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Protected Areas

Of the 33 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, four are in Somerset. Add to that the National Park – Exmoor – the Nature Reserves and scores of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and it becomes clear this area has plenty worthy of protection for us all to enjoy.

The Quantock Hills was the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be designated in the UK and is among the smallest. What it may lack in size, it more than makes up for in diversity and delight. Also on the smaller side and perhaps little known outside the region are the Blackdowns which have a geology unique in Britain giving rise to some rare flora.

Cranborne Chase is predominantly in Dorset and Wiltshire but does merge into the chalk downland of Somerset while there is no missing the majesty of the Mendips where the stunning gorges guard mysterious caves.

Number of items:

Number of items: 10

  1. Cheddar Gorge

    Add Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to your Itinerary

    Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Blagdon, Bristol

    The Mendip Hills, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), are one of England’s most attractive landscapes. The distinctive limestone ridge rises from the flat Somerset Levels and...

  2. Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Add Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to your Itinerary

    Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Bridgwater

    The Quantock Hills are situated between Taunton and Bridgwater stretching to the sea at the Bristol Channel. Though compact, measuring just twelve miles by four, they offer extensive views over much...

  3. Exmoor from Bossington Hill

    Exmoor National Park

    Minehead


    For those that know it, Exmoor is a truly unique and special place.

    First time visitors are always surprised at the undisturbed tranquillity of its heather-clad moorlands, not to mention a...

  4. Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

    Add Longleat Safari & Adventure Park to your Itinerary

    Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

    Type

    Safari Park

    Warminster

    Visit the UK’s number one Safari park where lions roam, tigers stalk and monkeys swing. Lose yourself in the famous Longleat Hedge Maze, jump on board the Jungle Express and take a trip on the Jungle...

  5. Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Add Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to your Itinerary

    Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

    Hemyock, Cullompton

    The Blackdown Hills are a nationally important landscape and were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in recognition of the special qualities of their natural and built...

  6. Avalon Marshes

    Add Avalon Marshes to your Itinerary

    Avalon Marshes

    Type

    Country Park/Nature Reserve

    Westhay, Glastonbury


    At the heart of Somerset lies a beautiful area called the Avalon Marshes, a vibrant, working...

  7. Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve

    Add Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve to your Itinerary

    Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve

    Type

    Country Park/Nature Reserve

    Westhay, Nr Glastonbury

    Internationally famous as a haven for birdwatchers in particular, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s main...

  8. Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park

    Add Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park to your Itinerary

    Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park

    Type

    Country Park/Nature Reserve

    Nr Ilfracombe, Exmoor

    Over 28 Acres of naturally beautiful valley with cascading streams and waterfalls, woodland walks,...

  9. RSPB Nature Reserve Ham Wall

    Add RSPB Nature Reserve Ham Wall to your Itinerary

    RSPB Nature Reserve Ham Wall

    Type

    Natural Feature

    Nr Glastonbury

    Enjoy the sights and sounds of this magical wetland, created by the RSPB when peat extraction ended...

  10. Steart Marshes

    Add Steart Marshes to your Itinerary

    Steart Marshes

    Type

    Country Park/Nature Reserve

    Nr Bridgwater

    Hundreds of hectares of new saltmarsh and...

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