Somerset is a glorious mix of tumbling moors and old market towns waiting for you to explore and this holiday focuses on the county’s rich heritage. We visit a stunning castle home and the Hestercombe estate which has existed, in several guises, for over 1,660 years. We spend an entire day in Bath, a beautiful city which has inspired many literary residents and welcomed many a renowned visitor drawn here by the medicinal hot springs. We also board the West Somerset Railway to enjoy the gorgeous views of the Quantock Hills and Bristol Channel.
4 nights in Taunton (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to the Holiday Inn Taunton (3T+). We aim for you to arrive at the hotel between 4pm and 5pm. Spend the remaining afternoon at leisure, relaxing in the hotel or familiarising yourself with your surroundings.
Day 2 West Somerset Railway - Minehead - Dunster
We depart the hotel this morning for Bishops Lydeard and the West Somerset Railway station. The WSR is England’s longest heritage railway, with both steam and diesel engines operating along the 22.75 miles of track. We follow the entire track to Minehead, travelling through the beautiful Quantock Hills and along the Bristol Channel Coast. Several of the stations we pass are worth noting as set locations for films including The Beatles’ ‘A Hard Days Night’. In Minehead, enjoy free time for lunch before we head to the medieval village of Dunster. Set on the rolling terrain of Exmoor National Park, this quaint village is overlooked by a noble hilltop castle. We have included entrance to Dunster Castle, for you to explore at leisure the spot that has been occupied by a castle since at least Norman times, however there has been many alterations as it changed from a feudal stronghold to a family home, creating a gorgeous ensemble with a 17th century carved staircase, ornate plaster ceilings and lavish Victorian decoration. The terraced gardens embellish the scenic views over surrounding woodland. We return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Day 3 Hestercombe House and Gardens
Spend this morning in Hestercombe, first mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 854. Despite a major renovation which created the Georgian façade we see today, the earliest remaining feature of the house is a stone archway from 1280. Further additions to the house have created a grand estate, complete with fifty acres of ground showcasing three centuries of garden design by world-renowned designers. We return to Taunton for an afternoon at leisure.
Day 4 Bath
Bath is one of England’s most impressive cities and we start today with an audio tour of the world-renowned Roman Baths, considered one of the finest historic sites in Northern Europe. The complex includes a temple to Sulis Minerva, the Celtic goddess of hot springs, known for its healing powers. Our tour takes us around the steaming hot spa pool, before you have the opportunity to taste the famous spa water, containing 43 minerals which were recognised to treat various conditions. Next we visit Bath Abbey, a magnificent sight with the unique west front façade adorned with magnificent sculptures including ladders which support ascending and descending angels. From within, you can admire the huge stained glass windows and beautiful fan vaulted ceiling.
Please note: For 30 June 2017 departure Bath Abbey is not available, allowing more free time to explore Bath.
Day 5 Taunton
Following breakfast, you will be collected at 10am by your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.