THE historic market town of Chard is nestled within the glorious countryside of South Somerset, close to the Devon and Dorset borders.

The town is home to the Antiques, Vintage, Collectables & Craft Market, and the relaxing Chard Reservoir, surrounded by a tranquil nature reserve and the stunning Blackdown Hills.

But there’s more – here are five reasons to love the Chard area.

Forde Abbey

As explained on its website, the Grade I listed building is “Home to the stunning Mortlake tapestries, woven from the internationally famous Raphael cartoons, now housed in the V&A, the Abbey has a rich and varied history spanning 900 years.”

Its gardens were Nominated for the Historic Houses ‘Garden of the Year’ award 2019.

Chard Carnival

The carnival is something the community always looks forward to every year.


In 2022 the event returned with a main procession which included all of its traditional carts.

The carnival takes place on the second Saturday in October.

Over the years Chard Carnival has raised more than £90,000 pounds for local charities and organisations, including The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Chard Christmas Lights, Children’s Hospice South West, Chard Hospital, and all the local schools.

Chard Reservoir

Chard Reservoir LNR, based north east of the town, is a fantastic site for bird watching and walking, following wildflower meadows through to the woodland edge surrounding the expanse of open water with spectacular scenery.

There is a small children's woodland play area.

As explained by the Green Flag Award website, the reservoir is “an 88-acre open water, woodland, and meadow site”.

“A jewel on the eastern edge of the busy market town of Chard. As its name suggests the core of the reserve is a large reservoir that is now home to a great range of wildfowl and other wildlife.”

The site is dog friendly and they are welcome on the reserve but there is a strict ‘dogs on short leads’ zone in the woodland and dogs are not allowed in the woodland near the bird hide.

Chard Guildhall

Chard Guildhall, as its website explains, is a Grade II* Listed Building in the centre of the town that dates back to 1837 and was formerly the Corn Exchange.

It is situated on the site of former municipal buildings and a market from the late 18th century.

Much work has been carried out since this time with major renovations starting in 1998 and being completed and reopened in 2003 with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Guildhall complex is used primarily as a community building for a wide range of activities and in 2009 it became the permanent base for Chard Town Council. It is an important civic building and houses the Mayor’s Parlour and town council offices.

Chard Museum

The museum plays an important role in the community and “brings to life the story of Chard”.

Chard Museum has different exhibits which include the Cider Room, the Victorian classroom, and the Carnival costumes.

The museum also has information about aviation pioneer John Stringfellow.

The exhibits, along with the museum’s range of events, are “uncovering and maintaining yesterday’s heritage, history and hidden stories”.

Chard Museum is proud of being a Consortium member of Culturally Chard.

This is a three-year programme of heritage and cultural activities funded by Historic England.