PLACES TO VISIT
Chew Valley Lake
Lake is the largest artificial freshwater lake in South West England.
An internationally renowned spot for birds, there is boating, a lake
side area with visitor centre, tearoom, and nature trail. Bird watchers
should visit http://www.cvlbirding.co.uk. In addition, it is the location
of a submerged Roman Villa – the old Roman road just continues
into the lake, mysteriously!
Burrington Ham / Black Down / Roberrow Forest
This is the largest area of open land in the AONB. Black Down trig point is the highest point on Mendip offering terrific views across to Wales. There is significant wildlife and archaeology in the immediate area including a substantial iron-age hill fort (Dolebury, pictured).
The Mendip Hills
Cheddar Gorge & Caves
This dramatic limestone gorge ends in the village of Cheddar with shops, pubs, tearooms, restaurants situated at the bottom. A major tourist attraction, Britain’s biggest Gorge offers plenty to do above and below ground with the Cathedral-like Caves, million-year-old Ice Age river bed & of course, ‘Cheddar Man’, Britain's oldest complete skeleton! http://www.cheddarcaves.co.uk/
Wookey Caves & Papermill
Britain's most spectacular showcaves, home of the Witch of Wookey; Victorian Papermill - Traditional papermaking - Old Penny Pier, Magical Mirror Maze, Neptunes Kingdom, Caves Museum. Attractive picnic areas Safe environment for children
The City of Wells is is not to be missed! It is Britain’s smallest city and is home to one of the loveliest English Cathedrals, featuring the finest medieval statuary in the country (603 figures of kings, princes and nobles). We love the mechanical clock inside the cathedral. There are numerous other historical buildings, including the Bishop's Palace, which is still home to the Bishop of Bath & Wells. If you’ve seen the movie ‘Hot Fuzz’, you’ll recognize much of Wells, as it was filmed here!
Wells also has a bustling market, normally held every Wednesday and Saturday morning, and numerous lovely shops. The Cathedral hosts many concerts and events, and it’s well worth checking out the web site to see what’s going on. A visit to Wells isn’t complete without lunch at ‘The Good Earth’. Formerly an Egon Ronay ‘just a bite’ recommendation, this wholefood café serves excellent food at a very sensible price. It has been a firm favourite for many, many years and always gets rave reviews from visitors and guests.
Glastonbury Tor rises dramatically from the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels, close to the town of Glastonbury, to a height of 158 metres (525 feet). The Tor is topped by the tower of a ruined 15th-century church (St Michael's). The hill and its approaches are owned by the National Trust, and offer free public access, but visitors are advised to walk there from the town centre, or to take the 'Tor Bus', due to parking restrictions around the site. Views from the summit are stunning in all directions. History, myth and legend surround the Tor. Dark Age and Saxon remains excavated here suggested that it was once a Saxon fortress, or perhaps an early Christian hermitage.
Close to the foot of the Tor are the Chalice Well Gardens, a lovely place to stop and relax, have a wander around, contemplate life the universe, etc! There is also a font with water from the ‘Holy Well’, the spring, where you can collect water to drink. We also like the Rainbow’s End café, it serves good value and very tasty vegetarian food.
Rural Life Museum is also not far from the Tor. It is a magnificent
Medieval Abbey barn and Victorian farmhouse with displays, exhibitions,
craft and farming demonstrations and special events. Shop & tea
This remarkable area has international status as one of the most important wetlands of its type in the world. Almost half of the Levels & Moors is designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) and parts of the wetland are designated a 'Ramsar' site of international importance, and a Special Protection Area, to ensure 'wise' or 'sustainable' use. Several DEFRA initiatives specifically encourage farmers to 'wise use', such as the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) and Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme (ESA). Wise use of a wetland results in richness of flowers and wildlife.
You can visit the Peat Moors Centre, http://www.somerset.gov.uk/somerset/cultureheritage/heritage/pmc/ for craft and living history demonstrations, and insight into the history of the area.
The Victorian Resort of Clevedon
is a Victorian seaside town of unspoiled charm. Enjoying glorious views
across the Bristol Channel, the local coastal walks have inspired many
great writers including Tennyson, Thackeray and Coleridge.
There is individual charm in the specialist shops plus the familiar high street names and an excellent choice of restaurants and cafes. Close to the town there is a craft centre where you can buy quality gifts from the artists themselves. There are National Trust properties nearby and fantastic garden centres.
The Maritime City of Bristol
city sightseeing www.bristolvisitor.co.uk
Ferry Boat Co www.bristolferry.com
Zoo Gardens www.bristolzoo.org.uk
The Georgian City of Bath
Bath Spa www.themaebathspa.com
Located in the heart of Bath and fed by the natural hot springs. Spa sessions and treatments.
Roman Baths www.romanbaths.co.uk
The finest religious spa in Northern Europe, built 2000 years ago around the country’s only hot springs. Roman museum, special audiotour for children, etc.
The Seaside Resort of Weston super Mare
Weston-super-Mare is a bustling seaside resort. The broad sweep of Weston Bay has an award winning Grade II listed Grand Pier, a level promenade, and of course the famous Weston donkeys!
www.helicoptermuseum.co.uk World’s largest helicopter museum. 70+ helicopters, undercover, including the world speed record holder. Take a helicopter flight! Under 12’s can stage a rescue in the Lynx helicopter play area.
The Cotswolds & Gloucestershire
Slimbridge Wetlands Centre www.wwt.org.uk
One of nine Wildfowl and Wetland Centres run by the WWT. The world’s largest collection of exotic, rare and endangered ducks, geese and swans in a reserve of international importance.
Westonbirt Arboretum www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt
when visiting the South West, Westonbirt has one of the finest collections
of trees and shrubs in the world, set in 600 acres. Beautiful and family-friendly
at any time of the year.
Content Copyright Adrian Boots 2002-2009
Belgrave Crescent B&B - Bed & Breakfast in Bath with our friends Sue & Alan
Marland Lodge B&B - Bed & Breakfast near Torrington, North Devon
Somerset Holiday Cottage - Self-catering holidays for up to 15 on the Mendips
Walk The Mendips - Wild Food, Bushcraft & Natural History Walks, Forays & Camp-fire Cook-ups on the Mendips in Somerset
All web site content and photos copyright Adrian Boots 2008-2011.
Cottage B&B - Bed & Breakfast on the Mendips
Ashcroft House, Ellick Road, Blagdon, Bristol BS40 7TU. Tel: 01761 463356 Email: Adrian Boots