Officially a ‘hotspot’, according to Condé Nast’s 2016 Hotspot List, Somerset is packed with fun family things to do. Here are our favourite reasons to visit – and none of them need a luxury budget.
Stay at our Glastonbury hotel for an accessible location, great value and a lovely night’s sleep in new king size beds.
Cheddar Gorge – without a ticket
Although visits to the mighty limestone Cheddar Gorge and Caves in the Mendip Hills come with a fee, you can get the views for free by following the National Trust path that leads up to the Cave entrance and merges with the Cliff Top Walk. Home to the remains of Cheddar Man (he’s 9,000 years old), it was named the second greatest natural wonder in Britain (behind Dan yr Ogof caves), and is just 14 miles from Glastonbury.
The views from Glastonbury Tor
Surrounded by magical legends, this big hill is well worth the climb up its 150m for the amazing views that stretch over three counties. A spiritual landmark, it’s the perfect place for a brisk family walk – and just one mile from your Glasto hotel.
Wookey Hole’s stories
Drive just 8 miles from Glastonbury and find out all about the Wookey Hole witch who cast spells on the village way back when. The caves were home to man for 50,000 years and the area is full of pagan tales and myths. It was even the site of a giant discovery: mammoth bones! The witch, who met a sorry end, thanks to a monk and holy water, is apparently still there today…
Crazy shoes at the Shoe Museum
Clarks fans will love a visit to Street, home of Clarks shoes family business. The museum showcases all things shoe, including a pair dating from Roman times and some jaw-dropping women’s pairs from the early 20th century. The Clarks shopping village is worth a stop too for those who fancy a new pair.
Wildlife in the Nature Reserves
Grab your cameras and pack your bikes in the car for 14 minute drive to Westhay Moor, a natural paradise of lakes and cycle paths ideal for birdwatchers. Or visit Shapwick Heath, the Avalon Marshes wetlands where you’ll find the oldest man-made road in Britain, as well as classic British wildlife like otters.
Brean’s long beach
A National Trust site, Brean Down has dramatic coastal cliff-top views and a breath-taking natural pier. Brean Sands, a 6-mile-long stretch of beach, is a popular spot for dog walking and running free by the sea.
Dunster Castle heritage
Dating back to Norman times, Dunster Castle was altered in the late 1800s and now only the 13th-century gatehouse remains intact. Take in the castle’s history and browse the many objects and artefacts, including pictures, furniture and leather wall hangings. Top tip: don’t miss the National Collection of Strawberry Trees in the garden.
Minehead for the seaside
The ultimate family holiday seaside spot, Minehead offers all you need on a day out with kids, from a long flat sandy beach to a lively promenade packed with cafes and restaurants for refuelling. There’s also a pretty harbour where you can book a local cruise, and Blenheim Gardens, the large park with a bandstand and summer entertainment. If you’re looking for a deal, book into our Taunton hotel, and you’re just 25 miles away.
The West Somerset Railway
For a ride down memory lane, or rather ‘memory tracks’, hop on the steam train, a throwback to a bygone era. The 20-mile trip takes you through the Quantock Hills and past the Exmoor Coast via a dozen stations, all carefully restored.