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Somerset, a county nestled in the verdant landscapes of England’s Southwest, beckons travelers with its captivating blend of natural beauty, historic landmarks, and quintessential English charm. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Somerset promises a plethora of experiences to indulge in. I have holidayed in Somerset for many years now and I know it like the back of my hand. So, here’s a curated list of things to do in Somerset, some of my must-visit destinations and activities to make the most of your Somerset sojourn:

1. Glastonbury Tor and Abbey

Why Visit: Delve into centuries of myth and legend at Glastonbury Abbey, believed to be the burial site of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. When you are there you should purchase some of the delicious Mead which is made here.

What to Do: Climb the iconic Glastonbury Tor for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, steeped in mystical allure. The views are amazing and you can often see the Tor in footage of the Glastonbury Festival which is broadcast by the BBC each summer.

Where to Eat: Enjoy a delicious meal in the Hundred Monkeys or you can have something more substantial at the George & Pilgrims or the Crown Hotel

You should also venture into the new age shops which dot the town and enjoy perhaps some meditation at the Goddess Temple.

2. Cheddar Gorge

Why Visit: Explore one of Britain’s most stunning natural wonders, carved by ancient glacial meltwaters. If you only have time to do 3 of these things to do in Somerset then this has to be on your list.

What to Do: Take a guided tour of the Cheddar Gorge & Caves in Cheddar and also at Wookey Hole and sample world-famous Cheddar cheese at nearby creameries. Also, climb the famous Cheddar Gorge for great views of the surrounding areas. Avoid the charges by climbing from Lynch Lane (click here for a map of the starting point) – this brings you to the base of Jacobs Ladder and you can start the climb for free from here. You can see Glastonbury Tor from here and also on a clear day, you can even see Wales. Note that parking and traffic in Cheddar Gorge can be busy so getting to Cheddar early, plus downloading the Parking by Phone smartphone app is recommended.

Where to Eat: There is great food to be had, especially the soups, at the Lions Rock Tea Rooms.

3. Exmoor National Park

Why Visit: Immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of Exmoor’s moorlands, valleys, and coastline. There are some amazing places to visit, and if you are a fan of the Poirot show starring David Suchet, then you should visit Dunster town which starred in one of these episodes. Also, I totally recommend the West Somerset Steam Train which takes you on a great trip to Minehead. This steam train brings you back in time to the age of steam and is a great way to see the countryside. On the way, you will see pheasants, buzzards, and perhaps even a sparrow hawk; as well as the great scenery on the way.

What to Do: Hike scenic trails when you are on the moors, spot wildlife such as red deer and wild ponies, or embark on a stargazing adventure in this designated Dark Sky Reserve.

4. Wells Cathedral and City

Why Visit: Marvel at the stunning architecture of England’s smallest city and its magnificent cathedral, featuring intricate Gothic design. There is also a great farmers market here every Wednesday and Saturday – I recommend the cornbread and the cheeses available here.

What to Do: Explore the historic streets, visit the Wells & Mendip Museum, or attend a concert within the cathedral’s awe-inspiring walls. Wells is also the location for the filming of the movie, Hot Fuzz, so you may see some locations which are familiar – don’t forget to buy a Cornetto.

Where to Eat: The best place which I found in Wells for food is The City Arms in the heart of Wells. I have eaten here a few times and the food has always been 100% Wonderful.

5. Bath

Why Visit: Step back in time in this UNESCO World Heritage city renowned for its Roman baths and elegant Georgian architecture.

What to Do: Soak in the natural thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa, wander through the Royal Crescent and Circus, or indulge in retail therapy at independent boutiques. The town has a number of small boutiques and great eateries. On a recent visit, it was obvious to see how much of an impact the closure of Debenhams has had on the central area. But there is a lot to see in this town – if you love architecture, this is a must-visit.

6. Somerset Levels and Moors

Why Visit: Discover the tranquil beauty of England’s largest wetland area, teeming with diverse flora and fauna.

What to Do: Take a boat trip along the scenic waterways, explore historic villages such as Glastonbury and Muchelney, or go birdwatching in RSPB nature reserves. I recommend the Hamm Bird Reserve because you can park here, walk the bird reserve and then walk on further all the way to Glastonbury – so a great day out and a good walk aos.

Other areas of Interest

If you find yourself around the area of Cross, near Axbridge, I totally recommend the White Hart Inn – check their facebook page for details of the food offerings and opening hours, plus music nights which often happen around the weekends.

From mystical landmarks to scenic countryside, Somerset invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery, where every turn reveals a new facet of its timeless allure. So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and prepare to be enchanted by the treasures awaiting in this charming corner of England.

Map of Locations by Wanderlog

This map was made with Wanderlog, a travel planner on iOS and Android