The best places in Somerset for a spring walk

Prior Park spring pasture with wild garlic. Copyright, National Trust -Rachel Beaumont

Prior Park spring pasture with wild garlic. Copyright, National Trust -Rachel Beaumont - Credit: SUBMITTED

We round up our favourite spots for a walk surrounded by spring flowers.

Spring is in the air and the weather is finally starting to warm up. This means it is time to start pulling on those wellies or walking boots and taking to the Dorset countryside to enjoy the signs of the changing seasons. We are very lucky to have a range of landscapes in the county from the peaceful broads to the majestic woodlands.

In spring, they come alive with colourful buds and the calls of birds, which makes them the perfect place for a stroll. These are just a handful of our favourite walks to make the most of our gorgeous countryside. 

Snowdrops

Snowdrops bring great joy in the early months of the year, signifying the warmer weather ahead. Like a blanket of snow, they cover the ground of fields and woods to create a truly ethereal experience. More than 1,600 visitors flocked to see the snowdrops at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells last year. The Snowdrop Celebration weekends are due to return from late January, running each weekend throughout February. Even after this time, you can still enjoy the last of the flowers and more.

Find more snowdrop walks here

Bluebells

The Cheddar Complex boasts three Somerset Wildlife Trust managed reserves: Velvet Bottom, Black Rock and Long Wood, all giving visitors the chance to explore the beauty of the Mendip Hills. A popular spot all year round, on the arrival of late spring, the ancient bluebell woodland of Long Wood becomes awash with blue and the scent of wild garlic fills the air.

See more bluebell walks here

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More Spring Flowers

Prior Park is a beautiful, 18th century landscape garden in the care of the National Trust. There are various options for walks around, and from, the gardens, depending on your energy levels.

Prior Park is known for its swathes of spring flowers: snowdrops, daffodils, primroses and a rich abundance of wild garlic - the leaves of which are used by the kitchen, so if you visit at the right time you could be sampling the plants for lunch. The restoration of the garden is on-going, so you may see evidence of this.

Find more walks like this here

Top Secret Forest

In a study to find the best-kept secret spots of the UK Countryside last year, shoe retailer Clarks analysed over 5,000 TripAdvisor reviews. From beaches and parks to forests and hiking trails, this research has revealed that Great Wood on the Quantock Hills in Somerset is number 3 on the UK's Top Secret Forests list. 

Find out more about where to walk here

North Somerset

Situated right at the southern end of the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this is one of those routes that, as soon as you walk it, you'll want to do it all over again. Wellow and Combe Hay are delightful villages of mellow-coloured stone houses surrounded by tranquil countryside and linked by lovely-to-walk footpaths. 

A suggested four-mile route is to follow footpaths north-east to Middle Twinhoe, then the bridleway heading west to Combe Hay. Walk along the road through the village then take the footpath heading south to Underdown Wood. Bath Hill brings you back down to Wellow.

See more walks in North Somerset here

Bird and Wildlife Walks

Back in the 1970s the landscape of an Exmoor valley changed forever. To supply areas of Somerset and Devon with water a vast reservoir was created. Fields, trees and hedgerows disappeared, along with some buildings.

Despite the controversy at the time, the area is undoubtedly beautiful – a different sort of beauty to what went before. The environs of the lake boast miles of footpaths and cycle paths, something to suit all fitness levels. Our favourite is the path that circumnavigates the larger part of the lake but shorter options are on offer.

Find more walks where you'll see the wildlife here

Exmoor

With its heather-rich moorlands, deep wooded valleys and dramatic coastline, there’s every reason to make a journey to Exmoor National Park. One of the best examples has to be Dunston. History and heritage flow through the streets of this Exmoor village, which is one of the best-preserved medieval villages in England. Overlooked by National-Trust owned Dunster Castle, it’s packed with interesting historic features, including the remains of a Benedictine priory. a dovecote, a watermill, Iron Age settlements, a medieval packhorse bridge and, at its centre, the much-photographed Yarn Market.

Find more places to visit in Exmoor here

Easter Trails

One of the signs that spring is upon us is the arrival of Easter. Why not get into the spirit of the season with an Easter Trail, carefully curated to amaze kids with nature - and reward them with a delicious prize at the end!

One of the most recognisable landmarks in Somerset, Montacute House is a masterpiece that was first built way back in the Elizabethan era. Built using local ham stone, it is both imposing and inviting at the same time, surrounded by luscious woodland and formal gardens. Over the Easter holidays, grab a pack from the visitors centre and look out for the marks along the trail to get your Rainforest Alliance chocolate egg or an allergen-free alternative.

Find more Easter trails here