Somerset

 

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Somerset: 50.939393, -3.067932

Somerset is a county in the south west of England which borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south east, and Devon to the south west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the River Severn. Somerset's county town, Taunton, is in the south.

Somerset is the seventh largest county by area (1,610 square miles or 4,171 square kilometres) and is a rural county of rolling hills such as the Blackdown Hills, Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Palaeolithic times, and of subsequent settlement in the Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The county played a significant part in the consolidation of power and rise of King Alfred the Great, and later in the English Civil War and the Monmouth Rebellion.

Agriculture is a major business in the county. Farming of sheep and cattle, including for wool and the county's famous cheeses (most notably Cheddar), are traditional and contemporary, as is the more unusual cultivation of willow for basket weaving. Apple orchards were once plentiful, and Somerset is still known for the production of strong cider.

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