15 brilliant things to do in Somerset

Days out, Family, Activity

Posted by Ruth King on 21st November 2021

15 brilliant things to do in Somerset

From the top of a rollercoaster to the depths of an underground cave, the tranquil countryside of the Blackdown Hills to the vibrancy of the city, Somerset has so much to offer on a staycation. Particularly great for a family holiday, you can enjoy a traditional day out on the pier, learn about the county’s fascinating history at one of the many museums or explore the countryside on foot or by bike.

To help you plan your holiday itinerary full of Somerset attractions, we have chosen 15 of the best things to do in Somerset. So, whether you’re looking for places to go in Somerset with the kids, rainy day activities to keep the whole family entertained or the best National Trust properties, we hope you’ll find some inspiration on our list.

And if you need a cosy home from home to return to after an exciting day out, take a look at our handpicked collection of Somerset self-catering holiday cottages below by clicking the button below.

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The best days out with kids in Somerset

Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare

Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare

One of the top things to do in Somerset, a traditional day out at Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier can’t be beaten! Whether you take a gentle walk along the pier, ice cream in hand, stopping only to admire the view, or you want to get your adrenaline pumping with a ride on Britain’s smallest rollercoaster, there is plenty to suit the whole family. If the weather turns, kids will love Adventure Cove Soft Play, and there are lots of arcade games to keep them amused for hours too!

Location: Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1AL

Prices: .Visit website for details

Opening times: Open 364 days of the year (closed Christmas Day) from 10 am on weekends and school holidays and 11 am on weekdays. Closing times vary depending on daylight hours.

Stay nearby at: Toad Cottage, Weston-super-Mare | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Somerset, Cheddar Gorge should be top of your list. Explore the impressive series of caves, climb the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder or wander high along the clifftops, taking in the views of the native flora and fauna. If you’ve got a head for heights, tackle the cliff faces by caving or rock climbing before refuelling at the on-site café. Best of all, if your group includes a four-legged, waggy-tailed member, they’re welcome too!

Location: Cheddar BS27 3QF

Prices: View ticket prices here. Parking charges also apply.

Opening times: View opening times here.

Stay nearby at: Burrington Farm - Stable Barn, Cheddar | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs


Brean Theme Park

Brean Theme Park, Brean Sands

Kids of all ages will love this beachside theme park near Burnham-on-Sea. With over 40 rides at Brean Theme Park to choose from and attractions colour-coded according to height restrictions, everyone is well catered for here, making it one of the best Somerset attractions to visit with the kids. Get soaked on the Wild Water log flume, enjoy a traditional bumpy ride on the dodgems or take a ride on the Terror Castle ghost train – if you dare! Whizz around the Go Kart Track, play some crazy golf or take in the views from the Big Wheel. Whatever your little ones choose, we’re sure they’ll sleep well later that night, making this one of the best things to do with kids in Somerset.

Location: Coast Road, Brean Sands TA8 2QY

Prices: View wristband prices.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: Dunes Edge, Burnham-on-Sea | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


The best rainy days out with kids in Somerset

Fleet Air Arm Museum

Fleet Air Arm Museum

A must-visit for any keen aviators young or old, the fascinating Fleet Air Arm Museum tells the story of naval aviation through the ages. See the design of early bi-planes and learn about the aircraft associated with some of the world’s biggest battles, including Jutland, the Battle of the Atlantic and the Korean War. With so many exhibits to see and footage to watch, you could easily spend a day here. But don’t worry if you don’t get through it all – your ticket is valid for a year!

Location: RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester BA22 8HW

Prices: View ticket prices .

Opening times: View opening times .

Stay nearby at: Polo Cottage, Castle Cary | Sleeps 2 (+2 on additional sofa bed) + 2 dogs


Somerset Rural Life Museum

Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury

Learn all about Somerset’s people at the brilliant Somerset Rural Life Museum close to the centre of Glastonbury. Explore the farmyard galleries that tell the stories of rural life from the 19th century onwards, listen to the voices of real-life Somerset residents and hear traditional folk songs, and sample some apple juice or cider made with the farm’s applies. If the rain lets up, become a Rural Ranger and follow the backpack trail around the farm. Then pop into the Grain Store Café for some refreshments after all that exploring!

Location: Abbey Farm, Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury BA6 8DB

Prices: View ticket prices.

Opening times: View opening times (summer and Xmas only) .

Stay nearby at: Hambush Cottage – Hambush Farm, Glastonbury | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


The American Museum

The American Museum of Art and Gardens, Bath

The only museum of American art outside the United States, this incredible American Museum of Art and Gardens is well worth a visit on a rainy day with the kids. It’s extremely family-friendly with plenty for the little ones to do, including craft activities, interactive exhibitions, and even the opportunity to dress up as a pilgrim, pioneer, or cowboy! The café has high chairs and kid’s lunch boxes too, plus if the rain stops then you can all explore the beautiful gardens – including a huge lawn where they can blow off some steam!

Location: Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD

Prices: View admission prices.

Opening times: View opening times . 

Stay nearby at: Hares Barn, Bath | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


The best free days out with kids in Somerset

Museum of Somerset

The Museum of Somerset

If you’re looking for free things to do in Somerset, head to Taunton where you can explore 400 million years of history at the Museum of Somerset. Learn about the geology of how Somerset was created, discover how early settlers made their mark on the land, and hear stories about rebellions in the Civil War. You can also take a look around the Somerset Military Museum and wander the grounds of Taunton Castle where the museum is based. Plus, you’re only a stone’s throw from the centre of Taunton if you fancy a spot of retail therapy or a delicious lunch after.

Location: Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 4AA

Prices: Admission is free – donations are welcome.

Opening times: View opening times .

Stay nearby at: Kibbear The Byre, Taunton | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog


Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury

Offering incredible views across Somerset and towards Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales, Glastonbury Tor is a brilliant free day out with the kids. The site is a place of pagan celebration with links to King Arthur and has a very peaceful atmosphere perfect for spending a day out in the Somerset countryside. Climb to the top of the tor to see the incredible views at 158 metres above sea level, as well as the remains of the 15th-century church of St Michael, mostly demolished in the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Location: Glastonbury BA6 8BG

Prices: Admission is free – donations are welcome.

Opening times: Open all the time.

Stay nearby at: Yew Tree Barn, Glastonbury | Sleeps 4 + 2 dog


Somerset Space Walk

Somerset Space Walk – Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Combine a day out in the fresh air with a touch of astrophysics on the Somerset Space Walk, which forms a true scale model of our solar system along the picturesque Bridgwater and Taunton Canal. The sculpture trail shows the planets in orbit at both sides of the sun, so Pluto is situated 22 miles apart at either end of the tail, and the sun is centred in the middle of the route at Maunsel Lock. You could start at the sun and head in either direction to take in all nine planets, or conquer the full route if you’re feeling active! Whichever you choose, you’ll want to visit just so you can experience one of the most unusual free things to do in Somerset.

Location: Between Bridgwater and Taunton

Prices: Free, unless you want to hire bikes. There are plenty of cafes and pubs along the way so bring some change!

Opening times: Always open.

Stay nearby at: Coneybeares Cottage, Taunton | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


The best National Trust properties in Somerset

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle and Watermill, Dunster

Sat atop a hill, this Dunster Castle is a formidable sight when in Dunster, a medieval village on the edge of Exmoor National Park. The castle was a family home for 600 years and still boasts a working watermill, as well as a spectacular Mediterranean garden. You can roam the castle learning about its fascinating history and soak in the view across the Bristol Channel from the beautiful garden on one of the most majestic days out in Somerset. To discover even more castles in Somerset visit our handy blog.

Location: Dunster TA24 6RL

Prices: View admission prices. Free to National Trust members.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: High House, Dunster | Sleeps 10 + 2 dogs


Montacute House, Montacute

This incredible 17th-century mansion, Montacute House, is a great place to visit if you appreciate art and architecture. The building itself is a great example of Elizabethan Renaissance, crafted from local stone, while inside is the Long Gallery which houses 60 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Kids will love burning off some energy in the beautiful gardens or tucking into a picnic in the designated area. Dogs are also welcome in the park – and we doubt you’ll find a more spectacular setting for walkies!

Location: Montacute, TA15 6XP

Prices: View admission prices. Free to National Trust members.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: Sudbury Cottage, Martock – sleeps 5 + 4 dogs


Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield, Wraxall

Only moments outside Bristol but surrounded by tranquil parkland, Tyntesfield is a brilliant place for a day trip in Somerset. The striking Gothic Revival building was once built as a family home and the possessions of the Gibbs family still remain. You can also explore the splendid gardens that surround the property, including terraces, a lake, woodland and a kitchen garden. Dogs are welcome across the estate too, so it’s a great place to visit if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life with your hound. There are even more National Trust properties to visit in Somerset. Read our guide.

Location: Wraxall, Bristol BS48 1NX

Prices: View admission prices.. Free to National Trust members.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: The Bull Pen, Bristol | Sleeps 4


The best places to see animals in Somerset

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Wraxhall

Set in over 100 acres of countryside and with over 100 species of animals to see ranging from alpacas to zebras, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is one of the best family days out in Somerset. There are 12 indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds to explore, alongside a daily animal show, feeding talks and bird displays. With so many wild and farm animals to see, as well as plenty of opportunity for playing, you could easily spend a whole day here with the family.

Location: Clevedon Road, Wraxall, Bristol BS48 1PG

Prices: View ticket prices.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: The Udder Barn, Bristol | Sleeps 6


Ferne Animal Sanctuary

Ferne Animal Sanctuary, Wambrook

Surrounded by the stunning countryside of the Blackdown Hills, Ferne Animal Sanctuary has been providing a safe haven for domestic and farm animals for 80 years. You can visit to meet the 300 resident animals including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, Shetland ponies, donkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, chipmunks, ferrets, chinchillas, birds and poultry! Plus, there is a great play area and an on-site café too, and parking is free. You can experience a great family day out in Somerset and support a local charity too – it’s a win-win!

Location: Wambrook, Chard, TA20 3DH

Prices: View admission prices.

Opening times: View opening times.

Stay nearby at: Barrack Cottage, Winsham | Sleeps 6


Court Farm Country Park

Court Farm Country Park, Banwell

Located on a working Somerset farm, the whole family can learn about country living. There are plenty of hands-on activities at Court Farm Country Park, including feeding lambs, watching cows being milked and grooming ponies, and the tractor tour is a brilliant way to explore the whole site. Plus, there is a great play area and an ever-changing programme of events, including a summer maize maze, at this fun family attraction.

Location: Wolvershill Road, Banwell BS29 6DL

Prices: View admission prices

Opening times: View opening times

Stay nearby at: White Croft Barn, Cheddar | Sleeps 4


Map of the best Somerset days out

Use our helpful map to locate each of the Somerset attractions mentioned in this blog.


Stay at a self-catering cottage in Somerset

Come and enjoy a holiday in gorgeous Somerset. We have self-catering holiday accommodation all across the county from Bath and Bristol to Exmoor in the west. We have properties large and small for you to discover from large farmhouses and home-from-homes to remote, romantic boltholes and sea view apartments. Click on the button below to browse our collection so you can enjoy the best days out in Somerset. 

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.