14 iconic tourist locations in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 March 2020
Holly Louise Eells shares 14 tourist hotspots that locals should visit.
1. Wells Cathedral.
This landmark is in the heart of England's smallest city. It is a significant example of the early English Gothic style of the 12th century, notable for its grand western front covered in Medieval carvings and golden spires. Inside, discover the unrivalled collections of Medieval stained glass still in existence.
2. The Quantocks.
Designated England's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956, The Quantock Hills is popular for walking, horse riding or cycling. A diverse landscape with marvellous Jurassic rock exposures along the coast at Kilve and East Quantoxhead, through intimate sessile oak woodlands.
3. Dunster Castle.
Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, Dunster Castle has existed here since at least the Norman times, with an impressive Medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history. Hundreds of years-old, expect to be blown away by its vistas and subtropical gardens.
There is more to Glastonbury than the world-famous festival. The town is steeped in myth and legend connected to King Arthur and Guinevere, Merlin and the Isle of Avalon. It's a truly unique place with a fascinating spiritual heritage, and is home to the famous landmarks Glastonbury Tor, Chalice Well and the Abbey.
5. Cheddar Gorge.
This is one of England's most spectacular natural landmarks. The gorge features Britain's highest inland limestone cliff formation rising to 450ft at its peak. Underground, there's Gough's Cave, which was the discovery site of Britain's oldest, most complete skeleton: 10,000-year-old Cheddar Man.
From vast open beautiful moorlands to coastline perched atop some of the highest sea cliffs in the country, there is nowhere else like Exmoor National Park. Plus, there's a good chance of spotting some of the 3,000 strong red deer population or native pony herds that live there too.
7. Barrington Court.
The National Trust's 17th century manor is an atmospheric fragment of old Somerset: an empty Tudor manor house with garden and farm buildings, beautifully restored in the 1920s. Visitors can enjoy exploring the empty house, picnicking on the sweeping south lawn or making use of the traditional games.
8. Avalon Marshes.
Nature lovers, The Avalon Marshes is for you. A serene landscape full of wildlife and history, it features a mix of lakes, reedbeds, woodlands and meadows across 1,500 hectares of nationally important nature reserves. Whether a peaceful walk or cycle ride, try and spot the bittern and otters along the way.
9. Ham Wall.
The RSPB has a truly rich landscape teeming with extraordinary wildlife, stunning views and landmark vistas. Designed to provide the best habitat possible for wetland species, particularly bitterns, it's also a really great place where people can enjoy the wonders of the beautiful outdoors.
Bath is an obligatory stop on any UK tourist trail and it is evident why. Be prepared to fall in love with its enthralling Georgian architecture, well-preserved Roman chambers and its buzzing cosmopolitan environment- that is just for starters. Go and experience what this beautiful, charming city has to offer.
11. Ebbor Gorge
Cheddar Gorge may be one of the most popular, stunning attractions in the Mendip Hills, but its 'mini me', Ebbor Gorge has remained a hidden gem. Designated as a National Nature Reserve, you experience the wild outdoors at its best with its small streams, woodland, rocks and caves.
12. Tarr Steps.
Whether you are an experienced walker or someone who prefers a casual stroll, Tarr Steps is an amazing place to go when looking to explore the picturesque National Nature Reserve Exmoor National Park. It is famous for its clapper bridge, the longest and oldest of its kind in the UK.
13. Coleridge Cottage
Somerset is such a historic county that is accountable for fascinating landmarks and historical places home to many inspirational people, including Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Explore the Grade II 17th century home, Coleridge Cottage, a National Trust treasure where Coleridge wrote some of his best works.
14. East Somerset Railway
Take to the rails of the heritage East Somerset Railway discovering the history of steam trains' heyday and enjoy a journey through the picturesque South West countryside with a stream train trip. Since 1973, it has been transporting stream train fans up and down the track. Now it is your turn.