Exmoor National Park
The Coleridge Way Cottages are in Exmoor National Park. With its steep-sided valleys, scenic lakes, heather clad moorland, clear flowing rivers and dramatic gorges to the sea. There are numerous activities that can be undertaken: Fishing, riding, walking, mountain biking, jeep safaris to name but a few. Taking the North Hill Road from Minehead there are magnificent views from above Selworthy and Allerford. The delightful scenery should not be missed at Webber’s Post (S.W. of Luccombe), Dunkery Beacon and Landacre Bridge (to the west of Withypool). We recommend also a visit to the town of Dulverton and nearby Tarr Steps, upstream on the River Exe. Vistors Experiences are one day events organised by the Park Authority.
To find out more check the National Park’s website.
West Somerset Steam Railway
We suggest travelling through beautiful Somerset countryside on the historic West Somerset Railway line between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard on trains hauled by steam locomotives. This is the longest private railway in the U.K. The Railway Festivals are extremely popular and attract steam buffs from far and wide.
Click here to visit the website
For enthusiastic walkers we recommend the delights of the many footpaths in the Brendon Hills, including stretches of the Coleridge Way, the nearest point for which is at Roadwater, just 3.5 kilometres away. For more information on walking click here.
Treborough Cross Country Course
The cross country course opened in 2007 and has grown in popularity every since.Treborough offers a wide selection of fences built to test all abilities for rider and horse. A variety of fences designed to encourage bold and safe jumping. Fun for all the family, there are walks available for those who do not wish to ride. Picnics recommended! The fences are designed and built by experienced professional BE course designer and builder Richard Ayre, well known throughout the West Country. Richard has built some of the most popular cross country courses in the South West. More information on horse riding.
The Mineral Line and Incline
The West Somerset Mineral Railway was one of the more unusual of Britain’s minor railways. The line was opened in stages from Watchet on the Somerset coast to Comberow, a hamlet some six miles to the south at the foot of the Brendon Hills. In order to reach the ironstone mines at the top of the hill, to serve which the line had been principally envisaged, an incline was constructed. This was 1100 yards long on a gradient of 1 in 4, lifting the railway 800ft to the top of the hill. Ore was sent to the Ebbw Vale Ironworks in South Wales.
This is our local village (technically a hamlet now) which has the St. Peter’s church. Annually the village gather for the rounders match, normally held in the last Sunday in August. More..
The Quantock Hills are Britain ‘s first area of outstanding natural beauty. The Quantocks are a paradise for keen walkers and photographers. Deer, wild ponies and sheep roam the hillsides and combes and birds are everywhere. August is the time to see heather at its glorious purple best, while in May for example Vinny Combe is a spectacle of colour with its profusion of rhododendrons in bloom. The views from Beacon Hill are truly magnificent when on clear days the River Seven Bridges, the Black Mountains in Wales and Dunkery Beacon, high up on Exmoor may be seen.
In Williton is the Bakelite Museum. Why here? Because some local enthusiast happens to live here. This is the largest collection of Bakelite plastics in the world. A great afternoon. Highly recommended.
Watchet Town and Harbour
The ancient coastal town of Watchet , which is a few minutes away by car, retains much of its old architectural character and charm, seemingly a place where time has stood still.With its two museums, its collection of small shops, including some selling works of art and antiques, its tea-rooms and pubs, its station for the West Somerset Railway, its promenade overlooking the marina crowded with boats, Watchet is a good place to take in the sights and to unwind.
West Somerset coast
The Blue Lias sedimentary rock that occurs in reefs on the beaches between Blue Anchor Bay and Kilve provides ample opportunity to discover fossils. With knowledge gained from tide tables purchased at tackle shops, it is possible to walk safely most of this section of coast at low tide to take in the fascinating geological distortions of the cliff strata. Otherwise there are very pleasant cliff-top paths and cream tea venues at East Quantoxhead and down the lane to the sea at Kilve. There is a lovely sandy beach, with high-tide swimming opportunities in a cove at Home Farm to the east of Doniford.
Minehead Golf Club
Founded in 1882, Minehead and West Somerset is the second oldest club in Somerset. This links course provides a great challenge for golfers of all ages and levels of experience. They also offer a friendly, comfortable clubhouse. There is also an extensive menu available in the dining room. Golf visitors are welcome where you will find their attention to detail, flexibility of particular interest. There is a Pro-Shop and you can develop your game with a course of golf lessons from their PGA qualified professional.
Do not miss a treat and make sure you visit the medieval village of Dunster. The young at heart are likely to enjoy the Dolls Collection at the Memorial Hall by the Yarn Market. The castle and grounds are also worth exploring. Also twice a year they hold county shows in the grounds. Check for dates locally.
Exmoor Falconry & Animal Farm
At this farm at Allerford a wide range of activities are offered as well as the falconry displays.
Approached via the quaint village of Porlock, with its antique shops, picturesque Porlock Weir has a small tidal harbour, a stony beach, several shops, pub, hotel, etc.
Lynmouth and Lynton
No visit to West Somerset is complete without driving on the A39 over Exmoor and the border into Devon to relish the enchantment of Lynmouth, Lynton and Watersmeet and the dramatic cliff-top views over the Bristol Channel at Valley of the Rocks. On route you could have a pleasant time by detouring to discover the Doone Country and Oare Church , made famous in the novel by R D Blackmore.
Combe Sydenham Country Park
The estate, in a hidden Exmoor valley, covers 500 acres that you can walk around to observe unspoilt nature at its best. Exmoor Adventures are based on the estate offer a range of activities including mountain biking, archery and fly-fishing.
A visit to the Abbey, founded in 1198, is very rewarding for anyone interested in history and architecture. Cleeve Abbey is a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey viewed as one of the best-preserved medieval monastic sites in Britain, near Washford mill.
Near to Dulverton, Wimbleball Lake offers sailing, windsurfing at the RYA Training Centre, canoeing, trout fishing, walking and bird watching. You will also find a tea room. For further details call 01398 371460 or visit www.swlakestrust.org.uk Wimbleball is approximately 10 minutes from the Coleridge Way Cottages.
Tropiquaria offers hours of fun with a range of interests for young and old. The basement of the main building has an aquarium; while on the ground floor there are a variety of butterflies, reptiles, small monkeys and free-flying tropical birds. There is also a radio museum and cafe. On the outside there are other animals and birds plus an adventure playground for energetic children.
A great day out when the weather turns nasty. Check out their website for details of their latest attractions.
National Trust Property. Intimate and intriguing Regency house, set in extensive estate, and impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles. The Trust’s largest collection of horse-drawn carriages. Varied collections of eccentric traveller Rosalie Chichester. View Devon’s largest colony of lesser horseshoe bats via the ‘bat-cam’ (May to August). Charming Victorian pleasure grounds. Home to Jacob sheep, red deer and peacocks. Carriage rides around the grounds.
Killerton National Trust Property
Broadclyst, Nr. Exeter, Devon EX5 3LE. Tel: 01392 881345
Fine 18th-century house with costume collection, hillside garden and estate. Home to the ‘Paulise de Bush’ costume collection, with over 9,000 outfits. Delightful hillside garden featuring rhododendrons, magnolias, and rare trees. Stunning parkland walks all year round Home-cooked, good quality regional food in tea-room and restaurant Plant centre selling produce grown in peat-free compost.
Knightshayes Court National Trust Property
Bolham, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7RQ. Tel: 01884 254665
Victorian country house with richly decorated interiors and garden with outstanding plant collection. Designed by the eccentric William Burges. Splendid Romantic and Gothic-style interiors. Celebrated gardens with lily pools, floral borders, amusing topiary and walled kitchen garden. Rare shrubs and specimen trees give vivid autumn colours. Newly restored and fully productive walled kitchen garden.
Torre Cider Farm – Washford
Take a tour around the site and watch us making cider the way it was meant to be made. We sell all of our products in the shop at Torre Cider Farm so go ahead and treat your self to a tub of cream or a barrel of cider. Torre Cider Farm is open all year round to the public and is free to enter, we offer a great day out and cater for all ages. We have a shop and a completely refurbished tearoom and kitchen. We serve hot and cold meals all day and every day, with cream teas being a specialty.
Waverley and Balmoral Pleasure Steamers
Cruise along the Exmoor Coastline or across to Lundy Island. (May-October.) WAVERLEY is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. Magnificently restored with towering funnels, timber decks, gleaming varnish and brass. See and hear the mighty engines – they will provide a whiff of nostalgia for some but are sure to impress all! Enjoy a cruise aboard BALMORAL, beautifully maintained with restored period lounges and unrivalled access to the stunning scenery of some of the most picturesque parts of the UK’s coastline.
Washford Station Railway Museum.
Washford Station is the first station on the ‘extension’ from Watchet to Minehead and is different in style from the buildings of the earlier line. The station opened in 1874 and unlike some of the other stations on the line is in the village it serves. The station is now home to the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust who have set up a museum and workshop on the site of the old Goods shed and yard demolished by British Railways in the 1960s.
Tarr Steps, Nr. Winsford.
Ancient Clapper Bridge. Tarr Steps Woodland National Nature Reserve woods are owned by Exmoor National Park Authority. The reserve covers 33 hectares comprising fast flowing, clear waters in a wooded valley of the River Barle. The ancient clapper bridge on Exmoor known as Tarr Steps has been a favourite with visitors for many years.
Doone Valley, Exmoor.
The inspiration for the novel Lorna Doone by R.D Blackmore.
Kilve – fossil collecting and Kilve Beach
Similar to Quantoxhead, Kilve is another location for collecting ammonites and Reptile remains. Vertebrae’s are as common here as ammonites. Another location set in tranquil surroundings, and ideal for all the family to enjoy.