Animals, trains, caves and cider

Kids can enjoy animal encounters at Tropiquaria and Secret World, ride the longest heritage railway in the country, or explore amazing caves and tunnels at Wookey Hole. Grown-ups will love the cider brandy at Burrow Hill, the history of Barrington Court and Wells Cathedral, and the creative cocktails at Zinc.

Animals, trains, caves and cider Animals, trains, caves and cider Animals, trains, caves and cider Animals, trains, caves and cider

Country kids

Enjoy animal encounters and ride the pirate ships at Tropiquaria in Watchet. Then see animals rescued, rehabilitated and released at Secret World. Or head to the Museum of Somerset inside Taunton Castle to see an under-floor Plesiosaur, a huge collection of Roman coins and a recreation of the infamous Bloody Assizes.

At the Fleet Air Arm Museum, you can see a history of the flying arm of the Royal Navy. Or how about the UK’s largest collection of the greatest cars from around the world? The Haynes Motor Museum showcases cars from the late 1800s, classics of the 1950s and 1960s, and world-renowned supercars like the Jaguar XJ220.

Ride the longest heritage railway in the country through 20 miles of stunning countryside and coast on the West Somerset line. Explore abandoned animals in 51 acres of glorious Somerset scenery at Ferne Animal Sanctuary. Or explore amazing caves and tunnels, 4D cinema and the cave museum at Wookey Hole Caves.

For simple bucket-and-spade fun, head down to the soft sands of Lyme Regis’s Town Beach or Monmouth Beach. At Vivary Adventure Centre, challenge mum and dad to a race on the climbing wall or test your limits on the high ropes course. Or enjoy more screen-free amusement on the Hunt Fun Taunton Trail.

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For the grown ups

Find some inner peace at Barrington Court, a fragment of old Somerset: an empty Tudor manor house, beautifully restored, with farm buildings, abundant flowers and orchards. Keep serene and keep on to Wells Cathedral, the earliest English cathedral built in the Gothic style.

Get a little more shallow and shop yourself silly at The Orchard Centre in Taunton, for brands including Waterstones, Panache, Bills and Ernest Jones. Or pop to Burrow Hill Cider, where they’ve revived the ancient art of Somerset cider brandy production. Find out why they call it the water of life.

Follow the jump racing at Wincanton or National Hunt racing at Taunton. Lower your handicap at Oake Manor. Hack over the hills with Quantock Trekking. Watch the cricket at Taunton. Or see the largest colony of breeding grey herons in south-west England at Swell Wood Nature Reserve.

At night, head into Taunton to pick from traditional pubs, swish bars such as Pitcher and Piano, and lively nightlife at Zinc, home to five individually themed zones, including the exotic TIKI Bar with its creative cocktails. Or up the culture content with a trip to the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre.

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