Best walks in Somerset
Somerset is an ancient county absolutely brimming with history and stories, just waiting to be discovered. From the legendary St Michael’s Tower perched atop Glastonbury Tor, to Stembridge Tower Windmill and Coleridge Cottage, there is no end of historic haunts to visit. But it is the landscape in which these monuments are set that makes Somerset such a special and inspiring place to visit. From the rolling Mendip Hills to the soaring cliffs of the coastline, this is truly a picture-perfect county.
With beauty in such an abundance, Somerset is undoubtedly a county best explored on foot, just as the poets did back in the day. It can be hard to choose where to start your walk, setting off from one of our two Haven Somerset Parks, but fear not, we’ve got you set. Below you’ll find the best views and most satisfying trails for when you head off walking in Somerset.
1. Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk
Distance: 3 miles
This 3 mile circular walk is a great family-friendly route which takes in some of the best views and paths of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Just a 20 minute drive from our Doniford Bay Park by car, you can park up at Kilve Beach car park where there is reasonably priced pay and display parking.
This route is steeped in history and will take you along the Kilve coast, past impressive ruins and a medieval manor and along the northerly edge of Kilve East Wood. There’s even a chance of finding an ammonite fossil down on the beach if you’re lucky and eagle-eyed enough.
2. Hawkridge Woods walk
Distance: 1 mile
If you venture further south into the Quantock Hills, you will come across various wooded climes to venture through and explore. Amongst them, Hawkridge Woods stands out as a super accessible and atmospheric walk through an ash and conifer plantation. This 1-mile walking route is perfect for young families and little legs looking for a leisurely afternoon potter through some inspiring woodland. Keep an eye out for an old restored lime kiln, a beautiful disused quarry and even roe and red deer at dusk and dawn.
3. Cheddar Gorge walk
Distance: 3 miles
This infamous Somerset landmark is an unmissable day out from our Burnham-on-Sea Holiday Park. Only 30 minutes by car to the north east, this is a challenging and varied walk that’s well worth the effort for its spectacular views from England’s largest gorge. There’s a National Trust route which takes you on a 4-mile tour of the gorge.
Starting and finishing at the visitor centre, you’ll head through woodlands and over rocky paths to ascend the cliffs and admire the panoramic views before descending down into the depths of the gorge itself (be sure to book a ticket online if you want to explore the caves). Cheddar Gorge is a proudly pooch-friendly venue and the perfect setting for a happy dog walk in Somerset.
4. Brean Down Coastal walk
Distance: 3 miles
This circular coastal walk is a National Trust trail which traverses the downs, ancient farmland and coastal paths of the Brean peninsula, just 30 minutes north of our Haven Burnham-on-Sea Park.
The route starts at the Brean Down Bird Garden, where you can fuel up with a cup of tea at the café and meet the exotic birds in the aviary. Highlights of the route include the site of an ancient Roman temple, remains of an Iron-Age Hill fort and the opportunity to spot skylarks, stonechats and even peregrine falcons - one to take your binoculars for!
5. Bleadon Hill walk
DIstance: 7.5 miles
Next up is another more challenging route for the keen hikers amongst you. At 7.5 miles in length, you’ll want to be well prepared for this tour of one of the Mendip Hills’ finest landmarks. The walk sets off conveniently from Bleandon Hill Car Park, which sits on the western edge of the Mendip Hills and takes you on a round route through these rare and undisturbed limestone grasslands.
Keep an eye out for rare plants and wildlife including a number of orchid species and if you’re lucky, buzzards in the skies overhead.
6. Nutcome Bottom tall trees trail
The next route takes you 30 minutes to the west by car from our Doniford Bay site. Just outside the village of Dunster, it is nestled into the Dunkery & Horner Wood National Nature Reserve. This trail is easy access and has disabled parking at the entrance of the woods. At just 600 metres in length, this gentle meander through a small and cosy copse gives you plenty of time to go at your own pace and marvel at the towering trees above you. Be sure to get a photo next to the 60m tall douglas fir which boasts the title of the tallest tree in England!
7. Bossington landscape walk
Distance: 2.5 miles
Heading west along the coast from our Doniford Bay Park, you will come across a picture perfect little hamlet called Bossington, around which this next walk circles. Starting from the car park, you’ll head down to Bossington beach, through Allerford Woods and up alongside the Hill where you’ll look out over the quaint thatched roofs of Bossington, Allerford and Seaworthy. This is a great option for families with pooches as dogs are welcome all along the coastal path.
8. Steart Marshes circular walk
Distance: 3 or 6.5 miles
As the river Parrett meets the sea, the Steart Peninsula curls round and outwards, almost meeting the land back at our Burnham-on-Sea Haven Park. The marshes here are looked after by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and a protected habitat for wildfowl and migratory birds. The marshes walking route has options to be 3 miles, or if you're in the mood for a challenge, 6.5 miles long. You’re sure to spot some unusual species of bird life as well as take in some fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes.