Flavours and Landscapes of Somerset and Exmoor

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Flavours and Landscapes of Somerset and Exmoor

4 Days

Bristol is the start and end point for this 4 day itinerary which takes in the very best food and drink experiences in Somerset, and much more. For example, cider makers with over 500 years of production between them and one of Britain’s most spectacular gorges. Exmoor National Park with its rugged beauty, contains a wealth of experiences including the chance to visit a working farm, join a wildlife safari, get face to face with majestic birds of prey or eat fresh oysters in the idyllic Porlock Bay.

Getting To Bristol

Getting to Bristol couldn’t be more straightforward, Bristol International Airport can be reached direct by many European cities and by rail it is only 1 hour and 40 minutes away from London.

For short trips, individual rail tickets can be booked in advance through the Trainline. Alternatively, to travel by coach, visit National Express to review timetables and book tickets.

Day 1

Bristol & Exmoor

Aldwick Estate

Heading south out of Bristol city centre, a 20 minute drive will take your clients to the first stop on this itinerary: Aldwick Estate, Somerset’s largest vineyard.

Led by one of their knowledgeable guides, over the course of their tour your clients will delve into the history of the vineyard, gain an understanding of English viticulture, explore the 11 acres of grape vines – and of course enjoy samples of the available vintages. Visiting on a Sunday? Why not book in for a delicious traditional Sunday lunch as well?

Supplier Information

NameAldwick Estate
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileAldwick Estate is hidden away in the Mendip Countryside, yet only 20 minutes from Bristol City Centre. We have a beautiful venue that specialises in conferences, weddings and vineyard tours and tastings. We look forward to welcoming your clients!
Phone+44 (0)1934 864404
Emailenquiries@aldwickestate.co.uk
Websitehttps://www.aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity:Max 24 for vineyard tours & tastings
Frequency:Public tours are run April - October on the following days and times: Wednesdays: 12.00pm, 2.30pm Sundays: 12.00pm, 2.30pm, 4.00pm Private tours can be held at a time to suit you
Private tours:Yes - please contact us with your requirements. Minimum group size of 8 or equivalent price point
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Please wear sturdy footwear and waterproofs if required.

Thatchers Cider

Just a 10 minute drive down the road is Myrtle Farm, home of Thatchers Cider where they have been crafting cider for well over a century.

Tours take in the orchards and the mill, explaining the cider-making process, while guides share the history of the farm, telling a few tales about the Thatcher family as they go. Lasting approximately 2 hours, the tour of course also includes tastings of the fine ciders, not to mention the chance to purchase some scrumptious vintages from the Cider Shop. You can extend the visit by booking your clients in for a meal at the nearby Railway Inn.

Supplier Information

NameThatchers Cider
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileFourth generation Thatchers has been growing apples and making cider at Myrtle Farm since 1904. Set in the heart of Somerset’s cider country, award winning brands include Thatchers Gold, Thatchers Haze, Thatchers Katy and Thatchers Vintage.
Phone+44 (0)1934 822862
Emailtours@thatcherscider.co.uk
Websitehttps://www.thatcherscider.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity:Min 1 - Max 20
Frequency:Public Tours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, starting 11.00am from the Railway Inn. Booking essential
Private tours:Private group tours Monday to Friday - please enquire for availability
FIT or Groups:Both
Extra information:Please note that tours are weather dependent and booking in advance is required. The Railway Inn and our Cider Shop are fully accessible.

Dunster Castle

A pleasant drive through the Quantock Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, takes us to towards our next stop, the impressive Dunster Castle. Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, and today the imposing medieval gatehouse and ruined tower give a reminder of its turbulent history. Visitors can tour what is now a comfortable country home, and enjoy the dramatic vistas and subtropical gardens.

Supplier Information

NameDunster Castle & Gardens
CategoryActivity
ProfileAn ancient castle and comfortable country home with dramatic vistas and subtropical gardens. Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.
Phone01643 821314
Emaildunstercastle@nationaltrust.org.uk
Websitehttps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle
Min - Max capacity:Maximum 80
Frequency:On request
Private tours:On request
FIT or Groups:Both

Overnight suggestion: Minehead

Day 2

Exmoor National Park

Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre

A pleasant drive through the Quantock Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, takes us to our next stop, the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre, just beyond the pretty coastal town of Minehead.

Situated within a 15th Century National Trust farmstead, the centre houses owls, hawks and eagles. Guests will have the chance to experience thrilling close encounters with several owls and have a hawk perch on their gloved hand for a great photo opportunity. You clients can finish their experience with a traditional local Somerset Cream Tea in beautiful gardens or in the ancient 600-year-old dining room.

Supplier Information

NameExmoor Owl & Hawk Centre
CategoryActivity
ProfileStep in the footsteps of time and relax in our gardens with a delicious cream tea, fly an owl to your gloved hand, participate in a bird of prey experience, be enthralled by our amazing owls and birds in our flying displays, ride horses over Exmoor, and fall in love with our amazing countryside!
Phone+44 (0)1643 862816
Emailexmoorowlsbookings@gmail.com
Websitehttp://www.exmoorfalconry.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity:Min 2 Max 30
Frequency:Available year round. Must be pre-booked.
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Free parking available

West Country Farm & Food Tours

Staying in Exmoor, West Country Farm & Food Tours can arrange bespoke full day, half day or evening tours that will take your clients on a tour through beautiful Exmoor landscapes and go beyond the farm gate to meet some of the West Country’s most innovative farmers and food producers. From traditional cattle and sheep farms producing succulent beef and lamb to the fascinating world of fish farming and even alpaca farming. There will be a chance to have a taste of local farm food, and full day experiences can be tailored to include a pub lunch and an afternoon tea.

Supplier Information

NameWest Country Farm and Food Tours
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileWatch the finest food being produced; visit real farms; learn about where what you eat comes from, and enjoy the most beautiful countryside all on a day out with West Country Farm and Food Tours!
Phone+44 (0) 1643 863002
Emailinfo@westcountry-farmandfood-tours.co.uk
Websitehttp://www.westcountry-farmandfood-tours.co.uk
Min - Max capacity:2-14 people
Frequency:All of our tours are bespoke and are available year round
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Trade contact: Shaun Bryant

Exmoor Wildlife Safari

An alternative option for those in the mood for an off-road adventure is a 4 x 4 Exmoor Wildlife Safari through the spectacular landscape of the National Park to discover the native ponies, iconic red deer, rare birds, flora, fauna and much more. Guests will also be taken to historical sites, the birthplace of local legends and see the rugged coastline, all in the safe care of a knowledgeable local driver.

A highland cow

Supplier Information

NameExmoor Wildlife Safaris
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileJoin us on a safari and experience real Exmoor. See the native wildlife, hear about the intriguing Local Legends and marvel at the beautiful scenery. We will take you on a leisurely trail of discovery through steeply wooded valleys, by clear rushing rivers and over the dramatic windswept moors.
Phone+44 (0)7977 571494
Emailexmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com
Websitehttp://www.exmoorwildlifesafaris.co.uk
Min - Max capacity:Recommended group size: 4-8 people
Frequency:Year round - must be pre-booked
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Accessible for wheelchair users Please ensure your clients have suitable clothing and footwear for the weather on the day Locally sourced lunch/ Cream Tea included

Overnight suggestion: Minehead

Day 3

Porlock Bay & Taunton

Locanda on the Weir

Not a lot of people know that Pacific oysters are grown all year round in Somerset’s Porlock Bay. Visitors can come and see the home of the Porlock Bay oysters for themselves by taking a boat trip with a local mackerel fisherman across the Bay of Porlock.

They can then sample the oysters with a local sparkling wine at Locanda on the Weir, a stunning hotel and restaurant in a picturesque waterfront setting in the 15th Century harbour. Hotel proprietor Pio will then cook the catch and include some locally foraged fare to create a magnificent meal to enjoy overlooking the waters of the bay.

A plate of Oysters

Supplier Information

NameSeafront Dining Adventure at Locanda on the Weir
CategoryAccommodation
ProfileSet in the heart of Exmoor National Park in front of the 15th Century harbour at Porlock Weir in Somerset, Locanda on the Weir is the place for those who want to enjoy a countryside retreat by the sea.
Phone+44 (0)1643 863300
Emailpio@locandaontheweir.com
Websitehttps://www.locandaontheweir.co.uk/
Min - Max capacity:Recommended group size is 4 - 12 people
Frequency:Available daily, February - December from 2020 Must be pre-booked
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Translation:Also available in Italian and Spanish
Extra information:If you clients require accommodation we offer a choice of 5 bedrooms, 4 benefitting from delightful sea views across Porlock Bay.

Sheppy’s Cider

Heading out of the National Park and towards the large and historic town of Taunton, the next stop is Sheppy’s House of Cider. Sheppy’s have a cider making history that goes back more than 200 years and your clients can go on a tour of the facilities, which includes a visit to the orchards, the press house, vat house and on site rural life museum. To finish the visit there is a fully guided tasting of a selection of the award-winning ciders and a complimentary gift to take home.

Sheppys Cider Makers

Supplier Information

NameSheppy's Cider
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileSheppy’s Cider has been at Bradford-on-Tone since the family moved here in 1917, and the name and location have been a fixed point in the lives of local people and holiday makers ever since. Over the years we have welcomed thousands of visitors to our shop, tea room and museum.
Phone+44 (0)1823 461 233
Emailevents@sheppyscider.com
Websitehttps://www.sheppyscider.com/
Min - Max capacity:Max 40
Frequency:Standard tours: March-November on Saturdays, Sundays and Spring/Summer Bank Holidays Bespoke tours can be arranged year-round. Please enquire for further information
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:Both
Extra information:We are located on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington, just off Junction 26, M5, from where you can follow the brown signs. We have two entrances, one which closes at 6pm so please look out for the signs. Parking: We have plenty of parking on the site for cars and small buses. For coaches: Our main visitor site entrance opens onto a car park. We recommend that you stop here briefly and come to the tour meeting point in the shop to announce your arrival, if we haven’t already seen you come in. One of our staff will check quickly with you that we have all the details we need. We like to be sure that we all know what you and your passengers are expecting, and when you need to leave. Once your passengers have alighted we will direct you to a parking space. We have full disabled access in all public areas, but we have no lift to our upstairs restaurant area. We have plenty of seating downstairs along with a disabled toilet adjacent to the dining room.

Overnight suggestion: Taunton

Day 4

Burrow Hill & Cheddar Gorge

Somerset Cider Brandy Co

From cider, to cider brandy, The Somerset Cider Brandy Co has been pressing cider for over 200 years at their farm which sits among 180 acres of orchards at the base of picture-postcard Burrow Hill.

Your clients will be guided through the whole cider brandy making process from harvesting the apples to distilling and maturing the brandy. Depending on the season they may see harvesting, cider making or distilling taking place.

Cider brandy casks

Supplier Information

NameThe Somerset Cider Brandy Company & Burrow Hill Cider
CategoryGuided Tours
ProfileOur farm in Somerset sits among 180 acres of orchards at the base of Burrow Hill. The farm has been pressing cider for over 200 years. In 1989 we were granted the UK’s first ever full cider-distilling license. We have been distilling award winning cider into Somerset Cider Brandy ever since.
Phone+44 (0) 1460 240782
Emailmatilda@somersetciderbrandy.com
Websitehttps://www.somersetciderbrandy.com
Min - Max capacity:Min 2 for guided tours
Frequency:All guided tours must be pre-booked. Visitors are welcome at the farm everyday 9am to 5pm except Sunday for self-guided walks of the orchards or to visit the cider house shop
Private tours:Yes please
FIT or Groups:FIT or Groups
Extra information:Trade contact: Matilda Temperley

Cheddar Gorge

The final stop before returning back to Bristol is the stunning Cheddar Gorge which towers 400 feet into the air, and is home to ancient caves through which flows the largest underground river system in Britain.

Offering a wide range of rock climbing and caving activities for the more adventurous, or outdoor walks and exploration of the stalactites and stalagmites within the caves for those seeking gentler pursuits, this breath-taking phenomenon is has been brought to life to create a fascinating visitor experience.

Supplier Information

NameCheddar Gorge & Caves
CategoryAttraction
ProfileExplore one of Britain's most spectacular natural landmarks. From its awe-inspiring cliffs to its extraordinary subterranean stalactite show caves. Cheddar Gorge & Caves holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors, and is an international centre for caving and rock climbing.
Phone01985 844328
Emailgroups@longleat.co.uk
Websitehttp://www.cheddargorge.co.uk
Min - Max capacity:Group is a Minimum of 12
Frequency:Daily
Private tours:Yes
FIT or Groups:Groups of 12 or more

 

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