If you are planning to take a holiday with your dogs in Somerset this spring, or even if you’re just visiting for the day we have the perfect blog for you. As the owners of the extremely dog friendly Quantock Cottages in the beautiful Quantock Hills in Somerset, we have complied a list of our top 5 things to do with the dogs in Somerset in spring.
1. Visit Cheddar Gorge
The caves at Cheddar Gorge are an amazing experience. Unfortunately they have been closed to the public for a while, however they are re-opening on Friday 1st April, so this had to be at the top of our list. Dogs must be kept on leads due to the steep terrain and abundance of wildlife, but the historic caves and surrounding area it’s a fantastic place to explore with your dogs. With gorgeous, sweeping views plus wildlife to spot including free roaming feral goats and an ancient rare breed of sheep called Soay sheep, it’s the perfect place to visit in spring. Also be on the lookout for falcons, buzzards, kestrels and ravens. If you are visiting in late spring you will be luckily enough to see (and probably smell) the Cheddar Pink, a fragrant, pink wild flower that’s found on the dry and sunny limestone at Cheddar Gorge.
2. Visit Wimbleball Lake Country Park
If you love getting out in nature then you will love the spectacular Wimbleball Lake, which sits within the beautiful rolling hills of Exmoor National Park. The 530 acre site is a wonderful place to visit with the dogs and the kids in spring, with miles of walks for the doggos and fun family water activities on the lake such as paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. It can get busy at Wimbleball, so you may need to keep your dogs on leads in popular areas, however there’s an enclosed dog exercise zone where your doggies can safely run wild. What’s more is you don’t have to worry about your dogs if you want to take part in some water sports as they are allowed on the canoes and kayaks, just as long as they stay inside and do not get in the water.
3. Visit The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
There is so much to do at The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens in Wells that it’s hard to know where to start. Very importantly dogs are welcome in the gardens as long as they are kept on a short lead. There’s a dog friendly café, where your pooches will be served water, plus you can purchase dog treats. There’s 14 acres of tranquil gardens to explore with the dogs with lots to see from wide open lawns, to gorgeous herbs and plants to see and smell. There’s the moat and even a stunning quiet garden called The Garden of Reflection with silver birch trees and wildflowers, and in the community garden you can see the produce available to purchase including yummy fruit and veg and fresh flowers.
Aside from the amazing gardens they also have lots of spring events coming up such as wellbeing walks, a half term spring time scavenger hunt and a rare plant fair.
4. Beautiful Somerset Walks
With the weather getting warmer, taking a long stroll with the dogs is an ideal activity to do in the spring time. Here are some of our favourite Somerset walks.
The top of our list for gorgeous Somerset walks in the spring is of course the Quantock Hills (AONB). Our three truly dog friendly cottages are in the Quantock Hills and our guests are lucky enough to be able to step out of their private, enclosed garden (complete with a private covered hot tub) on to the 9,000 acres of glorious open moorland. The scenery is breath-taking in the spring with everything beginning to come to life again and especially with the sound of birds singing. If you are looking for a long peaceful walk where you are unlikely to come across other walkers, then this is the place – you and the dogs will love a day out in the Quantock Hills, where you’ll find stunning coast, heathland and magical wooded valleys to explore.
The Great Wood in the Quantock Hills is a beautiful place to walk with the dogs and enjoy the woods coming back to life in the spring time. Take your pick from walking and biking or even horse riding through the woods and admire the magnificent Douglas Fir, plus it’s a fantastic place to stop for a picnic beneath the trees.
Dunster Beach is a lovely beach for dog walking, where you can either walk to Minehead in one direction or Blue Anchor Bay in the other (which is great for finding fossils).
If you plan to visit Cheddar Gorge, there’s a beautiful walking trail, starting at the National Trust Information Centre, with specialised plants and wildlife to spot. As a very special treat for your fur babies, you must stop off at Cheddar Paws, an amazing bakery just for dogs.
5. Dog friendly pubs and cafes with gardens
With the weather changing and the birds chirping, spring is a beautiful time to relax in a garden with some lunch, a couple of beers or a coffee. So here’s our favourite places that specifically have lovely outside areas, and are dog friendly of course.
One of our favourites as it’s right on the doorstep of our luxury dog friendly cottages is the Hood Arms which is an historic 17th Century coaching inn with a charming beer garden with pretty flowers and a lovely children’s play area. It offers delicious pub classics and real ales.
We love visiting the very dog friendly Carew Arms, a rural pub in the Quantock Hills which has a lovely big beer garden. They serve traditional pub food which is fresh, local and seasonal ensuring they support local businesses which we just love to see.
If you are doing the walk from Dunster Beach, when you get to Blue Anchor Bay you’ll find the Driftwood Café which has a cute little outside area overlooking the beach with an ice cream hut. We recommend their yummy hot chocolate with whipped cream and a flake.
The Chantry Tea Gardens in the Quantocks might just serve the best cream tea in our opinion, they offer yummy ice creams and sandwiches too. They are of course dog friendly and always offer their doggy guests a fresh bowl of water. The beautiful gardens, at the ruins of an ancient chantry are such a peaceful spot to relax at in the spring time with the dogs.
The Foxy Bean Café at Over Stowey serves delicious sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks with a good selection of vegan and vegetarian food. They have a sweet little outside area overlooking green countryside and there’s even a children’s play zone.
We are absolutely spoilt for choice for dog friendly places to visit in Somerset.
These are just a few of our favourite places to visit during the spring time, yet there’s so much more to choose from. We hope you have a lovely visit to Somerset this spring and while we are fully booked at our luxurious dog friendly cottages for this coming spring, please feel free to view our limited availability for the rest of the year here.