From ancient towns and cities to historic castles and stunning places out in nature, there are so many beautiful places to visit in Somerset.
Scott and I are lucky enough to live in Bristol, so the nearby county of Somerset has been our “playground” for almost a decade.
Curious where we recommend you go if you find yourself in Somerset? Read on and prepare to feel inspired!
But first, a quick note.
You might find it surprising when you realise how far Somerset technically stretches. This blog post features beautiful places to visit in Somerset, North Somerset and the district of Bath & North East Somerset as we felt it made more sense to group them together in one blog post.
We hope you enjoy reading it.
Beautiful Places To Visit in Somerset
1. Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
What better way to kick off this list of beautiful places to visit in Somerset than the Mendip Hills, which were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1972.
Found roughly 15 miles south of Bristol, the Mendip Hills (locally known as the Mendips) stretch for over 77 square miles.
The Mendips feature 43 named hills and peaks; the highest being “Blackdown”, which is 325 metres high. The hills are almost all made out of limestone.
While the Mendip Hills are certainly not as tall as those you’ll find in the Peak District or Snowdonia National Park, you can still look forward to some amazing views.
This area is also home to places like Cheddar Gorge and Blagdon Lake, which are so beautiful that they warrant separate entries on this list.
2. Cheddar and Cheddar Gorge
Ahh Cheddar, what a delight you are. And no, I’m not talking about the cheese – although we do have the Somersetshire village of Cheddar to thank for it.
People have been making cheddar cheese deep in the caves of Cheddar Gorge since at least the 12th century (circa 1170 or possibly even earlier than that).
If you head to Cheddar today, then you’ll be able to pay to explore the caves and you’ll likely see cheese wheels stored in the darkness off to one side.
But cheese (as great as it might be) isn’t why we’ve included Cheddar and Cheddar Gorge on this list of pretty places to visit in Somerset.
Instead, we implore you to hike to the top of Cheddar Gorge and take in the incredible views.
To one side, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the curve of the road as it snakes its way through the gorge. And to the other, you can admire the breathtaking landscape complete with rolling hills and the Cheddar reservoir.
If you don’t have the energy to hike over 400 feet to the top of Cheddar Gorge, then you can still enjoy the stunning wonders of this pretty village and its infamous caves.
If urban beauties are more to your liking then you’ll love Frome in eastern Somerset. It’s easily one of the prettiest towns in Somerset.
In Frome, beautiful cobblestoned streets, old buildings and houses that look like they belong on a postcard (and in a period drama), wondrous independent boutiques and more await.
While there are plenty of things to do in Frome to keep you busy, you might want to throw out the guidebook so to speak and simply enjoy wandering around all the little side streets and alleys of this beautiful Somerset town.
Langport, deep in the middle of Somerset, is another urban beauty worth mentioning. But it’s largely undiscovered by the masses. I’d even go so far as to call it a true hidden gem.
Scott and I recently had the fortune to go “Champing” in Langport and we’re so glad we did.
Not only did we love our novel experience of sleeping inside an archaic church, but we also had the pleasure of discovering Langport during our stay.
This unassuming little town features several independent shops and bakeries, which are as quaint as they are interesting.
Langport’s High Street was even a runner-up in the 2016 Great British High Street of the Year Awards. Impressive.
Not to mention All Saints’ Church (where we stayed for the night) is beautiful, free to visit and so historic. One of the stained glass windows inside it actually dates back to the 1400s!
While you might want to include Langport as part of a larger Somerset itinerary, it’s well worth including – especially if you fancy Champing during your trip too.
I’d wager the historic city of Wells needs little to no introduction. But just in case…
Wells dates back to the 12th century with the construction of Wells Cathedral starting in 1175 and taking three whole centuries to build.
This cathedral is gothic and imposing and will have you gaping in awe when you see it.
You might also like to wander around The Bishop’s Palace, which is just next door and features a moat, portcullis and drawbridge.
Given the city’s history, you’ll probably also enjoy wandering along the many old and beautiful cobblestoned streets found in Wells – some of which are over 800 years old!
6. Burrow Mump
Up next is another hidden gem: Burrow Mump, which translates to “Hill Hill”, owing in large part to the very steep hill you have to walk up to get to the church ruins at the top.
But oh the views! They are so worth it – especially on a sunny day.
From up here, you can see right across the Somerset countryside and in true 360-degree mode. We’re convinced we could just make out Glastonbury Tor to the north, but we forgot to pack our binoculars, so we can’t be 100% sure.
Still, Burrow Mump is a great alternative to Glastonbury Tor, which can see record crowds at peak times. But Burrow Mump appears to be largely undiscovered in comparison.
7. Montacute House
This countryside mansion is considered to be a masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design.
Inside, you can look forward to elaborately decorated rooms and grand furniture. While outside, you can marvel at the floral garden displays and pretty rose bushes creeping up the honey-coloured hamstone.
8. Barrington Court
Barrington Court is another beautiful National Trust place in Somerset that is well worth visiting.
Not only can you look forward to admiring the 16th-century Court House, but the walled gardens found here are stunning. Majestic floral displays, waterlily ponds, ornamental fountains and more await.
Montacute House and Barrington Court are just a 20-minute drive away from each other, so you might like to see both in one day.
9. Exmoor National Park
While some people believe Exmoor National Park is in Devon, two-thirds of it is actually in Somerset.
As you might expect from a National Park, Exmoor offers over 267 square miles of beauty in the great outdoors.
The moors from which Exmoor gets its name will reward you with sweeping views across the open planes, complete with heather, gorse and wild grasses.
Exmoor National Park was also the very first Dark Sky Reserve in Europe, so head to the moors for some supreme stargazing if you’re looking for out-of-this-world beauty.
Exmoor is also home to the wild Exmoor Ponies and England’s largest herd of wild Red Deer, so keep your eyes peeled for a sighting or two.
10. Dunster Castle and Watermill
Within the Somerset side of Exmoor National Park, you’ll find Dunster Castle and Watermill (another beautiful National Trust property).
This centuries-old castle (it’s at least 600 years old!) perches on top of a wooded hill.
This means you can see some incredible panoramic views across the surrounding countryside and towards the Bristol Channel from the castle’s glorious gardens.
The castle’s grounds also feature a rustic riverside walk where you’ll see pretty rose bushes, lush green fields and ancient stone bridges.
Looking to North Somerset now, there are many more beautiful places waiting to be discovered.
Found on the outskirts of Bristol, Tyntesfield (another National Trust property) is a great place to come to for history, luxury and beautiful gardens.
The house really is exquisite with its Victorian Gothic Revival style – it almost feels like you’ve stumbled across a vampire’s lair. Their Victorian Christmas event is also pretty special!
12. Blagdon Lake
Nestled in the northeastern part of the Mendip Hills lie two stunning lakes: Blagdon Lake and Chew Valley Lake.
While you can walk around both, we think the walk around Blagdon Lake is next-level, and quite possibly, makes for one of the best places to visit in North Somerset.
As you might be able to imagine from a lake that covers over 440 acres and that’s nestled within a valley, you’ll be afforded incredible views if you come here.
While you can admire the lake and surrounding landscape from the road, nothing beats turning off into the woodland that curves around part of the lake.
There are plenty of picnic benches en route as well, so take your time to enjoy the views, tuck into a lakeside picnic and watch the wildlife.
13. Leigh Woods
Close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol lies Leigh Woods, which covers just 0.77 square miles of woodland within North Somerset.
But oh, what a beautiful woodland it is!
In the autumn, the trees are a dazzling array of flaming reds, golds and burnt umber. While in the spring, you can look forward to thousands of beautiful bluebells decorating the ground.
When not overgrown, Leigh Woods also offers one of the best views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
If you’ve ever watched a period drama, then it’s highly likely that you’ve seen the majestic city of Bath and its ancient streets featured within it.
The entire city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and it depicts the very essence of English idyll.
Bath is historic, beautiful and the entire vibe of the place is like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
Not to mention the infamous Roman Baths from which the city gets its name can be found here.
When the Ancient Romans settled here all those centuries ago, they built a reservoir to control the water and built the city around the baths. Since they thought these baths were sacred, they threw valuable items into the water to please the Gods.
But if you want to take a break from tourist sites, then just like the nearby town of Frome, we’d recommend you wander through the little side streets and marvel at the historic buildings.
You may even stumble across the beautiful Royal Crescent, which has graced many a period drama over the years.
15. Dundas Aqueduct
Found close to Bath, roughly 3 miles southeast of the city, is Dundas Aqueduct.
This historic aqueduct was completed in 1810 and carries the Kennet & Avon Canal over the River Avon.
Dundas Aqueduct is classed as a “Scheduled Monument”, which means it has an ancient form of heritage protection and has been selected as a nationally important archaeological site.
In fact, it was the first ever canal structure to be given this classification.
History aside, the views from this ancient aqueduct are beautiful and the riverside walk that takes you to nearby Warleigh Weir is rather pleasant.
16. Farleigh Hungerford Castle
And finally, another beautiful place to visit in Somerset is Farleigh Hungerford Castle, which is roughly 8 miles north of Frome and 8 miles south of Bath.
Owned by the English Heritage, this fortified mansion was started in the 14th century and was occupied for over 300 years by the Hungerford family.
While the castle ruins themselves offer a picturesque look back on history, the views across the surrounding countryside are also beautiful.
And there you have it – 16 beautiful places to visit in Somerset, UK. Which one are you most excited to see first? Or did we leave somewhere out that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below…
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