Actor Hugh Grant has been spotted enjoying lockdown easing out shopping in Somerset. His is far from the first celebrity sighting in the area, so what makes the county such a popular destination for the stars?
The Love Actually leading man was seen in Frome on Tuesday and was recognised by staff at Parsons bakery in Badcox where he bought a bacon roll, a coffee and a custard slice.
Sophie Jayne Ilott served the actor and said he was a “very polite and well-spoken gentleman”.
Friends star Courteney Cox also visited the town in January, posting a selfie on her Instagram account with a house marked 6A Badcox in the background, that she captioned ‘6B Goodcox’, although it is not thought she stayed there.
Where are the local celebrity hotspots?
Somerset is a popular escape for celebrities looking for some peace and quiet outside London. Megastars and cult heroes alike have spent time there over the years.
Pirates of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp has been seen a number of times in Bath.
Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage is regularly spotted in Glastonbury and David Beckham and Liam Neeson were both sighted there in 2019.
Singer Peter Andre, famous for his 90s hit ‘Mysterious Girl’ has also been sighted in and around Taunton.
TV presenter Holly Willoughby was spotted in Bridgwater in 2019 too.
I thought Somerset was all about Glastonbury Festival?
Far from it, Somerset has plenty to offer both celebrities and the nine million other visitors who typically make about 25 million visits to the county per year.
Although the world famous music festival attracts some of the biggest music acts on the planet as well as numerous other performers including actors, dancers, and comedians, plus 200,000 festival goers, it is definitely not the only thing the county has to put it on the map.
A trip to beautiful historical sites like the Roman Baths in Bath, where visitors are treated to not only the incredibly well preserved Roman architecture but more celebrity spotting with appearances from well known faces like former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
There are also spots for sports fans. Taunton’s County Cricket Ground, home to Somerset County Cricket Club, has been known to host Fawlty Towers actor John Cleese.
He was born nearby in Weston-super-Mare and has been spotted on occasion enjoying an over or two.
What makes Somerset special?
Visit Somerset CEO John Turner says the county is a consistently popular place for huge numbers of people to visit because of the sheer variety of what is on offer.
- Somerset is seen by many archaeologists as the UK’s oldest county with its Byzantine trading routes to the Middle East
- Mendip is home to some of the earliest foundations of European Christianity, Joseph of Arimathea is said to have arrived on a pilgrimage to bury a cup of Christ’s blood and sweat at the bottom of Wirral hill.
- It is said to be the mythical burial place of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere of Camelot
- Somerset boasts 69 miles (111km) of coastline, with a 20 mile (32km) stretch of it running parallel to the UK’s longest heritage railway line, The West Somerset Railway, for train enthusiasts
- It can also claim four official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Mendip and Quantock hills.
- World Heritage sites like the Roman Baths in Bath
- It has the largest three-day agricultural show in Europe at the Royal Bath & West Show
Original posted at www.bbc.com