The North Somerset Coast
North Somerset’s unique coastline boasts spectacular seascapes and beautiful rural countryside and moorland. Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Portishead are the three largest towns on the coastline with the smaller picturesque towns of Burnham on Sea, Brean, Watchet and Minehead located closer to Bridgewater.
The area provides some wonderful walking opportunities. The River Parrett Trail can be picked up in Bridgewater at the marina. Follow it northwards approximately 3 miles until you reach its end at the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve, at Stert Point. The Reserve is an internationally important feeding ground for waterfowl and wading birds, with large areas of saltmarsh, sandflats and shingle ridges.
The River Parrett Trail also links with the West Somerset Coast Path. Follow this picturesque trail 25 mile all the way to the National Trail in Minehead. Enjoy beautiful seaward and inland views particularly where it passes through the northern part of the Quantock Hills.
Burnham-on-Sea is a bustling seaside town that lies at the mouth of the River Parrett and Bridgwater Bay. It boasts miles of wide sandy beaches, complete with donkey rides, cafes and candyfloss.
Between Burnham and Weston-Super-Mere is Brean Down, an impressive 1.5 mile long outcrop forming a natural pier with dramatic cliffs and Palmerston fort. Standing at 97m in height the views to be enjoyed over the Bristol Channel and Somerset levels are worth the climb.
Follow the coast further west and you will discover Watchet, a delightful harbour town. Relax on the Esplanade and watch the world go by or take a ride on the steam railway or visit the fossil beach and museums.
Dunster Castle lies between the towns of Watchet and Minehead. It is an impressive ancient castle and country home with a medieval gatehouse and ruined tower. The castle enjoys dramatic views over the Quantoc Hills, Exmoor and the Bristol Channel.
The town of Minehead is situated on the edge of Exmoor and the dramatic heritage coastline. It is a beautiful family destination with long flat sandy beaches and promenade. Pleasure boat cruisers can be accessed from the harbour or visitors can enjoy a walk through Blenheim Gardens, Minehead’s largest park.
Exmoor itself offers unrivalled natural beauty, with its high sea-cliffs and sheltered bays and tranquil moorlands. The coastline within the National Park stretches for 37 miles and at Culbone Hill it rises to 142 feet. The area also boasts the highest sheer cliff in England and Wales, soaring to a staggering 800 feet at Great Hangman. Visitors can revel in the stunning scenery, not to mention a wealth of wildlife, with red deer, ponies, bird-life and bats.