Feel Great on the Somerset and Exmoor Coast

It is a fact being near the coast, studies have shown, is good for you.  It can improve your mood, fitness, sense of wellbeing and reduce stress levels.  A report commissioned by Natural England into coastal paths users found 96% felt calmer and more relaxed and 97% refreshed and revitalised.  If you add in physical activity you can boost your immune system, strength and flexibility and decrease the risks of dementia, heart disease, hip fractures and type 2 diabetes.  Walking increases blood flow to the brain giving you more energy, lowering stress hormones and basically making you feel better by increasing your happy hormones, endorphins.

So what are you waiting for make 2024 your time to explore the unique Somerset and Exmoor Coast and feel great.

This is the first in our series that will feature more than 50 ways to enrich your life.

Nine unique beach experiences; from picnics to photography, shipwrecks to sand sculpture, start your coastal adventure today

  • Pack a picnic and head to one of the longest beaches in Europe at Brean. Loads of space, dog friendly year-round and seven miles of golden sand and dunes to explore.  Fancy a cocktail, coffee or cake, overlooking the beach, head to Sundowner Café/Bar.
  • This coast has the second highest tidal range in the world, beaten only by the Bay of Fundy. At low tide the shipwreck of the Nornen, buried since 1897, emerges from the water at Berrow.  In a truly horrific storm all ten crew and their dog were rescued and given shelter by locals.  Listen to the terrifying story here.  The Nornen Project created All Hands!, an original theatrical production, inspired by the event which can be streamed here.
  • Get up early and head to Burnham-on-Sea to capture the sunrise on film. Spend the day exploring, take your dog to the agility course at Apex Park, enjoy an ice cream looking over the beach at the Bay View Café, right next door to the tourist information centre (which truly is a font of all knowledge), then head to the beach to photograph the sunset; maybe flying a kite or crafting a sand sculpture while you wait.
  • Write your own song sitting on one of the many rocks at Kilve Beach, which featured in Bryan Adams video (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. Alternatively admire the fossils or go rock pooling and then enjoy a well-earned cup of tea and slice of cake at the Chantry Tea Gardens.
  • Soak up the sun on one of the benches overlooking the wide open, south facing beach at Blue Anchor with great views to Minehead and beyond. Then pop across the road to the Driftwood, a 1930’s beachside cafe and restaurant, open all year with stunning sea views and dog friendly too.
  • Go Geo-caching in Watchet; grab your phone, tide timetable and follow the trail along the coastline and learn about all the amazing fossils and why they are there. Or enjoy a guided fossil walk hosted by local geologists starting from the Visitor Centre.
  • Ever dreamt about staying in your own beach chalet? Dunster Beach is just the place with a great selection of chalets to choose from all with direct beach access, many pet friendly.
  • Download the Minehead Mile app to discover a heritage interpretation trail, open air gallery and augmented reality displays along the seafront. Then visit the information centre to collect the free Minehead Metalheads Trail map and see how many of these unique creations, made from scrap metal by local craftsman Steven Heard, you can find in the town.
  • Stroll along the pebble beach at Porlock Weir have a coffee in the Harbour House Coffee Shop then visit the information centre for a shoppers guide to Porlock and the Weir and explore the numerous art galleries and shops across the Vale.

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