Somerset Family Walks
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Somerset is such a beautiful and varied county, with so many lovely places to walk with your family. It has the well-known locations such as Glastonbury Tor and Cheddar Gorge, but there are so many other places that are perhaps a little over-looked. I have lived in Somerset for over 20 years. This is the place where I have brought up my children and enjoyed the varied environments that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep. I thought that maybe a blog on some of our family favourites would be helpful to families who are looking for ideas on places to enjoy a walk that doesn't involve hiking over long distances. I hope that you enjoy some of these places as much as my family have over the years.
THE QUANTOCK HILLS
An Area of Outstanding Natural beauty. It is a beautiful place no matter what the season or the weather. The rich browns and yellows in the autumn, the moody skies and dramatic views in the winter, the vivid greens and snowdrops in the spring, and the sunny days and purple heather in the summer. The Quantock Hills are a truly beautiful place.
1) COTHELSTONE HILL
If you are after a walk that has a clearly defined footpath, with a clear start and finish point, then this is a great one. Cothelstone Hill is situated between the villages of Enmore and Bishops Lydeard. Like many places in Somerset, it is steeped in history. A path leads from the small car park to the top of the hill, which takes approx 25 minutes to reach. Once you get to the top, you will be treated to a 360 degree view of the surrounding areas: Blackdown Hills, Somerset Levels, the coastline and Hinkley Power Station sitting on the edge of the Bristol Channel. It is a beautiful place in any weather, but be sure to wear a hat and scarf during inclement weather- it gets windy up there.
2) LYDEARD HILL
Just a bit further, towards West Bagborough, Lydeard Hill is another great place for a family walk. It has a reasonably sized car park with its own stunning views. If you are lucky, you may even see the plumes of steam from the steam trains travelling to and from Bishops Lydeard train station. The walk comprises of both moorland (the heather is in bloom around mid to late August) and woodland. Be sure to take your wellies during wet weather! This is also the home to the Quantock ponies. Enjoy the sight but be sure not to approach or feed them.
If you fancy a bite to eat, take a short drive down the road and you will arrive in West Bagborough. You will see the beautiful Rising Sun on the main road.
Not actually steps at all, but an ancient clapper bridge across the River Barle, near Dulverton, Exmoor. You can either lounge the day away near the bridge, or enjoy the circular walk. We always take a blanket and a picnic and sit on the grass, under the trees by the river. During the summer months there is often an ice-cream van near the bridge (to the delight of my children) plus the Tarr Farm Inn.
BREAN AND BERROW BEACH
Located on the west coast of Somerset, between Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea. Brean and Berrow are part of a 6 mile long stretch of beach. It has a backdrop of grassy dunes (which as a photographer, I just love!). For a fee, you can park on the beach, which I think is great as we seem to pack more for a day on the beach than we do for a 2 week holiday abroad! Near the dunes, the beach is sandy and great for building sandcastles.
Beware though, this is NOT a beach for paddling in the sea. It has a huge tidal range and mudflats that are dangerous. Just stay away from these and enjoy the beach safely.
Forming part of the Jurassic coastline, Kilve is not the easiest beach to walk along as its surface is rocky and uneven, but this is a great place to come it you like searching for fossils. You are able to take a coastal path from this beach, but there are cliff edges so beware.
The shoreline has a flat grassy area before becoming a rocky beach. This area is great for picnics and watching the sunset. My boys have spent hours searching the rock pools looking for crabs and little fish. On a number of occasions they have even found baby eels! The geology of the beach is fascinating and really very striking.
These are just a few of the gems that Somerset has to offer. I hope that you enjoyed looking at (and perhaps visiting) these beautiful places.
Emma at EJ Photography is a family and wedding photographer based in Somerset, UK. If you would like to contact her regarding a photoshoot or business inquiry, she would love to hear from you. www.ejphotography.uk