Minehead in Somerset, England, is the perfect destination if you’re looking to relax on the beach while taking in some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in England. The town has so much to offer, including the Butlins Minehead Resort, which features over 40 rides and attractions. There’s also The West Somerset Railway, which runs from Minehead through the beautiful countryside all the way to Bishops Lydeard. Minehead is located on the edge of Exmoor National Park which has some amazing nature, and wild ponies. Exmoor is a designated dark sky park so it’s a great place to visit for anyone who loves astrophotography or stargazing.
Back in the 12th century, Minehead had a small port and it became a major trading area for Somerset. As time went on, trade was moved to larger ports and Minehead stopped being a major trade area. Back in the late 1700s, a lot of Minehead was rebuilt and it was made into a popular sea bathing town. The town has a number of historic buildings, including the 13th century St Michael’s Church, and the 18th century Minehead Railway Station – both of which I recommend visiting.
If you’re looking for fun things to do during your vacation in Minehead, take a look at this list of five top things to do in Minehead.
Ride the West Somerset Railway
One of England’s most scenic train journeys is on the West Somerset Railway, which is an operating steam railway offering seasonal trips. The line offers hourly rides through some of England’s most beautiful countryside. The line runs from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead, stopping at several stations along its route. Take a leisurely ride and enjoy all that West Somerset has to offer while taking in some gorgeous views along the way.
Make sure to hop off at different stations, to explore some of the historic towns and villages along the train line such as Watchet and Dunster (where you can visit Dunster Castle). Perfect for a day trip or a fun family excursion!
Visit Minehead’s Beach
When visiting this beautiful Somerset coastal town, don’t forget to stop by its beach. It’s perfect for relaxing and soaking up some vitamin D. Whether you’re alone, with friends or family, it offers one of the best spots in Minehead for taking a walk along its soft sands or taking a dip in the sea during the warmer months. Minehead beach is also a great place for swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing. There are several restaurants and cafes along the beachfront, so you can enjoy a bite to eat while enjoying the views.
Walk along the Somerset Coastal Path
The Somerset Coastal Path is one of England’s most scenic long-distance walks. Starting at Minehead, head west towards Watchet. This part of the coast doesn’t get too many visitors—in fact, you might even have it all to yourself! Make sure you bring your binoculars so you can spot anything that swims or flies into view! The path follows Exmoor’s coastline, making for an excellent way to get outside and take in all of Somerset’s natural beauty. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling along on foot or bicycle – you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery found along this path.
Visit a farmers market
While you’re visiting Minehead, make sure to try some local produce – and there’s no better place than at a farmers market to explore the wide range of products available from across the county.
The farmers market is usually held on Saturday mornings, with sellers spread out along both sides of North Parade. You’ll find everything from organic meat and vegetables to artisan crafts, jewelry, and clothing—as well as homemade cakes, pastries and fresh bread. Located just minutes from Butlins Minehead, it’s a great place to go before heading out for your day at Butlin’s or before continuing onto the Somerset Coastal Path.
Visit Blenheim Gardens
With its long history of horticulture, it’s not surprising that Somerset is home to some beautiful gardens, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique than your average stately home garden then Blenheim Gardens is worth a visit. The stunning 30-acre grounds boast quirky and impressive design features like 12 miniature lakes and a large range of trees and shrubs – making it one of Somerset’s most interesting gardens.
The beautiful grounds are open all year round and entry costs £7 per adult (As of 2021) – less if you book online in advance or join their season ticket scheme. They also offer buggy tours, at different points throughout the day making these gardens accessible to those who have limited mobility.
For more information on Blenheim Gardens click here.
Visit Minehead Museum
Minehead Museum is a great place to visit for anyone that’s interested in local history. What once was a costume shop during Victorian times, now features exhibits from Roman times up until recent years. The museum has been refurbished recently and it makes for a great day out during your stay. The Minehead Museum features a variety of exhibits on mining, industry, and the history of the town. You’ll be able to see a collection of mining equipment, photographs, and artifacts whilst learning about the local history of Minehead and the surrounding areas.
Note: The Museum is only open from mid-March to October, and opening times may change. Check their website for the latest information.
Visit Dunkery Beacon
Dunkery Beacon is the highest point in Exmoor National park, and gives great views over the Exmoor National Park. The walk up to the beacon takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and once you reach the top you’ll see the beacon which is an ancient burial mound made from stone. On clear days you can see quite far into the distance towards Minehead, Simonsbath, Linscombe and even across the Bristol Channel!
Dunkery Beacon is about a 20-minute drive from Minehead, and has free car parking available. It’s a great place to visit, giving you the chance to explore some of Exmoor’s most beautiful nature but I recommend bringing a coat in case it starts to rain.
Enjoy the views at Selworthy Beacon
Selworthy Beacon is a hill in Exmoor that has stunning views across the bay towards Minehead. The area is owned by Exmoor National Park Authority and managed by The West Somerset Railway as part of a network of footpaths that provide access to Exmoor. There are a number of walks available but I recommend following the route from Porlock or a circular route from Selworthy towards the top of the Beacon.
The walk from Porlock, is about 3.9 miles (6.3km) and along this route, you’ll discover burial mounds, ancient cairns and beautiful views across Exmoor and the Bristol Channel. You can find more information about this route, here.
The walk from Selworthy is a 3 mile (4.8km) circular walk, that takes you to Bury Castle and gives you some of the best views over Exmoor. This walk is dog friendly so make sure to bring your 4 legged friends along if they’re traveling with you. For more information about this route, visit the National Trust site here.
Once at the top, there are excellent views over Exmoor and West Somerset, including Dunster Beach and Cheddar Gorge. And best of all? You’ll probably have it to yourself!
Where to stay in Minehead?
The Beach Hotel
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, The Beach Hotel is located right next to the beach. Staying here will give you easy access to Minehead’s beautiful beach, and you’ll also get free breakfast and WiFi included with your stay. The hotel has pet friendly rooms available, so if you’re visiting the area with your furry friends this hotel is a great place to stay. Just make sure to follow the beach dog access rules, as they do vary throughout the year.
The Channel House Hotel
A four-star guesthouse on a quiet corner of England’s Somerset coast, The Channel House hotel provides beautiful views of woodlands and meadows as well as an impressive selection of amenities for leisurely days spent exploring nearby seaside resorts. Built from warm cream stonework and exposed beams, the rooms feature comfy beds with crisp linens and sitting areas perfect for lazing around or working. Guests can choose between rooms with a king-size bed, a single bed, or twin beds.
Butlin’s Minehead Resort
Butlins in Minehead, offers a family-friendly resort with a range of entertainment on site such as golf courses, an indoor pool and spa, tennis courts and more. The resort offers free parking for all guests. Additionally, Butlins has good connections to the places covered in this guide such as the beach, and Somerset Coastal Path.
Where to eat in Minehead?
Eat at The Old Ship Aground
Recently voted as one of The 10 Great Beachside Gastro Pubs on TripAdvisor, The Old Ship Aground is a definite must-visit destination on your trip to Minehead. Open 7 days a week, serving up local produce with traditional pub grub dishes. With cask ales, wine and cider available too there really is something for everyone! Be sure not to miss out on their Sunday roast.
Eat at Apple Tree Tea Rooms
One of the top places to eat in Minehead is the Apple Tree Tea Rooms. A warm and inviting tea room, where you can enjoy a great-tasting cup of tea and a tasty snack. I love that they have an incredible variety on their menu, from vegetarian options to traditional fish and chips. I also love how beautiful it is inside with lovely decorations all around.
Eat at The Driftwood Cafe & Restaurant
Located on Minehead’s seafront, The Driftwood Cafe & Restaurant serves up a great local vibe and a menu packed with classic British favorites. From sausages and mash to cod and chips, there’s something for everyone at The Driftwood. A family-friendly eatery, it also does a kids menu so you can get your little ones started on their new favorite meal before they know it!
I hope you found this guide helpful. If you do visit Minehead be sure to let me know and share your experience in the comments below.