With its wealth of beaches, fantastic countryside and a whole host of great day trips that’ll make any holiday memorable, Somerset makes an excellent destination for families with kids of all ages. We’ve listed our top 7 family holiday activities in Somerset below, from adventurous escapades to more relaxed day trips that’ll give mum and dad a bit of a break. And don’t forget, our range of luxury holidays homes and cottages in Somerset make the ideal place to stay!
1. All aboard the West Somerset Railway
Small train enthusiasts will love this vintage steam route. The 1950s-era carriages puff their way along the Bristol Channel Coast between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, and the trip takes a total of around 90 minutes. Completing the full-length journey in one go may test the stamina and attention span of your sprogs, so consider coughing up for a rover pass instead. This allows you to get on and off as much as you please. Some of the most exciting places to alight include medieval Dunster (home to a 1,000-year old castle) and the harbour town of Watchet (the rock pools on nearby West Street beaches make an interesting diversion for curious children).
Book: Call 01643 704996 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: West Somerset Railway, Minehead, Somerset TA24
2. Venture to the cave complex at Wookey Hole
Bring your little bundles of joy to this limestone cavern complex and wait for the smiles and giggles to light up their faces. Though geological forces are to thank for the incredible array of stalagmites and stalactites in the caves, the folks at Wookey know that droning on about mineral deposits and calcite alone won’t hold the attention of young’uns. Which is exactly why they mix in a few magical tales too, including the legend of the Witch of Wookey Hole, who was supposedly turned to stone in this very cave. Kids can meet the Witch of Wookey Hole herself, who hangs around the caves on weekends and during school holidays. The attractions aren’t confined to the underground parts of the cave; there’s also a mirror maze, pirate-themed mini-golf and a Victorian penny arcade.
Book: Online at Wookey Hole
Location: The Mill, High St, Wells BA5 1BB
3. Meet Bambi and friends at South West Deer
Anything involving animals tends to go down well with little urchins. Deer are no exception. Kids go potty for these gracious and gentle creatures, who have the run of this animal centre tucked away in rural Somerset. Arrange for a tour of the grounds and tramp through the muddy fields where four different breeds – fallow, sika, red and muntjac – prance. You might even see the two magnificent red deer stags, Jack and Rebus, who have gargantuan 29 and 31 point antlers sprouting from their heads. Many of the deer here are tame enough to touch so your little ones can give them a pet and perhaps even feed them a snack or two. Go in June to coo over the cute newborn calves or in October to hear the stags roar and grunt during rutting season.
Book: Call 01460 64174 /Mobile 07870440392
Location: Dunsham Lane, Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8QN
4. Go for a game of disc golf at Mendip Outdoor Pursuits
Disc golf, folk, frisbee golf…. This unusual sport, which goes by several names, is rapidly growing in popularity. Little wonder why. The game bears a resemblance to regular golf, with multiple-target courses, tee-off points and fairways, but there are significant differences: the object is to throw a frisbee disc (as opposed to a ball) into an elevated metal basket (as opposed to a hole). Best of all, the game is inclusive, meaning that all ages, fitness levels and sporting capabilities can play together. Children aged six and over can come to see what the fuss is about at this woodland 10-hole course. Our advice? Choose a wind-free day; strong gusts will wreak havoc on your aim.
Book: Call 01934 834 877
Location: Lyncombe Drive, Churchill, North Somerset BS25 5PQ
5. Play around in Puxton Park
No matter how many times you bring them here, kids are unlikely to get fed up with this fantastic all-weather adventure park. Let them run riot in the indoor play barn, sliding down fireman’s poles and crawling through mouse tunnels. Next, have them whiz around tracks on electric or pedal-powered tractors, before finally hitting up the animal pen so they can stroke some of the cute, furry creatures. Away from the play areas, you’ll find the owl encounter, where 45-minute shows are held during weekends and school holidays, as well as a falconry centre containing birds of prey. Finish the family day out on a sweet note with an ice cream, which is made using the dairy produced by the park’s herd of Holstein cows.
Book: Call 01934 523500
Location: Cowslip Ln, Hewish, North Somerset BS24 6AH
6. Solve clues with Somerset Treasure Trails
Sightseeing in its traditional form doesn’t hold the same sway over kids as it does with adults. Chuck in an activity or two and suddenly it’s a lot more fun. One way to keep children engaged is to take some self-guided walks with Treasure Trails. Taking the form of a murder mystery, spy mission or treasure hunt, these themed walks have clues that need to be solved, which add a sense of purpose to holiday exploring. Their walks cover a range of Somerset locations, from Burnham-on-Sea to Frome and beyond. Once you’ve found the treasure trail you want, either download and print it, or arrange to have your trail of choice posted to the door of your holiday rental.
Book: Call 01872 263692
Location: Treasure Trails HQ, 6 High Cross Truro, Cornwall
7. Brave the high ropes at Closer to the Edge
Children need physical activity; keeping them sedentary and trapped in the holiday home will only make them sullen and sulky. One good way to let them blow off steam is at this high ropes adventure park in Taunton. Patient instructors will reassure hesitant, nervous children as they climb, swing, jump, shuffle and slide their way around the lower rope courses, while braver teens among your group can tackle the more challenging elevated routes. Children must be five or older to take part, and adults are also welcome to get involved.
Book: Online at Closer to the edge
Location: Fons George | Vivary Park, Taunton TA1 3JT, England
Don’t forget, our dedicated concierge team is on hand to help! No matter how old your kids or what kind of amenities and extras you’re looking for, they can find you the ideal accommodation in Somerset! Fancy a bit more inspiration? Head to our blog where you can check out our pick of the top 10 castles you and the family can stay in!