As we come out of winter hibernation, encouraged by the first signs of Spring, it’s a time to start thinking about the great outdoors. There are so many great activities in Somerset to choose from. The county has the most fantastic landscapes and a brilliant range of outdoor activities to enjoy whatever your level of fitness or expertise.
Outdoor activities in Somerset
Hire a bike (or bring your own) and explore the hidden delights of Somerset. The Levels (which as the name suggests are nice and flat) take you through some wonderful countryside which is teeming with birdlife.
The hills around the Chew Valley and up Harptree Hill are a little more testing, but the views make the effort well worthwhile. Many keen cyclists pedal along the winding road that cuts through Cheddar Gorge. This has to be one of the most scenic roads in the country. If you’re feeling fit tackle the hill out of Cheddar!
Hire a bike from Cheddar Cycles Store
Whether it’s a pleasant stroll around an historic city or town or a more strenuous countryside walk, you’ll find what you are looking for in the Mendips. (The Mendip Hills are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.)
For real enthusiasts The Mendip Way is a must. This 50 mile trek (which might need to be spread over a couple of days) starts at the Roman port of Uphill (near Weston-super-Mare) and finishes at the old market town of Frome (home to a great range of independent shops and a brilliant monthly market).
The route takes you across the central Mendip plateau and through the stunning Cheddar Gorge. Here, you will encounter the legendary Wookey Hole. This hike takes you through woodlands, valleys and several historic, old towns.
Perhaps one of the more adventurous activities in Somerset. Go underground to see what other extraordinary sights the Mendips have to offer and enjoy an action-packed day caving.
Start your day in Goatchurch Cavern. This cave is mostly dry and very popular with beginners. The passage starts easily enough before splitting into a more complex series of crawls, climbs and chambers. There are some interesting geological features which include stalactite flowstones and lots of fossils. This session should last approximately two hours. Then take an hour to refuel and rest before…
driving to Priddy, a six mile drive from Burrington. After kitting up on Priddy Green, take a short walk (200 meters) and arrive at Swildon’s Hole. This is a wet cave with a lively stream way and several waterfalls. This underground excursion should last about two hours.
If the thought of putting on specialist kit fills you with dread then you can always take a stroll through the caves at Cheddar Gorge or at Wookey Hole.
Rock climbing & abseiling
Whether it’s going up or coming down the thrill of climbing is contagious.
Abseiling really requires little skill (unless you are the instructor!) and not too much effort. The real challenge is in the mind. If you can conquer your nerves, it is a great way to see the limestone of the Mendips up close and personal.
So whether it’s a climbing tower or a rock face, the Mendips offer opportunities for people of all levels and abilities. Enjoy excellent tuition and supervision from a qualified instructor.
There are a couple of very good shooting ranges a few miles from The Cross. They cater for everyone from complete novices to seasoned enthusiasts. Shoot at a variety of targets from simulated game to trap and skeet disciplines.
Seeing everything from horseback allows you to experience Somerset from a totally different viewpoint. Use a ‘no road’ policy and you will find yourself in the heart of the countryside. The beauty of Tynings Trekking centre is that you can hire the ponies for a couple of hours or a day and they even have a pub route!!!
However hard you fancy pushing yourself, you can always be sure that your chosen activity won’t be too far from The Cross. At the end of a tiring and exhilarating day a comfortable bed, a warm welcome and a well deserved hot shower or bath will be waiting. So come and enjoy at least one of these activities in Somerset!