Golf, drink, spa: top relaxation tips in Somerset
The Jewel of the South West offers so many attractions and opportunities for excitement that a trip there might leave you feeling in need of another holiday to recover.
Take our top tips, though, and you can sneak in a little unwinding time while you’re still in Somerset. We recommend trying golf, sampling the excellent local beverages, and going for a little pampering – not necessarily all at once.
Fore!There are about 60 golf facilities in Somerset, and around Bristol and Bath, which we reckon is more than any equivalent area in the United Kingdom. Wherever you pitch, there will be several nearby – and you could play a different course every day for two months without driving much more than 30 miles.
Somerset is truly a world-class golfing destination, and no two courses are alike. There’s a huge variety – with lush parkland courses around Bristol and Bath, traditional links on the coast from Portishead to Minehead, meadowland courses at almost every town, urban layouts, and hilltop courses with spectacular views. There’s even pitch-and-putt for the kids, enjoyable knockabout courses for Sunday golfers, and taxing professional layouts for you single-figure handicappers.
On the coast is the famous Burnham and Berrow links, or alternatively try Clevedon or Minehead, or what about the novel layout at Brean Leisure Park? One of the quirkiest courses in the country is the nine-holer at Cedar Falls, involving play through woods and across a lake in the grounds of a country house. Try Golf in Somerset or Golf Today for more inspiration.
Beer or cider?There are at least 30 active cider producers in Somerset, and many of these are tourist attractions in their own right. But did you know that this is also one of the most important real ale areas in Britain?
It seems that almost every village has a brewery tucked away somewhere, and some local pubs still brew their own, just as they did in Victorian times. The Butcombe Brewery is probably the biggest, and is increasingly well known outside Somerset. All across the county you can catch the sweet smell of the mash, and taste delicious and distinctive brews sometimes only yards from where they were produced.
Which raises the tricky question – beer or cider? The answer is obvious – both, but not at the same time. Really, we mean it. Once you’re safely pitched on a campsite and can indulge, pick one and stick to it. Your head will thank you in the morning.
PamperingPeople have been coming to Somerset for health cures for hundreds of years – even before the Romans established their famous spa resort at Bath, lending the city’s name to the world in the process.
Today you can still take a luxurious bath in Bath. Thermae Bath Spa is Britain’s only natural thermal spa, a unique Somerset experience where you can try the latest treatments as well as traditional hot water benefits.
If you prefer countryside to city, then at the other end of the county you’ll find rural luxury at Cedar Falls Health Farm and Spa offers a full range of spa, exercise and fitness treatments, including tennis and golf, in a beautiful country house and grounds. Between the two, Somerset offers a range of gyms, health clubs, beauty salons – everything to make you feel better about yourself – which is, after all, the whole point of a holiday.
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