Ride the railway, fish the seas

Kids can enjoy animal antics at Tropiquaria Zoo or Exmoor Zoo, skim stones at Porlock Weir, ride the West Somerset Railway, or go back in time at Dunster Castle or Cleeve Abbey. Grown-ups can walk the coastal path, get aching muscles pampered at Cedar Falls Spa, or charter the Osprey for serious sea fishing.

Ride the railway, fish the seas Ride the railway, fish the seas Ride the railway, fish the seas Ride the railway, fish the seas

Kids ahoy

There’s plenty here to keep young minds and bodies busy. Kick things off at Tropiquaria Zoo, with its animal sanctuary, play area and aquarium, or maybe at Exmoor Zoo, home to everything from cheetahs to capybara and armadillos to alpacas. Or how about a bird-of-prey experience at Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre?

Exmoor Adventures is the place for kayaking, mountain biking, archery, abseiling and more. Or stay in Porlock Weir for a pebbled beach made for skimming stones, the vast sandy beach at Minehead, or the surfing beaches of Croyde and Kilve. Feeling adventurous? How about Selworthy Sands with its 60-foot scramble rope?

Go back in time to Dunster Castle, an ancient country home with dramatic views and subtropical gardens, to Cleeve Abbey in Washford, said to contain England’s finest cloister buildings. Or check out Dunster itself, for the yarn market, tithe barn and listed buildings.

Ride the West Somerset Railway, the longest heritage railway in England, with 20 miles of stunning scenery that includes the Quantock Hills, Exmoor and South Wales. Take a Land Rover safari and explore Exmoor National Park’s wildlife, geology and history. Or enjoy the walks, trails and café at Wimbleball Lake Country Park.

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For the grown ups

Bring your dogs and walk, walk, walk. You’re just moments from the South-West Coastal Path, a rollercoaster ride along the bays, coves and beaches of North Somerset. Walk west towards England’s smallest complete parish church in Culbone, or complete section two of the coastal path towards Lynmouth.

Walk east through Porlock marshes towards Hurlestone Point to spot porpoises, seals and bird life. Wrap up your walk with a stroll into Bossington for afternoon tea and cake at Kitnor’s, or visit the local pub, just a five minute walk away.

Take your aching muscles along to get pampered at Cedar Falls Health Farm and Spa in Bishops Lydeard. Need to get active? Knock some clay from the skies with the South West Shooting School in Ilfracombe, or knock small balls into holes at Minehead and West Somerset Golf Club. Ride the high-hedged lanes or high fells on bikes from Exmoor Adventures. Or trek the Horner Valley on horses from Burrowhayes Farm.

Get closer to the red deer and ponies on an Exmoor Wildlife Safari. Charter the Osprey at Minehead for some serious sea fishing. Head out for a meal, or potter down to The Bottom Ship for a swift pint of Exmoor Ale, Exmoor Stag or Otter Amber.

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