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Minehead by the Sea

Picture a sweeping sandy beach, sails fluttering in a small harbour framed by a wooded bluff. You have Minehead, the name derived from a mixture of Welsh and Old English for hill.

Minehead is traditional. The small town sits just outside the boundary of Exmoor National Park and breathes how West Somerset works, where rich agricultural land meets the sea. It sits amongst countryside that inspired the verses in the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ as well as the works of Coleridge and Wordsworth.

Minehead and West Somerset can seem trapped in time, perhaps a particular day in the 1950s. Independent shops, a wide tree-lined avenue that connects the old town with the beach and the terminus of the West Somerset Railway add to this thought. The railway was first opened in 1874 and later amalgamated into the Great Western Railway in 1897. Today it is the longest standard gauge heritage railway in Britain, running 20 miles via 10 charming stations to Bishop’s Lydeard to the west of Taunton. There are regular special events throughout the season on the railway.

The Severn estuary has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world which gives further character to the beach, popular bathing at high tide and picking through rock pools at low. At the eastern end of the long seafront is one of the three remaining Butlins Holiday Resorts, alongside Somerset’s oldest golf club, founded in 1882, an 18-hole links course.

These varied facilities help to reflect that tourism has been a part of Minehead’s economy since Victorian times. That is also captured by the traditional welcome hospitality that the choice of accommodation, places to eat and attractions provide.

Towards the west end of the seafront near the harbour is a novel sculpture that marks the South West Coast Path, the UK's longest long-distance countryside walking trail. It runs along the South West Coast to Poole in Dorset.

Getting to Minehead is easy. It’s remote and unspoilt yet within an hour of the M5 motorway through beautiful countryside and views. The town is well served by bus from Taunton and Bridgwater. The postcode for the seafront is TA24 5BG.

Minehead the town
The centre of Minehead is only a few minutes’ walk along the Avenue from the seafront. On the right, you will see the picturesque and tranquil Blenheim Gardens. A central bandstand allows genteel music to float in the air through the summer months whilst you enjoy a leisurely picnic or cream tea. These six acre landscaped gardens also boast an 18-hole putting course.

A mixture of independent and well-known shops and services frame the Avenue which is level with the sea and so easily accessible for all.

The Beach Hotel at the end of the Avenue is owned and run by the YMCA, whose founder Sir George Williams was born to the south of Minehead at Dulverton. This is a remarkable project that gives students valuable experience in a professional situation.

Minehead Tourist Information Centre is situated within the Beach Hotel, opposite the Railway, postcode TA24 5AP. During the summer months, it opens Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 4pm and 11am until 4pm Sundays. It opens on Bank Holiday Mondays and other Mondays during the school summer holidays.

Telephone:   01643 702624 

You can also take a look here for more information. 

Also within the Beach Hotel is Minehead Museum. This gives fascinating insight into the town’s history and how that is reflected in some customs today, including the famous Hobby Horse. The folk custom of parading this artificial sculpture dates back until before 1820 and takes place in May every year.

Events and Things to do in Minehead
The Regal Theatre in the centre of town opened in 1934 and has a year-long programme of varied local and touring performances.  It hosts The Minehead and Exmoor Music Festival which is a week-long celebration of classical music running this year from Sunday 22nd until Saturday 28th July.

The seaside location is perfect for physical activities including windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing and coastering. Channel events are located on the seafront and offer these as well as land-based adventures.

Minehead Guided Walks give the opportunity to discover the hidden stories of the town - history and folklore, myths and legends, shipwrecks and smugglers, people and places all brought to life by enthusiastic guides. Details from the Information Centre – 01643 702624.

The West Somerset Folk Festival takes place in nearby Carhampton from 29th June until 1st July.

Useful links:

West Somerset Railway 


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Number of items: 41

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  1. National Trust -The shop at Dunster Castle

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    National Trust -The shop at Dunster Castle


    Shop/Shopping Centre

    Dunster, Nr Minehead

    Explore the atmospheric 17th-century stables and visit the shop for high quality, original gifts and local products. Our shop is brimming with beautiful things, so you are sure to find something to...

  2. National Trust -Watermill Tea-room at Dunster Castle

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    National Trust -Watermill Tea-room at Dunster Castle


    Tea/Coffee Shop

    Dunster, Nr Minehead

    The newly refurbished Watermill Tea-room is opposite the working watermill in peaceful surroundings alongside the River Avill. Offering seasonal treats from hearty lunches to delicious cakes it's a...

  3. National Trust -The Garden at Dunster Castle

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    National Trust -The Garden at Dunster Castle



    Dunster, Nr Minehead

    The result of 100s of years of planning, building and restoration a walk around the gardens at Dunster Castle takes you around the world and though four different microclimates.

    The South...

  4. National Trust - Dunster Castle

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    National Trust - Dunster Castle



    Dunster, Nr Minehead

    Dramatically sited on a wooded hill and the fortified home of the Luttrells for 600 years. Remodelled in the 1870s to create a splendid Victorian country house. A fine 17th- century carved...

  5. West Somerset Railway

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    West Somerset Railway


    Family Fun


    The West Somerset Railway is the longest Heritage line in the United Kingdom. 

    The line is situated four miles outside the County town of Taunton, starting at Bishops Lydeard and finishing at...

  6. Minehead Beach

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    The Avenue, Minehead

    Minehead is a superb destination for families seeking a traditional seaside holiday.

    It is considered the Northern Gateway to Exmoor and is the area’s largest town.

    Ideally situated to...

  7. Dunster

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    Dunster is one of the most popular places on Exmoor for visitors.  It is a medieval village with an ancient castle, priory, dovecote, yarn market, inns, packhorse bridge and a mill.  Since the...

  8. Minehead Information Centre

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    Minehead Information Centre


    Come and meet the friendly and helpful team based in The Beach Hotel.  We're a stone's throw away from the seafront, just opposite West Somerset Steam Railway.

    We sell a range of local maps,...

  9. Minehead Treasure Trail

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    Minehead Treasure Trail


    Walking Tour

    Warren Road, Minehead

    The Minehead Spy Mission Treasure Trail Explore the streets of Minehead with a self-guided Spy Mission themed walking Treasure Trail; a fun and imaginative way to explore Minehead. As you follow...

  10. Exmoor Character Cottages

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    Exmoor Character Cottages

    Minehead & Dunster

    Luxury self-catering cottages in the heart of Exmoor

    Each of our four period cottages has its own unique character, complete with original features. Comfortable and welcoming, they are designed...

    Indicative Availability

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  11. National Trust - Dunster Working Watermill

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    National Trust - Dunster Working Watermill


    Water Mill


    Fully restored watermill A restored 18th-century watermill built on the site of a mill mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. The mill is set in peaceful surroundings alongside the River Avill...

  12. Butlins, Minehead

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    Butlins, Minehead


    Theme Park / Waterpark


    Our Minehead resort is located in the beautiful seaside town just opposite the beach in the heart of Exmoor, in Somerset. From unlimited fairground rides to splash water world, our very own...

  13. Exmoor from Bossington Hill

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    Exmoor National Park


    Exmoor National Park is a unique and special place.

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

  14. The Beach Hotel

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    The Beach Hotel


    The award winning Beach Hotel overlooks Minehead Seafront and the iconic West Somerset Steam Railway. New England décor greets you inside, allowing for a relaxing drink in our bar and snug areas...


    Price from £85.00 to £125.00 Per unit per night

    Indicative Availability

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  15. Woodcombe Lodges and Cottages

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 97 reviews97 reviews

    Woodcombe Lodges and Cottages


    Woodcombe Lodges & Cottages are to be found down a short country lane on the outskirts of the seaside town of Minehead. Set in 3 acre gardens on a quiet country lane only 1+ mile from Minehead & its...


    Price from £255.00 to £1,730.00 Per unit per week

    Indicative Availability

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  16. The Pack Horse

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    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 69 reviews69 reviews

    The Pack Horse


    Come and enjoy our Idyllic Location in the National Trust Village Of Allerford.

    Alongside the...


    Price from £345.00 to £675.00 Per unit per week

    Indicative Availability

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  17. Townsend Farmhouse B&B

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    Townsend Farmhouse B&B


    Set in the beautiful West Somerset countryside, Townsend Farmhouse is a 17th Century Grade II...


    Price from £80.00 to £120.00 Per unit per night

    Indicative Availability

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  18. Hoburne Blue Anchor

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    Hoburne Blue Anchor

    Blue Anchor

    Your ideal retreat, nestled on the coast between the Quantocks and Exmoor. Right on the beach....

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  19. Porlock and Porlock Weir

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    Porlock and Porlock Weir


    Porlock is an attractive village with old thatched cottages and a good selection of shops, cafes,...

  20. Self catering cotttages, somerset, exmoor, Duddings

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    Duddings Country Cottages

    4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars 4 Visit England Stars Self Catering

    Exmoor, Minehead

    Welcome to Duddings Country Holiday Cottages, our family and dog friendly holiday cottages in the...


    Price from £252.00 to £4,022.00 Per unit per week

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