10 things to do in May 2021 across Somerset

A spray of pink flowers overlook a long lawn stretching into the distance with a fountain in its centre

There is plenty on in May to keep you entertained - Credit: Debb Collins, Flickr

We round up all the best events and things to do that Somerset has to offer in May. From cider tours to garden tours, there's something for everyone!

Reaching for Rainbows: Somerset in Lockdown, Online 

This is a free, online photography exhibition that seeks to capture the experiences communities in Somerset have had over the past 12 months through lockdown. It is being curated by the South West Heritage Trust with local photographer Jason Bryant. They also want to share more local stories and you can contribute to the archive too. 

You can view the exhibition here. 

Jane Austen's Bath Guided Tours, Bath 

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through May, fans of Jane Austen can enjoy an expert guided tour through Bath. The location of many of her books, the tour will highlight plenty of spots visited by characters, as well as plenty about living in the Regency era.

Parade Gardens Bath.

All tours will have social distancing rules and can include up to six people. You can book your tour and learn more here.

Petal Poise, East Lambrook Manor 1st - 29th May

Her first solo exhibition in four years, Helen Simpson is bring to life the wonders of the natural world in her collection of floral paintings. East Lambrook Manor Gardens is the perfect places for this exhibition, offering a beautiful yet cosy opportunity to get up close and personal with many of the inspirations for Helen's work.

The exhibition itself is free although there is a small ticket fee to view the gardens which is worth every penny. You can learn more here.

Margery Fish's Garden

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The Bath Festival, Various Locations 17th - 24th May

For more than 70 years, the Bath Festival has celebrated music and the written word in a diverse manner. This year promises to be no different with plenty of discussions, poetry, live music, and theatre for all ages. Locations for events include the iconic 18th century Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, and The Forum. Not just that, but there will be online options for people who cannot come in person. 

View the line up and book your tickets here.

Hestercombe Gardens, Tanton 17th May - 25th July

Another garden art exhibition now as Hestercombe Gardens are hosting Landscape Portrait: Now and Then. This collection will take up all seven galleries of Hestercombe House and include the works of Andy Warhol, Derek Jarman, Claudette Johnson, Susan Derges, Leon Kossoff, Patrick Caulfield, Gilbert and George and Balraj Khanna. 

As well as taking in the art, there are plenty of other things to do on your visit to make this a perfect day trip. Learn more and book tickets here.

Hestercombe Gardens

Floral Feast Exhibition, Ilminster 18th May - 12th June

Ceramics and painting combine for this exhibition celebrating the coming of summer. With work for Liz Watts and Susan Thomson, Ilminster Arts Centre promises to come alive with colour and the positivity of the changing seasons. 

Find out more here.

Garden Tours, Bowood House 18th & 21st May

From May onwards, Bowood House is offering a limited number of dates where visitors can learn more about their remarkable and award winnings gardens and grounds. The Head Gardener Tour is a brand new addition to Bowood's line-up and includes an in-depth 90 minute guided tour where he will point out some of the key elements of the gardens that make them so special. Alternatively, you can also visit Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s award-winning Private Walled Garden which is a rare treat. 

Book your tickets here.

Bowood House

Eat: Yeovil, Yeovil 22nd May

For one day only, the area around St John's Churchyard in Yeovil will be transformed into a fantastic food and drink market which will highlight all the wonderful artisan producers we have in the South West. There will be a huge variety of options to cater to everyone and, because of location, is accessible whatever your mobility. For an idea of what to expect, this video is from last year's event at Portishead.

Learn more about the eat: Festivals here.

Sheppy's Cider Tour, Three Bridges Various Dates

Throughout May and onwards, Sheppy's Cider is offering tours of one of the oldest cider presses in the world. Each tour includes a walk of the apple orchards, a visit to the vat house, and an explore of their rural life museum. Of course, no cider press tour would be complete without finishing off with a tasting

They are also hosting a Teddy Bear's Picnic on Saturday 22nd May as well as various afternoon teas throughout the summer.

Learn more and pick your visit here.

Od Arts Festival, West Coker 28th - 30th May

After a brief hiatus, Od Arts festival is returning to bring colour and artistic flair to East and West Coker. The theme of this year's festival is Alone with Everybody and will feature outdoor and indoor art works across the two villages. Both local and international artists will showcase their work alongside live performances, film, and workshops with a special digital programme for those who cannot attend in person.

Learn more here.

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