Within walking distance of the house the golden sands of Burnham-Berrow-Brean beach stretch for 7 miles. Burnham is 3 ½ miles to the south and Brean Down 3 ½ to the north of Berrow beach. Brean Down is a headland sticking out into the Bristol Channel owned by the National Trust. Great views from the top, interesting ruins of fort at the far end and a good café at the bottom.
We are very close to the holiday resort of Brean. Brean Leisure Park with its rides and amusements, Brean Splash with its swimming pool and Brean Play with its indoor play area devoted to children 11 and under are just a 15-minute walk or quick bus or car ride away. Animal Farm with its animals and play barn is another Brean attraction about 2 miles away it has plenty of parking.
Just 3 miles away Burnham-on-Sea is a traditional small seaside town with pubs, cafes, shops, amusements, fish and chips and restaurants. The town claims to have the shortest pier in the UK and it has a quirky wooden lighthouse on the beach.
Cheddar Gorge is just 20 minutes away. It is a beautiful wild landscape with its high cliffs and boulder strewn valley. You can just enjoy the drive up and down the Gorge or stop for the full Cheddar experience. Visit the caves, climb up Jacobs Ladder to the viewing point at the top of the Gorge and take a bus ride up the Gorge. A little further on into the Mendip Hills you will find Wookey Hole where you can visit the recently extended cave complex, dinosaur valley and an excellent circus show (holidays only).
Wells | Glastonbury | Street
Wells is the smallest city in England it has a beautiful Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. There is a market on Wednesday and Saturday. Don’t miss Vicars Row an ancient cobbled street linked to the Cathedral by a bridge. Glastonbury is close by, if you enjoy walking and a view then climbing the Tor is a must. The town itself has lots of unusual and interesting shops, places to eat and the Abbey ruins and the Rural Life Museum both worth visiting. Street is right next door to Glastonbury and is the home of the Clarks shoe museum and Clarks Village. Clarks Village is a popular outlet centre with a large variety of shops.
Taunton | Hestercombe Gardens | West Somerset Railway
Taunton is the county town of Somerset and has a good shopping centre and lots of good restaurants cafes and tearooms. The Somerset Museum in the castle has recently been modernised and is well worth a visit. Hestercombe Gardens just outside Taunton are magnificent, there is a wonderful Georgian landscaped park to walk around, a small garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll and an ornate patterned garden at the front of the house. Just down the road from Hestercombe is Bishops Lydeard, home of the West Somerset Railway. You can pick up a steam or diesel train here or anywhere along the line and travel to Watchet, Dunster and Minehead.
Bristol | Clevedon | Tyntesfield
Bristol is a vibrant and busy city just 45 minutes away. Lots to see, take a boat trip round the old docks, climb aboard the SS Great Britain built by Brunel, visit the zoo, look at the wonderful Clifton suspension bridge also built by Brunel. After all that enjoy a snack, meal or drink in one of the many places to eat and drink in the city. Returning from Bristol, stop in Clevedon to take a walk on its well preserved Victorian pier or visit Tyntesfield. Tyntesfield is a magnificent Victorian house and gardens owned and renovated by the National Trust.
The easiest way to reach Bath is to catch a train from Weston, if your are lucky it could go straight through but on most trips you have to change in Bristol. To drive there it takes about an hour and parking can be difficult. Once there it is amazing, the tourist buses are good as you can jump off and on at various places of interest. The Roman baths match anything similar in Italy, the regency architecture is beautiful and there are lots of museums and places of interest to stop at. Food and shops are good too.
Beautiful villages and small towns with buildings built from limestone they are just as pretty as the Cotswolds and well worth taking time to drive or walk around. The Fleet Air Arm Museum and Haynes Motor Museum are in this area and both have exceptional collections and provide a great day out for everyone. There are a number of historic houses and gardens including Forde Abbey and Montacute House both have good tea rooms. It is worth making a detour to visit Somerset Distillery and Burrow Hill Cider and Brown and Forrest Smokery, restaurant and shop.
The Quantocks | Dunster | Exmoor
Go west from Bridgwater and you come to the wooded hills of the Quantocks. It’s worth stopping and exploring this area and if time allows visit Kilve beach which has rocks full of fossils. Cleeve Abbey and Coleridge’s Cottage are in this area. A little bit further on is the pretty village of Dunster with its castle at the top of the hill and it is one of the gateways to Exmoor. Exmoor is wild and beautiful, if you have the time and the weather is with you a day spent in this National Park will be wonderful.
Things To Do
From the house you can walk down to the beach and then 3 ½ miles up the beach to Brean Down or 3 ½ miles down the beach to Burnham passing the lighthouse on the way. The national coast path runs along Burnham-Berrow-Brean beach then north over the Ax to Weston or south over the Brue to Bridgwater and beyond. There are lots of other walks in the area climb up Brent Knoll and enjoy spectacular views to Glastonbury and over Bridgwater Bay. Explore the Mendips using the Mendip Way which starts at Uphill going past Crooks Peak and onwards through the hills to Frome, or try a circular walk from Charterhouse, Ebor Gorge or Burrington Combe. There are other walks along the Strawberry line or through the Levels.
The RSPB and Somerset Wildlife Trust have a number of reserves in this area including Ham Wall in the Levels where cranes have been successfully reintroduced. Locally walking up the lanes and byways you can regularly spot Herons, ducks, swans, moorhens and coots and if you’re lucky an egret. Buzzards, kestrels and sparrow hawks patrol the skies and there are lots of smaller birds including warblers in the summer and redwing and fieldfare in the winter.
This is a great area for cycling. There are off road cycle paths along our beach and onto Uphill and Weston. Local disused railway lines the Strawberry Line and the old Glastonbury Line through the Somerset Levels encourage cyclists. For those wanting something more testing then the road up through Cheddar Gorge and onwards is worth a try.