Top ten things you absolutely must do

How many can you do in one visit?

  1. Take a trip back in time aboard a steam train. No visit to Minehead would be complete without a trip on the West Somerset Railway. It’s England’s longest heritage line, running 20 miles between Minehead and the village of Bishops Lydeard near Taunton. The trip takes you through some of the area’s most beautiful countryside with stops at stations including Blue Anchor, Williton and Crowcombe at the foot of the Quantock Hills.

  1. Complete the Minehead Maritime Mile heritage trail quiz. Download the quiz sheet, grab a pen and head out along the seafront to find all the answers to the 16 brainteasing questions. It’s also a great excuse to grab an ice-cream or a coffee along the way but don’t forget to hand in your completed quiz at the Minehead Tourist Information Centre at The Beach Hotel to claim your prize!

  1. Go crabbing. Wait for the tide to come in, grab yourself a bucket, a fishing line and some bait and head for the harbour. It’s a great way to while away an hour or two listening to the sounds of the seaside while trying to outwit the local crustaceans! It won’t take long to get a bite but it’s always good to return your catch back to sea.

  1. Explore North Hill. From Minehead, the fit walk up it, the brave cycle up it and the not-so fit and active can drive up it but you certainly can’t miss it. Towering over Minehead, North Hill boasts spectacular views across the town and out over the Bristol Channel to Wales. Exmoor ponies graze freely and there are red deer in the woods.

  1. Get wet. Whether it’s swimming in the sea, paddleboarding or coasteering you can’t visit Minehead without dipping a toe into the Bristol Channel. There are so many water-based activities to choose from - and there’s always rock-pooling or a leisurely boat trip if you really don’t want to get wet! But doing something in or on the water is an absolute must.

  1. Take a seat in Blenheim Gardens. A floral and arboreal oasis in the centre of Minehead. This Victorian jewel in Minehead’s crown is spread over six acres and is popular with both visitors and locals alike. In the summer you can catch bands playing on a Sunday afternoon, or why not try your hand at golf on the 18-hole putting course. There is also a cafe and plenty of seating areas to enable you to take a break and enjoy the colourful floral displays.

  1. Have a cream tea. You can’t visit Minehead without indulging in this Westcountry favourite. You’ll be spoilt for choice from cafes and restaurants to pubs, hotels and tearooms. They all serve up generous helpings of freshly baked scones, glorious Westcountry clotted cream and tasty jams to tempt your tastebuds. And don’t forget to savour it with a cup of West Somerset’s own tea produced by DJ Miles of Porlock.

  1. Meet an Exmoor pony. Head out into Exmoor National Park to see this rare native pony roaming the moors. You’ll also catch glimpses of them on North Hill overlooking Minehead but don’t try and touch or feed them. They’re true wild ponies. If you do want to cuddle one head to the Exmoor Pony Centre near Dulverton where you can get hands-on and take one on a ride.

  1. Eat a Styles ice-cream. Exmoor’s very own brand of award-winning ice-cream made on the farm since 1988. It’s stocked in lots of local eateries and you’ll find traditional ice-cream vans dotted throughout the area on a hot summer’s day. Allergic to cow’s milk? Then try the delicious sheep’s milk ice-creams - guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

  1. Be king or queen of the castle. Dunster Castle is owned by the National Trust and sits above the medieval village of Dunster - a short drive or stream train ride from Minehead. Take a tour of the castle itself, but don’t forget to explore the glorious sub-tropical gardens or see the working watermill in action. Special events are staged during the summer months, including falconry and outdoor theatre performances.