Starlings, serenity and Sheppy’s cider

Kids can keep it natural at Fyne Court Reserve with waymarked trails, stream for paddling and folly that doubles as a castle, or meet the animals at Sheppy’s Cider Farm. Mums and dads can catch the culture at the Brewhouse, soak up the serenity at Hestercombe or just watch the starlings roost among the reeds.

Starlings, serenity and Sheppy’s cider Starlings, serenity and Sheppy’s cider Starlings, serenity and Sheppy’s cider Starlings, serenity and Sheppy’s cider

Country kids

Keep the kids occupied with all manner of amazing stuff. Keep it natural at Fyne Court Reserve with waymarked trails, dragonfly pond, a stream for paddling and folly that doubles as a castle. Or see over 300 pigs, donkeys, chinchillas, chipmunks, goats and ferrets at Ferne Animal Sanctuary.

For sports superstars, Vivary Golf Course comes with 18-hole mini course, while Somerset Cricket Museum does what it says on the tin. Get off the ground at Vivary Adventure Centre with ropes course, totem and climbing wall, or take the ultimate challenge: the high-ropes course with power-fan descender.

There’s virtual driving and karting on offer at Racetrac while, at Sheppy’s Cider Farm and Museum, you can explore the farmland and orchard, meet the animals and tour the cider museum. Stock up at the farm shop. Or take a picnic to Great Wood and explore the forest tracks by bike or push your baby buggy.

Head to Middlemoor Water Park for water skiing, wakeboard, jet ski and go karting. Or to Burnham-on-Sea for donkey rides, paddling and seaside fun by the bucket-and-spade-load. Stay in Burnham for an adrenaline rush at Brean Leisure Park on the Canoe River, Cartoon Train and the Caterpillar Coaster.

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For the grown-ups

In this land of tractors and tweeds, there seems to be a cricket match on every village green and fruit-rich cider on tap in every country pub. Villages come bursting with reclamation yards, record shops and retro clothes. And you’ll not want for antiques, either, or tea and scones.

The Somerset Levels is one of the world’s most important wetlands. Watch clouds of starlings come to roost at sunset among the reeds. Keep an eye out for badgers, too, and foxes and otters, in one of the last enclaves in England. Head out at dusk for the symphony of the skylarks and the tumbling of the lapwings.

At Taunton’s Vivary Park, you can walk the parklands, play the golf course and top up at the Sand Wedge Café. See the county’s story at the Museum of Somerset or soak up the serenity of the gardens and gallery at Hestercombe. Or catch some culture at the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre.

For nights out, The Grove is good for carveries, comedy and craic, while there’s hearty fare on offer at The Half Moon Inn with no half measures. Try the Pitcher and Piano for cocktails, ciders and ales or just coffee on the Chesterfields.

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