Here are some places that you may like to visit, many less than half an hour from Riverside by road or in some cases, if you’re up for it, a leisurely stroll away.

Coates English Willow Visitor Centre                                      

Come and see the willow industry … from the withy bed to the basket. The Centre is owned and run by the Coate family who have been growing willow on the Somerset Levels since 1819.  You are invited to learn about the history and art of willow growing and basket making; in their shop you will find an enormous range of baskets, from the unusual and decorative to the traditional and practical.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am until 4pm

You’ll also find the followings artisans at the Centre :

  • The Lemon Tree Cafe
  • Fallow & Fern Interiors
  • Heirlooms
  • Bird Boutique
  • Edwina's Flowers
  • Somerset Chocolate

Directions : an easy scenic walk along the river, or a mile or so by road towards North Curry

Burrow Mump

Our answer to Glastonbury Tor - an isolated, conical hill rising above the Somerset Levels and topped by the ruins of St Michael's Church which dates from 1793. The remaining parts of the building - the tower, walls and arched windows - are still substantial, and the Mump is both photogenic and an iconic local landmark. The flatness of the surrounding land ensures that the views from the top of the mound are extensive. The site is managed by the National Trust and is free to enter, as is the car park below. Well worth a visit, rounded off with refreshment at the King Alfred Inn.

Directions : walk via Cutts Lane along the river, or 2 miles by road to Burrowbridge.

Maunsel Lock Canal Centre       

Nearby is Maunsel Lock which was once busy with boats plying their trade to and from Bridgwater Docks. Today it's a great place to start exploring the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal. Managed by the Canal & River Trust the site is well maintained with plenty for adults and kids to enjoy – the lovely surroundings are ideal for walking, cycling, fishing and wildlife spotting. There is a picnic area - so bring your blankets and baskets - and plenty of parking. Maunsel Lock Tea Rooms is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the canal, with outside seating where you can soak up the restful atmosphere of the natural environment. Dogs welcome.

Directions : Bankland, North Newton, TA7 0DH – 6 miles via the A361 [follow the brown tourist signs]


An ancient market town where you can stroll along the River Parrett to the shops and have a browse around, with bikes and boats available to hire. Take a picnic to the town gardens that overlook the moors or go for a bite to eat at Kitchen or the eclectic Art Tea Zen Cafe. There are some notable historic buildings including the Hanging Chapel up the hill on the way out of town.


Somerton’s an ancient settlement, mentioned in the Middle Ages as the capital of Wessex - the reason why it lent its name to the county of Somerset. Nowadays it’s a fine example of small-town Somerset life, packed with history and tradition. Drop in to the old town hall to see local works by local artists and craftspeople. Stop off at one of the cosy tea rooms in the town centre, and venture into the historic side streets to find independent shops selling Somerset souvenirs. Hire electric bikes to explore the surrounding countryside.

Hestercombe House & Gardens, Taunton

50 acres of the most gorgeous gardens and grounds to stroll around and it's all rather romantic with classical temples, cascading waterfalls and tranquil lakes. Amble through the woodlands, see the fully restored 17th century watermill, relax on the formal terrace. There's a picnic area, cafe, shop and playground, and some exciting events throughout the year. 

Barrington Court, Barrington, Ilminster

A beautiful National Trust owned 16th century manor house with eclectic interiors including a 'modern' bathroom with hand painted tiles, an impressive Great Hall and a Long Gallery that was once used for indoor exercise. The gardens were laid out with help from Gertrude Jekyll and are a delight, especially the rose garden and the walled kitchen garden that has arches hung with ornamental gourdes in the autumn. Dogs allowed in certain areas and in the parkland.

Montacute House, Montacute

An Elizabethan Renaissance mansion owned by the National Trust, with beautiful gardens, a Courtyard Cafe and acres of parkland for walks and picnics. They hold events such as Farmers Markets and falconry displays throughout the year.

The Newt, Bruton

Woods, orchards, and cultivated gardens are nurtured using age-old skills at The Newt in Somerset. Close to artistic Bruton, and modelled on its South African cousin, this large working estate immerses visitors in the tranquility of nature. Once you’ve taken in the gardens and explored the woodland walkways, you can refuel at The Garden Café sample the cider made from the estate’s 3,000 apple trees, perhaps enjoying a guided tour of the cellar and apple pressing demonstrations.

Clarks Village, Street

A big treat for shopaholics with over 90 stores and some seriously good discounts; big names include Gap, French Connection, Jaeger, Musto, Joules, Phase Eight, Seasalt, Portmeirion, Hamleys, Racing Green, ProCook - and there are plenty of places to eat.


You can't miss Glastonbury Tor standing high above the town; take a leisurely climb up - you can see for miles and the views across the Somerset countryside are spectacular. Pagan celebrations are still held here and it's hailed as one of the most spiritual places in Britain. The town itself is a must visit and will bring out the hippie in you!


If you like quirky and eclectic the chances are you'll like Frome. St. Catherine's Hill and Cheap Street are hotspots for lovers of vintage delights, and every week there's a Collector's & Flea Market. The ten day Frome Festival is held in July each year, and in September, the Frome Cheese Show; go when the Frome Independent market is on and the atmosphere is vibrant to say the least.


The smallest city in England with a magnificent cathedral, moated Bishop's Palace and the only complete medieval street in the country. The town is pretty good for a browse as it has a surprising mix of shops and places to eat, and twice a week the market place is bustling with stalls and shoppers. 

West Somerset Steam Railway

A true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway with historic steam locomotives, coaches and wagons, and the buildings of the ten unique stations linked by a twenty mile scenic journey. The surrounding countryside is as varied as it is beautiful - the gently rolling Quantock hills and distant Exmoor, unspoilt villages and views over the Bristol Channel to Wales. Go online to book seats on the Watchet stopover-and-return trip where you can enjoy fish & chips or a cream tea onboard.

Dogs are welcome. Starts at Bishops Lydeard,  just outsideTaunton.

West Bay & Charmouth

We like strolling around the marina at West Bay (Bridport); there’s plenty of parking and a variety of ice cream parlours, cafes and restaurants just a stone’s throw from the sandy beach. There are bracing cliff-top walks with stunning sea views. Nearby Charmouth’s mostly sand and shingle beach is relatively unspoilt so people come here just to sunbathe or walk the dog.. You can book up for a warden-led fossil walk which starts with a talk at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre and then goes onto the beach to see what you can find. At low tide you can walk over the rocks to Lyme Regis.

Lyme Regis

Enjoy a stroll along the prom at pretty Lyme Regis, the quintessential Victorian seaside town.  Enjoy the views from the working harbour and even try mackerel fishing from the Cobb; all tackle is provided and there are no age restrictions so the whole family can go. You might even see dolphins out on the open water. For a delicious brunch overlooking the beach book a table at ‘Swim’ on the Main Parade (01297 442668). Don’t forget to take home some fresh seafood from the harbourside vendors.

Haynes Motor Museum

Not just for motor enthusiasts - this makes for a great family day out! Get up close to classics and super cars; a 1915 Ford Model T, 1970 Chevrolet, 1973 Jensen Interceptor, 1982 Aston Martin Lagonda, a Ferrari 360, Bentleys and Rolls Royces, and heaps more. There are  tours, talks, activities and a cafe. Make it a day with a visit to nearby Castle Carey, Frome or The Newt.

Wookey Hole & Cheddar Gorge

Attractions that the kids will love – too much to list here and only an hour’s drive from Riverside. Go online or check our brochures for the latest attractions and ticket deals. Fun, fun, fun