Located in the heart of the West Country, Somerset is known for its rolling hills, seaside resorts, and attractive historic towns. Home of cider, cheddar cheese, and combine harvesters, the county is a cheerful place with plenty of activities, attractions and events to suit everyone.
Our favourite things to in Somerset
- The Roman city of Bath
- Cheddar Gorge and the Mendip Hills
- Exmoor National Park
The beautiful city of Bath is a World Heritage Site and should top any list of places to see in Somerset. The Roman Baths found here are one of the South West’s most popular tourist attractions. After a day of exploring the city, you can relax in the naturally warm and mineral-rich waters of the Thermae Bath Spa just as the Romans did more than 2,000 years ago.
To delve deeper into Somerset’s history, head to Dunster Castle. Now a lavish county house, Dunster was fortified by the Anglo Saxons and has amazing views over the Quantock Hills, Bristol Channel, and Exmoor National Park. Wells Cathedral is another interesting place to visit,, with the UK's second oldest clock mechanism. Wells itself is very pretty too and it's well worth wandering around the small and quaint city.
Visit Glastonbury Abbey where you can discover the folklore of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere and admire the ornate architecture. The 36 parks that surround it are easy walking territory and the perfect spot for a picnic. Glastonbury is also home to Britain’s most iconic summer music festival of course. Don't forget your wellies if you're heading to that!
Prefer to avoid the crowds and lashings of mud? Spend a serene afternoon pottering around the majestic Elizabethan architecture and atmospheric gardens at Montacute House. This manor has the longest gallery in England, and displays works of art from the National Portrait Gallery. Montacute House also featured in the 1994 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility which adds a romantic touch to the place.
Barrington Court, the Bishops Palace and Gardens, and Cleeve Abbey are all worth a visit.
Lovers of the great outdoors will find plenty to enjoy in Somerset. The Mendip Hills are an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty and great for rock climbing, caving, and walking. Don't miss the spectacular Cheddar Gorge.
You can hit the trails of Exmoor National Park for a spot of hiking, cycling, horse riding, and wildlife spotting. Dunkery Beacon is the highest point in the park and offers spectacular views. Just across the border into Devon, the Valley of Rocks at Lynton is another must-see.
Walkers will also love the Quantock Hills, and of course the South West Coast Path.
Great Coastal walks, sea swimming and water sports can be found at Burham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare is also very popular. Other good beaches in the area include Brean, Sand Bay (popular with dog walkers), Ladye Bay (one of Somerset's prettiest bits of coast) and Minehead Beach (one of Somerset's busiest resort towns).
Kilve beach will keep children with inquisitive minds busy for hours hunting for fossils, while the Victorian seaside town of Clevedon offers wholesome and traditional family fun on the coast (pebble beach).
There is plenty to keep families entertained in Somerset. Kids will go crazy with excitement at Wookey Hole. This network of caves and underground cathedrals has a 50,000 year old history bursting with Pagan, Christian, and witchcraft legends. The fantastic array of entertainment includes a museum, life-sized dinosaurs, a circus, mirror maze, mill, crazy golf, pirates, fairy garden, Victorian penny arcade, and cave cheese.
Longleat became the first safari park outside Africa when it opened in 1966. Over 50 years later it is still going strong. Stingray Bay, Penguin Island, Cheetah Kingdom, and the Monkey Drive-Thru are just a few of the favourite areas of the park.
Other options for family days out include The Fun Farm in Taunton, the East Somerset Railway, Fun City at Brean Leisure Park in Burnham-on-Sea, Seaquarium in Weston-Super-Mare, and the North Somerset Butterfly House in Congresbury. The West Somerset Railway in Minehead is also well worth a visit.
Aviation lovers will enjoy The Fleet Air Arm Museum, while others might be tempted by the Bath Fashion Museum, the Haynes International Motor Museum or the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.
Alternatively, join a brewery tour or a cheese tasting session - after all, Somerset is the home of cider and Cheddar cheese!
The Cheddar George Cheese Company is one of the few remaining places where the cheese is still traditionally made by hand. As for cider, Thatchers family farm is one of many breweries open to the public. The Strawberry Line, an old railway line turned public footpath, runs through their orchard making it a great place to appreciate the Somerset countryside.
For more ideas, please visit our things to do in Somerset pages.