To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies
Home

Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre

Add Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre to your Itinerary

Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre

Address/Location

Coates English Willow
Stoke St Gregory, Nr Taunton
Somerset
TA3 6HY

Contact

Tel: 01823 490249

A warm welcome awaits you at the Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre.

Willow is as traditional to Somerset as cheese and cider, although perhaps not so much is known about it these days. Here in the tranquil, rural village of Stoke St Gregory, in the heart of the world re-known Somerset Levels, the Coate family has been working with willow since 1819. Come and find out how willow is grown, harvested and processed before it is crafted into beautifully practical baskets. Watch our skilled basket-makers create a willow basket before your eyes.

Willow has been grown on the Somerset Levels for centuries and the villages of Stoke St Gregory, North Curry and Burrowbridge were once teaming with withy beds, withy workers and growers and basket-makers. Times have changed and now there are very few signs of this once thriving industry. However, it is still possible to see this fascinating rural craft industry alive and thriving here at the Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre. Take a guided tour with one of our experienced guides and discover how willow is grown and harvested and then processed into four natural colours before being used for basket making. You will see how we do things now in the twenty first century as well as how things used to be in the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents.

Willow is and always has been both an environmentally friendly and sustainable crop. The fast growing willow provides food and shelter for an abundance of insects and birds and other wildlife. The Somerset Levels is an internationally important wetland area, being especially important for over wintering wading birds. All of our willow is grown on land that is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It is possible to explore on foot by taking one of our Willows & Wetlands Walks which takes you through the woods to the “withy beds” and the river beyond to discover this tranquil corner of the Somerset moors.
Our fascinating museum is packed to the willow ceiling with baskets to evoke memories of a time before plastic. Sparrow traps and bee hives sit alongside theatre baskets and baby weighing scales. The sympathetic setting of the basket museum provides a natural home to this rare collection, with something to amaze, amuse, inspire and inform all ages.

In our shop you will find a wonderful selection of willow products including furniture, hurdles and features for the garden and English willow baskets, both traditional and contemporary. If you are inspired by your visit and want to try willow basket-making we have all the willow, tools and instructional books you will need to get started. Bespoke baskets are our speciality, we are proud of the skilled craftspeople working with us and are able to make almost anything out of willow.

The Lemon Tree Coffee House serves a tempting range of homemade cakes and lunches in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Explore our retail courtyard home to a group of individual shops each offering something different and exciting. Truly, a unique shopping experience to be enjoyed at a tranquil, relaxed pace in a beautiful rural setting.

Opening Times

Opening (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)
DayTimes

* 9:30am - 5pm
Closed Sundays
Please contact for Christmas and New Year opening times

Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free AdmissionFree

Free admission. Cost of guided tours:
Adults £4.50. Children (5-14 yrs) - £3.00.

Search What's Nearby

Product Type
Within miles

Search Again?

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

What's Nearby

  1. Holly Farm

    Add Holly Farm Cottages to your Itinerary

    Holly Farm Cottages

    Somerset self catering barns converted to high standard with indoor pool, hot tub, games...

    0.4 miles away
  2. Cames Mead B&B

    0.44 miles away
  3. Doolittle’s Campsite & Shepherd's Hut

    Add Doolittle’s Campsite & Shepherd's Hut to your Itinerary

    Doolittle’s Campsite & Shepherd's Hut

    Shepherd’s Hut & camping & glamping in Somerset near Taunton.

    2.07 miles away
  1. Walkers Farm Cottages

    2.24 miles away
  2. Somerset Country Escape

    4.05 miles away
  3. Springfield House

    4.22 miles away
  4. Langaller Manor B&B

    Add Langaller Manor B&B to your Itinerary

    Langaller Manor B&B

    Independent luxury B&B near Taunton in a Manor House & Coach House. TripAdvisor...

    4.35 miles away
  5. Ashe Farm Caravan and Campsite

    4.54 miles away
  6. The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa

    Add The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa to your Itinerary

    The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa

    The Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa in Taunton, Somerset is a stunning Regency country house...

    4.57 miles away
  7. Frog Street Farmhouse

    Add Frog Street Farmhouse to your Itinerary

    Frog Street Farmhouse

    Frog Street Farmhouse, Hatch Beauchamp, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6AF

    4.65 miles away
  8. The Hatch Inn

    4.69 miles away
  9. The Garden Cottage

    Add The Garden Cottage to your Itinerary

    The Garden Cottage

    Architect's own spacious and elegantly styled self catering only 10 minutes from Taunton...

    5.12 miles away
  10. Premier Inn - Ruishton

    5.15 miles away
  11. Express Holiday Inn Taunton

    5.54 miles away
  12. The Garden Retreat

    Add The Garden Retreat to your Itinerary

    The Garden Retreat

    A self contained 2 bedroomed self catering apartment in Somerset in an idyllic setting...

    6.18 miles away
  13. Premier Inn - Massingham Park

    6.36 miles away
Previous Next