At just  a few hours outside of London, on the M5 route, Somerset is the easiest way to discover nature and enjoy the South West of England’s countryside on a break from the city with ease.   The great access into the county has enabled the area to become a haven for families of pre-school age children in particular, when looking to take a short UK based holidayPreviously for this group of people a weekend getaway had previously been seen as an absolute impossibility.

What’s on for Families in the County?

Somerset Brings History to Life

 Somerset is a county alive with history, from Wells, the smallest city in England with a magnificent Cathedral to dozens of historic towns and villages.  If you and your family enjoy history, Somerset is the perfect location, allowing you to explore country houses and gardens dating back as far as the Elizabethan era.

Somerset's Mardis Gras !

 The largest illuminated procession in Europe takes place each Autumn in many of Somerset's towns and villages, the famous Somerset Carnivals have to be seen to be believed ! Children gaze in awe and wonder as the streets become alive with music and magic. 

Glastonbury

This world famous music festival is a hub of creativity and activity.  Step away from the main stage and the festival is legendary for its offering of gourmet local foods and child friendly entertainment – just don’t forget to pack the wellies!

 

Fleet Air Museum

The Museum has the largest collection of naval aircraft anywhere in Europe.  You can explore the first Concorde, which many fail to realise is British Built and encourage your child’s thirst for adventure to run riot at the award winning Aircraft Carrier Experience,  where flying comes to life. You’ll ‘fly’ by helicopter to the replica flight deck of the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL. You will be in the heart of the action as powerful jet fighters take off and land around you – noisy fun for brave boys and girls.

Wookey Hole Caves

The Wookey Hole Cave Museum and Exhibition Hall includes the Wookey Hole Time Trail, the history of tourism at the Caves and celebrating 400 years of paper-making at the Paper Mill.Pirates run wild with shows and playzones dedicated to the Pirates of the River Axe.  Pirate Island Adventure Golf is available at an extra cost.

Get into the Countryside

Somerset is full of sweeping countryside and traditional English vistas that have been inspiring artists for centuries.  The majestic Glastonbury Tor stands over the Levels and Moors sweeping and remote, whilst the Forest of Avon Community Forest in North Somerset is a wonderful green environment that comes to life in the spring and summer,  to explore for little adventurers.  Contrasting completely are the farms and cider orchards of Cheddar Gorge and for climbing, Dunkery Beacon, near Exmoor is the perfect option.

Whilst you are enjoying Exmoor, take the opportunity to ride and see Exmoor Ponies at the Exmoor Pony Centre near the beautiful Winsford Hill and Tarr Steps. 

The Westhay Moor Nature Reserve is a haven for birdwatchers in particular, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s main site on the Peat Moors covers more than 100 hectares.  Visit in Autumn to enjoy the miracle of Mermutation, where thousands of starlings fill the trees before setting out for winter.

Ham Hill Country Park is a special treat for a day out.  With superb views of the Somerset Levels, Exmoor and the Mendip Hills, Ham Hill has something for everyone, and you can be safe in the knowledge that a ranger service and free guidebooks are available to help navigate the 400 acre open access country park.  Spot rare plants in the wild flower meadows, tour ancient villages or fly kites across the downs, stopping only to enjoy the local hospitality at one of the many cafes and pubs on the routes.

 Somerset is full of secret areas to explore and experience, like the Tarr Steps National Nature Reserve, the Otter Head Estate and the Dunster Tall Trees trail.  Somerset residents and celebrities like travel expert Alastair Sawday, cricketer Marcus Trescothick, balloonist Andy Elson and Grand Designs presenter, Kevin McCloud have all added their tips to a new free guide designed to help you discover the lesser know corners of the county.

For additional information on food, accommodation and travel throughout Somerset, the Visit Somerset website has independent details of Somerset attractions, hotel reviews, area guides and restaurant and food directories to suit all tastes and budgets, so all you have to concentrate on having a great time.