Why you need to visit the Quantocks if you intend to travel somerset
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The Quantocks! Surely that’s not a real place – I’ve never heard of it. Well if If you’re planning to travel Somerset then we’d fully recommend you get this place on your list.
The chances are, unless you come from, or have lived in, the South West of England then you will probably have spent your life overlooking this little patch of wilderness.
Bordered by the far more famous Mendip Hills to the North and Exmoor to the South the Quantocks has everything from open moorland to lush green fields, enchanted woodland and sea view vistas you’d be more likely to associate with its more glamorous neighbour of Devon.
So what to do in the Quantocks? Well if you like exploring outstanding countryside, unspoiled by every Tom, Dick and Harry marching around it then the Quantocks is a little gem you absolutely need to know about.
Whether you’re into having a casual wander around, doing a military style hike, testing your mountain biking limits or trotting along bridleways on your noble steed – the Quantock Hills will provide something very special for you.
We will cover walks in the Quantocks, Quantock Hills camping let you know where the Quantock Hills are and provide you with a map of the Quantock Hills.
So read on for the 5 reasons why you need to visit the Quantock Hills!
#1 The Quantocks are Britain’s oldest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Now that really is quite some accolade.
The Quantocks were first designated as an AONB all the way back in 1956. Meaning that this little corner of England has remained a protected area for well over half a century now. Well and truly preserving all of its natural features and bountiful wildlife.
The effects of the long running conservation effort afforded to this area are really noticeable as you explore the different landscapes and stumble across all of the wildlife on offer here.
The Quantocks really is a benchmark for the great outdoors in Britain.
#2 True peace and quiet don’t come much better than this
One of the first things that struck us on our first visit to the Quantocks was just how few people were here. Particularly as we visited in summer 2020 when everyone in Britain wanted to make the most of the initial COVID lockdown ending and get outdoors to explore.
There are only a few access roads up to the limited number of parking areas so traffic noise really is abolished here – the only sounds will be your footsteps, and the sounds of the surrounding nature.
So if you’re in the market for a truly secluded break or just a little time for yourself – then a trip down to the Quantocks will really fit the bill.
Equally as delightful in Summer and Winter it truly is a hidden treasure of the South West.
#3 Dark Skies over the Quantock Hills
Sure it’s not as famous a destination for night skies as its larger neighbour Exmoor but nonetheless, if you just afford this overlooked gem a chance it will repay you tenfold. That’s a promise!
#4 Adrenaline fuelled adventures in Somerset
You’ll find mountain bike tracks aplenty, hiking routes abound and bridleways galore. All criss crossing these hills taking in a calamity of terrains including open heath land, steep wooded river gorges and wide open sea views.
Given its proximity to the M5 this area is highly accessible and definitely worth a visit if you’re en-route to or from Devon and Cornwall, or visiting neighbouring areas.
Neil from Global Mountain Bike Network is on hand to show the mountain bikers the routes on offer:
#5 Wildlife & Natural Beauty
For those wildlife enthusiasts or photographers amongst you there is plenty to see and do here. For Ponies and Cattle (don’t ask us for breed information – we’re not equestrian/cattle experts by any stretch of the imagination) are to be found grazing on the hillsides.
Ancient woodland adorns the river gorges, mosses and lichen covers the boulders and trees creating a truly mystical atmosphere while the sound of the river bubbles in the background.
We have both of the below products and can personally vouch that if you’re just getting into photography or looking at stuff that’s really far away – they are both great purchases!
What else is nearby for the rest of your somerset travel:
For parking you’ll find the free car park at Staple Plain with excellent views out to sea and up onto the Quantocks.
However the road up is very narrow, steep and winding in places so for those of you with larger vans a better idea is to perhaps park at Withymans Pool.
If you’re after a map for your Somerset travel then here is a great map of the Quantocks – ideal for finding walks in the Quantock Hills
As we’ve already mentioned, nearby you’ll find Exmoor just a stone’s throw away further West, or the Mendip Hills just further North.
If you want to incorporate some urban destinations into your travels then Bristol really is not that far and Taunton is right on your doorstep. Minehead is just along the coastal road and would make for a great stopover if you’re intending on visiting the Quantocks and/or Exmoor.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever been to the Quantocks – we love to hear your stories!
So that’s it – add the Quantock Hills to your bucket list and Go Explore!