From Saxon stronghold to comfortable family house, you can trace over 1,000 years of history at Dunster Castle and gardens. The scenery is spectacular, with sweepings views of Exmoor and the Bristol Channel, and the grounds houses a beautiful 18th century working watermill.
Scare the kids in the Crypt with stories of ghostly goings on, or tales of the oubliette. Play lawn games or get competitive in the log play area in the river gardens.
Check out the event listings for details of tours, trails and have-a-go archery. A brilliant day out for the whole family.
See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle for further information.
In Washford lies one of the undiscovered jewels of Somerset, providing an interesting day out for families and budding historians alike. The Cistercian abbey of Cleeve is a haven of peace and tranquility, said to contain the finest cloister buildings in England.
Visitors today can catch a glimpse of monastic life 800 years ago; although the abbey church was destroyed by Henry VIII during the dissolution in 1536, the cloister buildings including the gatehouse, 15th century refectory with its glorious angel roof and 13th century heraldic tiles have survived remarkably intact. The great dormitory is one of the best examples in the country, and an exhibition and virtual tour tells the story of the abbey and daily life for the holy men that once inhabited it.
See www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/cleeve-abbey/ for further information.
The clifftop fortress of Daws Castle was founded by King Alfred to defend the people of Watchet against Viking attacks.
For more information, go to: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/daws-castle
Fyne Court is beautiful National Trust owned grounds in Broomfield in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a ‘wild garden’ with walks and trails through woods and over fields and alongside streams, the perfect place for a picnic and where children can explore nature.
Once owned by Andrew Crosse the ‘thunder and lightning man’ an early pioneer into electricity. The main house was burnt down in 1894 but facilities include a café, toilets and a car park.
For more information, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fyne-court
Orchard Wyndham is an ancient manor house and grounds dating back to medieval times. Open for guided tours during the summer months it offers a unique and beautiful glimpse into a major part of the history of this area and it remains home to the Wyndham family.
For more information and to find out about guided tours go to: www.orchardwyndham.com