Peter Haggett

The QUANTOCKS

West-Somerset-Railway

The book contains a four-page section (pp. 191-194) entitled ‘Hints for a Quantock Visitor’ which gives guidance to those coming to the area on walks, places not to miss, and where to stay.  Since the Quantocks are part of Somerset a useful starting point is the county tourist website Visit Somerset but be sure to supplement this with the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) outstanding website.  The AONB headquarters is at Fyne Court in the southern Quantocks which is also local headquarters for the National Trust which owns large areas of the hills and the Coleridge Cottage at Nether Stowey.   

 

 

 

 

For those coming by car (the majority of Quantock visitors), there are a network of parking areas shown on the two Ordnance Survey maps (Sheet 140 ‘Quantock Hills and Bridgwater and Sheet OL9 ‘Exmoor’) and both hill and coastal walks from these are well waymarked.  Further information on both walks and cycle routes are available from the AONB and National Trust office at Fyne Court and from tourist offices at the neighbouring towns of Taunton, Bridgwater and Minehead.  While in Taunton – a ‘must’ for a wet day – visit the newly restored Museum of Somerset in Taunton Castle.

 

Other useful links are the Quantock Community Newsletter and the Friends of Quantocks.

The Quantocks have several fine country houses and that at Hestercombe is of special interest for its three gardens laid out in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the western part of the region Cleeve Abbey is one of England’s best-preserved monastic foundations. Both Hestercombe and Cleeve are children friendly as is the beautifully restored West Somerset Railway running from the village of Bishops Lydeard to Minehead.  Two stations of special interest along the way are Crowcombe-Heathfield beloved as a location by film-makers (see the Beatles’ ‘Hard Days Night’ and the BBC’s ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’) and the little coastal port of Watchet.  

Places to visit in Somerset

Watchet