Saturday, 10 August 2013

Holiday Blog Tour #2 - Day Tripper

The sun is still shining here in England and as I continue on my August challenge - to get out and about more with the kids - it has made our outings all the more enjoyable.

As our 'Blog Tour' continues we have moved North, leaving the wondrous Cornish coastline behind and have nestled in the green fields of Somerset.

A county rich in cider and cheese, caves and beaches and of course, world famous music festivals.

This week's post zones in on day trips and Somerset has more attractions than days in the year so you will be spoilt for choice.  In our mad dash up the country I have only managed to touch on two of the attractions available so please do visit for more wonderful trips to enhance your holiday or fill a day off.

I'm going to start with my own personal favourite - Glastonbury.  I'm not going to ask you to pull on your wellingtons and festival gear for this day trip, Glastonbury may be well known for Glastonbury Festival but for me this is a place of mysteries, myth and legend.  King Arthur is believed to have been active here, South Cadbury being a possible site for Camelot.

Glastonbury itself is a mecca for anyone interested in holistic living, crystals and new age.  Jeans, t-shirts and faery wings are the norm!

On a day trip to this magical place you can take in the range of quaint shops, visit the Abbey with its impressive grounds (perfect for picnic's so plan ahead and pack your chicken wraps and crudités) and finish with a walk up to Glastonbury Tor which has stunning three hundred and sixty degree views from the summit.

Entry to Glastonbury Abbey is:-
  • Adult £6
  • Children £4 (5 - 15 years)
  • Seniors £5
Luckily my children love Glastonbury as much as I do and have explored every inch of the Abbey and purchased many a crystal from the quaint high street shops, but what if you don't have a family of hippy's?  Where do you go on your day trip then?

I would suggest you head towards the River Axe and the nearby Wookey Hole Caves.  These are Britain's most spectacular caves which have existed for over a million years.  Earliest man, hunting with stone weapons lived in the caves as did the Celtic people of the Iron Age.  It was believed that an evil old woman resided in the caves in the 18th Century, she was turned to stone by a monk using holy water.  The legend of the Wookey Witch is still strong today and you can see her skull in the museum, found in 1912 by archaeologist Herbert Balch.

The caves are incredibly impressive and I marvelled at how anyone could live there as I descended Hell's Ladder to the Witch's Kitchen, surrounded by shining stalagmites as they erupt from the rock around me and dodge the dripping stalactites.

The legends are brought to life by the wonderful guides who, in my opinion, must be able to recite the history of the caves in their sleep!

Once you return to the surface the fun continues and there are plenty of attractions for kids of all ages.  Wookey Hole has a paper mill, pirate island adventure golf, cave museum and cave diving museum.  There is a circus show and circus museum (complete with petrified mermaids discovered on the coast of Bali in 1823), mirror maze and old penny arcade.  There is a dinosaur park and my own personal favourite - Fairy Land.  It's a fantastic day out for all the family and you just never know who you might bump into!

The restaurant does serve a fantastic homemade steak pie but there are plenty of picnic benches if you want to take your own lunch.

Wookey Hole Caves are open all year (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), 7 days a week.
  • Adult - £18
  • Child - £12 (3 - 14 years)
  • Seniors - £12
You can save 20% if you book online.

I love Somerset and return as often as I can, there is so much to keep the kids entertained but if, like me, you're drawn to the legends and rugged landscapes then pack up the car and head off on your next day off.

Take in the traditional market towns, country houses and parks.  Visit the Georgian splendour of Bath or Wells, the smallest city in England, a medieval jewel at the foot of the Mendip Hills.

Of course for all the book lovers out there, no trip to Somerset is complete without exploring the open moorland of Exmoor National Park and breathing in the air of Lorna Doone's county.

Do you have a favourite place to visit?  A favourite escape for a day trip?  I'd love to hear about it so please share it with us here.

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