The National Trust cares for many special places in Somerset – a county of dramatic landscapes, spectacular views, abundant wildlife, tranquil gardens and historic houses, all steeped in history, legend and traditions and all waiting to be explored.
These special places provide an escape, a chance to relax, memorable experiences and opportunities to learn and improve our health.
Our shops are bursting with a wide range of goodies, much of which are exclusive to the National Trust and our tea-rooms, cafés and restaurants offer delicious drinks and food, often using local produce, sometimes from the property’s own kitchen gardens.
Places to discover in the North of Somerset….
Take in the stunning views of Exmoor from the Holnicote Estate, where you will find over 20 square miles of spectacular landscape to explore including Dunkery Beacon the highest point in Somerset. Dramatically sited at the top of a wooded hill, you will discover Dunster Castle, a castle which been here at least since Norman times, but which is now an elegant country house. Further along the coast watch the sun go down over the Bristol Channel at Brean Down, where you can relax on the beach or take a walk along the ‘natural pier’ to the Palmerston fort, which provides a unique insight into Brean’s past.
Further inland discover Coleridge Cottage, the former home of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge; the iconic Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury Tor; the delightful woodland garden at Fyne Court; the timber-framed King John’s Hunting Lodge and the last thatched windmill in England at Stembridge Tower Mill. On the top of the Blackdown Hills you'll find the Wellington Monument, built to celebrate the victories of the Duke of Wellington.
in the South….
Clustered near to each other in the mellow south Somerset countryside you’ll find the ‘idyllic’ country estate of Barrington Court with its house, delightful flower gardens, apple orchards and surrounding parkland; the glittering Elizabethan Montacute House, with the longest gallery in England housing over 50 portraits from the National Portrait gallery, surrounded by formal lawns with the famous wobbly hedges; delightful Tintinhull Garden with its secluded lawns, pools and colourful borders and the intimate medieval manor house of Lytes Cary with its beautiful Arts and Crafts-inspired garden.
…..and in Bath and Bristol
No visit to the area would be complete without seeing the glorious Victorian house and estate at Tyntesfield, nr Bristol, – the collection of over 50,000 objects reveals the fascinating story of the Gibbs family and the extensive garden includes flower-filled terraces, a kitchen garden and marvellous views. Not far away Clevedon Court has been home to the lords of the manor of Clevedon for centuries and the core of the house is a remarkable survival from the medieval period. Leigh Woods, a beautiful haven on Bristol’s doorstep offers footpaths, cycle trails and great views of the Avon Gorge and suspension bridge. In Bath, you’ll find the sweeping valley garden with its Palladian bridge at Prior Park Landscape Garden and the elegant Bath Assembly Rooms.
Why not become a member and enjoy unlimited free entry to over 400 places across the country – you can out more when you visit or here – membership is your key to unlimited days out and your membership fee means that together we can care for these special places and spaces for ever, for everyone.
Don’t forget you can also stay a while
We have 100s of holiday cottages to choose from, 12 of which are in Somerset. From grand houses to smaller and more intimate cottages each has a distinct character, style and personality of its own. You could find yourself waking up in a cottage in the grounds of Tyntesfield or Montacute, in the medieval manor house at Lytes Cary or in a cottage with stunning views across Exmoor on the Holnicote Estate. Find your perfect place to stay here www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk
All group visits should be booked in advance with your destination. Discounts are usually available for groups of 15 plus – you’ll find more information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/groups
The National Trust is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our heritage and open spaces and wanted to conserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 100 years later these values are still at the heart of everything we do