Six weeks is a long time….
Little ones have oodles of energy….
The holidays can be ruddy expensive….
Because of the above, we have put together a list of 25 local and free outdoor play areas – great spots where you and your family can enjoy free summer fun in Somerset 🙂
Apex Leisure & Wildlife Park, Burnham, TA8 3YY
Apex Leisure and Wildlife park covers over 42 acres and it is a beautiful spot to relax away from Burnham town centre and the beach.
You can take a lovely walk around the lake which will take about 40- 50 minutes where you will have the chance to spot many types of wildlife. This is a fantastic spot to visit in Somerset if your little ones enjoy feeding the ducks!
There is a great play area for children designed for both toddlers and older children that includes swings, a slide, a roundabout, seesaw and a tyre swing. For older children there is a trim trail which runs parallel to the footpath around the lake. It has various pieces of keep fit apparatus at intervals along its length.
There is a large free car park from Marine Drive and you will often find an ice cream van parked up there waiting to tempt you with sweet treats. For further information and pictures have a look on our days out page.
Ramscombe Great Wood, Nether Stowey, TA5 1HA
Situated midway between Bridgwater and Williton, this large Forestry Commission woodland offers fab opportunities for play and family fun.
The woodland opens up into a lovely grassy space beside a shallow stream, ideal for paddling and making dams and the gentle slopes are good for rolling down.
There is ample car parking, picnic tables, several brick barbecues, and toilets, including for the disabled.
The tracks and bridleways are perfect for cycling and there is a marked walk of 2 miles, graded as moderate. A perfect day out with lots to do! Gates are shut at 10pm.
Brean Down, Brean TA8 2RS
Brean Down is a rocky headland forming the end of the Mendip Hills limestone ridge where it drops down into the Bristol Channel.
On the end of the headland are the remains of a fort built in 1862 as a defence against Napoleon. The remains of the fort have been made safe for visitors and this is a great spot for exploring and imaginative games.
There is an area of open moorland where butterflies and rare wild flowers can be found. Cycling is possible on the old military road and this road is also suitable for wheelchair access to the headland.
Parking is available at the bottom of the headland near the beach but may be charged during peak times. There are toilets, a visitor centre and a cafe.
Berrow Nature Reserve, Berrow, Burnham, TA8 2NL
Berrow Nature Reserve is a wild, sandy place among the dunes on the coast near Burnham on Sea. It is a great spot for your little ones and has woodland, ponds, hills and open moorland.
Next to the reserve is a large beach area, ideal for kite flying or building sandcastles.
Lots of fun can be had at the reserve such as rolling down hills, playing hide and seek, digging, making sand sculptures, and exploring for mini beasts.
The reserve beach and free car park closes at 8pm, however, there are no facilities here so it is a good idea to take a picnic. Further along the coast road is a car park that has toilets and a cafe although there are parking charges.
Fyne Court, Bridgwater, TA5 2EQ
Fyne Court is a hidden gem in the heart of the Quantock Hills.
Children will love exploring and whether they have fun building a den, climbing a tree or playing giant jenga in the courtyard this is the perfect place for your little ones to tick off many of the National Trusts ’50 things to do before you are 11 3/4′(https://www.50things.org.uk), and the best part is that it is completely free!
After a fun day of play you can relax in their newly refurbished courtyard tea room and enjoy a cream tea or a hot chocolate. Be sure to check on the National Trust website to see what fun activities they will have planned during the school holidays.
For further information and pictures have a look on our days out page.
Frenchweir Park, Clarence Street, Taunton, TA1 1XG
Set within the county town of Taunton, French Weir Park is a popular choice amongst little ones. It offers wide open space to run around and play and there are banks beside the river for picnics and feeding the ducks.
A great new play area has been built to cater for different ages and there are plenty of good pathways suitable for cycling and wheelchairs. There is seating around the park and toilets are provided. Pay and display car parks, cafes and pubs can be found in the town centre.
Vivary Park, Taunton, TA1 3QE.
Located near the centre of Taunton, Vivary Park is a fantastic park with loads to offer!
It has 2 main open spaces perfect for running around and playing some family games, 2 tennis courts, a miniature golf course, two children’s playgrounds, a tree trail, public toilets, a cafe and the Vivary Adventure and High Ropes Centre located nearby. There is also normally an ice cream van located by the main playground as well.
If you want to combine your trip to the park with the Vivary Adventure Centre this is sure to make for a great day out. They High Ropes are great fun, they build confidence and this will certainly be a memorable experience for you and your family.
Vivary Park is located near Taunton town centre. Access/entrances: Main entrance via Upper High Street, southern entrance via Mount Street and Western entrance via wooden bridge from Wilton Lands.
Vivary Park is open from approximately 7:30am until dusk each day.
For further information and pictures have a look on our days out page.
Wellington Basins, Wellington, TA21 8LL
Wellington Basins is within easy walking distance of several parts of the town of Wellington. The area has two lakes, a river, trees and streams.
There is a skate park and some paths are suitable for cycling.
This is a great area place to feed the ducks or try your hand at fishing. There are interesting wild areas, small streams for paddling, trees for climbing, logs to clamber on and lots of open space to run around in. You could have fun building a dam, making rope swings in the trees, hunting for mini beasts and playing hide and seek.
Parking is available in the town or at Tone Leisure Centre in Corams Lane. Wheelchair access is possible to the edge of the lakes. Public toilets in the town.
Cothelstone Hill, nr Taunton, TA4 3EB
On a clear day you can see for miles from the top of Cothelstone Hill and it’s a great place to play whatever the weather.
The woods around the hill are good for exploring and den building. At the top of the hill there are trees to climb and there is wide open space to run around in.
When it rains there are big muddy puddles – great for splashing about in. You can roll down the slopes and hills and go sledging when it snows. There are also plenty of fallen logs to play on, and, if you are lucky you may see wild ponies grazing too!
There is a free car park on the east side of the hill approached from the direction of Kingston St Mary or from the village of Enmore. The footpath close to the car park is flat enough for wheelchairs but it would not be possible to get up to the top of the hill. There are no toilets but there is a cafe back at the crossroads before the car park.
Otterhead Lakes Nature Reserve, Otterford, TA3 7EF
Otterhead Lakes Nature Reserve is situated in the Blackdown Hills, 7 miles south of Taunton near the village of Churchinford.
Set around two lakes, you will find a picnic area beside the upper lake.
There are nature trails and wooded areas ideal for den building and forest crafts. Some parts are marshy and you are advised to stay on the trail. The reserve is open during daylight hours and there is a free car park.
A shop and pub/cafe can be found in the village of Churchinford one mile away.
Wimbleball Lake, Dulverton, TA22 9NU
Wimbleball Lake With nearly 400 acres of water, Wimbleball has something for everyone. It’s a place where you can walk, fish, sail and cycle. Or, you can simple enjoy the views with a picnic or cream tea.
There is a great children’s play area located next to the high ropes where your little ones can blow off some steam, and a lovely little café that serves lunches, snacks, hot and cold drinks and delicious ice creams!
There are loads of activities that you can experience & enjoy at Wimbleball including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, archery, high ropes and wheelyboat hire. Have a look at our Country Mummy offer and save yourself 20% off hire prices! For further information and pictures have a look on our days out page.
Lydeard Hill, West Bagborough, Nether Stowey, TA4 3EF
High on the Quantocks, Lydeard Hill is the perfect place to explore. With wide paths, green banks, open moorland, trees and a fab view from the top you can easily spend a lazy summer afternoon here.
This is a good place for flying a kite, tree climbing, playing hide and seek or having a picnic.
There is ample car parking and an information board. There are no facilities but the nearest village is West Bagborough and there are shops at Bishops Lydeard.
Tarr Steps, Nr Dulverton, TA22 9QA
The ancient bridge of Tarr Steps crossing over the River Barle is a beautiful attraction for all the family located just 12 miles from the historic town of Dulverton. There are fantastic walks along the river and plenty of space for a picnic/bbq. Alternatively there is a pub located just beside the river.
The car park is only £2 for the whole day and it’s located only ¼ mile from the bridge. Public toilets can be found at the car park. It is the perfect spot to relax and watch your kids play for the day. For further information and pictures have a look on our days out page.
Conygar Tower, Dunster, TA24 6SE
Conygar Tower is just outside the historic village of Dunster in West Somerset.
The tower is reached by steep pathways through dense woodland and is an ideal place for imaginative play, pretending that it is a real castle.
The woodland offers opportunities for den building, playing hide and seek and nature spotting, particularly in summer when there are lots of butterflies.
The paths are not suitable for cycling. Pay and display parking and refreshments are available in Dunster.
Alcombe Combe, Minehead, TA24 6EW
This mixed woodland is on the edge of Minehead and is about a 20 minute walk from the town.
It is an exciting place to play with an abundance of material for den building and woodland crafts. There are shallow streams to paddle in or make dams in. It would also be good for making rope swings or climbing the trees.
The woodland is quite hilly and paths would be suitable for mountain bikes but not at all suitable for wheelchairs.
There are no facilities but there are shops and cafes in the village of Alcombe nearby. Public car parks can be found in Minehead or otherwise park with care along the narrow lanes in Alcombe.
Yeovil Recreation Centre, Yeovil, BA21 4AW
From a relaxing picnic on the wide open spaces to an adventure on the Flagship Playspace, you can spend all day at Yeovil Rec.
The Flagship Playspace is packed with fun, including tyre swings, zip lines, lots of sand, a giant shipwreck, two visually striking serpent and skull themed slides and more.
There is mini golf available. The Pitch & Putt course features tricky bunkers, whilst the Mini Golf course is ideal for younger players.
The on site kiosk serves hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice cream and staff there will also be on hand to sell you tickets for the golf courses.
Martock Recreation Ground, Martock, TA12 6AF.
Martock Recreation Ground covers 22 acres of parkland. It is easily accessible from the large car park on Stoke Road.
The recreation ground’s facilities include:
- a cricket pitch
- two rugby pitches
- two football pitches and a junior pitch
- four tennis courts
- a pavilion with full changing and showering facilities
- a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)
- a skate park
- a range of children’s play facilities.
Bincombe Nature Reserve, Crewkerne, TA18 7LN
Within a few minutes walk of the centre of Crewkerne this nature reserve offers a variety of play opportunities.
Woodland, hills, banks and open grassy areas are ideal for imaginative games, tree climbing, den building, hide and seek and generally getting messy.
Paths can get muddy in wet weather, so take your wellies. Some banks are steep and the paths are not ideal for cycling. Toilets can be found in Crewkerne.
Ninesprings, Addlewell, Yeovil, BA20 1QN
Ninesprings Country Park offers 127 acres of natural parkland.
There is lovely woodland, a lake, streams, flat open grass and a play area. Plenty of woodland trails – some are hilly and there are also gates.
The open flat area is ideal for ball games, kites and picnics and there is a cycleway along the old railway network. You can feed the ducks on the pretty lake but care needs to be taken with young children. There is also a nice well-kept children’s play area.
A cafe is signposted in the park although this was not seen on our visit.
Toilets and refreshments can be found in Goldenstones Leisure Centre at the far end of the grass area or in the town centre.
Ham Hill Country Park, Yeovil, TA14 6RW
Situated in the village of Stoke sub Hamden near Yeovil, Ham Hill Country Park offers 400 acres of open landscape with grassy hills, wildflower meadows, shady woodland areas and interesting old quarry sites.
The highest point of Ham Hill is the site of an ancient hill fort and on a clear day you can see for miles. There is lots of car parking available, a visitors’ centre with toilets and an on-site pub for meals and refreshments.
There is plenty to do such as exploring, ball games, tree climbing, wildlife spotting, cycling, kite flying and rolling down hills. There are park rangers on site and a programme of activities on offer for children and families. Picnic and barbeque areas are provided.
Ebbor Gorge National Nature Reserve, BA5 1AY
The area has mixed woodland, rocks, caves, and grassland. There are small streams good for paddling and fallen trees to clamber over. An information board provides good guidance on what to look for and 3 varied nature trails are well marked, one suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.
Spotting wildlife, exploring the woodland, playing in streams and climbing up the rocky path to the Gorge would all be interesting activities.
The car park is free but it is locked at dusk. There are no facilities but nearby Wookey Hole has a pub and a cafe.
Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury, BA6 3NT
This National Trust site is a well-loved Somerset landmark associated with myths and legends, but it is also a place where children can run about and have fun. The iconic tower at the top of the Tor is the remaining part of the long ruined church of St Michael.
The steep hill can be climbed in approximately 20 minutes either by the stepped route or by the spiral pathway.
The tower at the top is a good place to play imaginary games of knights and castles or to sit on a bank and have a picnic. The views from here are spectacular with the Somerset levels and the counties of Dorset and Wiltshire stretching far into the distance.
At the foot of the hill are wild flower meadows that are ideal for running in or flying a kite.
There is no parking at the Tor other than 3 disabled parking spaces. However, there is a park and ride bus from the centre of Glastonbury available during the main tourist season. Some parking is possible at the Rural Life Museum on the A361 from where it is possible to walk to the Tor. Plenty of places for refreshments can be found in the town centre.
Velvet Bottom Nature Reserve, Charterhouse, Cheddar, BS40 7XR
Velvet Bottom Nature Reserve offers acres of green space, banks, rocks and woodland to explore.
About 15 minutes from the start the path narrows between rocks and there are several short drops to negotiate until you reach the lovely flat green bottom – in summer it truly is like velvet! Here there are good rocky places to climb or to play hide and seek.
The path is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs until it narrows about halfway down. Cycling is not permitted in the reserve. An information board is provided by Somerset Wildlife Trust who manage the site.
Parking is limited to a small number of pull-ins at the side of the road or alternatively a little further on at the Charterhouse Centre. The nearest pub is the Castle of Comfort 4 miles away on the B3134.
Stockhill Woods, Priddy, BA5 3AS
Stockhill Woods is an area of forestry on the Mendip Hills that has designated trails, winding paths and some small grassy open spaces with mounds and hollows.
It is an ideal place for forest play and there is an abundance of natural resources such as pine cones, sticks, leaves, grasses and mud. There is plenty of loose brushwood ideal for den building. It also has cycle tracks marked with posts and arrows.
There is an ample car park off the road and the main paths are suitable for wheelchairs. There are picnic tables in various places but no public toilets. The nearest pub is in Priddy about 1 mile away. The large town of Wells is 2.5 miles away where there are cafes, pubs, shops and public facilities.
Tor Hill Wood, Wells, BA5 2UU
Within easy walking distance of the centre of Wells, this National Trust woodland offers acres of space for wild play.
The woods have plenty of material for den building and woodland fun.There are open fields adjacent to the woods offering possibilities for picnics and ball games. There are steps up to the wood so wheelchair access is not possible.
The woods can get muddy so pack your wellies 🙂
Public facilities can be found beside the Town Hall in Market Square and there are plenty of cafes and pubs. The nearest pub is the Fountain Inn at the beginning of Tor Street.
We will add more great Somerset parks to the list over time and re share.
In the meantime:
- You can read more about local days out on our days out page.
- You can also find money saving deals for local attractions on our offers page.
- You can find more local information on our blog.
Thank you for reading… hope you are having a great summer so far 🙂