The Strawberry Line district features some wonderful places to visit – many of them free.
Animal Farm Adventure Park. Red Rd, Berrow, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, TA8 2RW. Open daily. £7/£6.50/£26 family. Tel: 01278 751628, www.animal-farm.co.uk • Animals, playbarn, adventure playground.
Brean Down and the Somerset Coastal walk. Brean Down is the last lump of the Mendips pushing out into the Bristol Channel – accessed via Lympsham and Wick Road or along the seafront from Burnham-on-Sea. There’s a cafe at the far end – and lots of historic interest from Celtic fields to a Victorian fort. You can walk from Uphill on the other side of the River Axe all the way to Portishead via the odd diversion – along this partly forgotten section of our coast. And it’s free.
Cheddar Caves and Gorge. Two cave complexes, an exhibition on the original inhabitants, the happy valley of shops and cafes plus of course it’s free to explore the Gorge stetching two miles up into the Mendips with its countless woods, paths and rocky paths. More at www.cheddargorge.co.uk/
Clevedon Court. Tickenham Rd, Clevedon, N Somerset, BS21 6QU. £7.60/£3.70. Open various dates check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clevedon • National Trust run manor house and former home of the Elton family.
Clevedon Pier and Heritage Centre. The Toll House, The Beach, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7QU. Tel: 01275 878846; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.clevedonpier.com/• Small entry charge to the pier.
East Somerset Railway. Cranmore Station, near Shepton MalletBA4 4QP. £9/£7/£28 family. 01749 880417; www.eastsomersetrailway.com • Steam trains, loco shed, cafe, museum, shop and special events.
Glastonbury Abbey. Glastonbury, Somerset. Open daily £7/£4/£18 family. 01458 832267, www.glastonburyabbey.com • Large scale ruins of the once mighty monastery and abbey destroyed by Henry VIII. Includes museum, shop and cafe.
King John’s Hunting Lodge and Axbridge Museum. The Square. Axbridge, BS26 2AP. £2.50. Open daily but for opening times visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/king-johns-hunting-lodge/ • Medieval wool merchant’s home and shop. Amazing sloping floors and wonky stairs. Roman skeletons and new quarry exhibition.
Mendips. So many places for walks and picnics in the ancient landscape – Cheddar Gorge, Velvet Bottom, Dolebury Warren, Crook Peak and the Gruffy Ground. www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk for places to walk. Free.
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. Failand Rd, Wraxall, Nailsea, BS48 1PG. Open Mon-Sat closed Sun. £13/£9.50/£39 family. Tel: 01275 852606, www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk • Wild animals include rhinos, camels and lions.
North Somerset Butterfly House. Smallway, Congresbury BS49 5AA. 07531 607007; email@example.com; www.nsbutterflyhouse.com Open 7 days a week. £4:95/£3:95/£13:45 family. The attraction only accepts cash – not cards • A secret paradise where you can surround yourself with beautiful butterflies and exotic plants.
Puxton Park. Cowslip Lane, Hewish, Near Congresbury BS24 6AH. Tel: 01934 523500. www.puxton.co.uk/ • Farm shop, playbarn and lots of animals.
Sandford Railway Station Railway Heritage Centre. Open at weekends. Free • The pride and joy of the Strawberry Line, it’s a must visit place. Station Road, Sandford, BS25 5AA. http://sandfordstation.co.uk/
Somerset Rural Life Museum. Abbey Farm, Chilkwell St, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8DB. Open Tue-Sat. Free. • Set in an ancient medieval barn with lots of stuff about cider making, farming and the good old days.
Strawberry Line Cycle and Footpath. It runs 10 miles from Yatton to Cheddar but you can join it at any point along the former railway line. Highlights include Shute Shelve Tunnel, Winscombe’s Millennium Green, Axbridge Square, Cheddar Reservoir near the cycle path and the long leafy stretch across the levels from Yatton to Sandford. There’s cafes, pubs and shops along the route and plenty of places for a picnic. And it’s free.
Wells Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. Open daily. www.wellscathedral.org.uk • Free – it’s worth paying to enter the moated palace. Don’t miss the Medieval street at Vicars Close and of course the city shops.
Wookey Hole. Wookey, nr Wells BA5 1BB. Open daily. £16/£11/£49 family. 01749 672243; www.wookey.co.uk • Includes the papermill, museum, mirror maze, the Fairy Garden, Dinosaur Valley and summer circus shows.
Weston-super-Mare. The town has a wide bay with a sandy beach stretching for more than a mile or so – but beware of venturing too far to the sea at low tide as it turns to mud. There’s the Grand Pier, the town’s museum at Burlington Street with its exhibitions of life in World War II, Clara’s Cottage, vintage wedding dresses and its cheerful presentation of an Iron Age massacre. Don’t miss the Helicopter Museum and the Sea Quarium. All this and more at http://www.weston-super-maretowncouncil.gov.uk/links/tourist-information.aspx