From the historic city of Bath to the epic Cheddar Gorge, there are countless amazing places to visit in Somerset. This county is home to some of the most picturesque countryside in all of England, two cities (Bath which is a popular tourist hub and Wells which is the UK’s smallest city), a gorgeous coastline and countless towns and villages.
I reckon you’ll be returning to Somerset time and time again until you’ve ticked off this whole list! However, if it’s your first time in Somerset, I’ve created this huge blog post detailing dozens of amazing spots to visit here.
Grab a cup of tea or a glass of Somerset cider, and start planning your Somerset trip!
Places to visit in North Somerset
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bristol technically isn’t in Somerset, but the Clifton Suspension bridge leads from Clifton Village to North Somerset, and it is an engineering marvel.
Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the early Victorian era, it was created to carry horses and carts – but nowadays, of course, it sees millions of cars each year.
You can walk over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and marvel at the epic Avon Gorge – while Cheddar Gorge is the most famous in Somerset (and is well worth visiting!), there’s something immensely special about this gorge which is located so near the city centre.
If you want a view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, go to the White Lion pub’s terrace – which is one of the best beer gardens in Bristol. This is on the Bristol side, but you can get immense views of the Avon Gorge here.
There are tonnes of things to do in Bristol, which I’ve detailed in my many Bristol posts – it is certainly worth checking out the city and maybe even spending a weekend here while you’re in Somerset.
Tyntesfield is a National Trust property about 20 minutes from Bristol, and one of the best places to visit in Somerset. This Gothic revival house was built in the Victorian era to house a family who had gotten rich thanks to importing guano – which was a Peruvian fertilizer made from bird and bat poo!
While the stately home was only created as a family residence, it is a very extravagant one, and it’s well worth walking around the grand features of the house and visiting the elegant gardens.
Weston Super Mare
While Weston Super Mare certainly isn’t the best beach in the country (it’s actually been voted as the worst on more than one occasion!), it is a popular seaside resort with lots of family-friendly attractions.
If the main beach isn’t appealing to you, you could drive or walk up to Sand Bay which is quieter and much more scenic, with views over the channel into Wales.
In the town centre, there are all the shops you need, as well as a few hotels.
The huge Weston Super Mare pier is impressive, and there are also theme parks like Puxton Park and Funland.
Uphill is a short walk from Weston Super Mare. This small village is the start of The Mendip Way, a 30-mile hike that journeys through the Cotswolds to Frome in East Somerset. The Mendip Way leads through the Uphill Nature Reserve, which is a really charming walk; look out for the fort.
Portishead is one of the best coastal areas close to Bristol. It’s not a huge place, but it does have a picturesque harbour and a small sandy beach, so it’s an ideal day trip from Bristol if you want to enjoy the sea!
Clevedon is another beach near Bristol – it’s a popular place for rock pooling and boat watching, and the Clevedon Pier has been newly refurbished. Ladye Bay is a nearby beach to visit with beautiful golden sands.
Places to visit in Bath and North East Somerset
The historic city of Bath is a must-visit place in Somerset.There are so many things to do in Bath – it’s worth checking out my blog post to see everything that there is to offer! But here are some suggestions to start off.
- The Roman Baths – these are some of the most famous Roman ruins in the country, and there is an attached Roman Museum.
- Bath Abbey – this is a historical building that dates back from the 7th century, but was rebuilt in the 16th century. It’s got an immense amount of history!
- The Georgian Architecture – there are loads of 18th century buildings throughout Bath, so much so that it’s pretty much a Georgian city! Most famous are the Crescent, which is in a crescent form, and the Circus, which is in a perfect circle.
- Pulteney Bridge – this is one of the only Palladian Bridges in the world.
- The Thermae Bath Spa, which makes use of Bath’s natural spring waters.
It’s worth spending a weekend in Bath to get a good feel for the city!
If you want somewhere to visit near Bath, head to Box. This is a small civil parish, but it is home of Box Tunnel, where the Crown Jewels were hidden during WW2 and a 12th century church that was built on England’s second-largest Roman Villa.
Limpley Stoke is a scenic village that is close to Bath. It has a beautiful viaduct and charming nature scenes. You can stay at the Best Western here if you want a countryside break!
Places to visit in Somerset: Sedgemoor and Mendips
Brean is a coastal town with some epic hikes. Make sure that you enjoy Brean Down and its headland! There’s also Brean Leisure Park which is a great spot for all the family to visit. Not too far from Brean is Rich’s Cider Farm, which is a famous orchard and restaurant that cider fans must visit!
Glastonbury is a fascinating town in Somerset with connections to Druids and King Arthur. It’s most famous for Glastonbury Festival, but there are lots of things to do in Glastonbury in normal times!
First up, hike up Glastonbury Tor and wow at the amazing view of the surrounding countryside from the top. You can also try some water at Chalice Well and explore the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.
The high street is another must-visit – there are lots of independent shops here, many with a supernatural theme! And don’t miss the Somerset Rural Life Museum, where you can learn about the importance of Somerset’s countryside and how it is so instrumental to the county, as well as some stories about daily life in Somerset.
Wells may be the smallest city in the UK, but its Cathedral is certainly not modest. It is a fascinating historical gothic building that isn’t very well known. There was a church on the site since 705 AD, but the current Cathedral was built in 1176 – 1450 AD. There is also Vicar’s Close which is lined with historic houses – it’s actually thought to be the oldest residential street in Europe. The charm of the city makes it one of the best places to go in Somerset!
Shepton Mallet is a Somerset-located market town. The best thing to do here is the historic Shepton Mallet Prison; you can do a guided tour around which will teach you about the penal system of the UK and go into its 400 year history.
Cheddar Gorge is one of the best places to visit in Somerset. There are loads of things to do in Cheddar – It’s most famous for being home to the deepest and largest gorge in the country, and it’s ideal for hiking or exploring. Cheddar is also renowned for its caves, and it was here where the remains of Cheddar Man – one of the oldest skeletons found in the country – were found.
Goughs Caves is a stunning stalactite cavern that nowadays is illuminated to show off the natural features. There’s also Dreamweavers which focuses on prehistoric people.
Also, make sure that you spend some time seeing the town itself, walking around the charming buildings and dining in a few of Cheddar’s restaurants. And don’t miss Cheddar Palace, a Saxon abbey which was used in the 10th century.
And, of course, don’t miss trying some authentic Cheddar cheese here – which is potentially the most famous Somerset food!
Blagdon is a small village just a 20 minute drive from Bristol. This village is located in the Northern Mendip Hills area, and it is home to charming streets and a beautiful church, with fields dotted by grazing sheep.
Make sure that you walk around Blagdon Lake and enjoy the stunning nature. From the village, you can get a beautiful view of this lake, so it’s definitely worth visiting both areas.
Nearby is Thatchers Cider Farm, so make sure that you check it out while you’re in the area!
Bleadon is part of the Mendip Way – it is a small village with Bleadon Hill in the background. Bleadon Hill has one of the best views of the whole region!
Priddy is a historic village with ancient buildings, and it is also home of the scenic Three Priddy Droves Walk. It’s only a small place, but if you like small villages it is one of the best places to go in Somerset.
Axbridge is the smallest town in Somerset, and it is famous for its historic buildings such as King John’s Hunting Lodge. This is nowadays a local museum depicting information about the area.
It’s definitely worth doing some hiking while you’re in the Mendip Hills. The 30 mile Mendip Way is a long-distance hiking trail that will enable you to see the best of the region. It starts in Weston Super Mare and goes through Bleadon, Cheddar, and Wells, and ends in Frome.
You can also do other shorter hikes in the region, including Blagdon and Chew Valley Lake, around Cheddar Gorge, Black Down which is the highest peak in Somerset, and Three Priddy Droves.
Places to visit in South Somerset
Yeovil is a large town in South Somerset. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is also known as Thomas Hardy’s Wessex. It has a connection to the leather industry and is famous for glove-making.
You can visit Fleet Air Arm Museum, which is close to the town and is Europe’s most extensive naval aviation collection. There’s so much to see here, and it’s a must-do for any plane fans!
Montacute House is also by Yeovil. This is a country house also run by the National Trust; it is an Elizabethan Renaissance building dating back to 1601.
Somerton is one of the most historic places to visit in Somerset. It was the county town of Somerset – it was actually here that gave Somerset county its name! You can do a virtual tour to learn about Somerton’s history – click here for instructions.
Make sure that you visit the Old Hall, which dates back to 1278, and is where Edward I made Somerton the head of the county. There are also plenty of historical places to visit to learn about the industrial history of the area. Also, have a drink at one of the two pubs – The White Hart and The Globe – which were both Medieval coaching houses.
Bruton is a picturesque rural village that is home to independent shops, quirky architecture and a great food scene for a settlement of its size. Enjoy beautiful community gardens, charming countryside and lovely countryside views in this town.
Castle Cary is a large town with a historic Market House (dating from the 19th century), the George Inn, and the Round House, which dates from the 18th century and is also called ‘the lock up’.
If you visit Castle Cary on a Tuesday, you’ll be able to enjoy the authentic farmer’s market. There are also lots of traditional country pubs in the town.
Ilminster is a historic town with traditional shops, including Dyers which is a draper. There’s also a 15th century Minster with beautiful glass doors. You can also go to the nearby Perry’s Cider Mill to enjoy delicious Somerset cider.
Frome is a lovely town with charming cobbled streets and houses and shops on either side. It prospered during the Wool and Cloth industry, but this declined in the Industrial Revolution. However, its historic buildings make it one of the most popular places to visit in Somerset.
Visit on the first Saturday of each month for one of the biggest markets in Somerset, with lots of Frome produce and Somerset food. Babington House is near Frome – this is another National Trust property and is well worth visiting.
Places to visit in West Somerset
Taunton is the county town of Somerset – it has a historic high street, and you can do a self-guided walking tour that details centuries of history. Taunton Castle is another must-visit – it nowadays houses the Museum of Somerset. Also, don’t miss the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal, which is a scenic place to enjoy the lowland scenery of Somerset.
With ancient woodland and rolling hills, The Quantock Hills are a stunning place to visit in Somerset. You can hike around Staple Plain, which climbs up Beacon Hill and has epic views over Weston Super Mare, Exmoor and into Taunton. Also, try the wooded hill walk, which is an historic place with beautiful nature. You can also hike the Coleridge Trail, which ventures through Somerset and into Exmoor.
Klive Beach is on Somerset’s ancient Jurassic Coast. It is a shingle beach with beautiful cliffs, some of which have fossils that date back to ancient times. You can park at Klive Beach Car Park and walk from here to the beach; you’ll be able to enjoy some incredible views!
Famous for the imposing Dunster Castle, Dunster is one of the best places to visit near Exmoor. This Medieval village has a rich history and is one of the best spots to enjoy rural country life.
Minehead is a popular resort town on the north coast of Somerset. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy various attractions including a historic fishing harbour. There’s a Haven caravan park in Minehead, so it’s a fun place to stay in the summer months.
Places to go in Somerset: Exmoor National Park
Exmoor National Park is an epic area of Somerset where you can enjoy rural living at its finest. Most of the park is in Somerset; however part of it is over the border in Devon. There are loads of things to do in Exmoor, including hiking, admiring the beautiful scenery, and swimming at its beaches.
Porlock is a laid back village in Exmoor and West Somerset. Home to the steepest A road in the country, it is wonderfully scenic and has a relaxed rural atmosphere. Porlock Weir is a coastal hamlet that you can hike to from Porlock, and you’ll see some beautiful scenery on the way.
Dunkery Beacon is the highest point of Exmoor and Somerset. To hike here, you can either park at the car park at the base of the hill or in the nearby village of Wheddon Cross. From here, you can see epic views all over Exmoor and to the coast.
Dulverton is a beautiful market town on the southern edge of Exmoor. It has a 15th century church and a high street full of independent shops. There are also lots of walks in the area.
All of the best places to go in Somerset!
So, whether you want to experience a fascinating history in Bath, see the biggest gorge in the country, or live the traditional country life in one of Somerset’s AONBs, there are so many things to do in Somerset! Or, visit the county’s many market towns to enjoy the enormous range of different ciders. There are so many places to go in Somerset – we bet that you’ll love this country!