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Glastonbury

30 Best Things To Do In Somerset [Tried & Tested]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

If you are looking for the best things to do in Somerset, here’s my ultimate guide on everything the county has to offer, sharing my own experiences and opinions along the way.

Somerset holds a dear place in my heart.

From childhood holidays spent exploring its countryside to weekends away as an adult, this corner of England always delights me.

Rolling hills, ancient ruins steeped in legend, and some of the friendliest folk you’ll find – Somerset has it all.

This article is for:

  • Explorers seeking authentic Somerset experiences.
  • Families looking for activities suitable for all ages.
  • History buffs eager to uncover the region’s rich heritage.
  • Nature enthusiasts longing for scenic landscapes and outdoor adventures.

Historical Wonders in Somerset

Glastonbury Abbey

To me, Glastonbury Abbey isn’t just a set of beautiful ruins; there’s a tangible sense of magic in the air.

Maybe it’s the tales of King Arthur or the site’s ancient spiritual significance, but the atmosphere here is unique.

I always take extra time to wander among the remaining arches, imagining the Abbey in its full glory.

Wells Cathedral

Walking into Wells Cathedral always takes my breath away.

The sheer scale of it with its towering arches and intricate stonework leaves me feeling humbled.

I find the astronomical clock, one of the oldest mechanisms of its kind, particularly captivating.

You can spend hours here and still notice new details.

The Roman Baths (Bath)

You can almost hear the whispers of Roman patrons as you walk around the remarkably preserved Roman Baths.

I love the audio guide which brings the whole place to life, transporting you back in time.

It’s fascinating to think these same waters have been used for relaxation and bathing for centuries.

The Bishop’s Palace (Wells)

A trip to Wells wouldn’t be complete without venturing into the Bishop’s Palace.

While the palace itself, with its grand rooms and portraits, is worth the visit, it’s the gardens that steal my heart.

Swans gliding across the moat, vibrant flower beds, and the sense of peace – I could linger here all afternoon.

Explore Charming Towns & Villages

Bath

Bath lives up to its reputation.

The honey-colored Georgian buildings seem to glow in the sunlight.

A walk along the Royal Crescent is a must – I feel like I’ve stepped straight into a Jane Austen novel.

And, of course, soaking in the rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa is the ultimate indulgence while in Bath.

Dunster

This picture-perfect medieval village never fails to charm me.

Dunster Castle dominates the skyline, and it’s easy to imagine knights and battles of the past.

I have a soft spot for the old-fashioned yarn market and find that I always leave with more yarn than I intended!

Don’t forget to treat yourself to a cream tea in one of the village tearooms.

Frome

Frome is the kind of place I could see myself living.

Its cobbled streets, artisan shops, and thriving arts scene are a breath of fresh air.

Their independent Sunday market is a Somerset institution, bustling with vintage treasures, delicious street food, and local crafts – I always find something unique there.

Glastonbury

I know Glastonbury for the Abbey and the famous music festival, but the town itself deserves attention.

It has a bohemian energy that I love.

There’s no shortage of quirky shops selling everything from healing crystals to tarot cards, and its cafes serve up delicious veggie food.

There’s a reason this town has a special place in the hearts of spiritual seekers.

Glastonbury Tor

The walk up Glastonbury Tor might leave me a bit breathless, but the 360-degree views of Somerset from the top make it absolutely worth it.

I try to visit on a clear day when you can see for miles across patchwork fields and villages.

I enjoy bringing along a picnic lunch to savor at the summit – it’s the perfect spot for it.

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is a testament to the raw power of nature.

Towering limestone cliffs, winding roads, and those famous caves – it’s a spectacular place.

For a real adventure, I try venturing deeper into Gough’s Cave.

The dazzling stalactites and stalagmites, formed over millions of years, remind me how small we are in the grand scheme of things.

Exmoor National Park

I feel a sense of freedom when I’m in Exmoor.

The wild ponies roaming the heather-topped hills, the expansive moorland stretching as far as the eye can see, and the sense of rugged beauty – it’s my happy place.

Exmoor has miles of hiking trails, and my favorite thing is to map out a route and spend a day immersed in nature.

Quantock Hills

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you know the Quantocks won’t disappoint.

I love the combination of wooded valleys, rolling hills, and the dramatic coastline.

There are more gentle walks here, perfect if I’m looking for something less strenuous than Exmoor.

The views from the hilltops out towards the sea are simply incredible.

Fun For All Ages

Wookey Hole Caves

Wookey Hole always sparks a sense of childlike wonder in me.

The caves themselves are an incredible underground world, and I’m a sucker for the slightly cheesy boat trip complete with the story of the Witch of Wookey Hole.

While it’s geared slightly towards kids, I still find the geological formations and the whole experience amazing.

Haynes International Motor Museum

Petrolheads, this one’s for you!

But even if you’re not a die-hard car enthusiast like my partner, there’s something for everyone.

Haynes has a brilliant collection of cars, from vintage classics to Formula 1 speedsters.

I secretly enjoy the nostalgic displays of everyday family cars from decades past – it brings back memories!

Fleet Air Arm Museum

As a history buff, the Fleet Air Arm Museum is one of my Somerset highlights.

Their collection of historic aircraft is outstanding, and seeing the iconic Concorde up close is a real thrill. 

There’s a great interactive element here that makes it fun for adults and kids alike.

Brean Theme Park

Brean Theme Park guarantees a classic, fun-filled day out that makes me feel like a kid again.

The mix of thrilling rides, silly sideshows, and classic seaside arcades offers something for everyone.

I have a weakness for the log flume on a warm day – getting splashed is half the fun!

Unique Experiences

West Somerset Railway

Hopping aboard the West Somerset Railway feels like stepping back in time.

The heritage steam trains, the beautifully preserved stations, and the chugging train winding through the countryside – it’s pure nostalgia.

I always try to get a seat by the window and wave at passersby, feeling like a character in a children’s book.

Cider Tasting

You can’t truly experience Somerset without sampling its famous cider.

There are countless traditional cider farms across the county, each with its own character.

I love doing a proper tour, learning about how cider is made, and of course, tasting plenty of different varieties.

Some of those farmhouse ciders are seriously strong!

Willow Weaving Workshops

Somerset has a rich tradition of willow weaving, and I decided to get my hands dirty and try it for myself.

Learning to weave my own basket, even a simple one, was incredibly rewarding.

The rhythmic nature of it was quite meditative, and I still use my misshapen but much-loved basket to this day.

Stargazing on Exmoor

Exmoor’s low light pollution means stargazing here is something special.

On a cloudless night, the sheer number of stars visible is mind-blowing.

I like to wrap up warm, spread a blanket out on the moorland, and just marvel at the vastness of space.  

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of the Milky Way.

Glastonbury Festival

Okay, this isn’t for everyone, and it only happens once a year, but if you can get your hands on a ticket, the Glastonbury Festival is an experience like no other!

While the music is obviously the main draw, it’s the whole atmosphere – a vibrant and slightly chaotic mini-city springing to life in the Somerset fields.

I’ve made some of my best memories (and some slightly hazy ones!) at Glastonbury.

Hot Air Balloon Flight

For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, taking a hot air balloon ride over Somerset has to be up there.

Floating peacefully over the rolling countryside as the sun rises is a magical feeling.

And the views… simply unforgettable.

Traditional Pub Lunch

Sometimes, the most unique experiences are the simple ones.

There’s nothing quite like tucking into a hearty Sunday roast at a cozy, centuries-old Somerset pub.

If I happen to be near a pub with a crackling fireplace and a resident dog, that’s even better.

A Quirky Airbnb Stay

Somerset has some incredible Airbnbs.

I’ve stayed in converted shepherd’s huts, cozy treehouses, and even a beautifully restored vintage train carriage!

Ditching the generic hotel for a more unique stay adds an extra layer of adventure to any Somerset trip.

Explore the Somerset Levels

This area of wetlands might not be top of everyone’s list, but I find there’s a quiet, atmospheric beauty to the Somerset Levels.

Walking or cycling along the nature trails, spotting abundant birdlife, and watching the sun set over this watery landscape – it’s an experience that lets me appreciate the less flashy side of Somerset.

Cheese Tasting at Cheddar

It wouldn’t be right to visit Somerset without indulging in some proper Cheddar cheese, right at the source.  

There are several places within Cheddar Gorge where you can learn about the cheesemaking process and sample different varieties.

I love finding that perfect cave-aged cheddar with just the right amount of sharpness!

Watch a Somerset Cricket Match

For a taste of classic English life, watching a cricket match is a must. Somerset County Cricket Club has a home ground in Taunton, and if you can snag a ticket, it’s a delightfully relaxed way to spend an afternoon.

Even if you don’t understand the rules of cricket, there’s something quintessential about watching the game amidst the gentle English countryside.

Wild Swimming

Somerset has some beautiful wild swimming spots.

The rivers, lakes, and hidden pools scattered throughout the county offer refreshing dips surrounded by nature.

Now, the water can be chilly, but the sense of exhilaration (and bragging rights!) afterward is worth it.

A Spa Day

Somerset offers some fantastic spa options to escape the everyday and pamper yourself.

Whether you go for a luxury spa hotel experience or a simple treatment at a local salon, taking time for relaxation is essential to any good holiday.

And who doesn’t love a massage?

Foraging for Wild Delights

If you’re visiting in season, foraging for wild foods can be a fun way to connect with the landscape.

Somerset offers up blackberries in late summer, wild garlic in spring, and mushrooms in autumn (although please be sure to properly identify anything before eating!).

Joining a guided walk with an expert forager is the best way to experience this safely.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you crave history and legend, crave the buzz of quirky towns, yearn to immerse yourself in nature, or simply want a fun-filled getaway, Somerset has it all.

This corner of England is bursting with experiences – from the iconic to the unexpected.

My advice?

Get out there, explore, try something new, and let Somerset work its special magic on you. You won’t be disappointed.


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