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Holiday Cottages in Somerset

Exploring Somerset is like finding your way through a trove of treasures. Located in South West England, it’s the home of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, delectable British food staples like cheddar cheese and cider, and Glastonbury Music Festival – basically, it’s a land of unique experiences and amazing surprises.

You can visit Cheddar Gorge (Britain’s biggest gorge), discover an underground world with Somerset’s labyrinth of cave systems, or just kick back and admire the countryside – local cider in hand!

Whatever you want to get out of your holiday in Somerset, our collection of villas, houses and holiday cottages in Somerset offer the perfect base for exploring the myriad of museums, bustling towns, or sprawling countryside. 


Why visit?

Holidays in Somerset can cater to all types of tastes with its green countryside and lakes to its more surprising underground reservoirs and beach waterfalls! An idyllic family-friendly destination, Somerset offers a jam-packed carnival calendar, from illuminated processions to traditional fairgrounds, as well as petting farms, amusement parks and outdoor activities like pony trekking across the moors.

Read the Somerset Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked holiday cottages in Somerset have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

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Holiday Cottages in Somerset: Our Top Picks

Why visit

Somerset is the surprise all-rounder destination, because although its well-known for its natural beauty in terms of its countryside, lakes and meadows, it’s actually a region fringed by a stunning coastline and holds historic significance in England. It’s often called a place of contrasts, which is the perfect description because no matter what it is you’re looking for from your UK holiday, Somerset is bound to tick all your boxes.

Countryside, woodlands and lakes

Somerset is undoubtedly known for its vast swathes of countryside – from its wild wetlands to its forests, so if a nature holiday is your kind of getaway then you’re in for a treat. With 4 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one national park (Exmoor), the handful of nature reserves and the flats of the Somerset Levels and Moors, you can see that Mother Nature has given a great dose of TLC to this rural county. Go cycling along the trails of the AONB’s, walking the deep valleys of Exmoor National Park, and even learn about the history of the protected areas as you wander (the Somerset Levels and Moors has a particularly fascinating history).

History

Speaking of history, you won’t be hard pressed to find places to visit and tales to soak up in order to satisfy your historic cravings. Somerset has a rich history, from being a base for Alfred the Great, to the part it played in the Roman occupation, and even its connection to bloody battles. You’ll find a number of medieval castles that were used for defence, magnificent stately treasures – Somerset has the second highest number of listed buildings outside of London – and museums to help you delve in to it all! On a lighter note, you’ll also find homages to Jane Austen in Bath and museums exploring rural life and Georgian fashion.

City breaks

If charming historic cities are your jam, then the cities of Bath and Wells will be right up your street. Famous for its impeccably preserved Roman Baths, tourists from all over the world visit the city of Bath for its culture and history – plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s the only UK city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only a 45-minute drive from Bath, you’ll find Wells – another city rich in culture; although its the smallest city in England it packs a punch, with its Gothic cathedral, international film and TV links and unspoilt urbanscape.

Coastline

It’s not all about rolling hills and history though, because if that wasn’t enough, Somerset is also home to a captivating coastline. Walk the coastal paths (West Coast Somerset Path and the England Coast Path) and visit National Trust sites, charming seaside towns, and take up coastal adventures like coasteering, sailing and fishing. 

What Oliver loves

Somerset is home to 4 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Mendip Hills, Blackdown Hills, Quantock Hills and Cranborne Chase, all great for walking and cycling trails but Mendip Hills is a fan favourite because of its prehistoric stone monuments.

Somerset Levels

Best time to go

  • You can visit Somerset at any time of year, but if you’re looking to make the most of the countryside or the coast, the best time to visit is between May-September, when you’ll get the most pleasant climate (maybe even some hot summer days) and you’re less likely to get caught in any showers.
  • Somerset benefits from a Mediterranean climate, with averages of 20° in the summer months.
  • Somerset is well-known for its carnival season, and if you're wanting to witness one of their 'Magnificent Seven', the best time to visit is November. 

Things to do

No matter what you like to get up to when you’re away, holidays in Somerset can cater to your every whim. Whether you’re a die-hard music festival fan or a foodie fiend, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you realise just how much this destination actually offers. Somerset travel doesn’t have to be hard, because our holiday homes are often the perfect place for myriad of adventures, which we’re about to delve into.

Food

Obviously this is one of the first categories we’re going to talk about, being foodies ourselves. Somerset is well-known for a few top notch British staples, like cider and cheddar cheese – is there a better combo of foods to be known for?! We’ll wait…). Whether you’re a fan of farmhouse scrumpy cider or more of a sparkling fan, Somerset has connections to over 156 varieties of apple and you can go and visit some of the breweries and distilleries – fan favourite being Sheppy’s House of Cider. For the cheese? Why, it can only be the OG’s of cheddar – The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.

Festivals

Probably most well-known as playing host to the world-famous Glastonbury Music Festival since 1970, Somerset knows how to throw a good festival or carnival. With a social calendar bursting with events, Somerset’s beating heart is its appreciation for the arts. Their county carnival season ritually takes place across the whole region through Autumn (since the 1600’s), with Bridgwater being known for the largest illuminated carnival in Europe!

Outdoor adventures

Holidays in Somerset are perfect for people who like to throw themselves into outdoor pursuits. Being a region of contrasting landscapes, there’s a whole host of activities to choose from. You can go fossil hunting or sailing on the coast, canoeing and windsurfing on the lakes and rivers, go climbing at the hair-raising Cheddar Gorge and on the limestone cliffs of Mendip Hills, or take it down a notch with one of the many cycling and walking trails.

Underground activities

If being above land bores you, then no worries, because there’s a whole underground world waiting to be explored! People come from all over the world to explore the cave systems in Somerset, because it’s host to so many – Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole, Cox’s Cave and well-regarded Gough’s Cave (where a 9000-year-old complete skeleton was found, and is now on display at the Natural History Museum). Plus, a new one – Reservoir Hole – which was recently found in the Mendip Hills in 2012.

Heritage

Somerset is an historic region, and its heritage has been well-preserved in the form of museums, galleries, castles, towns and even whole cities (Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in itself). Plus, the region has the third largest number of Grade I listed properties in England, with many of its buildings, landmarks and gardens being looked after by the National Trust. So if it’s a heritage holiday in Somerset you’re looking for – you’ve got it in abundance, with many of our holiday homes in close proximity to historic sites!

Oliver's Hidden Gem

The Chalice Well is an absolute must if you’re visiting Glastonbury – a tranquil oasis with views of the Glastonbury Tor, the ancient well and beautiful sacred garden are completely peaceful, and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.  

Chalice Well Glastonbury

Extra inspiration on things to do

  • Visit Shepton Mallet Prison – only recently decommissioned (2013) this prison has a tumultuous and fascinating history, holding the Kray twins in the 50’s and famously known among paranormal lovers as the home of the White Lady. Go on a ghost tour, spend the night there or even try your hand at their escape room!
  • If you’re a fan of spooky tales, head to the Witch of Wookey – a cave thought to have housed a witch who was turned to stone within its walls… and the statue remains.
  • Cheese fiends, your visit to Somerset cannot be complete without sampling the local produce. Where better than the village of Cheddar, where you can even visit the original Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company?

Best beaches in Somerset

The coastline of Somerset is glorious – and a great place for a classic seaside holiday! Whether you’re looking for a rugged and wild beach or a busier family-friendly stretch of sand, Somerset has got you covered. Build sandcastles, go fossil hunting, enjoy a funfair, or just take a break with some tasty fish and chips!

We’ve got a collection of holiday homes in Somerset near the beach, so they’re perfect if you’re looking for more of a traditional British seaside getaway.

There’s a huge selection of beaches to choose from, but we think these are the best beaches in Somerset.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

St Audries Bay is a gorgeous little secret at the foot of the Quantock Hills. It's a little bit of a hike down, but you'll be rewarded with two tumbling waterfalls overlooking the Bristol Channel. The perfect place to end your countryside walk!

Weston-Super-Mare

The beaches in Weston-Super-Mare are great of you're looking for a classic day by the sea! There's the pier, donkey rides, funfairs and a whole lot more to enjoy - just be aware that it can get incredibly busy, so head out early to nab a spot if you can.

Burnham-on-Sea

For something a bit quieter and quainter, try Burnham-on-Sea further down the coast. There's still the feeling of a charming Victorian seaside town but on a smaller scale than Weston, and the beach is wonderfully sandy.

Ladye Bay

Ladye Bay is where you need to head if you want beauty and a bit of seclusion - it's a small cove surrounded by cliffs with great views across the Bristol channel. Do be aware, though, that swimming isn't generally advised here, though a paddle is fine (if a bit chilly on the toes).

Minehead

This beach is very popular with families as it’s a sandy beach, perfect for building sandcastles, playing games and going rockpooling. There’s also a busy promenade overlooked by the Butlins Holiday Resort, so Minehead itself is well-catered to families.

Blue Anchor Beach

If you’re looking for a fun beach day with the kids, then Blue Anchor is great not only for building sandcastles or playing a bit of beach frisbee, but it’s great for a spot of fossil hunting as the beach is scattered with alabaster rocks.

Brean Beach

Only two-miles down the coast from Weston-Super-Mare (but away from the major crowds) this dog-friendly 7-mile stretch of sand is one of the longest beaches in Europe. There’s also some intriguing archealogical sites nearby on Brean Down for those who fancy exploring a bit of Stone Age history.

Family friendly

Like most places in England, Somerset is the perfect family-friendly destination as there’s so much packed into the region. Whether your kids are mini history buffs, love wildlife, or are little adrenaline junkies, there’s something for every age – and plenty that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

Our villas and holiday cottages in Somerset put you within easy reach of many family-friendly attractions, and even our kid-friendly properties have plenty going on – from pools to games rooms!

Museums

Somerset is an historic region, so there’s no surprise that you’ll find plenty of museums wherever you go. From the Dunster Museum, which is home to an impressive 1,600+ doll collection and the Haynes International Motor Museum to the Jane Austen Centre, the museums in Somerset cater well to children, with many offering activities and interactive spaces. For instance, kids can get dressed up at the Fashion Museum in Bath, jump aboard the award-winning Aircraft Carrier Experience at Yeovil’s Fleet Air Arm Museum or attend workshops and watch family shows at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre.

Parks

From amusement to wildlife, who doesn’t love a family day out to a park? If the kids are a fan of both, the Animal Farm Adventure Park in Burnham-on-Sea is a winner, with rides as well as the opportunity to learn about the animals at the park. If the weather’s not ‘playing ball’ then Weston-Super-Mare’s indoor theme park on the Grand Pier could be the perfect rainy day activity, and there’s plenty of fun seasonal activities at Snowdon Hill Farm in Chard such as the Maize Maze and a huge outdoor playground. In Exmoor, you can take your wildlife spotting to the next level with the 4x4 Exmoor Safari!

Outdoor activities for kids

If you’re an outdoor adventure loving family then you’ll be pleased to know that Somerset offers this in spades, from its underground caves at Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge to simply walking across the Moors. Avid cycling fans can explore the national parks and AONB’s on mountain bikes, kids who love history can explore many ancient ruins and abbeys, and the whole family can enjoy a spot of horse riding or canoeing at Exmoor National Park. You can even go apple-picking at orchards!

You can’t forget Somerset’s coastline either, because Minehead, Burnham-on-Sea and Dunster offer traditional seaside fun like rockpooling, fossil hunting and sandcastle building!

Why it’s perfect for families

Good for babies: Staycations are the perfect choice for those with tiny ones, as you still get the quality family time you need without the added stress of flying to another country. Our holiday homes in Somerset for babies and toddlers offer lots of options for peace of mind, from baby proofing to child-safe pools.

Good for kids: Take kids hunting for the Wookey Witch down the underground caves of Wookey Hole, hunt for treasure on the Glastonbury Treasure Hunt Trail, or enjoy family theatre at The Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre in Taunton. Back at our villas, there’s plenty to keep kids occupied with many of our homes having games rooms or playgrounds.

Good for teens: Exmoor National Park is perfect for teens – get them out into the open air and get them involved in all the activities! They can choose from canoeing and kayaking to horse riding and mountain biking – they can even give the National Park Ranger Experience a go! Plus, this national park is designated a Dark Sky Reserve, so it’s perfect for stargazing! Afterwards, they can go back to being stuck to their phones at your holiday home.

Towns and villages

Whether you’re looking for a traditional seaside holiday, an escape in nature or something with a little bit more oomph, Somerset has it all packed in to its various towns, cities and villages.

Our collection of villas and holiday cottages in Somerset offer the perfect base for your adventure. 

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Bridgwater is a great little town – a historic gem with its beautiful Georgian architecture. Take a stroll down Castle Street to admire the Georgian buildings, and if you’re a carnival fan, Bridgwater is known for having the largest illuminated carnival in Europe!

Ilminster

As well as being a historic town, peaceful Ilminster also has a vibrant community spirit with friendly and welcoming people, an eclectic art scene and traditional cosy pubs. 

Roman Baths

A city brimming with history and culture, Bath was named after its well-preserved Roman Baths - something tourists from around the world come to visit. This is also part of the reason why the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.

Taunton

A bustling market town that offers a little bit of everything: Shopping, an impressive food scene, heritage sites like an old railway and historic houses, and nature hotspots – with three major Green Flag Award parks and an AONB, The Quantock Hills.

Bristol Channel

With sweeping scenic vistas, this is the rugged Somerset coast – the perfect place for a classic seaside holiday, whilst not being far from the main attractions. 

Glastonbury

World-famous for playing host to Glastonbury Music Festival, this is a quirky town, and the beating heart of Somerset’s creative scene, with a whole host of art galleries, exhibitions, live music and theatre. 

Weston-super-Mare

A bustling seaside resort in Somerset, Weston-super-Mare is dominated by its long golden beach and lively promenade. This is the perfect place for your traditional British holiday!

Getting there and around

Somerset travel is really easy, whether you’re looking to fly, drive, hop on a train or a bus, it’s very easily accessible. You’ll also find it really easy to get around Somerset once you’re in there, as the towns, cities and villages are very well connected. Holidays in Somerset are easy peasy. 


By flight

The easiest airport to fly into is either Bristol (BRS) Airport, or Exeter (EXT) – both airports connect to others around Europe. Alternatively, you can fly into London Heathrow (LHR) and either pick up a rental car and drive to your destination, board a coach or hop on a train – depending on where you're visiting. 


By car

Somerset is very easy to reach by car, and is very easy to get around by car too. If you’re driving from the UK, you can get to Somerset by the M5. Car rental will be available at the airport, and ensures that your travel in and around Somerset is stress-free.


Public transport

Just like many regions in the UK, there are plenty of train stations that connect Somerset’s towns and cities to elsewhere in the UK, with the main stations being in Bath, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare. All trains from London Paddington belong to the Great Western Railway. The buses in Somerset are also a reliable mode of transport, there are a lot of routes that cover the region – First Bus offers 40 routes that enable you to hop around from place to place. Some local towns and villages may have a more infrequent timetable, so it’s always worth pre-checking your transport. 


By taxi

Taxis are widely available across Somerset, which is perfect if you’re going for a tipple in a local pub or somewhere further afield. It’s advised to book your local taxi journey in advance, however Uber has started to find its way around Somerset, so you may be able to call one of those. 


By bicycle

There are so many cycling routes that traverse the region – Somerset is home to three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as plenty of reserves, a national park and so much rolling countryside. The best way to explore is by bike!

Top tips

  • If you’re going for a long cycle or a trip into the countryside, be sure to download What 3 Words – it’s an app that allows you to send out a location of 3 Words if you happen to lose service, get lost or get injured.
  • If you can travel into Somerset by train, check out the Pullman Carriage on the GWR where you can dine in style on West Country produce!
  • Some towns in Somerset offer park and ride services, meaning you can avoid the traffic congestion, park your car and hop on a bus into town – the perfect way to avoid high inner-town parking charges. 

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