The finest hours at Cricket St. Thomas

A guide to ten beauty spots for days out in Somerset, Devon and Dorset from our historic country house hotel in Somerset.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis

36-minute drive

Nicknamed ‘the Pearl of Dorset’, the historic seaside town is gateway to fossil hunting, sand-and-pebble beaches, moody cliffs and mackerel fresh from the sea. The South West Coast Path National Trail, rated one of the world’s top walks, passes through.

Blackdown Hills

Blackdown Hills

40-minute drive

This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Devon/Somerset border, unspoilt and with tons of trails through forest and farmland. One recommended walking route is to the impressive Dumpdon Hill Fort near Honiton. It’s one of two iron age forts and, sitting on one of the largest hills in the Otter Valley, offers tremendous views as well as a beech forest to explore.

Charmouth Beach

Charmouth Beach

35-minute drive

With an old-world charm, the heritage centre here has advice and displays on fossils, and even organises guided fossil hunting walks along the sands.

Burrow Farm Gardens

34-minute drive

The 13-acre garden has a countryside setting between Axminster and Honiton. It blooms throughout the year, with plenty of colour to see on strolls from the woodland garden through to the roses, azalea glade and wildflower meadow.

East Lambrook Manor Gardens

28-minute drive

This is a fantastic example of a cottage garden, created by gardener and writer Margery Fish who experimented with an informal arrangement of old-fashioned and contemporary plants. It has English Heritage Grade I listing.

West Bay, Dorset

West Bay

45-minute drive

The dramatic coastline and sandstone cliffs played a major part in TV series Broadchurch. Who remembers David Tennant and Olivia Colman walking along the shingle, sand and pebble beach?

Forde Abbey

Forde Abbey Gardens

15-minute drive

Forde Abbey, once home to Cistercian monks, is surrounded by wonderful gardens that have been evolving over the past 900 years. Must-sees include an arboretum, the highest powered fountain in the country, the walled garden and woods.

Cheddar gorge in somerset

Cheddar Gorge

1 hour, 15-minute drive

This is the deepest natural canyon in England, with the limestone cliffs hiding caves once inhabited by our prehistoric ancestors. Above ground, a three-mile circular clifftop walk is accompanied by commanding views.

Glastonbury tor Somerset

Glastonbury Tor

1 hour drive

One of Somerset’s most iconic landmarks, the tor stands head and shoulders above the surrounding countryside. The walk to the top takes about 30 minutes and is rewarded with views reaching as far as Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales on a clear day.

And strolls around the hotel

There’s no need to go far to experience the great outdoors when the hotel itself has 160 acres of beautiful grounds. Gardener-led tours are available to join and there are signposted walks of differing lengths through the formal landscapes, woodland, and around the lakes.

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