10 Things to Do for Free in Somerset
Somerset is known as the land of the summer people, but it is a year round holiday destination. There are lots of things to do that are free, enabling people on a budget to enjoy the county. Here are some of the best things to do for free in Somerset.
Walk to a View
The view across the Somerset Levels from Glastonbury Tor is spectacular and worth the hike. Start from the High Street and follow the trail to Stone Down lane and then climb up the hill. If you descend on the exact opposite side, the walk passes the Chalice Well. The views are the reason for coming here and enjoying this part of Somerset.
Get a City Guided Tour
The Mayor of Bath established a free guided tour service run by locals, so visitors could see and experience the best of the city. Walking tours leave daily from outside the Abbey Churchyard and include many of the popular attractions in Bath. Tour times are displayed outside Bath Abbey. The Jane Austen Centre also runs free walking tours themed around the author’s life in Bath, accompanied by a guide in Regency style costume. These tours are pre-bookable via the tourist office in Bath.
Watch a Murmuration of Starlings
The dramatic flying patterns of starlings are one of nature’s aerobatic displays. One of the best places to see them in Britain is on the Somerset Levels in the Avalon Marshes. Two areas in particular at Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath are excellent for viewing. The best time to see a murmuration is December to January, although they are common in autumn. Murmurations usually take place after 3.30pm.
Visit a Museum
Somerset has some delightful museums, many of which are free. One of the best is the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. The Museum of Somerset has many displays to lose yourself in on a rainy day, from cauldrons to mosaics and even a pair of giant shoes.
Experience a Carnival
Somerset’s carnival culture is legendary with many small towns putting on flamboyant displays of light and colour. They usually take place in autumn and the parades are both competitions between locals and a weekend of fun. Among the best places to go are Bridgwater and North Petherton. Bridgwater claims to be the largest illuminated carnival in Europe.
Hike a Classic Walking Route
Somerset is home to some of the best walking country in England, being home to the Quantock Hills and Exmoor. The Coleridge Way celebrates the life of the poet who lived in Somerset. It stretches 51 miles from Samuel Coleridge’s birthplace in Nether Stowey to Lynmouth in North Devon. Another stretch of the South West Coastal Footpath snakes through Somerset starting in Minehead and offers some great walks.
Explore a Historic Battlefield
The English Civil War saw many battles in the West of England, including Somerset, where the Battle of Sedgemoor was fought. Westonzoyland has a visitor centre in St Mary’s Church which details how the battle was fought in the area. It is also possible to walk across the site of the battle in the village.
See Fossils on the Beach
Many people go to the Jurassic Coast to see fossils, but one of Somerset’s best kept secrets is Kilve Beach. On Somerset’s north coast the beach has ammonites on the shoreline and is a geological wonder. Take walking boots, and be vigilant for tide times.
Browse a Street Fair
Frome Independent takes place on the first Sunday of each month when the entire town centre turns into a vibrant market. Expect local artisans, designers, food and drink producers and more. The town also has a country market on Wednesdays and Saturdays selling food. The Frome Farmers market is another popular event and is held on the second Saturday of each month.
Enjoy the Night Sky
Exmoor is one of the best places in England to see the night sky as there is very little artificial light pollution. There is an annual festival celebrating the dark skies, where many events are free. At other times, staying in the area will give you a view of the sky at night.
Somerset has an incredible range of free activities set in spectacular countryside. It is the ideal place to spend a weekend or longer exploring the beautiful towns and rural areas. Enjoy some of the free activities on your next visit to Somerset.