In partnership with The Newt in Somerset 

If you’re dreaming of a summer escape but haven’t found the perfect solution that ticks all of the boxes for your foodie friends, the nature lovers or pals with inquisitive minds, then we might have found the perfect solution…

The Newt in Somerset has announced the return of the Great Garden Escape, the countryside retreat that’ll see you swapping the cityscapes for picturesque gardens, ancient woodlands, sensory experiences and a foodie adventure like no other.

Created in partnership with Great Western Railway, The Newt in Somerset’s unique day trip runs Friday and Saturdays from 6th May until 24th September, and invites you to experience a day filled with all things Somerset. Plus, with each booking you’ll receive a 12-month Newt Membership, allowing you to return again under your own steam. 

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate foodie day out, want to reconnect with nature or fancy learning something new, the Great Garden Escape has it all. Read on to find out why you should book your spot now…

Dig in…

For the foodies, the Great Garden Escape is the ultimate summer excursion. Your day will be packed out with seasonal specials and menus crafted to perfection by The Newt in Somerset’s team of chefs, farmers, gardeners, butchers, bakers, cheesemakers, and cyder makers, all of whom work in harmony with land and livestock to produce delicious food for the table. 

The culinary adventure starts with a scenic train journey from London Paddington to Castle Cary aboard a First-Class carriage where travellers can tuck into a breakfast picnic. Crafted by Estate Head Chef, Alan Stewart, expect a bountiful selection of buttery croissants, preserves, buffalo milk yoghurt, berry compote, walnut granola and freshly squeezed orange juice. 

Upon arrival, you’ll be invited to get stuck in, picking, tasting and smelling the produce that grows on the estate, guided by one of the green-fingered gardening team. Lunch will be served  in the glass-walled Garden Cafe, featuring a three-course veg-led menu and wine from the orchards of Babylonstoren, The Newt’s South African sister estate.

There’ll be plenty of free time to explore the estate ingredients and local produce in the Farm Shop, where you can stock up on Somerset specialities including West Country cheeses, slow-reared meats dry-aged in the Himalayan salt-lined Butchery and crusty sourdoughs from the Bakery. 

The final stop before departure is delving inside the Cyder Cellar. Cellar Master, Greg Carnell, and his team will be on hand to show you how they make their legendary cyder, using modern techniques while nodding to West Country roots. 

And if you’re not too full, the journey home will be complete with an afternoon tea picnic, filled with seeded heritage loaf open sandwiches and seasonal cakes, topped with edible flowers from the estate’s kitchen gardens. A true feast for both the eyes and the belly…

Journey back to nature

If you’re using this summer to see whether you’re ready to make the jump to countryside living, The Newt at Somerset’s Great Garden Escape is the perfect place to put it into action. 

As soon as you step off the Great Western Railway carriage, you’ll feel the countryside breeze run through you. The estate itself is sandwiched between the small picturesque towns of Bruton and Castle Cary, and is set amidst farmland, woodland, orchards and acres of gardens. 

With plenty of free time to explore, as well as tours around the estate by their expert team, you’ll be able to soak up the best of Somerset.

Explore the gardens, taking in the House & Garden Shop and Farm Shop, before stopping by the Gelateria for a refreshing summer’s treat. There are plenty of nature-focused attractions too, including The Story of Gardening, an immersive experience with cutting-edge technology and sensory games.  

If you fall in love – which you no doubt will – each booking for the Great Garden Escape includes a 12-month Newt Membership, allowing you to make a note of the area’s you want to revisit throughout the rest of the year.

Learn something new…

Ever wondered what it’s like to work on a running estate? Now’s your chance to get stuck in, as you’re shown around by experts in the field. 

As well as having the chance to chat with the team, from the cyder makers and chefs to the gardeners, The Newt is also introducing seasonally themed weekends, tailored to embrace different seasonal themes. In July, the theme of ‘Bees and Honey’ will allow you to discover the recently unveiled Beezantium, a new multi-sensory exhibition inviting guests into the world of bees. While the special September’s ‘Harvest’ weekend marks the end of summer and includes a bespoke tour of the vast apple orchards.

The Great Garden Escape allows you to learn something new and leave feeling inspired, having learnt the ins and outs of countryside living and pick up a few gardening and culinary tips along the way. 

What’s included?

The Great Garden Escape to The Newt in Somerset is priced at £335 per adult, £260 per child and will be running on Fridays and Saturdays from May to September 2022. The Great Garden Escape ticket includes First Class return travel from London Paddington to The Newt in Somerset; guided tours, talks and tastings; all meals from breakfast and lunch through to afternoon tea; plus 12-month Newt Membership.



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