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  • Lauren Saunders

After Spending So Long Having To Stay In- Lets Get Out! Finding things to do in and around Somerset

Do you ever find yourself approaching a family day, a weekend or the school holidays and struggling to find fun, new or exciting things to do with your little ones and your family?

With the unpredictability of the British weather always looming over plans, it can seem difficult to plan anything in advance. At Jabberwocky we are firm believers of the well-known phrase ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’, so despite the unpredictability of our wonderful British weather, if you are prepared with the right clothing you are ready for any adventure. So whether it be sun-cream and sunhats or wellies and wet gear, the weather does not need to be a hurdle or barrier in the way of your adventures.

I always consider myself to be incredibly lucky to live in Somerset and personally love my home. Somerset is full of adventure if you’re willing to go and find it. Often, word of mouth can be the most effective and efficient way to hear about different things to do. But I for one can often find myself at a loose end, or stuck in a rut of going to the same places. Facebook happens to be a wonderful social media platform which can work in favour of sharing ideas of things to do and places to go. Simply by typing ‘things to do in somerset’, I quickly found 3 wonderful pages, set up with the specific purpose of sharing ideas for family days out. I had a quick browse through ‘Happy places and Smiley faces’, ‘Somerset Kids (family fun activities)’ and ‘Events and Activities in Somerset for children and families’, all of which offer advice, events and recommendations. After finding three pages, with just one search, I’m certain with a little bit more effort I could find many more. These groups are designed specifically for likeminded people to be part of a community, a community where they can share wonderful pictures, plans and upcoming events. It works in a similar way to trip-advisor in that people often leave a short review of their experience, and with it being on Facebook it is easy and accessible for you to leave messages and comments to ask questions and find out more. I am aware that Facebook is not for everyone and therefore these groups may not be accessible to you all, however I may suggest it being worth creating an account purely for accessing these groups and pages.

If social media really is not for you, fear not, I am here to offer you some suggestions and ideas, having done the research for you. The National trust and what it has to offer us, is an entire world of adventure, often right on your doorstep and without sounding like an advertisement you can get an annual family membership for £126. Not only will you then be supporting the upkeep of these national treasures you will have access to all the things they have to offer. The National trust website for Somerset reads ‘From Tudor houses and hidden gardens to tors, gorges and natural piers. The link for the website is here, if you go on and type in your postcode and see what you can find near you. You will often find that many of these places also organise family events throughout the school holidays adding additional fun to your adventure.

For you more outdoorsy types, national trust houses are fantastic destinations for picnics and adventure walks. Lytes Cary Manor House is a fantastic example of a local national trust destination, its gardens and many acres of land are full of obstacle courses and climbing resources hidden in the trees. A perfect location for a bear hunt! Lucky for us, Lytes Cary is one of many places like this in and around Somerset. Speaking of Bear hunts, or Gruffalo Hunts should I say, in Dean Heritage Centre there is a Gruffalo Trail. Although it is nearly a two hour drive from Street, for those avid warty nose, knobbly knee fans, its definitely worth the travel time. It is £3 a ticket, dogs are allowed and is open 10am-4am throughout the summer holidays.

Here are some summer events that I have come across whilst researching summer family entertainment. Hestercombe Gardens are offering three different family fun trails throughout the summer; 24th July to 13th August – Story Stones Trail, 24th July to 5th September – The Mushroom Magic Trail and 14th August to 5th September – The Charcoal Creations Trail. All of these trails encompass a variety of family friendly activities and opportunities such as yoga, story telling and den building! Wookey hole have planned a summer of dinosaur fun with a 4D cinema experience and huge roaring dinosaurs amongst their exciting, normal entertainment. Children’s World are hosting a family festival at Paddington farm in Glastonbury on the 7th and 8th of August, a weekend filled with music, craft workshops and performances for only £5 a ticket. The Bishops Palace in Wells are hosting a weekly themed trail throughout the summer as well as other events including a silent disco for ‘bobbing babies, groovy grandmas and dad dancers’.

One summer myself and my younger sister wanted to do so much and could never decide what to do next. We decided to create a ‘summer bucket list’ where we wrote down a list of all of the places we wanted to visit and things that we wanted to do and we’d choose a different activity each week. They ranged in distance, time and price and varied from simply baking a cake together to catching the train down to Weymouth for a day at the seaside. We have so many magical memories of that summer together and we did so much without having to spend too much money. I really recommend this, you could even put all the things in a ‘summer jar’ and allow the children to pick them out.

What ever you find to do with yourselves this summer, enjoy new experiences, make magical memories and share your adventures. Have fun, stay safe and explore our wonderful corner of the world.

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