20 great family days out in Somerset

Bishops Palace & Gardens, Wells (c) travellinglight / Getty Images

Bishops Palace & Gardens, Wells (c) travellinglight / Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

From beautiful gardens to iconic attractions, fascinating museums to family-friendly theme parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to a family day out in Somerset

1. Grand Pier, Weston-Super-Mare

With hundreds of arcade games and amusements, a go-karting track, ghost train, 'Britain's smallest rollercoaster' and plenty more, it's doubtful you'll get bored on Weston's Grand Pier (your pockets might just be a little emptier).

Opening times: Open daily from 10am with closing times varying throughout the year.

Is it budget friendly? It's only £1 for entry onto the pier but you will have to fork out for amusements and attractions while there. You can buy an unlimited RIDES wristband from £17.50 (or £9.50 for children).

2. Wookey Hole Caves

As well as soaking in the beauty and charm of the stunning caves, there are over 20 fantastic attractions to enjoy on a visit to Wookey Hole. Wander through the 'Valley of the Dinosaurs', escape the magical mirror maze and uncover the history of the village at the Cave Museum.

Opening times: Open from 10am daily. Only open weekends and school holidays during November, December and January

Is it budget friendly? Admission for adults is £19.95, children £15.95 and under 3s go free.

3. Forde Abbey and Gardens

There's plenty to see and do on a visit to Forde Abbey House and Gardens - from the beautifully preserved abbey, 30 acres of award-winning gardens and the country's highest powered water feature.

Most Read

Opening times: The House is open on Tuesdays to Fridays, plus Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 12 - 3:30pm, while the gardens are open daily throughout the year from 10:30am - 5pm.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £12.50 for adults and £5 for children or you can get a small discount of you book online in advance.

4. Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Whether enjoying breathtaking views from the top of Cheddar Gorge or exploring inside the gorge's staggering caves, the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest is truly a spectacle to see.

Opening times: Open daily from 10am on January 1 - December 30 and closed December 25 and 31.

Is it budget friendly? For a full day exploring the Cheddar Gorge and Caves, its worth booking tickets in advance. With the 15% online discount, admission for adults is £16.95 and £12.70 for children. Under 5's go free.

5. Hestercombe Gardens

With fifty acres of beautiful landscape and formal gardens, as well as stunning views across the surrounding countryside, it's easy to while away an afternoon at Hestercombe Gardens.

Opening times: Open daily apart from Christmas Day. The gardens are open from 10am-6pm.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £13.75 for adults, £6.90 for children and free for under 5s. Entry includes access to the Stables Café, Gardens Shop, Plant Centre and under 7s play area. You can save 10% by booking online in advance.

6. Fleet Air Arm Museum, Ilchester

Fleet Air Arm Museum boasts an extensive collection of Royal Naval Air Service material, from early Naval aviation, aircraft from World War II, through to the first British built Concorde. Ideal for a rainy day!

Opening times: Open daily throughout South Somerset School Holidays ( 24th July - 5th September) 9am - 4:30pm. The rest of the year they are open Wednesday to Sunday only, 10am - 4.30pm.

Is it budget friendly? Save 20% on admission by booking your tickets online, meaning tickets cost £15 for adults, £10 for children/students and free for under 5s. Family ticket prices start at £30.

7. Bishop's Palace & Gardens, Wells

Nestled in the heart of England's smallest city, Bishop's Palace & Gardens date back 800 years where they've played home to the bishops of Bath and Wells. Included in the admission price, enjoy a guided tour to fully immerse yourself in the location's history and beauty.

Opening times: Summer (28th March - 25th October) open daily, 10 am-6pm. Winter (25th October - 27th March) open daily, 10am-4pm.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £15 for adults, £7.50 for children and free for under 5s. Full price tickets include 12 months of return visits from the date of your first visit.

8. Somerset Lavender, Faukland

Wander through over 20 different varieties of lavender at the Somerset Lavender farm in Faulkland, as well as admiring the diverse wildlife that they attract. There's also a plant nursery and farm shop on-site to take local produce home.

Opening times: 10am-5pm, Wednesday-Sunday and Bank Holidays, open May-September

Is it budget friendly? Entry is free. Donations are welcome.

9. The Allerford Museum West Somerset, Alleford

In his article for Somerset Life, Stephen Roberts described the inside of The West Somerset Rural Life Museum as a 'veritable cornucopia of Somerset Life, with displays of artefacts covering everything from domesticity, recreation, to the lot and tools of the tradesmen and the equipment once wielded on our farms, such as ploughs and seed drills.' There's plenty more to discover - and you can expect a warm welcome from staff during your visit.

Opening times: The museum is open April to the end of October every year. Open 10.30am-4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 11am - 3pm on Saturdays.

Is it budget friendly? Yes! Admission is only £2 for adults and 50p for children.

10. Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, Wraxall

The 100 acre park is packed full of zoo wildlife and farm animals, adventure play (including a gigantic maze to explore) and educational exhibits.

Opening times: Open daily including Bank Holidays. Open 10.30am-5pm from February - November and open 10.30am-4pm during December and January.

Is it budget friendly? Prices are dependent on when you want to visit, starting from £18 for adults and £13 for children. Under 2s go free.

11. Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey is one of England's earliest, most important and most fascinating abbeys. After all, Glastonbury is said to the birthplace of Christianity in England. According to Arthurian legend, King Arthur and Queen Gunievere are said to buried in the Abbey's grounds. Wander through the beautifully preserved ruins and 36 acres of stunning parkland, and from March to October, enhance your visit with their costumed guides.

Opening times: 10am to 6pm seven days per week

Is it budget friendly: Admission is £11 for adults and £6.60 when booked in advance online. This price includes a donation to Glastonbury Abbey.

12. Brean Leisure Park

Brean Leisure Park has plenty to offer families looking for a fun-packed day out in the county. With Brean Splash Waterpark, Brean Theme Park, Brean Golf Club, Brean Play, The Tavern and Bucket & Spade entertainment venues, plus plenty of places to enjoy a bite to eat, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do.

Opening times: Visit the website for various opening times of each attraction.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is free into Brean Leisure Park - you instead pay for the attraction you wish to use while you're there. Parking is £3 for the whole day.

13. Montacute TV Radio Toy Museum

Be wowed by the exciting and extensive collection of TV and radio memorabilia all housed at the Montacute TV Radio Toy Museum. With an immense array of toys, books, annuals, jigsaws and games on display, prepare to feel nostalgic for those much-loved programmes you enjoyed from an early age.

Opening times: The museum and tea room is open for various times throughout the year - see the full list of opening times on the website here.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £9.99 for adults, £5.99 for children and children under 4 can visit for free.

14. The Museum of Somerset, Taunton

Housed in Taunton's 12th century castle, The Museum of Somerset boasts a variety of fascinating exhibits in its nine themed galleries, as well regularly changing art exhibitions in their contemporary gallery spaces. It's a great way to spend a few hours discovering more about the county's history. Make sure to find The Glass Bridge behind the museum, which links Castle Green to Goodland Gardens.

Opening times: Open 10am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is free. The Museum is run by the South West Heritage Trust, with donations welcome.

15. American Museum in Britain

The only museum of American decorative and folk art outside the United States, the American Museum in Britain takes visitors on a journey through the history of America, from its early settlers to the 20th century. There's also extensive parkland and impressive gardens to explore.

Opening times: Open 10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Mondays except during August and Bank Holidays.

Is it budget friendly? To access the museum, exhibition and gardens, adult admission is £14.50 for adults and £8.50 for children (up to 17 years), with a Gift Aid donation. Under 5s can visit for free.

16. Glastonbury Tor

Rich in history and shrouded in legend, the National Trust managed Glastonbury Tor is a pleasure to trek up and admire St Michael's Tower.

Opening times: N/A

Is it budget friendly? Access is free.

17. Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve

Covering over 500 hectares at the heart of the Avalon Marshes, the Shapwick National Nature Reserve provides walkers, the chance to enjoy peace and quiet in a stunning location, as well discovering all sorts of wildlife.

Opening times: Open to visits all year round.

Is it budget friendly? Admission to the nature reserve is free but parking charges do apply (£3 for the day).

18. Roman Baths, Bath

Walk on ancient pavements as the Romans did 2,000 years ago at The Roman Baths, one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. Follow an audio guide around the extensive remains and explore the interactive museum to learn more about Roman life in Bath. There are, of course, plenty more things to see and do in beautiful Bath - see our pick of attractions here.

Opening times: Open daily 9am - 10pm through the summer. The rest of the year they are open 10am - 6pm on weekdays and 9am - 6pm on weekends.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £27 for adults and £19.50 for children on the weekends and slightly cheaper on weekdays. Prices will change when it is no longer summer too.

19. Brunel's SS Great Britain, Bristol

Discover the rich, and fascinating, history of 'the ship that changed the world'. The Brunel's SS Great Britain hosts plenty of educational exhibits to please visitors young and old. There's also a packed schedule of events and activities running throughout the year.

Opening times: Open daily 10am - 6pm through the summer. The rest of the year, times may vary.

Is it budget friendly? Admission is £18 for adults, £10 for children and under 4s go for free. Tickets to Brunel's SS Great Britain include free unlimited return visits for a year.

20. Ferne Animal Sanctuary, near Chard

Set in more than 50 acres, Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a wonderful destination to visit, with a nature trail, ponds, play area, café and, of course, a myriad animals of who are all getting a well-deserved second chance.

Opening times: Open daily except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. In summer the sanctuary opens from 10am-5pm and in the winter 10am until dusk.

Is it budget friendly? A reasonable £6.95 for adults and £5.95 for children and teens. The admission goes towards caring for Ferne Animal Sanctuary's 300 resident animals.