10 beauty spots in North Somerset

View of Cheddar reservoir from Wavering Down.

View of Cheddar reservoir from Wavering Down. - Credit: Archant

We are blessed with stunning scenery across the whole of the South West. There are a number of locations that are ideal for summer strolls, afternoon teas and more. Here are just a handful for you to try out.

Abbots Pool

Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh. - Credit: North Somerset Council

Abbots Leigh

Abbots Leigh is regarded by many as one of the most sought after villages on the outskirts of Bristol with its own church, public house and village hall. Clifton Village is about two miles away across Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s world famous Suspension Bridge and the city centre only three-and-a-half miles. 

A variety of beautiful walks including Abbots Pool, Leigh Woods, and the Avon Gorge are on offer quite literally from the doorstep.

‘Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol’ © Anguskirk, Flickr

‘Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol’ © Anguskirk, Flickr - Credit: Archant

Ashton Court

The estate was once the gracious home of the Smyth family, and is now a historic park just 10 minutes from the centre of Bristol.

It is also home to an 18-hole pitch and putt golf course and the Nova Trails bike route for avid mountain bikers, spanning four miles. Visitors can also spot the resident deer, enjoy a ride on the miniature railway, or have a go a disc golf.

The dramatic Limestone Cliffs of Brean Down (c) steved_np3/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The dramatic Limestone Cliffs of Brean Down (c) steved_np3/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Brean Down

One of the great landmarks of the Somerset coastline, this scenic coastal walk and down is steeped in intriguing stories, from prehistoric worship to World War Two weapon testing. It is also renowned for its wildlife, so keep a look out for a great variety of birds, plants and butterflies whilst on route.

Brent Knoll from the Levels

Brent Knoll from the Levels - Credit: sub

Brent Knoll

Known by the Romans as 'the mount of frogs' the Knoll is an outcrop of the nearby Mendip Hills. At 137 meters high,  it affords splendid views of the Polden Hills to the south, Glastonbury Tor to the east, the Mendip Hills and Cheddar Gorge to the north east, the Bristol Channel and Wales to the west and the Quantock Hills to the south west.

Cheddar Gorge (c) David Noton Photography

Cheddar Gorge (c) David Noton Photography - Credit: Archant

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar is home to Britain’s biggest gorge and the spectacular feature is a must-see for visitors. The world-famous site is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to some of Somerset’s rarest and most celebrated wildlife including Soay sheep, horseshoe bats, feral goats and birds of prey.

Cheddar Watersports taster day for paddleboard yoga with Emma Gliddon.

Cheddar reservoir is popular with walkers and water sport enthusiasts. - Credit: Archant

Cheddar Reservoir

Dating from the 1930s, the reservoir has a capacity of 135 million gallons and is supplied with water taken from the Cheddar Yeo river in Cheddar Gorge. 

The circular path around the reservoir offers a picturesque walk, with views across the Mendip Hills. It is also a popular spot for water sports including paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, canoeing and sailing. 


Wavering Down and Crook Peak from Cross village

Wavering Down and Crook Peak from Cross village - Credit: Getty

Crook Peak

Crook Peak, near Winscombe,  is the westernmost of the six main summits of the Mendip Hills. Views from Crook Peak stretch a long way in all directions, to the Quantock Hills in the west, across the Bristol Channel to south Wales, east all along the Mendips and south over the Somerset Levels


Steep Holm at sunset.

Steep Holm at sunset. - Credit: Martin Pearce

Steep Holm Island

Visitors can explore one of Weston’s hidden gems this summer, as visits to Steep Holm Island have resumed

The 63-acre island in the Bristol Channel boasts limestone cliffs and caves and is steeped in local history - with tales of Vikings, pirates, monks and hidden treasure. 

Steep Holm is also a nature reserve and bird sanctuary - home to seals and muntjacs - and a site of special scientific interest due to the rare plants found on the island, including the May flowering wild Mediterranean peony. 

Uphill quarry.

Uphill quarry. - Credit: Archant

Uphill

Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Uphill Nature Reserve is part of the Mendip Limestone Grasslands Special Area of Conservation, supporting a diverse flora and valuable insect habitat.

The village is also part of The Brean Down Way cycle path and walking route which links Brean to Weston. The path leads over the river sluice into Uphill, where you can continue along to Weston seafront.

Weston Woods

Weston Woods - Credit: SUB

Weston Woods

Weston Woods covers an area of 130 hectares dominating the northern skyline of Weston. The large woodland space covers the western half of Worlebury Hill ridge, boasting views over Sand Bay towards Wales.

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