A perfect day trip to Frome

Frome is a historic market town located in the Mendip district of Somerset, England. The town has a rich and fascinating history of Roman markets, thriving cloth & metal works and button factories. The town was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086!

Today, Frome is a vibrant and eclectic town known for its thriving arts scene, independent shops, and diverse community. During restoration in the 20th century, many of its stunning historical architecture and streetscapes were restored. The town is home to a number of festivals throughout the year, including the Frome Festival, which celebrates the town’s creativity and cultural heritage.

Frome is also surrounded by beautiful countryside, including the Mendip Hills, which offers a range of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and horse riding. The town is easily accessible from Bristol and Bath and makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

What to do in Frome?

From is a perfect town to spend a lovely day or half day. You can wander through the charming historic streets, dip into the independent bohemian nick-nack shops, visit some exhibitions at the Gallery and soak up the artsy, creating vibe of the place.

If you can, try to visit for the Frome Independent Market, a locally famous exhibition of independent makers and artists- and one of the main things that modern Frome is famous for. Seeing it on a market day, really lets you see the town at its best!

As well as the monthly independent makers market there is a weekly Saturday farmers market that is also a lovely place to buy fresh local produce and tasty treats.

One of the greatest selling points is the stunning old architecture- which you can enjoy by ambling around Catherine Hill and from a visit to St Johns Church. The Frome Museum is a great place to learn about the town’s history and see its development over thousands of years!

For ultimate frome style venues- try the Black Swan arts centre gallery and exhibition space or The Cheese and Grain, a community-run venue which hosts a variety of events, including live music, markets, and festivals.

Below we tell you a bit more about the best things to do in Frome:

  1. Frome Independent Market
  2. Catherine Hill
  3. Frome Museum
  4. Frome Farmers Market
  5. Black Swan Arts Centre
  6. St. John’s Church
  7. Walking tours

1. Frome Independent Market

The Frome Independent is a popular monthly market that takes place in the streets of Frome. It features over 200 independent traders, including artisans, makers, and food producers, and attracts visitors from all over the region.

The market has a strong focus on sustainability, and many of the products on offer are eco-friendly or upcycled. The stalls offer a wide variety of products, including handmade clothing and accessories, unique home decor items, artisanal food and drink, and much more.

The market takes place on the first Sunday of every month, from March to December, and runs from 10am to 3pm. The stalls are located throughout the town centre, and there are also street performers, live music, and other entertainment to enjoy.

2. Catherine Hill

This picturesque street in the heart of Frome is lined with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to wander and soak up the town’s charming, bohemian vibe.

3. Frome Museum

This small museum is housed in a beautiful Georgian building and tells the story of Frome’s rich history, from its Roman origins to the present day.

The exhibits at the museum cover a range of topics, from the town’s early history as a Saxon settlement to its role as a thriving center of the cloth trade during the medieval period. Visitors can explore interactive displays that recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of a Victorian high street, and learn about the lives of local people during times of war and hardship.

The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, and admission is free. However, donations are welcome to help support the museum’s ongoing efforts to preserve Frome’s heritage.

4. Frome Farmers Market

The Frome Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. The market is located in the town centre on the cobbled Stony Street and runs year-round, offering a variety of local produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, cheeses, bread, cakes, and more.

5. Black Swan Arts

The Frome Black Swan Arts Centre is a thriving hub for the arts located in the centre of Frome, Somerset. It hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of local, national, and international artists. In addition to the galleries, there is also a shop, which sells a range of handmade items, including jewelry, ceramics, and textiles.

The Black Swan Arts Centre also offers a wide range of workshops and classes, including painting, drawing, pottery, printmaking, and textiles. These workshops are suitable for all ages and abilities and are led by experienced tutors.

It is open seven days a week, from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 11am to 3pm on Sundays. Admission to the center is free, although some exhibitions and events may charge an entry fee. It is worth checking the center’s website or social media pages for the latest information on upcoming events and exhibitions.

6. St. John’s Church

This impressive church, located in the centre of Frome, dates back to the 14th century and features stunning stained glass windows. On your visit you can enjoy looking at its impressive Gothic-style architectural elements, such as ribbed vaulting and intricate carvings.

The octagonal tower, which is the tallest structure in Frome and can be seen from miles around is perhaps the most unique feature of the church. It was in the late 15th century and is made of locally quarried limestone.

7. Walking tours

Frome is a great town to explore on foot, and there are several guided walking tours available that will take you on a journey through the town’s history and architecture. The free tours run twice a week- see the timings on their site here.

History of Frome

The town’s name is believed to come from the Old English word “Froban”, which means “a river that flows swiftly.”

Frome was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it was listed as “Froome” and described as a market town. During the medieval period, Frome grew to become an important center of the wool trade, and several of its historic buildings date from this time.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Frome became known for its production of cloth and metal goods, particularly for the button-making industry. During this time, the town experienced a period of prosperity and growth, and many of the town’s grand Georgian and Victorian buildings were constructed.

During the Industrial Revolution, Frome’s economy shifted towards manufacturing, with mills and factories springing up in the town. Frome also played a role in the development of the printing industry, with several book printers setting up shop in the town.

Frome was a hub of political activity during the 19th century, with many radical movements and social reformers based in the town. It was also home to several well-known artists and writers, including J.M.W. Turner and John Steinbeck.

Places to eat and drink:

Loveliest cafes in Frome:

  1. The Garden Cafe: This vegetarian cafe is located in the courtyard of an old silk mill and offers a beautiful garden setting to enjoy your food.
  2. Rye Bakery: This bakery is famous for its sourdough bread, made using traditional techniques and organic ingredients.
  3. Sam’s Kitchen Deli: This deli offers a selection of homemade sandwiches, soups, and salads using locally sourced ingredients.

Best Classic Pubs in Frome:

  1. The Three Swans: This historic coaching inn is located in the heart of Frome and offers a great selection of food and drink.
  2. The Old Bath Arms: This traditional pub is known for its real ales and hearty pub food, as well as its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff.

Beautiful Country Walks in and around Frome

Frome is fantastic for its beautiful setting in Wiltshire, with stunning landscapes all around. If you’re here, you might combine a morning in town with a lovely afternoon walk. Here are some of our suggestions for the nearby areas:

  1. Frome River Walk: This gentle 3-mile walk follows the River Frome and takes you through the heart of the town, along with green fields and quiet backstreets. You’ll see a variety of wildlife, and there are plenty of benches to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
  2. Longleat Forest Walk: This 6-mile circular walk takes you through the stunning forests and rolling hills of the Longleat Estate. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of wildlife, including deer and birds of prey. There are also several viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  3. Westbury White Horse Walk: This 4-mile circular walk takes you up to the Westbury White Horse, one of the most famous landmarks in the area. You’ll pass through quiet countryside and charming villages before reaching the hillside where the white horse is located. The views from the top are stunning, and on a clear day, you can see for miles around.
  4. Stourhead Walk: This 3-mile circular walk takes you through the grounds of Stourhead, a stunning 18th-century estate that’s home to a beautiful lake, gardens, and woodlands. The walk takes you past some of the most scenic spots on the estate, including the Palladian Bridge, the Pantheon, and the Temple of Apollo.

How to get to Frome from Bristol:

From is very easily accessible, it actually features on our guide to 3 charming day trips from Bristol.

By car, Frome is approximately 16 miles southeast of Bristol and can be reached via the A37 and A362 roads. The journey takes approximately 35-40 minutes depending on the traffic.

Frome is also easily accessible by public transport. It has its own train station, which is located on the Bristol to Weymouth line. Trains run regularly throughout the day, with journey times taking around 35-40 minutes.

There are also several bus services that run from Bristol to Frome, with journey times taking around 1 hour 20 minutes. The most direct bus service is the number 267, which runs hourly from Bristol Bus Station to Frome Town Centre

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