Somerset is trending, so make your base at Babington House
Bruton and Frome in south Somerset are having a moment (according to The New York Times). Here’s our ultimate guide to the surprise new place to be in the UK
Wednesday 17 August 2022 By Anastasiia Fedorova
In 2014, The New York Times ran an article celebrating the arrival of south Somerset on the global art scene, by way of the opening of Hauser & Wirth. Since then, house prices have skyrocketed in Frome, Bruton and the local areas, increasing by up to 40% between 2019 and 2020. Most commentators attribute that rise to the great urban exodus precipitated by the pandemic, but here at Soho House we like to think it’s because the world has cottoned on to the fact that Babington House is just down the road.
A 30-minute drive from Bath and a Picante’s throw from Frome, Babington House is surrounded by 18 acres of English countryside – making it ideal for afternoon walks, a long bike ride or sitting by the lake with a book, as well as the local attractions.
Back to Babington, the elegantly decorated bedrooms, Cabins, Lodges and Attic rooms located in the 1705 Grade II-listed manor make it a perfect home away from home. But to make your stay even better, we’ve rounded up all the best activities and day trips for you to enjoy.
1. Set out on a hike
Explore the grounds whatever the weather: there are bikes and wellies to borrow for all your hiking needs. Fancy exploring further? A short drive away, The Newt in Somerset country estate has woodland and gardens, farmland and cider orchards to roam around.
2. Go on a day trip to a nearby town
Head to Frome, Somerset’s much talked-about town on the rise, for architecture, an emerging art scene and The Frome Independent market on the first Sunday of each month, which takes over the streets like an outdoor festival. Visit Bradford-on-Avon for walks along the canal and the 14th-century Tithe Barn, or take a trip to Bath for some shopping.
3. Enjoy a contemporary art fix
The Somerset branch of Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery is located in a restored, working farm with a programme of exhibition and events, an artist residence, and a restaurant.
4. Get spiritual
The surrounding Somerset countryside is rich in ancient spiritual history, including the internationally renowned Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor, which used to be a site for pagan rituals. Looking to replenish your divine energy? Either way, it makes an entertaining day out.
5. Take it to the courts
The House has four grass tennis courts and an all-weather floodlit court. You can also book a slot on the cricket pitch or join the House team, which plays most Sundays from May to September. Fancy something a little different? Maybe this is the summer you pick up padel, a cross between tennis and squash popular throughout European holiday destinations. Babington House is hosting pop-up padel courts until the end of September, with monthly events by Kristian Hunter from Padel Social Club for coaching tips and fun socials.
6. Relax and recuperate
Need a quiet break to tackle the summer burnout? We’ve got you. Have a late brunch in the Orangery, with a delicious menu making the most of seasonal produce and vegetables from our Walled Garden. Spend an afternoon by the pool, and enjoy Cowshed spa treatments and a Soho Skin facial. Have a leisurely swim and a massage – summer might be fleeting, but a lazy day at Babington House is a classic.
Book your stay at Babington House here and enjoy our Soho Skin offer, which is available until the end of November: 15% off our bedroom rate, plus 50% off a Soho Skin Advanced Facial Treatment (60 minutes, including a complimentary Travel Set worth £65). Subject to availability, blackout dates apply. Fully pre-paid and amendable, but not cancellable.