What can you do while your friend / family member is attending a course? Empire Farm is the perfect touring base. Within an hour by car are Longleat, Stourhead, Bath, Weymouth and much, much more. Here are just a few of the places you can visit:

Stourhead House and Gardens Owned by the National Trust, Stourhead is a stunning 18th century Palladian mansion. It also has landscaped grounds and a lake. 25 min
Longleat More than just a stately home with a safari park, Longleat now has attractions such as a Butterfly Farm, a Railway and boat rides, to name but a few. 35 min
Cheddar Gorge With cathedral-like caves, Cheddar is Britain’s deepest gorge, and has many special attractions for the whole family. 50 min
Street Home of Clark’s Village, one of the best and biggest retail outlet shops in the UK, with over 90 shops offering bargains for everyone 50 min
Glastonbury With its famous Tor reputed to be the birthplace of King Arthur, and it’s Abbey, Glastonbury is a focus for those interested in both religion and mysticism 50 min
Wookey Hole Underground Caves, a working paper mill, and other attractions. 45 min
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton Europe’s No. 1 Naval Aviation Museum is a wonderful family attraction located near Ilchester. See the largest naval aircraft collection in Europe, with both historic and modern day exhibits. There is also a Concorde on display. There are also a number of flight simulators and a variety of interactive touch screen displays. 25 min
Royal Bath and West Showground The West Country’s foremost showground is home to events throughout the year, ranging from agricultural, motorcycle, and rural craft shows to conferences, countryside features & extreme sports. 20 min
East Somerset Railway An ex-Great Western Railway branch line running through the Mendip hills near Shepton Mallet. Steam trains run all year, with a 5-mile round trip through the rolling countryside. 30 min
Montacute House Montacute is a magnificent renaissance National Trust manor house near Yeovil. It has a fine collection of 17th Century textile samplers, and an exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery. There is also a garden and park. 40 min
Bath The City of Bath, a World Heritage Site, is famous for its Roman history and Georgian architecture. The brand new Thermae Bath Spa is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in natural hot waters. 1 hour
Abbotsbury Several attractions are located at Abbotsbury, including the Swannery. Sheltered by the famous Chesil Beach, Abbotsbury Swannery provides protection for hundreds of nesting swans and their young. Nearby is the Abbotsbury Children’s Farm. For those interested in gardens, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. The gardens house a mixture of the formal and informal, with charming walled garden walks and spectacular woodland valley views. World famous for its Camellia Groves & Magnolias, noted for its Rhododendrons and Hydrangea collections. 1 hour
Jurassic Coast The UNESCO Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site, where you can explore 185 million years of earth history along 95 miles of spectacular coastline. It runs from Lyme Regis to Swanage with Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Kimmeridge Bay and much more. just over the hour
Monkey World Sanctuary for over 150 primates, Monkey World was established in 1987 by Jim and Alison Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home. Today Monkey World works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over the world to stop the illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. You can see rescued chimpanzees in large natural enclosures, as well as lemurs, macaques, orangutans. There is a chimps’ nursery, a pets encounter, obstacle course, and restaurants. An ideal way to spend a day and help save a chimp. 1 hour
Cadbury Castle Cadbury Castle is the largest hill fort in Somerset; it dominates the Levels south of Glastonbury. The massive defences make it a very important archaeological site, but it is most renowned as the likeley location of King Arthur’s Camelot. Cadbury would certainly have been ideallly positioned for the warrior-king’s capital; it is near Badon, the site of his great battle against the West Saxons, and within sight of Brent Knoll and Glastonbury where legend says that Arthur was buried. A wealth of local folklore links Cadbury with Camelot and Arthur, after whom many local features are named. 30 min
Chew Valley Lake Chew Valley Lake is the largest lake in south-west England. The valley contains many fascinating places, such as the stone circles at Stanton Drew. They are thought to be part of a Neolithic site of pagan worship, and are contemporary with Stonehenge and Avebury. 45 min
Clifton Suspension Bridge The Clifton Suspension Bridge was the first major commission of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This breathtaking Grade I listed bridge spans the beautiful Avon Gorge, and is the symbol of the city of Bristol. 1 hour
Cricket at Taunton Watch a game of cricket at the County Ground, Taunton, home of Somerset Cricket Club. 1 hour
Bradford upon Avon Bradford upon Avon is a lovely little town, once the centre of a textile industry making fine woollen cloth from Cotswold sheep. It has one of England’s few surviving Saxon churches and a magnificent medieval Tithe Barn, crowned with one of the largest stone roofs in the country. 45 min
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury The steep cobbled street of Gold Hill, in Shaftesbury, lined with uniquely individual thatched and tiled cottages, is quintessentially English. The view from the hill across the Blackmore Vale is simply stunning. 25 min
Salisbury Cathedral Salisbury is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain, with the tallest spire in the country at 123m.It also houses a unique 13th Century stone frieze of bible stories and Europe’s oldest working clock. 55 min
Haynes International Motor Museum You’ll find Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, just off the A303. It is the UK’s largest exhibition of the greatest cars from around the world, with over 340 amazing cars and bikes from nostalgic classics of the 50s and 60s. You can see everything from glorious Bentleys and Rolls Royces to exciting supercars of today, like the Jaguar XJ220 20 min
Kennet and Avon Canal The Kennet and Avon Canal links the Bristol Channel to the Thames at Reading. 30-50 min
Wincanton Races Wincanton Racecourse hosts 16 fixtures of quality jump racing from October to May and has an average of two meetings per month during this period. Eight of these race days are on a weekend or bank holiday so, if you are planning a day out, these meetings provide an excellent day that is packed full of entertainment. 12 min
Somerset Levels The Somerset Levels are at, or only slightly above, sea level, so until it was drained in the 17th century it was a marsh that was frequently flooded by the sea. Being largely flat, the Levels are ideal for bicycles, and there are a number of cycle routes. You can also visit willow yards and basket workshops. 45 min
The Somerset Distillery One of the best Cider and Cider Brandy farms in Somerset, at the base of Burrow Hill overlooking the Somerset Levels. At Burrow Hill apples have been grown in the traditional way, with sheep grazing beneath, and cider has been pressed for at least 150 years. 45 min
Gartell Light Railway Located just the other side of Templecombe, this Narrow-Gauge railway (steam/diesel) runs in part along the route of the old Somerset and Dorset Line. A ticket provides unlimited travel throughout the day. It open on about 14 days of the year, mostly Sundays and Bank Holidays. 5 min
Wells Cathedral Begun in 1180, Wells Cathedral is one of the most impressive of the English cathedrals, dominating the small city of Wells. Volunteer guides regularly provide excellent 45 minute guided tours Monday to Saturday, which are free of charge. 45 min
Barrington Court Barrington Court is a Tudor manor house. It was restored in the 1920s by the Lyle family, and is now owned by the National Trust. It is let to Stuart Interiors as showrooms with antique furniture for sale. The Garden was laid out by the Lyles to a structured design influenced by Gertrude Jekyll, where her influence is especially evident in the graceful Lily Garden. The working kitchen garden has espaliered apple, pear and plum trees trained along high stone walls, and the Arboretum has vivid golden hues in Autumn. 55 hour
East Lambrook Gardens East Lambrook Manor Gardens is known as the ‘Home of English Cottage Gardening’. It is a listed garden which has been restored and is now maintained in the tradition of its founder Margery Fish. It is a peaceful and beautiful garden and the Tea Shop has again taken the highest accolade awarded in Somerset from Taste of the West for 3 years running! 40 min
Tintinhull Gardens The small mansion at Tintinhull was originally an unassuming Somerset farmhouse dating from about 1600. The main attraction of Tintinhull, now a National Trust property, is the formal, 20th century garden which is perfectly in scale with the proportions of the house. It is a tranquil oasis of small pools, secluded lawns and beautiful borders. It has a particularly fine azalea garden, fountain garden and kitchen garden.
Lytes Cary Manor Lytes Cary Manor was once owned by medieval herbalist Henry Lyte, but is now owned by the National Trust. It has a Tudor great hall and 14th-century chapel, while the house is surrounded by an enchanting garden. The borders are planted with mixed shrubs, perennials and roses. Hidden paths enclosed by high hedges lead to surprise views at Lytes Cary. Beyond a formal orchard, open lawns and statues lead to a shady tunnel of hornbeam and a secret garden. If you visit, make time to see inside Lytes Cary Manor itself. 20 min
Hardy’s Cottage The cottage where the famous Dorset writer Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 is now a National Trust property, and is open from April to October. Hardy wrote the novels Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd in the cottage, which has a traditional cottage style garden. It is near Dorchester. 1 hour
Kingston Lacy Kingston Lacy was the home of the Bankes family for over 300 years. It was designed by Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament. All four floors are open to visitors and contain lavish interiors. The Edwardian laundry gives a fascinating insight into life below stairs 100 years ago. The gardens and parkland open with flowering bulbs in the spring, then camellias, azaleas and bluebells. Enjoy summer visits to the formal gardens with floribunda roses, parterre, sunken garden, fernery and lovely hanging baskets. 50 min
Tyntesfield National Trust’s Tyntesfield is a magnificent Victorian country house near Bristol that has survived with its historic contents, gardens, park and estate buildings intact. The project at Tyntesfield is still in the early stages of development. Huge progress has been made in opening much, but not all of the property. Visitors will have the opportunity to see conservation and building work going on during open hours. 1 hour
Lacock Abbey Lacock Abbey is a fine country house created out of a medieval cloistered abbey, once the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, a pioneer of photography. It is now owned by the National Trust. It has a newly-restored botanic garden, a fascinating museum dedicated to the ‘Father of Modern Photography’, and has been used as the location for films including ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Moll Flanders’ and ‘Emma’. It is part of a uniquely preserved cobbled country village. 55 min
The Courts Garden The Courts Garden, near Bradford upon Avon, is one of Wiltshire’s best kept secrets. Owned by the National Trust, the gardens are full of mystery, variety and colour. There are peaceful water gardens, planted with irises and lilies, unusual topiary and garden ornaments to delight the whole family. 45 min