Somerset is a county with plenty of open space and greenery to enjoy, making it a prime place to spend a whole day or more on some of the longer walking trails that adorn the region.
If you want to really immerse in the scenery, history and nature that Somerset has in abundance, pack up a rucksack and take a nice long stroll on one of these longer walks around the county.
Some are on recognised longer distance paths and trails, others are self-contained loops taking in some of the area’s nicest scenery. Here are eight of our favourites.
READ MORE: 16 walks across Somerset with a hidden gem of a pub on the route
1. The Leland Trail
A 28 mile regional footpath route through the rolling hills of South Somerset.
The entire route, starting at Alfred’s Tower and finishing at Ham Hill can be completed by a moderately experienced walker in 2 days but it can easily be broken down into seven manageable sections of between 1.5 and 5 miles.
In the east lies the forest of Penselwood and Bruton with its famous two-towered church.
The central section passes through the beautiful Somerset town of Castle Cary, the church at North Cadbury, and Cadbury Castle, which offers spectacular views of the South Somerset countryside.
A view from the Mendip Hills with Crook Peak, Brean Down and Steep Holm in the far distance
(Image: Mid-Somerset Series)
In the west the route passes the military airfield at Yeovilton, before journeying through Ilchester and on to Montacute.
The final section takes you to Ham Hill Country Park where you can view as far as Exmoor, the Quantocks, the Bristol Channel.
2. Blagdon Lake walk
A leisurely walk starting at the village of Blagdon and heading down over the dam and around the lake, passing through Butcombe, Nempnett Thrubwell and close to Ubley before returning back to Blagdon.
Along the northern end of this stunning lake, there is a well-kept footpath running along the lake shore and through the lakeside woodland.
Blagdon Lake Somerset England UK south of Bristol provides drinking water for fishing and nature reserve
On open days, the Discovery Wood can be visited too, which includes roe deer, badgers, foxes and otters.
If you would like to extend your walk, then you could head to the nearby Chew Valley Lake where there is a circular nature trail.
If you head to Blagdon village you would have found several nice pubs, including The Queen Anne and Seymour Arms.
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3. Ham Hill Country Park
There is 390 acres of parkland to explore at this country park near Yeovil.
The Mendip Hills, Blackdown Hills, Quantock Hills and Dorset Downs can all be viewed from Ham Hill on a clear day.
Ham Hill, Stoke-sub-Hamdon
There are a variety of routes through woodlands, grasslands and meadows, but if you are looking for a relatively flat, well-surfaced, short route, then head to the northern side of the country park.
There are many features of interest on the route, including a modern-day stone circle, which is packed full of fossils and crystals, and old quarry workings that show exposed Hamstone faces and panoramic views across Somerset from the war memorial.
4. Kennet & Avon Canal walk
This easy terrain walk covers towpaths for 20 miles and will take you from Bath to Devizes
Head south from Pulteney Bridge in Bath, along the canals and through Sydney gardens.
You will then reach the village of Bathampton, which also has moorings crammed with boats and barges.
The next port of call is Dundas Wharf – from here you head to Limply Stoke Valley.
Authorities have warned against swimming in rivers
Then it’s a short walk to the Avoncliff Aqueduct, which provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The best is saved for last as you reach the Caen Hill lock flight at Devizes.
Here the canal is raised 235-feet and you can see close up on of the seven wonders of Britain’s waterways.
5. The River Parrett Trail
The River Parrett Trail can be enjoyed as a 50 mile hike over 3 or 4 days or as a series of shorter walks through the hills of the Dorset and Somerset borders and across the wetlands of the Somerset Levels.
The route first heads to Langport passing Haselbury and the Muchelney Abbey .
River Parrett in Bridgwater
It continues onto Burrowbridge and passes the historical site at Burrow Mump.
The river then travels towards Bridgwater passing the Westonzoyland Pumping Station Museum, which is dedicated to steam powered machinery.
The final section takes you through Bridgwater and Combwich before finishing at the beautiful Steart Nature Reserve and Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve.
6. Bridgwater and Taunton Canal
Follow the towpath of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal on this comfortable walking route, which runs for about 14 miles from the Bridgwater Marina to Firepool Lock next to the River Tone in Taunton.
It’s a great way to see the idyllic countryside and villages of lowland Somerset.
Along the way there’s lots of interesting lock structures and old bridges to look out for.
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At Mansel lock you will find a fascinating scale model of the sun with planets set along the towpath for six miles in both directions, demonstrating the scale of the solar system.
The canal is also great for wildlife and wildflowers in the summer months.
7. West Somerset Coast Path
This is a 25 mile walking trail from Bridgwater Bay to the seaside town of Minehead, passing through the Quantock Hills, and along a spectacular stretch of coastline to Watchet, Blue Anchor and Dunster Beach.
West Somerset Coast Path
(Image: Bristol Live)
The walk can be broken up into smaller, more manageable sections.
The route is largely low-level trail – with plenty of beautiful coastal views – however there are also opportunities for more challenging walks.
8. Chew Valley Lake
Chew Valley Lake is a great location for wildlife enthusiasts looking to embark on a nature trail.
There are two short walks – the Grebe and Bittern trails – which feature wild flowers, insects and animals, as well as beautiful views.
The Grebe Trail is a flat, hard surfaced path, ideal for those with young children or limited mobility.
Chew Valley Lake
(Image: western daily press)
The Two Rivers Way walking route runs past the lake too so you could pick this up to extend your walk.
Heading west takes you towards Butcombe where you can visit the Blagdon Lake with more nature trails to enjoy.
What’s your top Somerset walk? Share your favourite and read other people’s in the discussion thread for this article.