A historic Somerset town, Frome is home to medieval streets lined with independent shops, charming cafes and traditional pubs. It hosts the annual Frome Festival with activities and live entertainment, and has beautiful parks including Victoria Park complete with a cafe and bandstand. Frome is the perfect base for visits to Longleat and the Wookey Hole caves, and it’s situated on the Colliers Way, one of the UK’s most beautiful cycle trails running between Frome and Bath.
Look out for Frome’s famous Cockey Lamps. They’re distinctive street lamps unique to Frome, and there are seventy to find if you’re looking for a challenge. Frome has a number of markets selling local produce and second-hand goods, and for the kids there’s a Play Centre for little adventurers up to the age of twelve. Frome is home to pubs and inns, self-catering cottages, B&Bs and guest houses and caravans and camp sites. Find your perfect Frome holiday accommodation, and book a stay direct.
Frome is the hub in North East Somerset for a lively arts and crafts scene where the social calendar is dotted with festivals and events. The market town has hundreds of listed buildings – the narrow, steep and winding streets certainly conjure up life in medieval Britain. Many historic buildings today house contemporary cafes and eating places and a good range of shops. The town has a choice of theatres all offering a different programme of theatre, dance, musicals and music from both local theatre groups and national productions.
Frome is exactly what you would conjure up if you were thinking of a historic market town in Somerset. It is on the eastern borders of Somerset but is within easy reach of Bath, Wells and attractions over the border in Wiltshire such as Longleat or Stonehenge. Frome is a small but lively centre where historic architecture sits easily alongside street cafes and its thriving arts scene. Surprisingly Frome is the fourth largest town in Somerset and was first known as a settlement in the 7th century when St Aldhelm, the Abbot of Malmesbury, set up a mission station on the banks of the River Frome. The town grew over the years and became prosperous on its successful cloth industry. By the seventeenth century and before Bath was discovered as the place to be by the moneyed classes, Frome held a much more important role within Somerset. It’s a very pleasant place to stroll around with steep, winding streets full of medieval character.
Information Centre & Heritage Trail
One of the best ways to discover Frome and get your bearings is to visit the Information Centre based in Frome Town Hall on Christchurch Street West. The Information Centre is located at the reception desk, with helpful advisers happy to share their local knowledge on Frome and the surrounding area. A selection of tourist brochures, local guides and local souvenirs are available and there is also a cafe onsite, open Monday to Friday during office hours.
Pick up the Frome town leaflet which has all the historic places of interest and arts centres, theatres and museums marked on it. Follow the Heritage Trail which takes you past the old buildings that survived the 1960s boom and explains a little about each of them. You’ll find yourself being led up Cheap Street with its leet (spring) running down the centre of the road and the Medieval area where you’ll find a good choice of traditional and contemporary cafes and places to eat. Frome’s wonderful selection of independent shops include antiques and collectibles, craft centres and art galleries.
A market town gem, Frome doesn’t disappoint with its choice of markets including general markets weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays around the Cheese and Grain and at the bottom of Cheap Street. You’ll also find specialist markets in the Cheese & Grain at various times including the celebrated farmers’ market on the second Saturday of each month plus antiques, collector and flea markets every Wednesday. More delights feature at the Country Markets every Thursday. The monthly Super Markets spread across Frome’s car free town centre are a culmination of Artisan Market and Frome Flea Market held on the first Sunday of each month from March to December.
The Frome Festival is an annual event usually lasting around ten days in July. The Festival is packed with all sorts of events including music, comedy, drama, dance, film, literature, walks, talks, workshops and exhibitions suitable for all ages. The annual Frome Literary Festival, Words@FromeFestival, is held at the same time with competitions, readings, and open-mike poetry nights. Check the website links right for more information on the next Frome Festival.
Frome also hosts an annual Cheese Festival. The one day Frome Agricultural and Cheese Show is held in September at the West Woodland Showground just on the outskirts of Frome. It’s been running for over 100 years and includes a variety of events for all the family including horse jousting, stunt shows, cattle competitions, dog agility competitions as well as a whole host of stalls selling locally crafted items and gifts. The piece de resistance is the Cheese Pavillion which houses over 500 cheeses. Entrants come from all over the UK.
Frome Somerset Carnivals
Frome is on the circuit for the Somerset Carnivals. These are usually held between September and November. It’s well worth timing your visit to coincide with one of the carnivals that are held at a whole host of towns throughout the county. The Somerset Carnival tradition dates back to the 1600s when many places in Somerset commemorated the Gunpowder Plot. Street entertainment, fireworks and special events throughout the town add to the fun and carnival atmosphere. Processions gradually make their way round a predetermined route from around 7pm at night. The floats are illuminated with colouring lighting which makes a welcome splash of colour in the dark autumn nights. It’s a fun night out for all the family and you can help raise funds for charities or the clubs for the next year’s entry. Thousands attend carnivals, so watch out as parking can get very limited on carnival nights and town centres can often be cut off to traffic during the carnival.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.