Places to visit in Somerset
Often overlooked in light of its more famous South West neighbours Devon and Cornwall, Somerset is a severely underrated county full of ancient landscapes, secret caves and grottoes, undulating hills, mysterious folklore and spectacular coastlines.
But that’s not all, fascinating ancient history, pagan sites, castles, and the stunning wilderness of Exmoor are all encompassed within its boundaries. Somerset is the perfect county for outdoor exploration as well as visiting architectural wonders and bustling market towns. We have put together this list of the best places to visit in Somerset to help you get your bearings in the west country.
Perfectly located for a day trip, you’ll be surprised at the variety of entertainment, cuisine and shopping at Weston-super-Mare. The Somerset coastal gem offers fresh air and scenic walks, as well as the impressive Grand Pier, and the theme parks Puxton Park and Funland. There’s bucket-loads of good old-fashioned family fun to be had at Weston-super-Mare; think fresh sea air, thrilling rides, fish and chips, retro arcade machines, soft play for the tots and more.
One of the jewels of Somerset, Burnham-On-Sea is a thriving seaside town with plenty of things to do. There are beaches, a beautiful pier, gardens, and the 42-acre Apex Park which is enjoyed as a space for picnics, games and wildlife watching. The town lies at the southern end of the second longest strip of sand in Europe and therefore boasts several superb natural beaches making it one of the best places to visit in Somerset for beach lovers.
Minehead, found on the south bank of the Bristol Channel, is a bustling seaside town. Nestled between Exmoor National Park on one side and the Quantock Hills on the other, there’s certainly plenty to satisfy nature lovers. However, Minehead also offers everything you could need for a family seaside holiday such as a long flat sandy beach and charming harbour, as well as plenty of independent shops, cafes and heritage attractions.
Make your Haven adventure to Somerset even more memorable by spending a day in Taunton, another fantastic town in this lovely county. While this smaller town might not receive as much attention as other nearby destinations, it still boasts a variety of exciting attractions and experiences. Whether you're looking to bond with your family at one of the many nearby parks or discover the region's history at one of its museums, Taunton has plenty of fun activities to offer!
Dunster and Exmoor
Situated in the northeastern corner of Exmoor National Park, Dunster is a charming market town that has something to offer for everyone. With its quaint castle, tranquil village, and beautiful countryside, it's difficult not to fall for this picturesque destination. From museums to historic buildings and beauty spots, there’s plenty to see and do in Dunster and the surrounding area of Exmoor.
It’s impossible to make a list of the best places to visit in Somerset without including Bath. The city of Bath has been a major centre of activity since Roman times and is still a hub of activity in the southeast of England. You'll find historic buildings, enthralling museums, as well as boutique shops, and gourmet restaurants offering every cuisine under the sun.
While there are endless things to do in Bath, there’s only one place to begin and that’s the Roman Baths. Some of the most famous Roman ruins in the country, there is also an attached Roman Museum to fascinate adults and kids alike. The history doesn’t stop there with the seventh century Bath abbey and Pulteney Bridge, one of the only Palladian Bridges in the world, next on the list. No trip to Bath would be complete without a picture at the eminently photogenic Crescent, a stunning perfect circle of Georgian architecture. There’s so much to do it’s worth more than a single day, but if you set off early you may just squeeze it all in!
While it may be most famous for its music festival that draws crowds and acts from around the world, Glastonbury is also a fascinating town in its own right with connections to Druids and King Arthur. A hike to the top of Glastonbury Tor provides amazing view of the surrounding countryside. You can also try some of the mysterious red water at Chalice Well and explore the ruins of the 8th-century Glastonbury Abbey, a grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument.
The high street is also filled with independent shops here, many of which have a supernatural or pagan theme, nodding to the folklore of the town. Add to that the Somerset Rural Life Museum that allows visitors to learn about the daily life of the county’s folk in times past, and you’ve got one of the best places to visit in Somerset with the kids.