Nether Stowey, Somerset

Quite a big and thriving village just off the A39 at the foot of the Quantock Hills, famous for its associations with the romantic poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. There’s a few little shops, a library, a tea shop, three pubs, and the remains of a Norman castle where allegedly, bear baiting, cock fighting and boxing bouts took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit Coleridge Cottage (NT); the cosy little rooms and the wildflower garden are gorgeous, and to go there at Christmas with the garlands, gingerbread and carols, is a wonderful festive treat.