Driving through the patchwork farmland that characterizes the English county of Somerset is more than picturesque – it’s the definition of classic British countryside. Then, you arrive in the cobbled, winding streets of Frome England and ‘picturesque’ reaches a new level. During my recent Somerset road trip with Dan, I knew I wanted to visit this quaint little market town… but besides being cute, are there actually things to do in Frome?
Dan and I set out on a mission to explore, and report back on the best things to do in Frome. So is Frome more than just a pretty face? Let’s find out…
Why should you visit Frome England?
Chances are, you may not have even heard of Frome (pronounced ‘Froom’ – that’s your first insider tip), a small market town in the county of Somerset. It’s firmly nestled in the countryside, yet only 30 minutes from Bath, an hour from Bristol, and 2.5-3 hours from London.
In fact, there have been mutterings that the town is the newest weekend destination for Londonites, a fact that has lead to the town to be labeled by some as a ‘hipster’ destination (in my experience, this usually means there are quirky boutiques and fresh roasted coffee – call me a hipster but I’m in).
Whether you’re looking for an easy day trip from a more major city to get some British countryside flavor, or a cozy weekend getaway, Frome is a perfect pick.
How to get to Frome, England
Before we get to the best things to do in Frome, let’s get to the town itself! Dan and I drove to Frome, but there are plenty of public transport options.
By car: Depending where you’re coming from, you can drive into Frome via the A36 to A361. There is plenty of street parking in Frome. Dan and I found free street parking on Garsdale Rd down the hill from Lidl (postcode BA11 1RX). You can also pay to park in a lot like Vicarage Street Parking Lot (£1.50 for two hours 9am-6pm, postcode BA11 1PU)
By train: Frome Station is about a 10 minute walk from the historic centre. You can book a direct journey from Bath. From London, you’ll likely have one change at Westbury. Book or check train times and prices at Trainline.
By bus: Traveling by bus to Frome is very cost effective. Book your ticket or check bus times and prices on National Express.
TIP: Get discounted travel in the UK by signing up for a railway card or coach card. There are various options depending on your age and education status.
Things to do in Frome England
Ah, onto the good stuff! You can’t fit all of these activities into one day, which is why I’d recommend a couple days or weekend trip to Frome. If you only have one day, take it easy by wandering and exploring the boutiques. No matter what you’re into, here are some of the best things to do in Frome…
1. Go to the Frome Independent Market
Undoubtedly the best thing to do in Frome is go to the Frome Independent Market. This famous market draws people from across the country on the first Sunday of each month, from March through December. The Frome high street is taken over by farmers, makers, and market goers, with stalls full of locally made crafts, artisan goods, and fresh food. If you’re planning a few days in Frome, definitely plan your trip to coincide with a market day.
Unfortunately Dan and I didn’t visit while the Frome Independent Market was on. Luckily, however, Frome does also have weekly markets as well. The town hosts a general market each Wednesday and Thursday, as well as other markets. You can find more details here.
2. Browse the endless boutiques and shops
Frome’s historic centre is filled with boutiques and artisan shops that are just begging to be explored. Dan and I spent a happy couple hours strolling the cobbled streets, admiring artistic window displays and popping into every other shop. The sheer number of boutiques are testament to the Frome community’s creative spirit!
I recommend taking a wander up Catherine Hill, Cork Street, Cheap Street, and Stony Street. Those were my favorite streets for shopping, but there are countless others so go ahead and wander ’til you’re lost.
Some of my favorite Frome boutiques and independent shops that you just can’t miss:
- The Frome Bookshop – an independent second hand book shop. 18 King Street.
- Hoi P’loy – a florist and houseplant shop. 23 Cheap St.
- Deadly is the Female – a glamorous shop featuring vintage style dresses. 59 Catherine Hill.
- Next Door – a food and kitchen goods shop featuring natural and organic products. 16 Stony St.
- Pilea Plant Shop – a wee shop stuffed with houseplants of all types. 16 Catherine Hill.
- Bramble & Wild – a florist with an iconic and gorgeous storefront. 4 Catherine Hill.
- Assembly – a British-made menswear and grooming shop. 8 Catherine Hill.
3. See the best preserved medieval street in Europe
Speaking of Frome’s best streets to wander, make sure you pay a visit to Cheap Street. In addition to a wonderful selection of pretty boutiques and cafes, this pedestrian street has a small stream running down the middle of it! This is actually called a ‘leat,’ which carries water from a fresh spring that originates beneath St John’s Church. It’s definitely something to see, but watch your step! I was a bit too preoccupied with the pretty shops and nearly took a tumble into it myself.
4. Grab a bite to eat at the Garden Cafe
My favorite place to grab brunch, lunch, or dinner in Frome is most definitely the Garden Cafe. This is a well-loved vegetarian cafe that focuses on natural and organic foods. I was pleased to find they were quite aware of celiac and had lots of gluten free options, too. The food is yummy but the decor takes it to another level. On a sunny day, opt to eat on the hidden garden ’round the back of the cafe. And afterwards, pop into Next Door, the kitchen goods shop which is quite literally next door.
16 Stony St, Frome BA11 1BU
Tuesday-Saturday 8:30am-9pm, Sunday 10:30am-5pm, Monday 8:30am-6pm.
5. Attend a houseplant workshop at Pilea Plant Shop
The houseplant to village size ratio in From is off the charts. I already mentioned Pilea Plant Shop – a lovely houseplant shop that certainly deserves a visit. What’s even better is that they offer plenty of workshops for us travelers and visitors who like to get a bit more hands on. Whether you’re the crafty sort who’s always wanted to create a macrame plant hanger, or you’re more into glass terrariums, or simply want to learn how to not kill your house plants… there is a workshop on the calendar for you. With tons of workshops available, this would be the ideal thing to do for a birthday, or to create some holiday gifts.
Check out the full workshop schedule here.
6. Go on a guided walk with Discover Frome
Discover Frome England, the town’s tourism board, hosts a lovely little series of guided walks, including the ‘Heart of Frome,’ ‘Pubs of Frome,’ and more. If you’re looking for things to do in Frome, but you’re not quite sure where to start, this is ideal for you. You’ll learn about Frome’s history from a local, whilst spending about an hour wandering the streets. The meeting point is directly outside the Discover Frome office, and a £3 donation is recommended.
Check their facebook page to see upcoming scheduled walks.
7. Explore the grounds of St John’s Church
St John’s Church is a massive Anglican church and yard that overlooks the town of Frome from the top of Cheap Street. Founded in 685 AD, this church has a long history and is now a Grade I listed building. Take a stroll around the church’s perimeter, admiring the architecture. You can also walk through the grounds, and take note of more unusual features such as the stone carved ‘way of the cross,’ and the 700 year old well.
Church St, Frome BA11 1PL
Even more things to do in Frome…
If you want to go a bit further afield (but not too far), take a hike up nearby Cley Hill which is a famed local UFO-sighting hotspot. You can drop into the nearby village of Nunney and explore the ancient (and free!) Nunney Castle. For those with a car, it’s only a 15 minute drive to Longleat, where you can see an old manor, and take a drive through England’s iconic outdoor safari (yes, monkeys will be climbing on your car – so take the antenna off!).
Frome is also an ideal place to base yourself if you want to take a day trip into Bath, Bristol, Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury, Wells, or further explore the Mendip Hills. As you can see, the options are endless!
Where to stay in Frome England
Have I convinced you to visit Frome, yet? There are tons of fun things to do in Frome – this village is more than just a pretty face! I highly recommend planning a visit over a Frome Independent Market weekend (the first Sunday of the month). Give yourself 2-3 days to explore Frome and the surrounding area.
Here are some of my top picks for where to stay in Frome:
Get right in the middle of Frome’s cutest shopping street at Bistro Lotte, a French-style B&B located on Catherine Street. There are 10 ensuite rooms and four family-style rooms, each with airy and luxurious design at modest prices. As a bonus, wake up each morning and make your way to the ground floor for one of Frome’s best cappuccinos at the bistro itself.
23 Catherine Street
The Coach House
For those looking for self catering accommodation, look no further than The Coach House. This industrial loft house is open and airy, and a truly boutique accommodation option in the heart of Frome. It’s well appointed and adorable inside, complete with its own spiral staircase, a king bed in the loft, and a fully equipped kitchen.
Argyll House, Bath Street
The Old Bath Arms
Located right in Frome’s historic centre is The Old Bath Arms – known as one of Frome’s absolute best places to grab dinner, featuring their famous black rock steaks. You can stay the night in one of the well appointed rooms above the pub, and enjoy a B&B style stay in a Grade II listed building straight out of the 1800s.
1 Palmer Street
The George Hotel
As a dedicated hotel, The George Hotel has plenty of comfortable rooms right in the centre of Frome. They also have their own car park, making this an ideal stay for those driving into town.
Market Place, Frome
What? Frome England, a small market town
Where? In eastern Somerset, England
How to get there? Plenty of options by car, train, or bus from London, Bristol, and Bath.
Why visit? Fresh air, artisan markets, and a quintessentially adorable British market town
I truly hope this has put Frome on your radar. There are plenty of things to do in Frome. Dan and I loved exploring the cobbled streets, munching away at the cafes, and even picking up a slice of gluten free carrot cafe at Cafe La Strada to enjoy in the grounds of St John’s Church.
This is an unassuming yet unabashedly pretty town that deserves a visit – whether it’s for a day or a few days! Have you been to Frome in England? Would you visit? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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