Immerse yourself in the medley of sites and attractions that Somerset has to offer. Whether exploring the scenic moorland and captivating coastline or delving into the rich history of the region’s towns and cities, enjoy a county with the best of both worlds and attractions for the whole family.
Somerset offers the perfect mix of history and adventure, with exciting natural wonders and ancient sites to uncover around every corner. From hiding out in bird watching hotspots to unwinding in Roman baths, you will find things to do in Somerset and Taunton to suit every interest. Work up an appetite for the local Cheddar with a ramble through Exmoor National Park or head off on a thrill-seeking adventure at a theme park. Whatever your hobby, we’ve put together our list of top attractions and activities that Somerset has to offer.
Unearth your inner explorer and discover hidden archaeological gems in Cheddar Gorge. This limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills is a premier attraction for families, groups, and tourists from across the globe. With cliff top walks and a lookout tower, there are stunning views to enjoy before you enter the cavernous depths beneath. Descend deeper into Gough’s Cave and learn about the Horse Hunters of Cheddar Gorge who lived 14,700 years ago and had a habit of eating their enemies. Or uncover the secrets of Cheddar Man, a hunter-gatherer who holds the title of the oldest complete skeleton in Britain.
Roman Baths, Bath
Do as the Romans do, or did, and visit Britain’s only hot spring, situated right in the centre of Bath. This remarkable landmark is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. Having undergone extensive restoration, this ancient spa attracts over 1 million visitors per year and includes a Sacred Spring, Roman Temple, and Roman Bath House. Sitting below a modern street level, this unique Roman bath flows with natural thermal spring water. After viewing the baths and changing rooms, you can walk through the interactive museum that tells you all about Roman times and the Aquae Sulis people.
Longleat Safari and Adventure Park
Longleat Safari and Adventure Park was opened in 1966 as the first drive-through safari park outside of Africa. Get up close and personal with the animals by driving through the park or taking a VIP tour with the giraffes. Visit the Monkey Temple and hold out little pots of nectar to see the colourful lorikeets flock and land on your arms. From gorillas, to sea lions, to deer, there are hundreds of animals to meet and enjoy. With over 450 years of history to explore, Longleat provides a fun and educational day out for couples, families, and tourists of all ages. Longleat House itself is a great location for a stroll, with stunning grounds and gardens created by the renowned landscaper Capability Brown.
Be part of history and climb up to the infamous Glastonbury Tor. High on a hilltop, thousands of people flock to the Tor every year. Situated near Glastonbury, St. Michael's Tower sits on the land and, due to Pagan beliefs, is known as being one of the most spiritually important sites in the country, with many stories and legends about the area. Visit the Tor and the abbey to learn about the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, the Lord of the Underworld and King of the Fairies. If you’re lucky, you might see one of the Grade I listed landmark’s famous celebratory rituals while you’re there.
Dunster Castle sits in “castle country” in Somerset and is a former motte and bailey castle. Now a country house, the building has over 1,000 years of history just waiting to be told. Learn about the Luttrell family who lived there from 1376 to 1976, modernising the ancient castle as the years went by. The conservatory, built by the family, offers stunning views across Exmoor and the surrounding gardens. The visually stunning Grand Staircase is a major attraction. Built in 1680, the intricate carving is made entirely from a single piece of elm. With a plethora of hidden walkways and woodland paths available there are many trails to explore throughout the castle and its grounds. Outside, the open parkland and woodland are the perfect place to spot wildlife and admire the scenery that has been there since the castle was built.
Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions
Visit Britain's most spectacular show caves and delve deep underground to discover the secrets of the Wookey Hole Caves. With over 60,000 years of human history to uncover, it’s a Somerset attraction not to be missed. The Wookey Hole Caves are a series of dark limestone caverns in the village of Wookey Hole in the southern region of the Mendip Hills. Home to the infamous Witch of Wookey, there are dark mysteries to uncover as you wander through the stalactites and stalagmites. Recently expanded, you can now access an additional chamber with rare rock formations that few have seen before. Beyond the caves, there are many more attractions including a prehistoric Valley of the Dinosaurs, a 19th Century Paper Mill, and the magical Mirror Maze.
Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare
Enjoy world-class rides and attractions at the iconic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare. The pier was originally constructed in 1904 and is still a lively destination to this day. Challenge your family and friends on the dodgems, race around the 250m Go-Kart circuit or try and beat the boss in one of many arcades. When you need a rest, the 4D Cinema and Edwardian-style tea rooms are a welcome break from all the action. Little ones can be entertained in the children’s play area and the ice cream parlour is a great way to end a fun-packed day. The Grand Pier also hosts many fantastic events throughout the year beyond its main attractions.
Activities in Somerset
Walk the Coleridge Way
Follow in the footsteps of the romantic poet Samuel Coleridge by treading a track littered with numerous fantastic sites related to the author’s works. Originally 36 miles long, reaching from Nether Stowey to Porlock, it was extended to Lynmouth due to its popularity, making the walk a total of 51 miles. Not for the faint hearted, the full route can be completed in six consecutive days. However, the route guides can help you navigate smaller parts of it. With such beautiful countryside surroundings, it is easy to see why Coleridge was inspired by the variety of heathland and woodland Somerset landscapes around him.
Fun for all the family at Brean Leisure Park
Brean Leisure Park is an amusement park in the coastal resort of Brean, near Burnham-on-Sea and is the UK's largest free-admission theme park. With over 40 rides and attractions, there is plenty to see and do without spending a fortune. Take a ride on the Disco Dodgems or scare yourself in Terror Castle. From giggles to screams, there are rides to suit all ages. With an indoor and outdoor pool, you can enjoy this park at any time of year and at any time of day, with The Tavern Club offering great all-singing, all-dancing family entertainment every evening.
Take a ride on the West Somerset Railway
Travel in style with the West Somerset Railway, the official site of the longest steam heritage line in the UK. See all the sights on this historic route from the comfort of your own carriage, on a steam train that powers majestically through the landscape between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard. Learn about the railway’s industrial heritage on the scenic 20-mile journey and explore the buildings of the ten unique stations along the way. The Turntable Café at Minehead Station provides a welcome break where you can dine and unwind with a variety of hot meals and drinks on offer.
My Perfect Stay
Cheddar Gorge, the Roman Baths, Wookey Hole Caves are just to name a few of the incredible landmarks you will find on a UK break to Somerset. Or spend your short break in Somerset soaking up the bubbles in your own hot tub in complete relaxation, with a glass of prosecco and a fresh paperback! The choice is yours…
A day sightseeing in the local area, attempting to walk the Cheddar Gorge with an energetic spaniel, stopping for lunch in one of the cosy, traditional Somerset pubs then returning to the lodge for a dip in the hot tub and a hearty board of local cheeses and wines – that is what a perfect stay in Somerset for looks like for me.