Destination Spotlight - Glamping in Somerset
Escape to the lush valleys, historic villages and sun-kissed vineyards of Somerset. Leave your wristwatch at home, as time meanders to its own drum in this sleepy corner of England’s rural south west. Drivers greet each other with a friendly wave, farmers wait for fruit to fall from the vine and its famous exports—cheese, wine and cider—are, like the county itself, aged to perfection.
There’s no better place to forget your big-city worries and bask in the glory of the long-awaited English summertime. Here’s our guide to a gorgeous glamping holiday in Somerset.
Where To Go
Built by the Romans as a sanctuary of health, relaxation and wellbeing, Bath remains an enriching escape like none other. The city’s love of life’s ‘finer things’ has a way of wearing off you, so give into temptation and really treat yourself. Spa treatments, boutique shopping, fancy cocktails—have it all in Bath!
Glastonbury is far more than a music festival. Head to the hippy hamlet, situated smack dab in the Somerset Levels, for a bit of New Age flare amongst the historic countryside. But don’t let the quirky cafes, palm readers and mystical crystal venders distract you from the town’s fascinating history and stunning natural scenery. Climb up Glastonbury Tor for a bit of both!
Go for the cheese, stay for...well, the cheese. Of course there’s more to Cheddar than its self-titled cheese, but watching the town’s only remaining cheesemakers at work is a true delight. Other highlights include touring its famous caves, playing a round of crazy golf and cycling along the ‘Strawberry Line’.
It may be the smallest city in England—a “city” thanks to its cathedral, not its size—but Wells wears small well. Its cobbled streets and medieval architecture have been the backdrop of many films over the years, and it’s easy to see why. During your visit, be sure not to miss the Victorian Penny Arcade and, of course, the incredible cathedral.
What To Do
Tour the Roman Baths Museum
When in Bath, do as the Roman’s do. A walk around these ancient, yet impressively-preserved, bathing pools offers an incredible insight into the grandeur of ancient Rome. It’s Bath’s premiere attraction (and there are many) so be sure not to leave it off your itinerary.
Marvel at the Wells Cathedral
It bears repeating: this stunning cathedral is not one to miss. The medieval Gothic structure is known as one of England’s most beautiful cathedrals, and its impressive from the inside out.
Ride the West Somerset Railway
England’s finest heritage rail route, the WSR is a magnificent way to take in the sites of Somerset. Riding in one of its historic steam and diesel trains feels like stepping back in time. If you’re visiting the first or second weekend in July, you can even catch a ride on the ‘Thomas The Train’ engine.
Enjoy an evening of magic
One of the best-loved attractions in Somerset, the Krowd Keepers: Magic Theatre never fails to make an impression. From clever sleight-of-hand experts to hilarious comic performers, Krowd Keepers is bursting with talent that far exceeds its unassuming venue (upstairs at the Ale House). Prepare to have your expectations exceeded.
Navigate the Quantock Hills on horseback
Choose from three scenic bridleways across 50 acres of Somerset moorland and saddle up for a truly memorable horseback riding adventure. Quantock Trekking offers guided two-hour tours and caters to riders of all different experience levels.
Glamping In Somerset
Wigwam® Cabins at Secret Valley
Somerset is not a generic destination, so don’t settle for generic accommodation. Secret Valley Wigwams, set on a stunning farm and vineyard in the Quantock Hills, allow you to experience the gorgeous Somerset scenery without the downsides of traditional camping. Sleeping up to three adults, or a family of four, the heated wooden cabins come equipped with comfy mattresses, an electric kettle, a toaster and a fridge/freezer.
In addition to its glamping accommodation, Secret Valley is a bustling activity centre. On-site activities include archery tag, coarse fishing and a ropes course. Other highlights include:
Working organic farm
Secret Valley recently welcomed a miniature Mediterranean donkey and, all being well with the other mum-in-waiting, another will be on its way soon. They’re also adding two alpacas and some pygmy goats to the farm this summer, so they’ll be lots of animals for the visitors to see at Secret Valley.
Vineyard and wine tasting tours
The folks at Secret Valley run hugely popular farm and vineyard tours, complete with wine tasting. Farmer John drives you through the lush fields on a seated trailer, stopping for a taste of wine (for the adults) and for a few farm games, including duck racing in the stream and a round of ‘spot the unusual animals’.