You’ve probably landed on this page because you’re planning a weekend (or longer) visit to Frome, Somerset. Well…..you picked well! I’m excited to share all my local knowledge of this quirky little town so you can make the best of your time. Below, you’ll find the best things to do in Frome, as well as my recommendations on the best places to eat.
I moved to Frome a few years ago and quickly understood why it’s often crowned one of the best places to live in the UK. The town centre itself might be small, but Frome is full of hidden gems and a surprising number of festivals and events. Frome is famed for its love of independent shopping, cafes and restaurants. And, of course, the monthly Independent Market.
It’s picturesque (with cobbled streets and grade listed buildings), friendly and surrounded by brilliant countryside. It really is one of the UK’s best weekend getaway locations.
My best things to do in Frome list a mix of family-friendly activities and those better suited for a romantic getaway. So you can make the most of your visit, I’ve also listed the best festivals and events happening in Frome, where to eat and where to stay.
Top Tips for Visiting Frome
- Make sure to plan your visit to coincide with the first Sunday of the month, when the famous Independent Market takes place.
- If visiting the market, arrive early (official opening time is from 10am but most of the stalls are set up a good half hour before this. By lunchtime, the streets are heaving and the food stands have long queues. I always try to order my lunch a little early to miss the worst of the crowds.
- On the first Friday of the month, Frome hosts ‘Frome First Fridays‘. Between 5-9pm, galleries and exhibitions open late across the town and some bars and restaurants put on music and food.
- Lots of the best restaurants in Frome are small and only open Fri-Sun or Thur-Sat. They have a tendency to get booked up quickly so I’d recommend making a couple of reservations several weeks before visiting.
- Most of the shops and cafes in town are closed on Sunday and Monday. If you are coming for a weekend, visit the town on Saturday and plan something else on the Sunday (unless the market is on!)
- There’s a small weekly market in the town centre (next to the library) on Wednesday and Saturday.
Best Hotels in Frome – Where to stay
For such a popular tourist destination, Frome hotels are surprisingly sparse. Thankfully, there are a few solid options which are always my go to recommendations if I have visitors coming from out of town.
Mid-range budget (£70-92)
The George Hotel (£70 a night) and the Corner House (£92 a night) are both pubs that are centrally located with reasonable prices. Rooms are comfortable and clean and both options come with a hearty breakfast.
A tad more luxury (£115-140)
If your budget can stretch a bit more, then Rook Lane House (£140) is my favourite choice with comfortable rooms, great service and an exceptional breakfast. Bistro Lotte (£115) is another good option as the rooms are especially nice and the location couldn’t be better – although breakfast isn’t included for this price.
Budget Frome hotel (£44)
There aren’t a lot of budget accommodation options in Frome. Your best bet is to head to Premiere Inn Frome where prices start from as low as £44 a night. The location isn’t the best, but the rooms are comfortable enough.
Best Things to do in Frome, Somerset (or just outside)
1. Frome Independent Market
On the first Sunday of the month, the town centre closes down to traffic and dozens of craft and food stalls, a flea market, live music and even a kid’s disco set up. Thousands of people head to Frome for the monthly Frome Independent Market, and the atmosphere is amazing. Not to be missed!
Top Tip: If you plan to head to Frome on market day, watch our short video, which reveals some local hacks that will save you lots of queueing time:
2. Hit the Independent shops
Frome’s love of all things independent extends to its high street. There are dozens of interesting shops to explore, including crafts, vintage, bead shops and no visit to Frome would be complete without a stop at Hunting Raven – the gorgeous independent book shop. Oh and Bramble and Wild….the lush flower and plant shop!
There are 2 main shopping streets – Catherine Hill and Cheap Street (which has a cool leat running down the middle). Both streets are cobbled and ridiculously picturesque!
3. Longleat Safari Park
Less than 10 minutes from Frome and you’ll find yourself at Longleat Safari Park. This makes for a great family-friendly day out, with the slef-drive through safari, train rides, boat rides, a maze and manor house. There’s a lot to see and do in a day so get there early to make the most of your ticket!
4. Visit the Black Swan
The Black Swan is and art shop and free exhibition space in the centre of town. It also has a fantastic cafe attached to it – River House – which does the best brunch in Frome.
5. Hang out at the Train Station on a Friday
On a Friday night, the train station car park transforms into a lively hub of food and drinks. The Rye Bakery do oven baked pizzas, Borrito Boi offers food and cocktails or the delicious curry stand, Lungi Bubba’s, serves up all sorts of dishes. This was an event that started in lockdown (when you were only allowed to gather outdoors) and has carried on as the locals love it so much!
6. Discover Frome’s Wild Spa at Marston Park
Marston Park is a glamping site just 5 minutes from the centre of town. They have a beautiful spa with a natural pool and wood-fired sauna and hot tub. It’s the perfect place to soak away a few hours.
Note that Marston Park is only open during the summer months.
7. Eat Sushi and Watch the Sun Set at Marston Park
At the same Marston Park glamping site, you’ll also find a bar and one of the best sunsets in Frome, overlooking a beautiful lake. Walk to the end of the jetty to really take it in. Then grab yourself some sushi at Hakko House. Marston Park also regularly run events and DJ nights if you are looking for something more lively.
Note that Marston Park is only open during the summer months.
8. Catch a gig at the Cheese and Grain
This might be a small-town venue, but the Cheese and Grain has hosted some surprisingly impressive acts. In recent years, they hosted warm-up gigs for Glastonbury headliners Paul McCartney and the Foo Fighters! The venue also holds pop-up markets in the day and has a nice cafe attached.
9. Watch a show at the Merlin Theatre
The Merlin Theatre puts on a busy schedule of shows throughout the year from pantomime to author talks. Most of the big shows sell out, so book early to avoid disappointment.
10. Get arty at Frome First Fridays
On the first Friday of the month, Frome hosts ‘Frome First Fridays‘. Between 5-9pm, galleries and exhibitions open late across the town and some bars and restaurants put on music and food. Start at the railway station then meander your way into town.
11. Hang out in Victoria Park
Victoria Park – or ~Viccy Park as the locals call it – is probably Frome’s most loved park. There are tennis courts, a skate park, a playground and a sand pit. The latest addition is a great little sheltered community cafe equipped with toys and games for children to play with.
12. Climb Cley Hill
The National Trust looks after Cley Hill, just on the outskirts of Frome. This stand-alone hill has an interesting history and offers incredible views from the top. It’s a steep 20-minute hike to the peak but its worth it. The car park at the bottom is free.
13. Let the Kids loose in Welsh Mill Park
Probably the best park in Frome and just a few minutes from town, walking along the river. Welsh Mill has all the usual playground equipment, a huge sand pit and an awesome skate and scooter track which your kids will love.
14. Hang out at Frome Boulder Rooms
Frome Boulder Rooms is in a warehouse that has now been kitted out for bouldering. It’s very freindly and welcoming to beginners and you can hire shoes from reception (or just try climbing in your trainers). There’s also a whole section dedicated just for kids and a play area for little ones. Even if you don’t want to try climbing, there’s a lovely coffee shop with comfy sofas where you can relax and watch the people climbing (it’s quite addictive!).
15. Take in the view at Heavens Gate
A 15 minute drive and you’ll find yourself in the beautiful Longleat Estate, which is great for walks and cycle rides. My favourite walk is to Heaven’s Gate viewpoint. Park at Heavens Gate car park (which is free) and either take the short walk directly to the viewpoint or do a longer loop (this is my preferred route). The viewpoint also has some interesting sculptures which kids love to climb on.
16. Drink coffee like a local
There’s several independent coffee shops in town it’s hard to pick which one to go to. The favourites amongst locals are Moo and Two and Projects. Both Instagram-worthy cafes that serve up incredible coffee.
17. Visit the Frome Museum
It’s small and not very impressive….but the Frome Heritage Museum is free and right in the centre of town, so worth a quick visit!
18. Spend a lazy afternoon in Rise
Rise is where all the locals love to meet and hang out. The Rye Bakery cafe are set up in the main building – which used to be a church and looks beautiful! The neighbouring hall hosts all sorts of classes from baby sensory, yoga and dance classes.
19. Go for a swim at Tellisford Weir
15 minutes from the town centre is Tellisford Weir, a favoured spot for locals looking for a refreshing swim on a hot day. Bring your picnic and enjoy this picturesque spot. To reach the weir, head to Vaggs Hill Farm and follow the track to the end where cars can park. From here, walk down to the bottom of the lane and turn left into the field – at the end of that field you’ll find the weir!
20. Take a peaceful moment out at the Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is on the outskirts of Frome and has a nice little coffee shop with a brillinat playground attached. Beyond that is a beautiful lake and lots of greenery, making this an ideal spot for a fair weather day when you could do with a bit of calm and quiet.
21. Take your kids to story time
The Frome library is right in the centre of town, next to the main car park. Every week day (in term time) at 4pm, they do storytime in the children’s section. You’ll also discover all sorts of other free activities taking place from lego time, stay and play and gardening activities for children.
22. Have a cocktail in the HydeAway (if you can find it)
Hidden down a smelly alleyway, with no identifier except for a snazzy door knocker, is this great little speak easy. I love going to the HydeAway for a cocktail (which are some of the best I’ve every had). The interior is quirky and cosy, an especially great hang out on colder evenings.
23. Learn a bit of history with Frome’s Guided Walks
The Frome Guided Walks run reguarly with a different theme, giving you an opportunity to explore Frome and understand its history better.
24. Eat at Fromes Number 1 Rated Restaurant
High Pavement is Frome’s number one rated restaurant, and for good reason. This Middle Eastern mezze restaurant is irresistible. On a good day, request a table outside so you can watch the passers-by. The restaurant is small and only open 3 nights a week so advance booking is essential as it books out most nights!
25. Enjoy Live Music at Bar Lotte on a Wednesday
Bar Lotte is one of the best bars in town and always has a great atmosphere. Every Wednesday, they have free live music (usually jazz or blues). I love the way people end up spilling out onto the streets giving it an especially European feel.
26. Wander a medieval castle
Less than 10 minutes from Frome and you’ll find yourself in Nunney. A picturesque little village with an impressive Medieval castle sat circled by a moat. The castle is small but impressive and is free to explore. There are some great walks in the area and you should definitely visit the village cafe before leaving.
27. Catch a film in Frome’s Independent Cinema
One of my favourite things about Frome is the Westway cinema. It’s only a small place but has a good selection of films and tickets cost just £4! When the trailers end, the lights go up and there’s a short interval while someone comes round selling ice cream – very cute!
28. Visit a filming location
Gentle Street is the most picturesque street in Frome, so it’s not surprising that it was choosen as a location for Podalk. At the bottom of the street, you’ll also find St John’s Church which is worth a visit inside and on the grounds.
29. Discover a secret garden
Another village on the outskirts of Frome which you must visit is Mells, just 10 minutes away. Here you’ll discover the magical Walled Garden. There really is no better place for a coffee in spring or summer. The village also houses The Talbot Inn which is a great pub and some brilliant walks. Keen hikers can also hike from Frome to Mells along the river, turning it into a good day out.
30. Enjoy the Frome Festival (July)
Each July, Frome comes alive with talks, workshops, live music and performances as part of the Frome Festival. It’s a great time to visit this Somerset town with loads to see and do.
31. Watch the Frome Carnival (September)
Happening annually in September, the Frome Carnival is a really fun night out. With huge floats and parades snaking their way through the centre of town.
32. Get stuffed at the Frome Cheese and Agriculture Show (September)
This is big event on the calendar in Frome and a great day out for all the family. At the Frome Cheese and Agriculture Show, you can expect animal displays, trade stands and lots and lots of cheese!
33. See Frome lit up at the Lantern Parade (November)
This is my favourite event in Frome. The Lantern Parade is magical! Locals spend weeks designing lanterns before coming together to light them and follow a sambar band. The parade finishes in the town square before the Christmas lights are turned on.
Things to do nearby to frome
Frome is perfectly placed to explore the surrounding area. If you are looking for day trips from Frome and other must-see attractions in the area, I can recommend the following:
- The Newt in Somerset (25 mins from Frome)
A beautiful estate with some of the most well kept gardens you’ll see. With sculptors and free roaming chickens dotted about!
- Hauser & Wirth (20 mins from Frome)
A free art gallery in the nearby town of Bruton. Don’t leave the town without a wander round the shops and before enjoying food At the Chapel.
- Stourhead (20 mins from Frome)
Often voted one of the best National Trust properties and you’ll realise why when you first set eyes on the gardens and lake!
- Cheddar Gorge (40 mins from Frome)
A hugely impressive gorge in an area of natural beauty. Enjoy hikes, climbing and afternoon tea, or visit the famous Wookey Holes.
- Bath (25 mins from Frome)
This Roman city is easy to get to from Frome by car, train or bus. Visit the Roman Baths, go for a spa or wander the cobbled streets.
- Glastonbury (40 mis from Frome)
Visit one of the UK’s quirkiest town. Keep your eyes peeled for real life wizards and fairie shops and make sure you find time to climb Glastonbury Tor.
Best Restaurants in Frome
Best cafes for breakfast and lunch:
- Projects: My favourite place to go for lunch – a delicious little vegetarian cafe.
- The Good Heart: A quirky little community cafe serving yummy Tibetan food.
- River House: Best brunch in town, good lunch and cake options.
- Rye Bakery: Amazing pastries, cakes and sandwich options for lunch.
- Cheese and Grain: Good option for cakes and lunch.
- High Pavement: Frome’s number 1 favourite restaurant, seving Mezze Middle East plates.
- Bistro Lotte: Serving French cuisine with a great vibe.
- The Ship: The place to go in Frome for a dirty burger (great vegan options available too).
- Hakko House: Serving sushi and Japanese cuisine.
- Castello: The best Italian in town.
- Eight Stoney Street: A trendy wine bar and restaurant with great views over Frome.
I hope you found the visitors guide and things to do in Frome helpful. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to use the comments box below.
I give all my advice out for free on my website. If you want to say thanks, you can buy me a coffee!