Explore the Quantock Hills
View across Taunton Vale
Past Great and Marrow Hills, a large hill-top Bronze Age burial cairn looks over the vale towards Exmoor and the Brendon Hills. Running alongside is the Drove Road, a fabulous beech-lined avenue. It was originally used as a traders’ route, leading along the ridge of the Quantocks to the port at Watchet. The route was especially useful in the winter when the Somerset Levels were impassable.
Riding or walking, the Beacon Hill and Bicknoller Hill are both wonderful routes close to Bashford Lodge. Look out for Trendle Ring, an Iron Age hill-fort on Bicknoller Hill. Both hills are also great places to hear the nightjar, a nocturnal bird, on a balmy summer evening. While towards the east of the Quantocks, legend has it Woodlands Hill and Shervage Wood were once home to ‘Gurt Wurm’, a large dragon. He would come out of hiding to eat sheep… and sometimes even people!
Kilve Beach is just a few miles away and is world-famous for its unique lias and rhaetic rock formations which yield many fossils, especially ammonites. Limestone occurs in bands which readily break into rectangular blocks. These have been widely used for building in the nearby villages.
Somerset has a wealth of places to visit and explore – from the beautiful roman town of Bath to medieval Dunster Castle and the Water Mill only 7 miles away. Montacute House, Barrington Court, Cleve Abbey, Glastonbury Abbey and Coleridge Cottage at Nether Stowey are also well worth a visit.
For an adventure, head deep into Lorna Doone Country and visit the romantic fishing villages of Lynton and Lynmouth and Porlock. Take the Cliff top railway or a walk from National Trust tea rooms at Water’s Meat down by the side of the river is an absolutely beautiful walk with or without the dog, with fresh salmon jumping around the stream.
Garden-lovers should definitely consider visiting the wonderful Hestercombe Gardens and the local pretty Walled Gardens of Cannington.
Clarke’s Village is a large shopping outlet only a 30 minute drive, and is a fantastic place to visit with big brands available at much reduced prices and a range of restaurants.
Taunton is a market town and is a lovely place to visit and shop. There are a number of old cobbled streets, lots of little specialist shops and cafe’s. Vivary Park is beautiful and in the summer come along to see the famous flower show.
Besides the proximity of the coast and the moor, Somerset has so many places to explore and keep all the family amused. Tropiquaria Zoo is a small tropical house and zoo in West Somerset, England. It is located 7 miles from Bagborough and a few miles from Minehead. It is based in a 1930s art deco BBC Radio transmitter hall, which is now a grade 2 listed building. is fantastic petting zoo, ideal for the small members of the family. Exmoor Falconry display at Porlock is also well worth a visit.
The fascinating Wookey Hole Caves are a series of limestone caverns, show cave and tourist attraction in the village of Wookey, near Wells. The River Axe flows through the cave.
Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar, a couple of miles away from Wookey Hole and both provide excellent fun-filled days. Seaquarium at Weston-super-Mare is also well worth a visit with younger children..