to house the HQ (with shop and bar) of one of the UK's top designers.

Castle Cary

Enjoy all that this pretty South Somerset town has to offer and Bruton's culture/foodie scene on the doorstep (but without the price tag to live there).

best places to live: Bear Flat, Bath, Somerset

Bear Flat, Bath

The best of both worlds in this 'village' to the south of the city centre, with a lovely community feel and lots of indy shops – yet with everything the World Heritage City of Bath has to offer on your doorstep.

Frome

The community-minded town’s packed with arty, artisan indy businesses and cafes, and hosts the best street market in the West.

Bruton

The Notting Hill of the South West has more than its fair share of cultural highlights, great food and famous people.

best places to live Clevedon Somerset

Clevedon

Independently minded, lively little seaside town overlooking the Bristol Channel and beyond, with elegant Victorian villas, indy shops and eateries, possibly the country's prettiest pier – and only 15 miles from Bristol.

best places to live Wells Somerset

Wells

England's smallest city is fast becoming the South West's go-to place for festivals with annual food, comedy, theatre and literary fests.

Know another brilliant place to live in Somerset?

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