Sshhh! ...the Quantocks are one of our best kept secrets.
This area was the first in England to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Follow in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, two of England’s finest poets who once lived in the Quantocks.With her shapely rolling hills and patchwork landscape, the Quantock Hills offer a walker’s paradise. We can provide maps & picnics – just give us a little notice.
Open hillsides dip into crystal streams that babble through the dappled, broadleaved woodland. It is alive with songbirds and covered in carpets of bluebells in the spring. This is part of a diverse wildlife habitat including red deer, fox, hare and birds of prey among its many inhabitants – early mornings are best for wildlife watching.
There are lots of things to do…
Things to Do Locally
There are lots of things to do and see…
- Farm Walks – Yes of course, you could stay here on the farm. Pick up a map from the dining room and try one of our self directed Farm Walks. We have wildlife ponds & woodland to explore and, at Huntstile there is our own home-made Stone Circle. All these places have fantastic views over the surrounding countryside.
Historic Houses, Parks, Gardens and FUN! ♣
- Hestercombe House – Distance: 10.7 milesAs featured on BBC’s ‘Gardens Through Time’. Arguably the best example of Gertrude Jekyll & Sir Edward Lutyens work. A wonderful formal garden with beautiful stonework, rills, an Orangery & pergola plus 40 acres of woodland walks with temple, amazing cascades & breathtaking views of the Blackdown Hills.A: Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG T: 01823 413923
- West Somerset Steam Railwaydistance 4.5miles Great fun ofr all the family! Steam engines and trains galore from the railway staion at Bishops Lydeard all the way to Minehead – and al stops in between! Special Santa trips at Chirstmas, Thomas the Tank Engine extravaganzas and specialist weekends for steam train enthusiasts. Check their webiste for more information by clicking on the title.
- Halwsell House – Distance: ½ a mile away from Friendly Cottage & Huntstile, 3 miles from West BowerGlorious Georgian Grade 1 listed property and parkland situated in Goathurst 3 miles south-west of Bridgwater on the edge of the Quantocks with distant views of the Bristol Channel. The parkland and its ornamental buildings date back to the 18th century romantic landscape, and are listed Grade II* on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.A:Halswell House, Goathurst, Somerset, TA5 2DH T: 0845 208 1066
- Fyne Court – Distance: 7.4 milesNational Trust nature reserve & visitor centre. A real hidden Somerset gem, originally designed as the pleasure grounds of the Crosse family and the pioneer 19th-century electrician Andrew Crosse. Spend a magical day walking through the woodland garden, before meandering through bluebell-filled copses and the delightful meadows on the wider estate A: Broomfield, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2EQ T: 01823 451873
- Ramscombe, The Quantocks – 20 minutes drive from Huntstile The great outdoors at its most beautiful. This magical glade with babbling brooks – perfect for paddling in and making little dams – is a great place for children to run and play. Purpose built BBQs and lots of space for ball games, children love this delightful part of the forestry commission, there are camps to make in the woods, bridges for playing Pooh Sticks and lots of space to run around. This is one of our favourite places for picnics – the other favourite childhood haunt is…
- Kilve Beach – 20 minute drive from Huntstile A weird and wonderful lunar-like coastline off the A39 to Minehead road. Rugged strata layers leave long shelves of rockpools to explore when the tide is out nad lots of fossils to diswcover. There are huge amonites to see and little ones to find on the beach. There is a fresh water pond at the top of the beach which all our children learnt to skip stones across – just lovely. Lilstock beach is also worth a visit, Lilstock beach hut has evolved from salvaged driftwood and washed up relics over the last few years – it even has its own Facebook page!
- Cheddar Gorge & Caves and Wookey Hole are not too far away
- Also the town of Glastonbury is well worth a visit to the crystal shops and the Tor that is steeped in mystery and mythical legend…
- Durleigh Reservoir is just 4 miles from us and is a resting place for migratory birds and recognised wildfowl reserve. Fishing, windsurfing and sailing lessons on certain days – be sure to check the website out for details.
- Shooting (in season) – Local, details from the farm T: 01278 662358
- Fishing – Durleigh Reservoir (2.5 miles) coarse; Hawkridge Reservoir Spaxton (4.5 miles) fly-fishing rainbow & brown trout & Burtons Springs Fisheries (12 miles) carp & fly.
- Oatley Vineyard, Cannington http://www.oatleyvineyard.co.uk/Site/Visit.html – delicious range of wines, all English!
- Enmore Golf Club – Distance: 2 milesSet within open farmland and woodland, gently undulating course with excellent support & hospitalities, including superb food.A: Enmore Park Golf Club, Enmore, Somerset, TA5 2AN T: 01278 672100
- Cannington Golf Club –Distance: 0.9 miles9 hole golf course with subtle contours with big, deep bunkers and greens built to international standards. Arguably one of the best nine hole courses in the West of England.A: Cannington Golf Club, Cannington College, Bridgwater, TA5 2LS T: 01278 665050
- Cobs Cross Activity Centre Hill – Distance: 5.9 miles Providing a range of Outdoor Adventure Activities including Mountain Boarding, Archery, Raft Building and high Ropes, which are increasing every season. The centre site is on the edge of the Quantock hills in Somerset at Cobbs Cross Farm, which is in a well known area of outstanding natural beauty.A: Cobbs Cross Farm, Goathurst, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA5 2DN T: 01278 671359
- Somerset Levels Basket and Craft Centre – Distance: 6.6 milesAn extensive range of quality basketware handmade by craftspeople from our own workshop and all across the globe.Closed Tuesdays & SundaysA: Somerset Levels Ltd, Lyng Rd, Burrowbridge, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA7 0SG T: 01823 698688
Day Trips ♣
- Quantocks Hills -Distance: 5 milesThe hilltops are largely covered by open heathland which descends into areas of broadleaved woodland, forestry and farmland. Many combes, or valleys, each with distinct characteristics, cut into the side of the hills with villages and hamlets dotted around the lower slopes. There are a range of Activities to do in the Quantocks, including Horse Riding, Mountain Biking and Walking.
- Durleigh Reservoir –Distance: 3.6 milesThe oldest Wessex reservoir, formerly a trout fishery, now used for Windsurfing, Sailing and fishing with over 80 acres of course fishing from the bank side. The reservoir is home to a wide range of waders, waterfowl and woodland species. *West Bower Cottage overlooks this!A: Durleigh Reservoir, Brigewater, TA5 2AW
- Enmore Village and Goathurst Village – Ancient churches with parts dating back to 1100’s
- West Somerset Steam Railway – Distance: 22 milesA true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway. Whether you are looking for a nostalgic ride back in time through lovely countryside or to study the railway and industrial heritage which our line preserves. Great fun!A: West Somerset Railway Plc, the Railway Station, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5BG T: 01643 704996
- Admiral Blake MuseumMention the British Navy and everyone’s heard of Francis Drake and Horatio Nelson but Robert Blake? Yet in his lifetime Blake was a national hero, first as a soldier in the Civil War and then as a naval commander. Blake Museum celebrates him and the town in which he grew up. A: Blake Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3NB T: 01278 456127
- Glastonbury – Distance: 19.2 milesGlastonbury is situated in the Mendip district of the Somerset Levels, 30 miles south of Bristol. The town is known for its history, including Glastonbury Lake Village, Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset Rural Life Museum and Glastonbury Tor, the many myths and legends associated with the town, and the Glastonbury Festival which takes place in the nearby village of Pilton.
- Cheddar Gorge – Distance 23.5 milesCheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. The caves, produced by the activity of an underground river, contain stalactites and stalagmites.
- Wells Cathedral – Distance 27 milesBuilt between 1175 and 1490, Wells Cathedral has been described as “the most poetic of the English Cathedrals”. Much of the structure is in the Early English style and is greatly enriched by the deeply sculptural nature of the mouldings and the vitality of the carved capitals in a foliate style known as “stiff leaf”.
- Scott Cinemas Bridgwater – Distance: 3.8 milesA: 21 Penel Orlieu, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3PF T: 0871 2303200
- Quantock Lodge Family Swimming Pool – Distance: 5.6 milesThe indoor swimming pool is a rectangular tank of 10 by 20 metres. There is seating for spectators along one side and fabulous views along the other two. A: Quantock Lodge Leisure Ltd, The Dovecote, Quantock Lodge, Over Stowey, Bridgwater, TA5 1HD T: 01278 733750
- Taxis – Local Taxi at Bridgwater “Tizzy’s Taxis” : 01278 45 55 65 – BOOK EARLY!
Bridgwater Taxis – (up to midnight Sun- Thurs, 2am Fri & Sat) T: 01278 425858 T: 01278 447475 T: 01278 444334 T: 01278 424405
- Taxis – Local Taxi at Bridgwater “Tizzy’s Taxis” : 01278 45 55 65 – BOOK EARLY!