10 summer activities in Somerset
Looking for something to do this summer in Somerset? Here are 10 of the best activities going on in our region over the season.
1. Go for a walk around Cheddar Gorge!
Formed over the last 1.2 million years by water released from melting glaciers in the last Ice Age, Cheddar Gorge was recently voted one of the best natural wonders in Britain and it’s clear to see why. With an impressive depth of 449ft, a near vertical clifface in places and an array of fascinating caves, the gorge is an awe-inspiring place to visit. It’s also full of history: it was here that the Cheddar Man was discovered; one of the oldest skeletons ever found in Britain, estimated to be over 9000 years old. Featuring an array of showcaves, cafes and shops, Cheddar Gorge has something to pique the interest of everyone in the family!
2. Play crazy golf on Weston super Mare beach
Crazy golf and the seaside are inseparable. In Weston-super-Mare, on the promenade near Knightstone Island, there is a crazy golf range that is a closely guarded secret amongst the locals, and regarded as one of the best in the county. Reasonably priced, with close to 20 challenging holes, and even the chance of winning a free game, this crazy golf range makes a great addition to any family day out at the seaside.
3. Visit Glastonbury Tor and Abbey
One of the most mysterious features on the Somerset landscape, Glastonbury Tor is well worth a visit on a summer day if you don’t mind getting some exercise. Originally the tor had a church dedicated to St. Michael, but only the tower stands today: the rest of the building was destroyed first by an earthquake in the 13th century and then by the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. Worth a visit if you want some breathtaking views of the Somerset Levels!
4. Pick some blackberries!
A family activity for the end of the summer months, Somerset’s hedgerows can be found bursting with juicy blackberries towards the end of August. Picking them is a popular yearly ritual for lots of families in the region. Blackberries are great for baking in pies, making jam with or just eating as a snack! When harvesting make sure you’re completely certain you’re picking a blackberry and not some other berry, and wear gloves: the blackberry bush has thorns! A curved walking stick can help you to reach fruit on higher branches too!
5. Explore the Mendips and Quantocks
There’s a wealth of natural beauty, as well as interesting history, to explore in the Mendip Hills and Quantock Hills. Whether it’s showing your children the fascinating Roman mine workings at Charterhouse on the Mendips, or having a picnic on Ham Hill on the Quantocks, there’s sure to be something to pique the interest of your family in our beautiful Somerset landscapes.
6. Visit the Sand Sculpture Festival!
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the seaside, and especially the beach. The Weston-super-Mare sand sculpture festival is a breathtaking showcase of this traditional art form; with a range of intricate sculptures crafted from sand to marvel at.
7. Sample some world famous Somerset strawberries
The Cheddar area is renowned across the country for the quality of its strawberries. On the gentle slopes of the Mendips, strawberries have been grown for hundreds of years. Roadside stalls selling strawberries are a familiar sight to anyone who lives in the Mendip region. Before summer is out, make sure that you get your family to try some of the strawberries that Somerset is famous for: they go great with sugar and cream.
8. Take a day trip to Steepholm Island!
A remarkable island sitting in the Bristol Channel a couple of miles off the coast of Weston-super-Mare, Steepholm is now a nature reserve but for hundreds of years was actually inhabited by humans. In the Victorian period the island was heavily fortified and the ruins of gun emplacements, forts and barracks dot the two mile stretch of island to this day making it a fascinating place to visit if you’re family likes history. The island is also home to rare species of plants and birds. Boats run from Weston in summer every weekend: book early to avoid disappointment.
9. Go to Cheddar Car Boot Sale
If you’re willing to get up early on a Sunday morning, all in the name of grabbing a good bargain, Cheddar Car Boot could be for you. The sale is held in Winchester Farm, just outside of Cheddar every Sunday from 6am. It’s one of the largest, and best, car boot sales in Somerset, featuring a huge array of stalls selling everything from toys and clothes to vinyl records and lawnmowers. It’s the perfect place to take your family on a summer day-out!
10. Taste some authentic Somerset cider at a cider festival
Summer sees a whole host of cider festivals spring up around the county. Authentic, proper cider is something that Somerset is famed for across the world. Traditional cider making techniques are still employed in various small businesses across the county including Rich’s cider in Highbridge, Thatchers in Sanford and Wilkies in Wedmore. Summer is the perfect time to get out and taste Somerset’s heritage!