My Top Ten Places to Visit from Castleton House, Mere

Wet or dry days these are where I like to go and I hope, if you decide to try one of them you’ll have a good time too.

1. Stourhead House and Gardens. The fantastic National Trust property just three miles away, take a picnic to enjoy by the lake. See The Pope’s Cabinet in the House, four-storey ”Pope’s Cabinet”, which was designed as a miniature church for Pope Sixtus V between 1585 and 1590. Standing 13ft high and clad in bronze, silver and marble and semi-precious stones, it has been described as one of the most remarkable pieces of furniture in the world.

2. Bath, for the Roman Baths, The Therma Spa, and The Royal Crescent.

3. Salisbury, particularly the Tower Tour of the Cathedral and daily Evensong where members of the congregation sit with the choristers in the choir stalls.

4. Maiden Castle in Dorset, the largest and most complex hill fort in Britain

5. The American Museum, Claverton, Near Bath. A wonderful decorative art collection, my favourite is the quilt room, the views are amazing and there is a wonderful garden. The only American Museum outside the United States.

6. Corsham Court, Corsham, Wiltshire. A privately owned Elizabethan House with An Oriental plane the size of a football pitch has been identified as the “most spreading” tree in the UK. Planted by master landscape gardener Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1760. With an average spread of 210ft (64m) it has been identified in a study by the Tree Register of the British Isles as the country’s vastest tree.

7. Wilton House and Gardens, within the House is a fabulous collection of art, including works by Rembrandt, Brueghel and Van Dyck, and a glorious gallery of Roman, Greek and 17th- century sculpture. With guides throughout, stroll through rooms full of treasures

8. Sherborne Abbey and town. A small market town with a gentle pace and the Abbey at it’s centre. Excellent shopping and Oliver’s is a great café.

9. Wells, the Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace and Vicar’s Close the oldest continuously inhabited medieval street in Europe. Wells is the smallest city in England, market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays.

10. Shaftesbury – Gold Hill and the Abbey ruins. Another charming small town with a wealth of independent quality shops.