Area & Attractions
Watchet: An ancient harbour town with 1000 years of history, famous for links with the Ancient Mariner. Has a lovely esplanade and Marina from where you can go out on a yacht or a fishing boat. Chives Deli and café is situated in the ancient harbour town of Watchet just around the corner from the marina. Chives is an award winning cafe and delicatessen and well worth a visit.
Watchet Farmers Market – every Wednesday
Watchet Carnival – Watchet Carnival will take place as usual on the last Sunday of July.
Watchet Music Festival – held on August Bank Holiday weekend each year.
Tropiquaria: Nr Watchet (3 miles): Tropiquaria Animal and Adventure Park is a great day out for adults and children of all ages. Hold a snake or tarantula in the Tropical Hall, visit the amazing puppet show and the newly redecorated aquarium. For a nostalgic experience see the Radio Museum. Outside play for hours on the full-size pirate ships or in the Indoor Play Castle and don’t forget the animals all around our grounds. Hours of fun, rain or shine!
Dunster: An idyllic medieval village set in Exmoor National Park with its 11th century castle and the Old Yarn Market in the middle of the high street. There are a wide range of boutiques, shops, local artists with crafts and goods to tempt you. There are also a variety of restaurants offering a wide range of culinary delights often with local Exmoor produce. You will love spending a few hours exploring this lovely village.
There is also a good sandy beach at Dunster, safe for the children, with kiosk, putting green etc.
Dunster Castle Archery Week – held in June.
Dunster Country Fair – held in July each year.
Dunster Show – held in August.
Minehead: Gateway to Exmoor. A Victorian seaside resort, lovely views and harbour as well as shops, cafes, pubs, Butlins and amusement arcades. Attractive and welcoming to thousands of visitors every year, Minehead has won national awards for its beautiful floral displays. The many flowers, popular sea front and tidy shopping area all combine to make a marvellous exploration base for getting out and about across the glorious Exmoor countryside.
Minehead is a sheltered corner beneath the dramatic North Hill and looks out across the broad expanse of the Bristol Channel. Little fishing boats adorn the pretty harbour where, in summer, the famous preserved paddle steamer Waverley and the cruise ship Balmoral may offer you an exciting sea trip for the day.
Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club – a great classic links course set against the rugged backdrop of the Brendon Hills with captivating sea views. If you’re seeking a great round of golf, in a superb location, this is the place. www.mineheadgolf.co.uk
Minehead Farmers Market – every Friday.
Minehead Beer Festival – held in September.
Selworthy: The charming village of Selworthy lies in the heart of the Honnicote estate in a magnificent setting on the northern fringes of Exmoor. Picturesque thatched cottages surround Selworthy Green. The Periwinkle Cottage Tea Rooms specialise in delicious home-made cakes, cream teas, light lunches etc, served in a delightful thatched cottage or outside in the garden where you can enjoy the sights of Exmoor in the distance.
Exmoor: This is the home of the famous Exmoor Ponies and the largest herd of Red Deer in England. There are 700 miles of paths and bridleways among the heather clad moors and ancient oak woodland valleys.
Lorna Doone Valley: It’s a magical, mystical place, and it makes for a lovely – if at times soggy – walk.
Porlock: A large village a few miles from Minehead, with a scenic toll road to avoid the hill. Good inns, restaurants and shops.
Lynton & Lynmouth: A dramatic coastland with some of the highest cliffs in England. Well worth a day out. Great walks along the river and by the waterfalls. Children can operate the giant water wheel.
Dunkery Beacon: The highest point in Somerset. We can see Dunkery from Merlin House, always an indication of what the weather is going to be…
Tarr Steps: A great place for a picnic or a walk through the woodlands beside the River Barle. If you fancy a pub lunch or just a drink, there is a pub within a stones throw of Tarr Steps.
Warning: You can’t park your car near the steps or pub. There is a car park at the top of the hill and you have to walk down, not suitable for those unable to walk far or the infirm. But you can always go drop people off at the bottom of the hill and go back and park in the car park. Then you have to walk down! It’s well worth a visit though!
Enjoy a holiday with plenty to suit all interests and ages. Walk, cycle, fish, go horse riding or travel on the West Somerset Railway!
West Somerset Railway
Blue Anchor Station is only 50 yards from Merlin House. Take the steam train as far as Bishop’s Lydeard near Taunton, or to Minehead. Special events are held throughout the year, including Steam Railway Gala events in March, October and December, cream tea specials, cheese and cider lunchtime specials, day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and loads more.
There is a pub/restaurant and a café within walking distance:
The Smugglers Inn: Open all year, has excellent freshly, locally sourced food, served in its cosy Cellar Bar, a-la-carte restaurant or garden.
The Driftwood Café: A 1930′s style café offering excellent home cooked food and a great all day breakfast.
The Indoor swimming pool at the Hoborne Holiday Park a few minutes’ walk away, makes a great day out for everyone. Please note that it is closed to the public during the school summer holiday.
There is a small general store, also on the Hoborne site, selling newspapers and essentials.
Home Farm – Have a car boot sale every Saturday and Wednesday during the summer