Top 10 tips for enjoying the Somerset countryside

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2017

iwitness24_2386526_Sunset Grand Pier

iwitness24_2386526_Sunset Grand Pier

Weston is the perfect base for a Somerset break - but there are a ton of other fabulous things to do nearby...

Terry Kelly captured the sunset on Weston Beach.Terry Kelly captured the sunset on Weston Beach.

HIT THE BEACH.

Miles of coastline await you on your visit to Weston, with several different beaches to explore. Try windsurfing at Uphill or climb among the rocks at Anchor Head. Weston’s main beach offers everything you could imagine, from donkey rides to paddle-boarding on Marine Lake, where the tide is never out.

Stunning views await at Brean Down.Stunning views await at Brean Down.

CLIMB A HILL.

Somerset is mostly flat but if you climb to the top of some of the hills in the county you will be greeted by some incredible views for as far as the eye can see. Brent Knoll and Crooks Peak offer gorgeous views of Weston and Uphill while Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury Tor are unlike anything you would have seen before.

 
	Uphill Nature Reserve is located to the south of the village of Uphill. 
	 
	This 17 hectare site has special scientific Interest, stunning far reaching views including the River Axe estuary. I visited The Bird Hide which was found to be a haven for so many birds. 
	 
	 
	 
	  
Uphill Nature Reserve is located to the south of the village of Uphill. This 17 hectare site has special scientific Interest, stunning far reaching views including the River Axe estuary. I visited The Bird Hide which was found to be a haven for so many birds.  

VISIT A NATURE RESERVE.

Somerset is home to nearly 70 public nature reserves. Take a stroll through one of these and you may come across some of the UK’s wildlife in its natural habitat. Bleadon Levels lies just outside Weston, while Shapwick Heath is one of the county’s best-known reserves.

 
	There are times when I wish that i had been carrying my DSLR instead of my phone, but i managed to capture this on my mobile anyway. 
There are times when I wish that i had been carrying my DSLR instead of my phone, but i managed to capture this on my mobile anyway.

GET ON YOUR BIKE.

One of the most popular cycle links in Somerset is the Strawberry Line. The former railway line has been transformed into a beautiful nine-mile stretch of path with links to some of the county’s villages and beauty spots.

Take your chocie of picnic along to Picnic in the Park in Barnstaple this Sunday. Pic: AzuritaTake your chocie of picnic along to Picnic in the Park in Barnstaple this Sunday. Pic: Azurita

TAKE A PICNIC.

There are multiple public footpaths across Somerset to explore and enjoy so why not make a day of it and take a picnic? Just make sure to follow the countryside code.

Picking grapes in the polytunnelPicking grapes in the polytunnel

PICK YOUR OWN.

There is nothing like fresh fruit and vegetables, and it tastes even better if you have picked your own. There are plenty of reasonably-priced places around Somerset where you can grab a basket and get picking – including Cheddar’s famous strawberries.

Eleanor Thatcher and Ali Meek enjoy a tour of the Thatchers cider orchard.Eleanor Thatcher and Ali Meek enjoy a tour of the Thatchers cider orchard.

SEEK OUT A CIDER ORCHARD.

Somerset is well known for its delicious cider and some of the cider-makers offer tasting opportunities. Enjoy an evening of tasting some of the county’s best cider and nibble on some local cheese amid the apple trees.

windsurfer on a lake with a blue sailwindsurfer on a lake with a blue sail

GET ACTIVE.

Whether you prefer a more genteel pastime or something to get your pulse racing, there are a variety of different activities to try your hand at. Go for a climb up Cheddar Gorge, get wet with water sports in Uphill, canoe across the Cheddar Reservoir and have a relaxing afternoon of golf in Worlebury. Keep fit while exploring Somerset’s beautiful natural geography.

Fishing instructor John Rickford with 10-year-old Natasha.Fishing instructor John Rickford with 10-year-old Natasha.

GO FISH.

There are more than 60 designated fisheries in the area – some private for fee-paying guests, others public for those with the appropriate licence – plus plenty of opportunities for sea fishing too.

Markets imageMarkets image

CHECK YOUR DIARY.

Villages all across Somerset host different events – ranging from carnivals to markets, to fetes and sporting contests throughout the year. Many will offer a unique taste of the real Somerset. Pick up the Weston Mercury to check out what events are taking place across the district during your visit.

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