The best Somerset boltholes for a short break or weekend away.
18 April 2019
Somerset, often overlooked as a county to visit, is the UK’s 7th biggest county, and actually has a surprisingly large amount on offer – aside from the lovely countryside and ancient history, there is the Exmoor National Park, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, extensive sandy beaches, Cheddar Caves and Gorge, Glastonbury Tor & Festival, numerous stately homes, bird watching on the Somerset Levels, Mulberry handbags and of course the ancient city of Bath. Below are a selection of David’s favourite pubs with rooms scattered across the county and ideal for a weekend or short break away.
This lovingly revamped Exmoor Inn is in a fabulous rural spot nestled by a babbling stream at the bottom of a steep-sided valley deep in Exmoor’s Brendon Hills. Dog friendly and with footpaths literally radiating from the front door, it is ideal for moorland and coastal walks and for exploring Dunster Castle (NT).
Lost in a truly rural spot on the flanks of Exmoor, the Notley Arms is a cracking destination inn firmly established on Somerset’s culinary map and offering the perfect weekend retreat away for frazzled city dwellers. An excellent base for exploring Exmoor and the lesser known Quantocks or visiting Cleve Abbey or fossil hunting at nearby Watchet.
Here is a charismatic thatched pub just off the A303 in the heart of unspoilt Somerset where locals and visitors rub along happily together. With cosy winter fires and plenty of summer alfresco dining, visit the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum, Lytes Cary Manor (NT), Haynes Motor Museum or for some serious retail therapy, the Clarks Village at Street. For walkers explore the Macmillan Way or the Leland Trail.
It’s contemporary country-chic all the way at this handsome town centre inn which has held court on Somerton’s market square for some 500 years. With bags of country style and 8 individually styled bedrooms, base yourself here for angling at the nearby Viaduct Fishery, visiting Lytes Cary Manor (NT) or the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum or shopping at the Clarks Village in Street.
Innovative food, cosy rooms with village views and stylish interiors draw a discerning crowd to this former hunting lodge which lies deep within the rolling countryside of Somerset and within handy reach of the famous Somerset Levels. John Leach’s Muchelney Pottery, Barrington Court (NT), Montacute House (NT) and Lytes Cary Manor (NT) are all within an easy drive.
Beautiful Hinton St George and the handsome Lord Poulett Arms stand hidden in stunning, rolling countryside on the borders of Somerset, Devon and Dorset and within handy reach of the famous Somerset Levels. With excellent walking from the front door, the Jurassic Coast just a short drive away, and Forde Abbey & Gardens and the ancient Somerset town of Crewkerne nearby, there’s plenty to keep you at this civilised village inn.
Tucked down twisting narrow lanes in a hidden valley just 15 minutes south of Bath and perched on a hillside looking across the village, the 16th-century Wheatsheaf at Combe Hay is as pretty as a picture. Ideally located for exploring the city of Bath as well as Bradford-on-Avon and within easy reach of the Mendip Hills AONB and Cheddar Gorge with its caving and climbing.
Set beside a quiet lane deep in the Somerset countryside south of Bath, the Holcombe Inn enjoys serene views across fields to Downside Abbey and the Mendip Hills beyond. A popular country hideaway (with a cool little cabin for two in the tranquility garden) that is perfect for visiting the East Somerset Railway, the Mulberry Factory Shop and the historic cities of Wells and Bath (just 12 miles away).
The 15th-century Talbot Inn in Mells oozes genuine charm and character and fits perfectly into its feudal village setting. It’s a special place with stunning rooms and a relaxed vibe and a very warm welcome. Walking on Salisbury Plain and the Mendip Hills AONB is within easy reach as is Frome with its Artisan Market, Longleat House and safari park and the Mulberry Factory Shop.
This cool, contemporary village inn with quirky, individual bedrooms and superb seasonal cooking draws walking enthusiasts keen to explore the Mendips Hills AONB. Close to Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole and also within easy reach of the seaside resorts of Weston-Super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea.
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