Encounter Walking Holidays UK Logo


Somerset Walks and Walking Holidays

The Highlights  -  Jaw dropping gorges, caves and rocky ravines in the Mendips, walk where Exmoor National Park literally falls into the ocean on the South West Coast Path. Journey in the footsteps of the Romantic Poets on The Coleridge Way, visit vast wetlands with some of the UK’s best birdwatching, New Age Glastonbury, Cheddar Gorge, historical Wells and the beautifully compact Quantock Hills.

View our Map of Somerset Walking Routes to choose your Somerset walking holiday.

Cheddar Gorge Somerset

Glastonbury Tor SomersetIntroducing to Walking Holidays in Somerset

So how would we describe Somerset to walkers ?      Try Diverse, Secret …and Special!

More than any other region of the South West, Somerset offers the walker a kaleidoscope of walking scenery and experiences  - quite simply this is one of England's finest and unspoilt landscapes and if you want to avoid the crowds heading to Devon and Cornwall walk here.

Within its 40 miles of coastal walking you can climb along the heather-clad hogsback hills of Exmoor National Park at the point they plunge into the ocean, enter remote and dense wetlands, marvel at empty beaches strewn with fossils and complete the second longest stretch of sands in Europe.

Quantocks Coleridge WayTurning inland, stretching almost from the beaches you can link into two unique and wildly different walking ridge routes along The Mendip and the Quantock Hills – Both stand glaring in defiant opposition to each other rising abruptly above the lush patchwork quilt of the Somerset Levels – often draped in rolling mists below your feet as you walk, these are the ancient marshes of Avalon

To walk along the spine of the Mendips is to traverse a breezy limestone plateau of hills and valleys riddled with open caves, ravines, other- worldly rock formations and the deepest gorge in the UK

In the Quantocks, you are travelling through the first recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. A unique place where dense bracken and deep forest clad combes cut through an escarpment landscape that was beloved by and inspired the Romantic Poets.

Porlock Village SomersetOvernight stays range from the sleepy thatched villages of cider country to fascinating medieval market towns, remote moorland villages, and tranquil fishing harbours.   

Somerset’s central location is also a major bonus for walkers and with a busy international airport at Bristol and trains from London taking less than 2 hours you are out and on your walk while the rest are still travelling west with the crowds to reach the better known trails.   

Walking through Time – Walks here come with a real sense of the passage of time and a rich evolving human heritage. It's history dating from the dawn of time itself with caves that revealed the oldest human cave skeletons amongst the bones of hyena, mammoth and cave bears.  

Onto the magic and mystery of Avalon and King Arthur which then blends into the Medieval as you walk in the shadow of Dunster's fairy tale castle or pass the mighty Gothic Cathedral at Wells surrounded by cobbled streets.

Dunster Castle SomersetAt Glastonbury complete the ancient pilgrimage to climb the iconic Glastonbury Tor and visit the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey - the centre of early Christianity and the resting place of King Arthur and Guinevere.

Somerset for all Seasons - Overlooked by the hoards rushing down the motorway to Devon and Cornwall in peak season, Somerset remains the best secret of the West Country so come here to walk with a feel of freedom and space at any time. Sheltered from the exposed Western coastline it can also offer walking for all seasons, including the Autumn and Winter months when more exposed areas are off limits.

Somerset Walking Holiday Options

View walking options in full detail using these links or check our Somerset Walking Map showing all our Somerset Walking Holiday Routes.

  • South West Coast Path from MineheadSouth West Coast Path from Minehead –  The first and one of the most stunning sections of the world class South West Coast Path. Pass through tiny fishing villages, deep gorges and rich coastal woodlands with the ocean your constant companion as you trek. Challenging ascents and non-stop panorama’s make this a superb introduction to the Coast Path. Up to 8 days walking
  • More details on this walk
  •  
  •  

Watersmeet on The Coleridge WayThe Coleridge Way -  - In the footsteps of one of our greatest poets a mix of moderate moorland walking with lush wooded valleys, coastal views and rolling countryside.  Staying in remote and untouched villages, this is a timeless route taking you through the Quantock Hills, Exmoor National Park and the hidden Brendon Valley of Lorna Doone fame. 

Up to 6 days of walking - More Details on this walk

Somerset Coast PathSummer 2017 (bookings 2018)  -  Part of the brand new around England Coast Path, easy walking on a unique coastline, this is such a new trail that it's unknown to most walkers. Great variety with beaches of fossils and stunning geology mixed with low clifftop walking and one of the most important birdwatching wetlands in the UK. Medieval Dunster and the unspoilt fishing port at Watchet, home of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. Around 3 days with plenty of options to extend the walk on linked routes.

The Mendip WaySummer 2017 (bookings Autumn 2017) -  Walk the complete ridge of the Mendip Hills from the coast to inland Frome. On the way the ravines and caves of Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole, timeless Somerset villages, historic Wells and the option to divert to Glastonbury and climbs its iconic Tor. Up to 5 days walking.

Upper Barle on ExmoorThe Exmoor Adventure - Summer 2017 (bookings 2018)  The ultimate short break on Exmoor. Three full days of walking that cover a different aspect of the National Park each day. Day 1 it’s the moors - climbing from sea level over Dunkerry Beacon and the moors' highest point to Simonsbath.  Day 2 - the Gorges on the Two Moors Way to Little Switzerland (Lynmouth) on an exhilarating descent through the sparkling combes and gorges to reach the sea.  Day 3, it’s the coast – and the best day of the Exmoor SW Coast Path as you return to your starting point at Porlock - a switchback trail of dramatic cliffs and coastal woodlands. 3 day walking break with options to add more days

Dunkery Beacon on the Quantock and part of the 100 mile challengeThe Exmoor & Quantock 100 mile Challenge  - Summer 2017 (bookings 2018)  For those who want the ultimate variety with a challenge! Walk the full Coleridge Way into Exmoor but return on the South West Coast Path to Minehead before continuing onto the unique West Somerset Coast Path. At the end of the 'Northern Jurassic Coast' you head inland on a new link trail The Two Castles Way to complete a full circle of just over 100 miles.  Around 8 days walking but with lots of extension options on the way if you have time.

 


Quantock Hills in Somerset

Somerset Walking Map