Short Breaks in Somerset

Discover Somerset: The Ultimate Weekend Destination

A jewel in the crown of South West England, this wonderful county offers an array of possibilities for those looking for enriching short breaks in Somerset.

From its stunning countryside and historic landmarks to quaint villages and vibrant cities, Somerset has something for everyone.

Its accessibility and versatility make it not just a weekend getaway but a destination that invites exploration and delivers a rich, multifaceted experience.

Photo of Bath in Somerset.
A view of Bath, a historical city in Somerset, England

Take A Short Break to Somerset

Somerset is an idyllic setting for short breaks for a myriad of reasons.

Firstly, it boasts a diverse landscape, from the flat expanses of the Somerset Levels to the dramatic heights of the Quantock and Mendip Hills. This variety offers a plethora of outdoor activities for all ages, such as hiking, cycling, and bird-watching.

The county is also steeped in history, with numerous castles, historic houses, and ancient monuments to explore.

For those who seek a blend of urban and rural, cities like Bath and Wells provide cultural richness, featuring theatres, museums, and galleries. Furthermore, the local food and drink scene, particularly the region’s cider, is a delight for any gastronome.

In a nutshell, short breaks in Somerset are as relaxing or as adventurous as you desire, making it a versatile destination for all kinds of travellers.

The Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, a beautiful part of England and perfect for a weekend break.

Getting to Somerset: Your Quick Guide

Somerset is conveniently accessible from various parts of the UK, making it an ideal destination for short breaks.

The county is well-served by road networks, with the M5 running north to south and the A303 providing a direct route from London.

For those preferring public transport, train services are frequent, connecting Somerset to major cities like London, Bristol, and Exeter. Additionally, Bristol Airport is less than an hour’s drive for those coming from further afield.

Average Driving Times To West Somerset

Starting PointAverage Driving Time
London2.5-3 hours
Bristol1 hour
Cardiff1.5 hours
Exeter1 hour
Birmingham2-2.5 hours
Manchester3-4 hours

Highlight of Somerset: Glastonbury Tor

One of Somerset’s most iconic landmarks, Glastonbury Tor, is a natural hill near Glastonbury in the English county of Somerset, topped by the roofless St Michael’s Tower.

Steeped in legend and rich in history, it offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and is said to be the meeting point of powerful ley lines.

The Tor is not just a geographical marvel; it’s a spiritual and mythical symbol with connections to King Arthur and even older pagan traditions. It offers a moderate hike for those interested in outdoor activities, but it’s the awe-inspiring views and the sense of ancient spirituality that makes it a must-visit for short breaks in Somerset.

Whether you’re drawn by the mythology, the spirituality, or simply the desire to enjoy one of England’s most magnificent vistas, Glastonbury Tor stands as a testament to the unique appeal of Somerset.

Glastonbury Tor in Somerset.
Ever popular with visitors is the famous Glastonbury Tor, with a magnificent view.

Activities and Entertainment in Somerset

Somerset is a haven for those who enjoy a mix of outdoor activities and cultural pursuits.

For water sports enthusiasts, the coastline offers opportunities for sailing, kayaking, and even kitesurfing. If you prefer land-based activities, the Quantock and Mendip Hills are fantastic for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.

On the cultural side, Somerset boasts several art galleries, museums, and historical sites, including the Roman Baths in Bath and the medieval Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Music lovers should not miss the world-renowned Glastonbury Festival, which attracts global superstars and a vibrant mix of people from all walks of life.

In short, there is no shortage of activities and entertainment to fill your short breaks in Somerset with memorable experiences.

Photo of a couple enjoying water sports while on a short break in Somerset, England.
Somerset has activities and pastimes for all tastes, both indoor and outdoor.

Places To Visit in Somerset

For comprehensive short breaks in Somerset, there are several must-visit places that offer a mix of natural beauty, history, and culture.

These destinations encapsulate the diverse experiences that make short breaks in Somerset so fulfilling.

  • Glastonbury Tor: This iconic hilltop offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and is steeped in myths and legends. A visit here is like stepping back in time.
  • Cheddar Gorge: Known for its impressive cliffs and the intricate cave systems below, this is a perfect destination for those interested in geology or simply looking for an adventurous outing.
  • The Roman Baths: Situated in the city of Bath, these ancient thermal springs offer a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Romans who once lived here.
  • Wookey Hole Caves: This series of limestone caves is one of the UK’s premier tourist attractions. They offer guided tours which delve into the cave’s rich history and geology.
  • Exmoor National Park: With its diverse landscape featuring moorland, woodland, and coastline, this national park is ideal for hiking, horse riding, and wildlife spotting.
A beautiful windmill in Somerset

Popular Towns In Somerset

When planning short breaks in Somerset, a handful of charming towns and villages should certainly make your itinerary.

Here are some Somerset gems that consistently draw visitors:

  • Bath: Known for its Georgian architecture and the iconic Roman Baths, this town offers a blend of history and modern conveniences.
  • Wells: Touted as the UK’s smallest city, Wells is famous for its stunning cathedral and the adjacent Vicar’s Close, the oldest purely residential street in Europe.
  • Frome: This market town is renowned for its artisan culture, independent shops, and vibrant arts scene.
  • Taunton: As the county town of Somerset, Taunton offers a range of amenities and attractions, including the Museum of Somerset and beautiful public gardens.
  • Yeovil: Known for its aviation history, Yeovil is a bustling town with plenty of shopping options and parks.
  • Bridgwater: Home to the annual Bridgwater Carnival, this town also serves as a gateway to the Quantock Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Remember there is a lot more to see and do in Somerset than we have listed here. One of the best ways to find out about Somerset is to explore!

However, it should be noted that some attractions, such as the Roman Baths in Bath can get extremely busy during the high season. If you are booking short breaks in Somerset remember to take the time of year into account when it comes to visitor attractions.

Brean beach in Somerset, UK.
Brean beach in Somerset, UK – perfect for a family weekend away from home.

Tips For Short Breaks in Somerset

Before embarking on your adventure, consider these handy tips to make your short break in Somerset as enjoyable as possible.

  • Local Cider: Somerset is known for its cider. Try a local brand when you visit.
  • Public Transport: While rural areas may have less frequent public transport, the towns are well-serviced. Plan your journeys in advance.
  • Walking Trails: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, take advantage of Somerset’s numerous walking trails.
  • Seasonal Events: Check the local calendar for events like the Bridgwater Carnival or the Bath Christmas Market.
  • Packing: Weather can be unpredictable. It’s advisable to pack layers and a waterproof jacket.
  • Tourist Information: Most towns have a tourist information centre. It’s a good starting point to gather brochures and maps.
  • Shop Local: Take the opportunity to buy local produce and crafts. Markets are a good place to start.

Your options for short breaks in Somerset are almost limitless, offering everything from historic sightseeing to countryside relaxation.

Whether it’s a romantic weekend away or a packed itinerary of activities, Somerset has something to offer every type of visitor.

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