Fun things to do in Somerset

  • Evening reception at the Baths
    Evening reception at the Baths
    by toonsarah
  • Gough's Cave with Cheddar Man in the background
    Gough's Cave with Cheddar Man in the...
    by alancollins
  • Gough's Cave
    Gough's Cave
    by alancollins

Most Viewed Things to Do in Somerset

  • piglet44's Profile Photo

    Montacute House- sense and sensibility

    by piglet44 Written Jul 26, 2007

    We visited this National Trust stately home because the weather was a little iffy and just as we came out it started to rain so we did not visit the gardens. But there is plenty to see inside the house itself ,which was the setting for the movie " Sense and Sensibility" .and in fact Jane Austen lived in a house very near to the site itself.
    The house is very grand with many rooms and a huge collection of portraits, including wonderful portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

    Montacute House Montacute House
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • piglet44's Profile Photo

    Visit Cheddar Gorge

    by piglet44 Written Jul 25, 2007

    Cheddar is the largest gorge in the UK>
    The Cheddar Gorge and Caves are very beautiful and the tour is very well presented.
    You can also do climbing and extreme sports there if that is your thing.You can also tour in an open top bus. Just check on the website below.You can see the Cheddar Man the oldest complete skeleton in Britain.
    There is plenty more to do in the area .

    cheddar gorge Inside the caves
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Wells Cathedral

    by leffe3 Updated May 7, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wells is England's second smallest cathedral city (City of London is the smallest). There has been a church on this site since the early 8th century, but the present building dates from the 12th century and was virtually complete by the time of its dedication in 1239 (although it wasn't until 6 years later that it was confirmed as a cathedral). But successive centuries have seen considerable expansion, including the Bishop's Palace, Cathedral Close as well as the cathedral itself.

    Wells has had its up and downs thoughout history, but survived with remarkably few major disasters - Roundheads turning the cathedral into a stable, the great storm of 1703 that blew in windows in the west facade as well as chimneys in the Bishop's Palace, killing the incumbent Bishop and his wife - pretty tame history compared to some of the other cathedrals in the UK!

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Glastonbury Abbey

    by leffe3 Written Apr 1, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not quite sure what it means, but Glastonbury claims to be 'traditionally the oldest above-ground Christian church in the world', dating the first evidence of a church here in 63 AD, although the first stone church was laid by King Ine of Wessex in 712 AD. By 1088, during the time of William the Conqueror, Glastonbury was the richest abbey in the country. A fire in 1184 destroyed a great deal of the abbey, but if pilgrim numbers were down, the 'discovery' of the graves of King Arthur and Guinevere in 1191 resulted in a complete turnaround!

    As a result of its power and wealth, the abbey suffered under Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 and, just 50 years later, the abbey was a ruin.

    Nowadays, the grounds of the Abbey have been landscaped with the ruins suprisingly limited considering the former glory and importance.

    The ruins are open throughout the year - opening and closing times vary month to month - but peak spring and summer, 9.30am-6pm.

    Entrance fees:
    GBP 4.50, concessions 4.00, kids 3.00, family tickets (2 adults, 2 kids) 12.50

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Castle Church

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When the castle was expanded in the early 1400s by the addition of an outer wall and more towers, it enclosed the parish church shown here. The Hungerford's then began using the church as their own chapel and in compensation, it is believed that they built the existing nearby parish church as a replacement for the local villagers.

    I know how the Hungerford clan must have felt when they eventually had to relinquish their castle, because we were run off the property too!! Shortly after we began wandering around, a couple of local farmers drove through on their tractor and said they would advise us to move the car out of the way because they were "driving an 'erd of cattle" through the gate in a few minutes time! I would hate to have to explain those damages to Hertz! The second photo shows a view from the interior of the castle looking back out through the Gate House. Notice those small fences alongside the car path, to keep the cattle off the grass as they stampede through! I should add that, during the winter season, we happened upon the place (on a Monday morning) when it was officially 'closed' to visitors.

    The Hungerford's Private Chapel Gate House Interior View
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Exmoor National Park

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Feb 3, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Exmoor, along with Dartmoor, is one of two National Parks located in the southwest part of England. Named after its biggest river, the Exe, this 693 sq. km. park of upland open moors was made official in 1954. Because of its higher elevation, peaking at 519 m (1700 ft), this area can be prone to more severe weather, especially because the land in this part of England has the Bristol Channel on the north side and the English Channel on the south side.

    There were some amazing views as we entered this area, with the opening photo of my Somerset page showing the view from high above as we looked down on a cultivated portion of the Park. This photo is a zoom shot of the same scene, showing a closer view of the farm buildings and the long shadows being cast on the fields as the winter sun started to dip low on the horizon.

    The high ground catches a lot of rain, resulting in quite a few rivers carving deep channels to the sea. The highway twisted up and down extreme grades (sometimes reaching 25% or a 1 in 4 slope) as we made our way along the northern edge of Exmoor National Park. Small seaside towns like Lynmouth are located in these deep valleys where the rivers meet the Bristol Channel. While driving along we also came across a flock of about 12 ring-necked pheasants spread out along one side of the highway (see second photo). When we stopped for a picture, they walked quickly into the hedges rather than fly away, but we did manage to get one shot off!

    Due to time constraints, falling early winter darkness and the sun low on the horizon in our eyes, we did not have the time to fully do justice to Exmoor (including photos of the amazing views)! This place deserves more time!

    Ridgeline Telephoto of a Farm in Exmoor One of Several Pheasants on Exmoor Roadside
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the North Coast

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 20, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Finishing up with Cheddar Gorge, we drove for about one and a half hours through the mostly forgettable industrialized area around Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgewater before turning directly west along the north coast - headed for Exmoor National Park. A short way along this road, we diverted off the A39 highway to the small coastal village of Watchet so we could both enjoy the views and find ourselves a pub lunch.

    The tide was out as we wandered briefly along the harbour edge, admiring the pretty flotilla of small boats moored there. Leaving Watchet after our meal, we continued along the coast with occasional views out over the Bristol Channel as we began climbing up into the high ground of Exmoor (see the third photo).

    Watchet Harbour at Low Tide Another View of Watchet's Fleet View of the Bristol Channel - I could see Wales!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Relaxing Countryside

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was great to be out driving along again after our quick stop-off at Farleigh Castle. This seemed to be a particularly picturesque part of eastern Somerset as we meandered along a high ridge on the A366 highway west of Norton St. Philip. In most cases, high hedges, trees or houses block the best views when driving along but, in this spot, we had some clear views out over the valley below.

    A Pleasing View Looking Down into the Valley
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    We Make Some Friends

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Having stopped in the Gorge to take a few photographs, I noticed a young couple slightly uphill from me trying to take photographs of each other. When I offered to help them out by taking a shot of the two of them they very happily agreed to my proposal. Just as we finished up, they spotted their two friends coming up the hill toward us and shouted to them to hurry up so they could all get into a photo. Once I had done that for them, they insisted that Sue and I be included in a few shots as well ! These young people from South Korea were having a great time laughing and enjoying the sights as they walked up through Cheddar Gorge from the car-park at the bottom of the hill. My few weeks in South Korea many years ago came in handy as I was able to use one of the two emergency phrases I learned there - phonetically saying 'come sam me duh' (Thank you) to them. Unfortunately, I was not able to use the other phrase of 'hannah beck shew' (One beer)!!!

    With our South Korean Friends In Cheddar Gorge
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    700-Year Old Farleigh Castle

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jan 19, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not very long after pulling out of Bradford-on-Avon, we crossed the border into Somerset County and almost immediately came across the ruins of Farleigh Castle sitting undisturbed by human life right beside the A366 highway.

    I pulled off the road into a small spot marked for tour coaches and we got out to have a look. It turns out that these were the remains of a manor house built in the 1300s and sold to Sir Thomas Hungerford in 1369. Sir Thomas was a skilled lawyer and represented the King in these parts when matters of land succession had to be dealt with. Although he became the first Speaker of the House of Commons, he did get into a bit of a bind by fortifying the place without Royal permission, but received a pardon for this in 1377! The walls still standing in these photographs were built by his son in the early 1400s as he enclosed the original works, with the gatehouse and curtain walls still protecting the interior courtyard. As is often the case with hereditary situations, the Hungerford clan grip on this property came to an end in 1686 after over 300-years in the family. Sir Edward Hungerford had become embroiled on the wrong side in the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion when Protestants in this part of England tried to unseat King James II, the Roman Catholic successor to King Charles II. It was all over in five weeks and it appears that Sir Edward was implicated in the plot. He had to buy his life by giving up the estate and it then fell into ruin and was partially torn down for building materials.

    The Castle Main Gate from our Car Park Looking Through the Gate at More Ruins
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arianasarah866's Profile Photo

    Chalice well and gardens

    by Arianasarah866 Written Jan 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The chalice well and gardens really are lovely and worh a visit. The gardens are well kept with plenty of seating areas where you can admire the view. You can buy a bottle to taste the chalice well waters at the lions head spring half way down the gardens. If you do not wish to buy a bottle, you can bring your own and fill it! There is also a small healing pool where you can sit or just bathe your feet in the cold clear red waters. The small shop is worth a visit and holds a food range of pagan and historical books and artefacts.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arianasarah866's Profile Photo

    Glastonbury Tor

    by Arianasarah866 Written Jan 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The tor is a huge hill and is considered to be a sacred site used throughout history. At the top is St Michaels tower with some interesting carvings around it. The climb is hard going and steep aso take plenty of water to walk directly up the short route, however you can wind round and round the processional way. Notice also the egg like stones dotted around here as they are famous.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arianasarah866's Profile Photo

    Cheddar Gorge

    by Arianasarah866 Written Jan 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Obviously the gorge is mainly a place to walk and the scenery is lovely. However there are caves you can visit here, but having done Wookey Hole Caves I decided not to spend the extra money. There is a range of quaint little shops and some nice tea rooms where you can relax.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arianasarah866's Profile Photo

    Wookey Hole

    by Arianasarah866 Written Jan 8, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is basically a sequence of caves and a guided tour through them, however the caves are lovely and the rock formations are very interesting. Also the local myths about the witch of wookey hole were fascinating. It is also a paper mill and you can learn about that. There is an old fashioned amusement arcade where you can change modern money into old and play on the machines. Beware the queues in summer as it is a popular tourist attraction!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • englishchris's Profile Photo

    Dunster Beach

    by englishchris Written Sep 11, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the north end of somerset, there is the Bristol Channel, and the "beaches".
    This part of Somerset will remind you of the family holidays you took back in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Things dont change much round here. There is space, fresh air, and countryside, with a timeless atmosphere.

    Was this review helpful?

Somerset Hotels

See all 400 Hotels in Somerset
  • Apsley House Hotel

    One of the finest guest houses in Bath. The ideal place to take someone special for a treat... Not...

    more
  • Wessex

    High Street, Glastonbury, BA16 0EF, United Kingdom

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Couples

  • Best Western Swan Hotel

    There's one thing that makes you feel right at home in a foreign hotel. Someone speaking your very...

    more

Top Somerset Hotels

Weston-Super-Mare Hotels
57 Reviews - 82 Photos
Bath Hotels
915 Reviews - 2013 Photos
Minehead Hotels
23 Reviews - 65 Photos
Glastonbury Hotels
138 Reviews - 436 Photos
Yeovil Hotels
17 Reviews - 10 Photos
Taunton Hotels
17 Reviews - 31 Photos
Cheddar Hotels
29 Reviews - 102 Photos
Wells Hotels
94 Reviews - 316 Photos
Porlock Hotels
34 Reviews - 97 Photos
Wilton Hotels
5 Reviews - 15 Photos
Frome Hotels
6 Reviews - 1 Photo
Dunster Hotels
10 Reviews - 26 Photos
Crewkerne Hotels
1 Hotel
Clevedon Hotels
1 Review - 3 Photos
Bruton Hotels
2 Reviews - 2 Photos

Instant Answers: Somerset

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

Somerset Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Somerset things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Somerset sightseeing.
Map of Somerset