15 brilliant things to do in Somerset

Posted by Ruth on 21st May 2020

Best days out 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, 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 cottages below.

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👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 The best days out with kids in Somerset

🌧  The best rainy days out with kids in Somerset

💰  The best free days out with kids in Somerset

🏡  The best National Trust properties in Somerset

🐾  The best places to see animals in Somerset

The best days out with kids in Somerset

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: £1 entry per person. For rides, Kiddies wristbands are £8, Unlimited Rides wristbands are £15. More details here.

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

Stay nearby at: Toad Cottage, Weston-super-Mare – sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar

Cheddar Gorge

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: Red Rose Cottage, Cheddar – sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Brean Theme Park, Brean Sands

Brean Theme ParkBrean Theme Park credit: Instagram @breanthemepark

Kids of all ages will love this beachside theme park near Burnham-on-Sea. With over 40 rides 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 round 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here.

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, Ilchester

Fleet Air Arm MuseumFleet Air Arm Museum credit: Instagram @c.w_spotting

A must-visit for any keen aviators young or old, this fascinating 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here.

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

Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury

Somerset Rural Life MuseumSomerset Rural Life Museum credit: Instagram @somersetrurallifemuseum

Learn all about Somerset’s people at this brilliant 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here.

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

The American Museum & Gardens, Claverton

The American MuseumThe American Museum credit: Instagram @westcountrybird

The only museum of American art outside the United States, this incredible museum 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 highchairs 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here. 

Stay nearby at: School Place Cottage, Bath – sleeps 4 + 1 dog

The best free days out with kids in Somerset

The Museum of Somerset, Taunton

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 here.

Stay nearby at: Kibbear The Byre, Taunton – sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Glastonbury Tor

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: Hambush Barn – Hambush Farm, Glastonbury – sleeps 6 + 1 dog

Somerset Space Walk – Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Somerset Space WalkSomerset Space Walk credit: Instagram @sci_lou

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 kilometres 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 to 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 and Watermill, Dunster

Dunster Castle

Sat atop a hill, this Norman castle is a formidable sight 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.

Location: Dunster TA24 6RL

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

Opening times: View opening times here.

Stay nearby at: High House, Dunster – sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

Montacute House, Montacute

This incredible 17th-century mansion 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 here. Free to National Trust members.

Opening times: View opening times here.

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

Tyntesfield, Wraxall

Tyntesfield

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. 

Location: Wraxall, Bristol BS48 1NX

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

Opening times: View opening times here.

Stay nearby at: The Bull Pen, Bristol – sleeps 4

The best places to see animals in Somerset

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Wraxhall

Noah's Ark Zoo FarmNoah's Ark Zoo Farm credit: Instagram @noahsarkzoobristol

Set in over 100 acres of countryside and with over 100 species of animals to see ranging from alpacas to zebras, Noah’s Ark 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here.

Stay nearby at: The Udder Barn, Bristol – sleeps 6

Ferne Animal Sanctuary, Wambrook

Ferne Animal SanctuaryFerne Animal Sanctuary credit: Instagram @ferneanimalsanctuary

Surrounded by the stunning countryside of the Blackdown Hills, this 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 here.

Opening times: View opening times here.

Stay nearby at: Barrack Cottage, Winsham – sleeps 6

Court Farm Country Park, Banwell

Court Farm Country ParkCourt Farm Country Park credit: Instagram @muddytracksforestschool

Located on a working Somerset farm, the whole family can learn about country living. There are plenty of hands-on activities 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: Adult £7.50, Children £6.50, Under 3s free, OAP £6.95, Family ticket (2 adults + 2 kids) £26

Opening times: 10am-5.30pm

Stay nearby at: White Croft Barn, Cheddar – sleeps 4

Book your Somerset holiday today

High HouseHigh House, Dunster

There is so much to see and do on a holiday to Somerset! Whether you’re visiting as a family, a couple, a big group or even if you’ve got your dog along for the fun, we have a great self-catering property to suit you in our wider collection of Somerset cottages. Click the button below to find your perfect cottage for your next getaway.

Map of the best Somerset days out


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.