Geographically located in the heart of South West England, Somerset is a county steeped in natural beauty, rich history, and charming rural towns. It can be one of the top destinations to visit because of several top things to do in Somerset.
From the rolling hills of the Mendips to the stunning coastline of the West Country, Somerset is a destination that offers something for everyone. With a rich agricultural heritage, the county is also home to some of the best local produce in the country, making it a paradise for foodies.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Somerset such a special place to visit and guide you through the top things to do in Somerset – one of the most beautiful corners of England.
Adventurous things to do in Somerset
From soaring through the treetops on a zip line to exploring the depths of a cave system, there are plenty of adventurous things to do in Somerset to get your heart racing. But Somerset isn’t just for the hardcore adventurers – there are also plenty of options for those looking to try something new and exciting.
We take a closer look at the top thrilling things to do in Somerset, so you can experience the best that this county has to offer.
Go Ape at Bedgebury Pinetum
Located in the heart of the High Weald of Kent, Go Ape at Bedgebury Pinetum is an adventure park that offers a range of adrenaline-pumping activities. From zip lines and treetop walks to Tarzan swings and rope bridges, there are many things to do in Somerset for everyone at this exciting attraction.
Caving at Wookey Hole
Wookey Hole Caves is a network of limestone caves that stretches for over 3 miles beneath the Mendip Hills. The caves are home to various underground lakes, waterfalls, and rock formations, making them fascinating places to explore.
But for those looking for a more adventurous experience, there are also caving tours that will take you off the beaten track and into some of the more challenging sections of the caves to enjoy the best things to do in Somerset.
Kayaking at Cheddar Reservoir
Cheddar Reservoir is a man-made lake that offers some of the best kayaking in Somerset. With calm waters and stunning scenery, it’s the perfect place to try your hand at this exciting water sport.
There are a number of rental companies in the area that offer kayaks and other equipment, as well as guided tours for those who want to explore the lake with an experienced guide.
Mountain Biking in the Mendips
The Mendip Hills are a range of limestone hills that offer some of the best mountain biking in the UK. With a range of trails for all skill levels, from easy family-friendly routes to challenging downhill tracks, there are several things to do in Somerset for everyone in this beautiful part of Somerset.
Hot Air Balloon Ride over Bath
For a more serene but no less exhilarating experience, why not take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride over the historic city of Bath? With stunning views of the city’s iconic architecture and surrounding countryside, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with lasting memories.
Relaxing things to do in Somerset
Somerset is a county that boasts an abundance of natural beauty and tranquility. With its rolling hills, picturesque countryside, and stunning coastline, it’s the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and unwind in a peaceful setting.
From idyllic walks through scenic landscapes to indulgent spa treatments and peaceful meditation classes, Somerset offers a range of relaxing things to do in Somerset for those looking to rejuvenate and recharge. Let’s guide you through the top relaxing things to do in Somerset, so you can unwind and soak up the peaceful atmosphere of this enchanting county.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Experience the stunning beauty of Somerset from a unique perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. As you drift above the rolling hills and idyllic countryside, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and relaxation like no other.
Pamper yourself with a luxurious spa day at one of Somerset’s many spas and wellness centers. It offers many indulgent massages and rejuvenating facials to peaceful meditation sessions and invigorating yoga classes to unwind and de-stress.
Take a stroll along the stunning coastline of Somerset, where you can breathe in the fresh sea air and admire the breathtaking views. The South West Coast Path offers miles of picturesque walking routes, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Gardens and Parks
Visit one of Somerset’s many beautiful gardens and parks, such as the Hestercombe Gardens or the Forde Abbey Gardens. Take a peaceful stroll through the landscaped gardens and enjoy the colorful flora and fauna to enjoy the top things to do in Somerset.
Climb to the top of Glastonbury Tor and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This ancient site is steeped in history and mythology, making it the perfect place to reflect and unwind in a peaceful setting.
Canal Boat Trip
Take a relaxing canal boat trip along the beautiful waterways of Somerset. As you glide through the picturesque countryside, you’ll feel a sense of calm and tranquility that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Explore Somerset’s stunning countryside on horseback, with a range of horse riding tours and experiences available throughout the county. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside as you trot along scenic bridleways and winding country lanes, among top things to do in Somerset.
For those who find peace in nature, Somerset offers a range of fishing opportunities in its rivers, lakes, and canals. Take a peaceful day trip to one of the county’s many fishing spots, where you can sit back and relax while waiting for your next catch.
Family-friendly things to do in Somerset
With its stunning countryside, vibrant towns, and fascinating history, Somerset is a destination that has something to offer for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing day out with the family, Somerset has a range of family-friendly attractions that are sure to delight.
From exploring castles and museums to getting up close with wildlife and enjoying the great outdoors, there’s no shortage of things to do in Somerset with the kids.
Let’s look at the top family-friendly things to do in Somerset, so you can make the most of your family holiday in this beautiful county.
Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions
Explore the stunning natural wonder of Wookey Hole Caves, with a range of underground chambers and tunnels that will thrill both adults and children alike. The attraction also boasts a range of other activities, including a 4D cinema, circus show, and mirror maze.
Cheddar Gorge and Caves
Discover the incredible geological history of Cheddar Gorge, with its towering cliffs and fascinating cave systems. Take a guided tour of the caves, enjoy a rock-climbing adventure, or take in the stunning views of the Somerset countryside from the top of the gorge.
Longleat Safari Park
Get close and personal with a range of exotic animals at Longleat Safari Park, with over 1,000 animals to see, including lions, tigers, and giraffes. The attraction also features a range of other things to do in Somerset, including boat rides, a jungle cruise, and a hedge maze.
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Explore the fascinating world of aviation at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, with a range of exhibits and interactive displays that will keep children of all ages entertained. The museum boasts over 100 aircraft on display, including fighter jets, helicopters, and vintage planes.
Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Take a walk or bike ride through the stunning scenery of the Mendip Hills, with miles of footpaths and bridleways to explore. The area also boasts a range of family-friendly activities, including pony trekking, caving, and rock climbing.
Discover the fascinating history of Glastonbury Abbey, one of the most important religious sites in England. Explore the abbey ruins, which date back to the 7th century, and learn about its connection to the legend of King Arthur.
West Somerset Railway
Take a step back in time and enjoy a ride on the West Somerset Railway, a heritage railway that runs through some of the country’s most stunning scenery. The railway offers a range of special events throughout the year, including a Santa Special at Christmas and a Halloween Ghost Train.
So, exploring it is one of the most worthwhile things to do in Somerset.
Romantic things to do in Somerset
With its idyllic countryside, picturesque coastline, and quaint villages, Somerset is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful countryside retreat, a romantic coastal stroll, or a luxurious spa break, Somerset has something to offer for every couple. Here we guide you through the top romantic things to do in Somerset, so you can create unforgettable memories with your loved one.
Stargazing at Exmoor National Park
Escape the city lights and take your loved one on a romantic stargazing adventure at Exmoor National Park. With some of the darkest skies in the country, Exmoor is the perfect place to witness the wonders of the universe. Plus, with cozy pubs and charming B&Bs nearby, you can make a whole weekend out of your stargazing experience.
Walking hand in hand at Cheddar Gorge
Take a romantic stroll through one of Somerset’s most iconic natural wonders, Cheddar Gorge. With its dramatic cliffs, winding paths, and stunning views, Cheddar Gorge offers the perfect setting for a romantic walk. Plus, with plenty of charming pubs and cafes nearby, you can take a break and refuel with some delicious local produce.
Spa day at Thermae Bath Spa
Indulge in some pampering with your loved one at Thermae Bath Spa, a luxurious spa that harnesses the natural hot springs of Bath. Relax in the rooftop pool and take in the stunning views of Bath’s skyline, or book a couples’ massage for the ultimate romantic experience.
Picnic at Glastonbury Tor
Pack a picnic and head to the top of Glastonbury Tor for a romantic afternoon with your loved one. With breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and a mystical atmosphere, Glastonbury Tor is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some quality time together.
Dinner at The Pig near Bath
For a romantic dining experience, head to The Pig near Bath, a stunning restaurant that prides itself on using only the freshest local produce. With a cozy atmosphere, delicious food, and stunning surroundings, The Pig is the perfect place for a romantic meal with your loved one.
Social things to do in Somerset
Somerset is a county that prides itself on its sense of community and social spirit. From bustling market towns to quaint rural villages, there’s always something going on in Somerset. Whether you’re looking to meet new people, indulge in some delicious food and drink, or enjoy some live music and entertainment, Somerset has plenty of options for socializing and having fun. Let’s take a closer look at the top social things to do in Somerset, so you can make the most of your visit and experience the county’s famous hospitality.
Visit a local pub
Somerset is home to some of the best pubs in the country, with many offering delicious local food, traditional ciders, and live music. Head to The Pig Near Bath for a luxurious dining experience, or try The Rose and Crown in Huish Episcopi for a cozy pub atmosphere and tasty food.
Attend a farmers’ market
With a rich agricultural heritage, Somerset is renowned for its delicious local produce. There are many farmers’ markets throughout the country, where you can sample and buy fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, and more. The Wells Farmers’ Market, held on the first Saturday of every month, is a popular choice.
Go to a music festival
Somerset is home to several fantastic music festivals throughout the year, including the world-famous Glastonbury Festival. Other popular festivals include the Frome Festival, which celebrates arts, music, and culture, and the Watchet Music Festival, which is held on the stunning West Somerset coast.
Visit a cultural event
Somerset is rich in history and culture, and there are many events throughout the year that celebrate this. The Bath Literature Festival, held in February, attracts famous authors and literary enthusiasts from around the world, while the Wells Festival of Literature in October offers talks, workshops, and book signings.
Join a community group
Somerset has a strong sense of community, and there are many groups and clubs throughout the county that offer the chance to meet new people and make friends. From walking groups to gardening clubs, you can engage in plenty of things to do in Somerset. The Somerset Wildlife Trust is a great option for those interested in conservation and nature.
Festive and eventful things to do in Somerset
Nestled in the rolling hills of South West England, Somerset is a county that knows how to celebrate the festive season in style. From enchanting Christmas markets to spectacular light displays and traditional carol singing, there’s no shortage of festive cheer in Somerset.
Here are the top festive and eventful things to do in Somerset, so you can make the most of this magical time of year.
Bath Christmas Market
Running from late November to early January, Bath’s Christmas Market is one of the most popular in the country. With over 150 stalls selling everything from handcrafted gifts to delicious festive treats, this market has something for everyone. Plus, with live music, carol singing, and a Santa’s Grotto, there’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy while you shop.
Dunster by Candlelight
One of Somerset’s most popular festive events, Dunster by Candlelight is a magical two-day event that takes place in early December. The medieval village of Dunster is transformed into a winter wonderland, with the streets lit by thousands of candles and Christmas lights, making visiting it one of the top things to do in Somerset.
Enjoy traditional Christmas carols, street performances, and food and drink stalls, as you soak up the festive atmosphere.
Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum
For a truly enchanting festive experience, head to Westonbirt Arboretum for their Enchanted Christmas event. The Arboretum is transformed into a magical winter wonderland with illuminated trees, a tunnel of light, and a spectacular firework display. Plus, with festive food and drink stalls and live music, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
Wells Cathedral Christmas Market
The historic city of Wells is home to one of Somerset’s most charming Christmas markets, held in the shadow of the stunning Wells Cathedral. Browse stalls selling local crafts and produce, sample delicious festive treats, and enjoy live music and entertainment.
Don’t miss the chance to take a stroll around the picturesque city of Wells, with its cobbled streets and historic buildings, among other things to do in Somerset.
New Year’s Eve in Glastonbury
For a truly unique New Year’s Eve experience, head to the quirky town of Glastonbury. The town is famous for its mystical and spiritual heritage, and on New Year’s Eve, it comes alive with a procession of costumed revellers, drummers, and dancers.
Join in the celebrations, as the town welcomes in the New Year with fireworks and live music.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or simply seeking some festive cheer, there are several things to do in Somerset for everyone. From exploring historical landmarks to strolling through picturesque countryside and indulging in delicious local produce, there’s never a dull moment in this beautiful corner of South West England.
With so much to see and do, it’s impossible to fit everything into one trip, but hopefully, this guide has given you a taste of what Somerset has to offer. So why not start planning your next adventure to this stunning county and discover all the wonders that Somerset has in store for you?
Also, check out our amazing article on things to do in Torquay.
What are the top tourist attractions in Somerset?
Somerset is home to many popular tourist attractions, including Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury Tor, Wells Cathedral, the Roman Baths, and the city of Bath. Other must-visit destinations in the county include Wookey Hole Caves, Dunster Castle, and the Quantock Hills.
What are the best things to do in Somerset with kids?
There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Somerset, such as visiting the animal parks, such as Longleat Safari Park, Puxton Park and Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, exploring the Wookey Hole Caves, or taking a ride on the West Somerset Railway. There are also many opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, cycling, and horse riding.
What are the best places to eat in Somerset?
Somerset is known for its delicious local produce, including cheddar cheese, cider, and meat. The county has a fantastic range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs, serving up everything from traditional English fare to international cuisine. Some of the best places to eat in Somerset include The Pig near Bath, The Ethicurean in Wrington, and The Swan in Wedmore.
What is Somerset famous for?
Somerset is famous for its beautiful countryside, including the rolling hills of the Mendips, the Quantock Hills, and the Blackdown Hills. The county is also known for its historic landmarks, such as Glastonbury Tor and Wells Cathedral, and its local produce, including cheddar cheese, cider, and meat.
What are the best walking routes in Somerset?
Somerset has a wide range of walking routes, from easy strolls to challenging hikes. Some of the most popular routes include the West Somerset Coast Path, the Quantock Greenway, and the Mendip Way. There are also many beautiful parks and gardens to explore, such as the National Trust's Stourhead and Barrington Court.
What are the best festivals in Somerset?
Somerset is home to many fantastic festivals throughout the year, including the Glastonbury Festival, the Frome Festival, and the Royal Bath and West Show. Other popular events include the Bath Christmas Market and the Taunton Flower Show.
What is the history of Somerset?
Somerset has a rich and varied history, dating back to prehistoric times. The county is home to many historic landmarks, including the Roman Baths, Glastonbury Tor, and Wells Cathedral. The area has also played a significant role in English history, with battles and conflicts taking place in Somerset throughout the ages.