Walks in scenic Somerset for all abilities

Days out, Walking, Nature

Posted by Ed Roberts on 10th January 2023

A pleasant country walk in Somerset

Some places are best explored on foot. We think Somerset is a wonderful destination for those of you looking for a walking holiday. From the lofty Quantock Hills to the Somerset Levels, the craggy topography of Cheddar Gorge and the long beaches of Brean and Burnham-on-Sea, where are the best walks in Somerset? We have compiled a helpful guide so that you can find the best places to walk in Somerset according to your tastes and abilities. There are walks of all types: long, short, circular, and pub-tastic ones that wind through tranches of woodland, ones that are fun for the family and a few by the seaside too. Read on, so you can plan your walking holiday in Somerset.

If you are hoping to spend your holidays in Somerset, visit our collection of self-catering accommodation based in locations all across the county. We have sea-view apartments, cosy cottages in the remote countryside, large holiday homes for extended family groups and friends and so many more. No matter what type of holiday property you are looking for, we have the perfect place, just for you. 

Click the button below or keep scrolling to find out more about the top walks in Somerset.

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Brean Down Peninsula

Circular walk: Brean Down Peninsula

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Start/end point: Brean Down car park, TA8 2RA

Brean Down is a National Trust-owned landform located between the seaside village of Brean, Weston-super-Mare. This beautiful headland is home to a lovely wild trail that takes you around a 3-mile circuit where you can enjoy panoramas of the sea and the Somerset Levels inland. Look out for orchids, butterflies and birdlife on your walk. In and out of the flora, you will encounter the remains of a small Napoleonic fort, a Bronze-Age burial mound, an Iron-Age hillfort and the earthworks of a Romano-Celtic temple. 

Wind down after your roaming with a stop at the Brean Cafe. The path is unpaved and can be steep in some sections, so although the walk is fairly short overall, there will still be climbing challenges to enjoy. If you are taking your dog along, please keep him on the lead and be mindful of local restrictions.

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Stay at: Windward Cottage | Sleeps: 6 guests 

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Cheddar GorgeImage credit @topgear

Pub Walk: Cheddar Gorge

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

Start/end point: National Trust Visitor Centre, BS27 3QF

The iconic Cheddar Gorge is a hotspot for wayfarers. If you love a walk with a pub then this 4-mile circular is a good one. The White Hart is one of several brilliant pubs to choose from in the village. Brilliant for dog owners too, as it welcomes hounds inside with treats and bowls of water to quench that well-earned thirst. Lunches are great here, so choose from something light like a sandwich or burn off a hearty main course on the way back to the car.

Cheddar Gorge cuts through the Mendip Hills, is 122 metres deep and is a great destination for a walking holiday. The trail has some ascents and descents, but the breathtaking views of Cheddar, Glastonbury Tor and Bridgwater Bay from the top of the gorge are worth the effort. The walk also takes in Black Rock, Pavey’s Lookout and Jacob’s Ladder. 

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Stay at: The Forge | Sleeps: 4 guests

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Glastonbury Tor

Family walk: Glastonbury Tor

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: Glastonbury, BA6 8JB

Glastonbury Tor is one of Somerset’s most iconic destinations. The location is steeped in Arthurian and ancient legends (it’s thought to be the mythical Isle of Avalon) and it makes for an exceptional centrepiece to a gentle circuit that takes in the church at its summit and the town nearby. At the top of Glastonbury sits the Grade I-listed St Michael’s Tower. The edifice no longer has a roof but many still climb the hill for views across the surrounding area. 

Can you see the sleeping dragon? This was a local name for Wearyall Hill where the Holy Thorn used to grow. The walk encompasses the tor, and winds through the town centre and takes in Glastonbury Abbey. It’s easily completed with children and prams and is a superb choice for a lovely day out.

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Porlock BayImage credit @exmoor4all

Woodland walk: Porlock Bay

Distance: 9 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

Start/end point: Fire station car park, Porlock, TA24 8NS

This woodland walk doubles as a fine coastal walk too. A 9-mile circuit, there’s some climbing involved over its course. It’s a beautiful trail that you can pick up at Porlock Weir before heading east across the rocky beach. The track converges with the South West Coast Path, before splitting off to Hurlstone Point with its lookout where you can enjoy fantastic 360-degree vistas. You can also see Bossington Hill, Cross Lynch Combe and the Allerford where you will encounter salt marshes, which are great places to go birdwatching.

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Stay at: Porlock Sunnyside | Sleeps: 6 guests + 1 dog 

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Short walk: Burnham-on-Sea Esplanade

Distance: 0.5 – 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Start/end point: The Winter Gardens, TA8 2AJ

A lovely, paved walk along the Esplanade in Burnham-on-Sea awaits those who may prefer a short and easy route. Views across the Bristol Channel and the River Perrett await on this North Somerset walk; you can also double back along the giant sandy beach if you fancy it. The Esplanade is a good idea for those with small children, old dogs and puppies and those who require mobility assistance. 

Being a seaside resort, there are places to eat and drink along the Esplanade including the pier and a few chippies too. Kids can play on this dog-friendly Somerset beach and beg for donkey rides; it has got everything you need if you are planning a walking holiday at the coast in Somerset.

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Stay at: Mainsail Cottage | Sleeps: 6 guests 

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Butcombe TrailImage credit @carys.jones123

Long walk: Butcombe Trail

Distance: 45 miles

Difficulty: Easy to strenuous

Start/end point: Ring O Bells pub, Hinton Blewett BS39 5AN

The 45-mile-long Butcombe Trail is a lovely circuit in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and has six pubs dotted along its length. The Butcombe Trail intersects with other long-distance trails and circuits like the Mendip Way, the Mendip Ring and Monarch’s Way to name a few. You can see the best of the AONB from this trail, and it’s possible to break the circuit into about six chunks if you are staying in the area for a week or more.

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Stay at: Lakeside Chew Valley | Sleeps: 4 guests + 1 dog

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Blue Anchor Bay

Coastal walk: Blue Anchor Bay

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Starting point: Blue Anchor Train Station, TA 24 6LD

One of the longest stretches of level paved coastline in North Somerset, Blue Anchor Bay, near Minehead, is a treat for beach lovers and those that are looking for a gentle seaside walk. At low tide, there’s a pleasant beach to enjoy and, when the skies are clear, you can see South Wales across the Bristol Channel. 

You can see the hill above Minehead at the western end of the beach. You can enjoy fish and chips from a mobile takeaway that rolls up most evenings or head further into the village for a pub lunch. It’s a superb choice for those of you that want to take an amble along the shore and perhaps a sit down to appreciate the great sea views.

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Stay at: The Quantock Room | Sleeps: 2 guests + 2 dogs 

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Walking holidays in Somerset

Ready to hit the walking trails and discover Somerset yet? If we have whet your appetite, why not take a browse of our hand-picked collection of Somerset cottages so you can find somewhere restful to relax after your action-packed adventures? Our self-catering holiday cottages in Somerset come with a range of features that include hot tubs, large gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts, BBQs and much more. Many are dog-friendly too and have enhanced accessibility for those with mobility needs. Check out our Somerset collection today.

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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.