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Best Walks in Somerset [Tried & Tested]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

If you’re looking for the best walks in Somerset, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve spent countless hours exploring the rolling hills and stunning landscapes of Somerset. And I can assure you, it’s a walker’s paradise. From the dramatic cliffs of the Jurassic Coast to the tranquil beauty of the Quantock Hills, there’s a walk to suit every taste and ability.

In Somerset, you’ll find walks that take you through lush woodlands, past historic landmarks, and into charming villages. And the best part? Each path offers its own unique view of this picturesque English county. So, lace up your walking boots and get ready to discover the best walks Somerset has to offer.

Coastal Walks along the Jurassic Coast

Few experiences can match the thrill of coastal walks on the Jurassic Coast. As I tread along the rugged clifftops, I’m captivated by the panoramic sea views strewn with intriguing glimpses of a prehistoric past. A meandering network of footpaths, the trails here provide a stimulating combination of natural beauty, geological intrigue and rich wildlife.

West Bay to Seatown is a route I strongly recommend.

  • Covering around 6.4km
  • It’s a moderate-level walk
  • Offers stunning views of the English Channel

The pathway follows the distinct Golden Cap, the highest point along the southern coast of Britain. As I ascend, I find myself surrounded by a panorama of ocean and countryside.

Yet another remarkable route is the walk from Lyme Regis to Charmouth.

  • Approximately 5.6km in length
  • Challenging level of difficulty

This walk brings me close to Lyme Bay, prominently known for its large diversity of fossil species. The steep gradients on the way test my endurance, but the opportunity to set foot on these historic landscapes makes it worth the effort.

Embarking upon these walks, I am not merely observing landscapes from afar. I am stepping into a living time capsule that traverses 185 million years of Earth’s history. The open-air museum of the Jurassic Coast, enshrined as a World Heritage Site, becomes an engaging storyteller of the planet’s past. While script for the Somerset walking experience is varied, one thing that rings true no matter the trail is that every step is imbued with a fascinating slice of the deep past.

Hiking Trails in the Quantock Hills

Perched in the heart of Somerset, the Quantock Hills offer a blend of tranquillity and adventure. With their picturesque vistas, compelling history, and serene atmosphere, they’ve become a must-visit for keen walkers. Here, you may find a refreshing escape from city life by immersing yourself in the lush greenery and panoramic views.

Walking through the Quantock Hills, it’s hard to miss the outstanding natural beauty. I can vouch for the colourful heathland, steep wooded combes, and charming farmlands. Moreover, herds of wild red deer and the beautiful Quantock ponies lend a fairy-tale touch to the entire experience.

For instance, we can take a closer look at the Greenway walk. This medium difficulty trek offers exquisite views of the Bristol Channel and Wales. Here, walkers get to experience varied terrains, from open heathland to thickly wooded forests. For anyone looking to connect with nature and savor the thrill of exploration, this is an undeniably enchanting experience.

Those looking for an easier yet equally fulfilling walk ought to consider the Holford Combe Circular Trail. This walk offers a gentle climb and descent, serving up stunning glimpses of historic woodland, waterfalls, and aged landscapes. Plus, legend has it that the hills are steeped in folklore and whispered tales of English romantic poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge, who found inspiration here.

For those seeking a challenge, Dead Woman’s Ditch is the walk for you. It may be a bit more tasking but the sweeping views over the Somerset Levels and Bristol Channel would make the effort worth it.

Going over these routes, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the distinct charm spread across each trail. And the amazing part is, there are unexplored treasures still to be found! The Quantock Hills invite you into a setting where the richness of the past melds with the present-day landscape and its own timeless feel. I hope you’re just as thrilled to experience these Somerset hikes as I am.

Woodland Walks through Somerset’s Lush Forests

As we delve deeper into Somerset’s enchanting landscapes, we’ll discover that Somerset isn’t just about its stunning hills and compelling trails. Delve beneath the green canopy of Somerset’s forests, and you’ll find a world rich in beauty and biodiversity.

Somerset is home to some of Britain’s oldest and most beautiful forests. Stepping into these woodlands is akin to stepping back in time. Hardy ancient trees, some over half a millennium old, stand as silent guardians over diverse ecosystems. These forests have evolved over hundreds of years, fostering an environment teeming with wildlife.

When it comes to variety, few places can match Somerset. From the mystical King’s Wood near Cheddar to the vibrant birdlife of the Selworthy Forest, there’s a forest trail for every nature enthusiast.

King’s Wood is a resplendent forest famed for its towering ancient oak trees and it’s a must-visit for tree lovers. You can stroll beneath the towering oaks, listening to the gentle rustle of leaves and haunts of woodland creatures.

Selworthy Forest, on the other hand, is an ornithologist’s delight. Well known for its diverse bird populations, the forest is a songbird symphony at dawn, their choruses echoing through the undergrowth. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a buzzard or a woodpecker.

Somerset’s lush forests are enchanting at any time of the year. But, they’re especially magical in autumn, when the leaves turn into a riot of reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s stunning tableau, one that I promise you won’t regret seeing.

So, are you ready to tuck your walking boots on and explore the quiet immensity of Somerset’s forests? Trust me, there’s nothing quite like a woodland walk to awaken your senses and make you appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. To truly savour Somerset’s natural wonders, a walk through its forests is just as necessary as a hilltop hike.

Exploring Historic Landmarks on Foot

The charm of Somerset is not confined to its natural splendour. It’s also steeped in rich history, reflected in its multitude of landmarks. An enthralling way to experience this is by exploring them on foot. You’ll find Manor houses, castles, and ancient monuments seamlessly nestled among tranquil landscapes, giving you an awe-inspiring fusion of nature and history.

Dunster Castle serves as a key highlight for any history enthusiast. Isolated atop a bustling village, it’s been a sentinel over the Quantock Hills for more than 1,000 years. While you may need to catch your breath after the uphill climb, the panoramic views and imposing architecture make it worth the hike.

Don’t forget to step into Glastonbury Tor when you’re in Somerset. Standing tall at 158 meters, it’s said to be the home of the legendary King Arthur. Even if you’re not interested in Arthurian legends, the Tor promises stunning Somerset panoramas that’ll captivate any avid walker or photographer.

If you’re an ardent lover of English Literature, stop by the Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey. Once the humble abode of the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, it’s where he penned some of his finest works, including the renowned ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Today, you can saunter around the quaint cottage and immerse yourself in its tranquil surroundings.

These landmarks not only provide fascinating insights into Somerset’s historical narrative but also offer some of the region’s most captivating walks. They’re perfect for pairing with a woodland or Quantock Hills hike, allowing you to explore every facet of Somerset’s charm.

In Somerset, there’s always another trail to tread, always another landmark to explore. No matter how many times you visit, there’s always something new to leave you captivated and yearning for more. So, grab your walking boots and let the journey continue…

Strolling Through Charming Villages

After journeying back in time through Somerset’s historic landmarks, dipping your toes into the county’s quaint villages personifies a whole new experience. Compact, picturesque, and brimming with charm, these villages offer walkers like me an idyllic setting to experience the region’s laid-back lifestyle and unique architecture. Trust me when I say there’s no better way to soak in the essence of Somerset’s verdant landscapes than through these beautiful rural enclaves.

One place that ought to be on every walker’s itinerary is the picture-perfect village of Nunney. It’s renowned for its 14-century moated castle – an exceptional vision against the backdrop of quaint houses and narrow lanes. It’s history at its best intertwined with the tranquillity of village life. Not to forget, the surrounding trails wandering through open fields and woodlands bestow another level of visual treat for hikers.

Yet another enchanting spot is the village of Montacute, boasting a stunning Elizabethan mansion and the quintessential Saint Catherine’s church. Including this in your journey makes it all the more enchanting, and it’s like you’ve stepped right into a grand canvas of the rich English countryside. Plus, it’s a walker’s paradise with numerous footpaths trailing around the village allowing you to explore it’s every nook and corner.

Continuing with the enlightening expedition, Selworthy is another gem worth exploring. Comfortably located in The Holnicote Estate near Minehead, it’s an authentic testament to thatch cottages and cobbled lanes, changing the way you perceive small hamlets. Just a mere stroll in this village feels like a journey back to simpler times with its tranquil ambience and slower pace of life.

Without a doubt, a visit to these charming villages is a must for those truly looking to immerse themselves in Somerset’s natural and architectural splendour. Go experience it – and one thing’s for sure, you’ll be spoilt by the sheer picturesque beauty and historic charm this wonderful county has to offer. Discovering Somerset will be your passport to all things tranquil and beautiful.

My Final Thoughts

I’ve walked you through the picturesque trails of Somerset, introducing you to the county’s quaint villages and their unique charm. With each step, you’ve discovered the rich history and tranquillity that Somerset offers. Whether it’s the moated castle in Nunney, the Elizabethan mansion in Montacute or the thatch cottages in Selworthy, there’s a visual treat awaiting every hiker. It’s not just about the walk, it’s about the journey back in time and the deeper appreciation for Somerset’s beauty. So lace up your boots, it’s time to embark on your own Somerset adventure. Remember, every great walk starts with a single step.


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