Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Somerset's historic harbours and stylish marinas

Somerset is absolutely full of historic harbours and stylish marinas.

Holidaymakers spending time in the county would do well to take a trip to one or more of these if they can, as they all offer a unique taste of life in the south-west.

Here are just four great locations to get you started.

1. Minehead
Minehead is thought of as the Northern Gateway to Exmoor and is the largest town in the area. This makes it the ideal site from which to explore the moors and the Quantock Hills.

It is also great for seaside holidays, as the town boasts a large, long and flat sandy beach. The sand here is perfect for building castles, or playing games.

There is also a picturesque harbour with a Royal National Lifeboat Institution station and shop, with pleasure boat cruises on the paddle steamer Waverley and motor vessel Balmoral being regularly hosted in the summer.

2. Watchet
Watchet is a bustling harbour town that boasts a long and fascinating history as a busy seaport.

This lineage is traced on a fascinating Heritage Trail, which guides visitors on a trip back in time through more than 1,000 years of Watchet's history.

Early prosperity based on sea trade paved the way for the town's current popularity as a holiday spot - and a new marina and a station for the West Somerset Railway are among the key attractions.

A statue of the Ancient Mariner celebrates the harbour's links with Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

3. Portishead
Portishead is a beautiful coastal fishing town in the North of Somerset. Overlooking the Severn Estuary, it is just five miles from Bristol.

It has a lot of attractions on offer, including an outdoor swimming pool during summer, a boating lake, with several cafes and play areas, a cricket ground, and football and hockey pitches.

The Victorian High Street is also full of unique local shops that are not to be missed, as well as the usual big-name fixtures.

A wide variety of bars can be found at the marina, as well as restaurants and cafes offering pleasant views of yachts and sailing boats.

4. Porlock Weir
Porlock Weir started life as a busy port, but is now a much more peaceful and picturesque hamlet.

This delightful harbour hosts yachts and fishing boats and is situated along the South West Coast Path, which makes it a good starting point for walks.

Indeed Culbone is not too far away, and is home to the smallest church in England. Porlock Weir itself is the site of the famous award winning restaurant, Andrews on the Weir.

Read more information on our inspected and star-rated Somerset holiday cottages.


Photo credit: Porlock Weir by JE McGowan