Tag Archives: day out in Somerset

Somerset – top UK summer holiday destination


Somerset is fabulous for summer holidays

Enjoy a fantastic summer holiday in Somerset

A summer holiday in Somerset is more popular than ever this year.  The fall in the value of the pound certainly makes going abroad far more expensive. Not having to go to the airport reduces stress levels too – no delayed or cancelled flights to contend with and what about the long haul flight in the seat next to the crying baby, not this year!

We think Somerset has a lot to offer for a summer holiday.  With so much coastline and a hugely varied landscape from the Somerset Levels to the Quantock Hills there is lots to explore and enjoy.

Stunning Cheddar Gorge in North Somerset is a great place to visit in an area of outstanding natural beauty.  It’s Britain’s biggest limestone gorge, with cliffs rising to 450ft and a designated walk along the top of them, guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away!  With a stalactite cave, an open top bus tour and a look-out tower adults and children alike will have a great day out.  For the more courageous, there’s adventure caving and rock climbing.

A trip to the beach is a summer holiday tradition for many and in Somerset there’s loads of choice.  Burnham-on-Sea is a classic seaside town with an Edwardian backdrop of buildings overlooking the wide sandy beach, perfect for getting out your buckets and spades – you can even have a donkey ride on the beach and why not enjoy an ice-cream on the shortest pier in the UK.  Further along the coast is Kilve, a fossil hunter’s paradise and a great place to investigate the many rock-pools that appear at low tide.  There’s a lovely grassy area at the back of the beach for picnics, barbecues, cricket and all sorts of fun and games.

Now, let’s face it, sometimes the weather does get a little damp in the UK, so your summer holiday may not be end to end sunshine!  Grab those opportunities and visit some of the excellent indoor attractions that Somerset is home to, you’ll be glad it rained!

Why not keep with the watery theme and visit SeaQuarium at Weston super Mare?  We particularly liked the moon jellyfish, just like watching aquatic ballet and the underwater tunnel with a huge selection of creatures circling above you.  There’s so much to learn about here and you can get hands on involved too with some of the rock pool creatures.

Another of our favourites is Fleet Air Arm Museum showing the history of the airplane from the very early days of the biplane (you get a real sense of their fragility and the bravery of the pilots), through to the modern day. Along the way you can learn the physics of flight from a model plane inside a wind tunnel and hear about the military and human stories of the second world war.  There’s plenty here to make a day of it.

Whatever you choose to do during your summer holiday, we think Somerset has a lot to offer, we know you’ll enjoy it, come and take a look.

A favourite day out in Somerset


Tarr Steps to Withypool along the River Barle 

Combining 3 of our great interests in life – food, the countryside and walking – this is a popular day out at Big House HQ.

Tarr Steps

Tarr Steps

Although only a 45 minute drive from Wellington HQ, we like to break the journey for coffee and cake in Dulverton.  You can even do the same on your return journey with evening fish and chips by the river & a pint from the pub, but we leave that to your conscience and your cardiologists’ advice!

Wonderful scenery all the way to Tarr Steps, snaking along the river, through the narrow, quaint streets of Dulverton, up onto the moor with wild ponies roaming and then dipping down again into the wooded valley.

Park either at the top in the designated car park for Tarr Steps and walk down to the river or if you’ve got 4 x 4 going down to the wide (sometimes quite deep) ford and driving through is fun; your kids/the kid in you, will love it.

The ancient stone clapper bridge known as Tarr Steps possibly dates to around 1000 BC. It’s 180 feet long with 17 spans and according to local legend, the stones were placed by the devil who still has sunbathing rights over them!  In the winter of 2012 half of the bridge was washed away by the heavily swollen river.  All of the pieces were found, brought back upstream and re-assembled.  Good as (1000 year old) new.

After you’ve admired the bridge, walk along the marked path (car park side) signed to Withypool (GR844354), this runs mainly beside the river, so easy on the map reading skills.  Such a pretty walk, along the way you’ll pass in and out of peaceful woodlands where deer roam and there’s plenty of birdlife too.

River Barle

River Barle

River Barle

River Barle

It’s worth sitting by the river at some point and just listening to the water, watching out for fish jumping or the occasional kingfisher.  Currently (summer 2015) there are poetry boxes through the woods, to encourage the laureate in you to leave a verse or two.

Once you’ve reached Withypool, a picnic lunch is great or feast at the 300 year old Royal Oak pub.  Try the monkfish goujons; finer, we have not tasted!  On your return journey, either retrace your steps or add in a loop that takes you along the ridge of the hill with far reaching views of Exmoor.  Worth it, but a steep climb.

Back at Tarr Steps, the tea rooms by the bridge serves all manner of refreshments, cream teas and ice-creams for the weary walker in need of a recharge.

The entire walk should take you 3 hours, but we like to dilly dally and maybe you do too!  Enjoy.


The Copper Kettle, Fore Street, Dulverton, 01398 323697.  Great views from the tea garden, conservatory or indoor seating and ambitious size pieces of cake.

The Royal Oak, Withypool, 01643 831506.  A charming old pub.  Good food & beer, Sunday roast too.