Somerset is a rural county of rolling hillsides and large flats where agriculture is the major industry. Sheep and cattle farming make Somerset famous for its wool and its cheeses (the UK favourite, Cheddar, being the most popular). If you’re planning on taking the family to Somerset this year, then check out these four brilliant places for a great family day out.
Exmoor Falconry and Animal Park
This unique and interesting outdoor activity centre is a great place to learn about birds of prey in the traditional surroundings of a 15th Century farmstead. The Owl Garden has the best collection of flown owls in the world with unusual species like the Brown Wood Owl, the Spectacled Owl, the Great Grey and the Peruvian Striped Owl. The Owl Display takes place in the mornings at the Medieval Thatched Threshing Barn and the whole experience is brought to life with music and slides. There are Owl Evenings and Half Day or Full Day Bird of Prey Experience packages where you’ll encounter Harris Hawks and a Bengal Eagle.
Boasting its very own pier on Weston Super Mare’s seafront, this aquarium showcases a range of species of underwater creatures from around the world. You can marvel at the Tropical Reef Zone with its deadly Puffer fish, shudder at the Rainforest River Zone which sports Piranhas and make friends with octopus and jellyfish. The website offers downloadable worksheets for the kids to get them in the mood for a great day out.
North Somerset Butterfly House
Just 12 miles from Bristol, the Butterfly House opens its doors to visitors from April onwards. The indoor butterfly jungle is a great place for the kids to explore tropical wildlife. Boasting a huge variety of butterfly friendly tropical plants, the kids will be amazed as the butterflies fly around them like airborne precious jewels. The adjoining workshops area is a great place to enjoy the regular bug shows as your kids learn about these mini monsters first hand.
Somerset Rural Life Museum
The Somerset Rural Life Museum is based in Glastonbury with its rich heritage and the museum boasts a programme of lively events throughout the year. Set in a magnificent 14th Century barn and surrounded by farm buildings, this is a great opportunity for the kids to learn about life in days gone by. The courtyard houses displays of some of the tools used in local rural activities like peat digging, mud horse fishing and cider making. As part of Somerset Heritage Service, entry to the museum is free and is a popular destination for school trips due to its curriculum based educational activities. You can watch ancient skills brought to life, such as willow weaving, animal husbandry and fruit harvesting. With plenty of animals, child-friendly trails and traditional cream teas from the café, this is a great day out for the whole family.