Radstock is home to the excellent Radstock Museum where you can discover a comprehensive history of the area in its well laid out and interesting some hands-on displays, with a convenient on-site cafe and bookshop.
Radstock is steeped in industrial heritage from the days of the coal canal, tramway, railways, the coal industry and more, which can be experienced in the museum. Coal was the chief industry in Radstock and Midsomer Norton, bringing prosperity and work to the district after its discovery in 1763. In the early part of the 20th Century over 6,000 people were employed in Somerset's coalfields, raising over a million tons of coal a year. The railways flourished as a result of this industry and both towns were each served by two railways - the Great Western Railway and the Somerset & Dorset Railway.
At one time Radstock had two railway level crossings over two different railways, within yards of each other and each also had its own station. Today the only operational railway left in the area is at the heritage centre of the Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton Station in Midsomer Norton. There are a few reminders of the coal industry remaining in the area, among those is the miners memorial garden in Radstock with its pit head winding wheel monument.
Midsomer Norton is a market town with the River Somer running along its high street and some interesting old buildings tucked away, such as the 15th Century tithe barn converted to a Catholic church by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, located on a short offshoot of High Street to be found alongside the NatWest bank. The even older 1170-built Old Priory is on Church Square and is now a hotel and home of the Moody Goose restaurant.
Midsomer Norton is also home to the new Somer Valley Adventure Play Park and Skate Park, which opened in July 2010. The park is situated between the town’s Sports Centre and the Somer Community Centre in Rackvernal Road and offers a range of facilities from outdoor trampolines to a zip wire and tunnels, providing exciting and challenging play for all ages and abilities. The park also features a state of the art area for wheeled sports (skateboarding, non-motorised scooters and bicyles) with bowls and street-style area, benches and rocks.
When travelling on the Colliers Way between Radstock and Frome, be sure to look out for the Three Pocket Orchards - planted apple trees of rare English varieties to mark the disappearing Somerset orchards, and also reminiscent of the trees which grew from discarded apple cores thrown from trains. Works of art may also be found along here, in the geometric interlocking oak benches, wood carvings, a stacked stone column and montages by local schoolchildren of pointing fingers - a nice reminder of old railway direction signs.