Chard and the local area

Chard is an attractive rural town in the county of Somerset, England, situated on the A30, 15 miles south west of Yeovil. It is also the most southerly town in Somerset, being only a few miles from the Devon and Dorset borders, and less than 15 miles from the beautiful Jurassic Coast, and the towns of Ilminster, Crewkerne, Axminster, Beaminster,  Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Colyton, Honiton and Seaton.

The town has a population of around 12,000 and, at an altitude of 150 metres, is the highest town in the county.

Chard is set in the heart of the beautiful countryside of South West England at the edge of the Blackdown Hills, a tranquil, beautiful, and relatively isolated landscape on the Devon and Somerset border and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1991.

It is also just 15 miles from the main county town of Taunton, which affords excellent facilities and access to the M5.

Within easy reach of Chard are the magnificent houses and gardens of Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park, Somerset and Forde Abbey Somerset, which are both well worth a visit at all times of the year, along with a great number of other tourist attractions, both large and small.

Click on the links to find out more about these attractions:

Forde Abbey
Blackdown Hills
Chard Reservoir
Chard Tourist Information

Chard Reservoir, less than a mile to the east of Chard town centre, is a haven for wildlife. It is a popular spot for birdwatching, fishing and walking, and the surrounding meadows are teeming with wildlife during the summer months.

Chard was the original headquarters of Cerdic, the first King of Wessex, and was named after him (Chard was originally called Cerde). It is considered by some scholars that Cerdic was the basis of the legend of King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table and that Camelot was in the vicinity of Chard, Somerset.

Chard claims to be the birthplace of aviation, as it was here in 1848 that the Victorian aeronautical pioneer John Stringfellow (1799-1883) first demonstrated that engine-powered flight was possible.

After the failed Monmouth Rebellion in 1685, Judge Jefferies held some of his Bloody Assizes here in the former manor house, which can still be seen near to the Guildhall.

Nearby towns include Colyton, Axminster,  Taunton, Lyme Regis, Ilminster and Crewkerne.