Things to do in Watchet

Things to do in Watchet

Things To Do in Watchet

There are so many things to do in Watchet.  It is worth checking the town’s own websites as there’s a lot of things going on, news, info, places to visit, places to eat and drink etc.

Check out both these local sites for lots of information and ideas www.visit-watchet.co.uk and http://www.lovewatchet.co.uk/ 

Watchet Visitors Centre

Watchet Visitors Centre And Boat Museum – Harbour Road, Watchet, TA23 0AQ

This a new complex. The Boat Museum is part of Watchet Visitor Centre and celebrates the history of flatner boats local to this area. These boats were used on the shores of the Bristol Channel, where the tides go out a great distance, exposing mudflats. A flatner is a double ended, flat bottomed boat with no keel designed to navigate such waters. The museum is great for kids, with loads of interactive things to do, including a play boat , a navigation wheel, pulley system and you can even have your photo taken as Brunel! They have a visitors information area and can help you find plenty of other things to do in Watchet during your stay.

West Street Beach, The Harbour, Splash Point  and The Lighthouse 🐾

Our Dog Friendly Beach right on your doorstep..

There is so much to see just on your doorstep. The entrance to West Street Beach is just across from the cottage. Down the slipway you’ll find a rocky cove with a Seawater Pool. However the best bit is hidden. Just head round the headland to your left and you’ll find a long bit of soft sandy beach. I say sandy – it is Somerset sand so is quite soft, dark in colour and a bit muddy! Still it is a great place to walk, sit, play and enjoy the wonderful views. Avoid the light grey mud, it is slippery and sticky. There’s plenty of fossils to find along the rocky edges or you can walk right down and turn left up by the old tree and follow a circular walk back over the cliff top.

Be aware of the tide times and be aware of falling stones when standing close to the cliffs. Tide times are important to check as the sea comes in very quickly and can shut off your exit back over the steps when the tide comes back in. You can check tide times here:

 https://www.tidetimes.co.uk/watchet-tide-times

The lighthouse is just down to your left as you go along Market Street and is one of our favourite everyday things to do in Watchet. Great to wander out in the early morning or just as the sun is setting too.

Walk on a bit further and you reach the Harbour and the Esplanade, a great place to while a way some time looking at all the boats in the mariner.  If you turn left at the end of the Esplanade and head up through the boatyard you will find the steps to Splashpoint on your right. Splashpoint is a community built structure and viewpoint. From Splashpoint you can either continue along the cliffs to Helwell Bay or turn right and walk back through Watchet Town via the railway line.

Contains Art 🐾

Watchet’s own contemporary art gallery and artists studios. It hosts constantly changing contemporary art shows by local and visiting artists with free entry. Positioned at the end of the harbour and housed in 4 shipping containers it offers a range of things to do in Watchet. This is a great place was started by an enterprising group of local creatives The Onion Collective ,who have a great vision for developing and supporting the town through community based projects. The East Quay Foundry Project is one such plan which is in the pipe line.

Watchet Market 🐾

There has been a market in Watchet since the 13th century and this tradition continues today with the lively and colourful Watchet Summer Market. Every Wednesday, from May to September, brightly-coloured gazebos are erected on The Esplanade, overlooking the harbour and marina, and traders arrive to offer the best of local produce and craft. There’s everything from Gluten Free Cakes, to local crafts, to fruit and veg and street food. Another one of those simple but fun free things to do in Watchet!

Also check out Watchet Street Fairs Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/watchetstreetfairs/

Blue Anchor Bay 🐾

This beautiful bay is only a short car journey or train ride from Watchet. Complete with a wide sandy beach, a good pub The Smuggler’s Inn (nice Gluten Free Food and a good Carvery ) http://www.thesmugglersinn.co.uk/ and a good cafe – The Driftwood Cafe 01643-82-16-97

Dunster Beach 🐾

Beautiful if somewhat rocky beach with a nice cycle path /walkway created at the top that is suitable for pushchairs and follows along the steam railway line. You have to pay for parking though.

Tropiquaria Zoo

Washford Cross, Washford, TA23 0QB 01984 640688

It looks a bit rundown but apparently is great. Tropiquaria is not just a small zoo, but a lot more! It is based on a 1930s art-deco BBC transmitter hall, which in part is still functioning. Indeed the tropical hall takes much of its heating from the BBC Wales transmitters. As well as animals in the main hall, there are many more animals outside, several play areas, both inside and outside, including the “Nocturnal House”! My brother in law’s took his wife and their 3 kids there one slightly wet and rainy day and they thoroughly enjoyed it. So its on their “Favourite things to do in Watchet” list.

West Somerset Steam Railway

Tel 01643-704996 🐾

Now for one of our favourite things to do in Watchet..

What could be better than taking a ride on one of the gorgeous Steam Engines that run daily throughout the Summer from Watchet Station.  Just walk through the town to the station and hop on a train to Minehead, Dunster, Blue Anchor Bay or many other stops. Great for exploring the area and you can leave the car at home.

A true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway is full of fascination whether you are looking for a nostalgic ride back in time through lovely countryside or to study the railway and its interesting industrial heritage which the line preserves..

The historic steam locomotives, coaches and wagons, and the buildings of our ten unique stations linked by a twenty mile scenic journey will repay hours of exploration. The surrounding countryside is as varied as it is beautiful. The gently rolling Quantock hills and distant Exmoor, unspoilt villages and farms nestling in leafy lanes, the cliffs and coast of the Bristol Channel with views of distant South-Wales, confident Church Towers, Dunster’s imposing Castle and Minehead’s seaside charm are all waiting to be discovered.

Prices below are accurate at time of printing. Trains often run 5-6 times a day in peak season but may not operate during the winter, so best to check times:

www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/timetables

Adult Rover(18 to 59) £18.00 £20.00
Senior Rover (60+) £16.20 £18.00
Young Person Rover (5 to 17) £9.00 £10.00
Disabled £15.00 £15.00
Under 5 FREE FREE
Family Rover (2 adults and 2 young persons) £44.10 £49.00
Dog £2.00 £2.00
Bicycles £2.00 £2.00

Market House Museum 🐾

The Market House Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN

Watchet’s Museum is a great little place to stop in and learn about the rich history of Watchet. Located where the Esplanade meets Market Street and occupying the ground floor of Watchet’s former Market House is Watchet Market House Museum. The Market House is a two-storied stone building which was constructed during 1819-20 with open arches to the ground floor and an open staircase at its west end to the upper floor, under which was the Court Leet lock-up.

There is no admission charge, another one of those amazing free things to do in Watchet, but donations are gratefully accepted to help meet expenses. New lower display cases make the collections more accessible to children and the disabled. A portable ramp can be deployed to aid access for wheelchair users and improved handrails make it easier for the disabled to enter. Some wonderful artefacts, paintings, photographs, etc., depicting Watchet’s colourful history can be seen in the Museum, and a varied selection of books of local interest, postcards, etc. are also available.

The museum is open from 26th March to 5th November 2017, 10.30am – 4.30pm daily.

Exmoor National Park 🐾

Walking, Riding, Stargazing, Exploring, Dreaming, Picnicking, Discovering:

Exmoor is an amazing place, with a different world-class view around every footpath corner  Whether your idea of fun is an ultra marathon on the highest cliffs in England or a cream tea by the side of a babbling brook, then Exmoor is the pace to be.  Feel the open space of our heather topped moorland, catch a glimpse of wild red deer or iconic Exmoor ponies, explore our mysterious and very special woodlands, find your new favourite village pub, or marvel at a unique landscape shaped by people and nature over thousands of years.

The Quantock Hills 🐾

Are an area of natural beauty, wilderness and tranquillity. Panoramic views lead you through coast, heath and combe. Explore and you will find rocky Jurassic coastline, exposed heathland summits, deep wooded combes, undulating farmland and attractive villages all within this protected landscape.  The Quantock Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which means that its distinctive character, natural beauty and cultural heritage are so outstanding that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them. Just some of the most stunning countryside for walkers and lots to do.

Minehead, Town Beach

Minehead offers a long flat sandy beach, great for picnics and games – especially as the sand here is proper yellow sand and perfect for sandcastle building! The promenade with its cafés, bars and shops offers access to the sandy beach and spectacular views across to North Hill. St Michael’s Church, built in the 14th or 15th Century, can be found on the lower slopes of North Hill. It can be accessed from the road or the quaint Church Steps, which is a footpath between thatched cottages, with stunning views across the town.

Minehead’s picturesque harbour with its RNLI station and shop, also hosts summer pleasure boat cruises on the paddle steamer Waverley and motor vessel Balmoral.

Just a short stroll from the seafront is Blenheim Gardens, Minehead’s largest park, which opened in 1925. These beautiful gardens are open all year with a bandstand and wide variety of free entertainment during the summer months. There is also a café and a putting green to enjoy.

Across from the promenade and the gardens is the West Somerset Railway – originally opened as The Minehead Railway in 1874. From here you can experience a wide variety of day trips on the beautifully restored railway engines and carriages, visiting picturesque stations as you wind your way through the Somerset countryside.

Anglers can book trips on the coastal fishing boats too. Also on the quay is the sailor’s church, St Peters on the Quay, which started life as a store in the 1600’s and converted to a chapel in the early 1900’s.

The Avenue is Minehead’s main shopping street, just off of the seafront, offering a variety of shops, bars and restaurants. Here you will also find the Regal Theatre, with its year round programme of entertainment.

Dunster Village, Beach and Castle ( 🐾 including the castle! )

Dunster is only a short drive or train journey away from Watchet. It makes for the perfect day out or afternoon drop in. It is a medieval village with an ancient castle, priory, dovecote, yarn market, inns, packhorse bridge and a mill.  Since the decline of the woollen industry in the eighteenth century the village has been locked in a time warp.

Dunster Castle, once the home of the Luttrell family, is now owned by the National Trust.  There is a plethora of tea shops and gifts shops and several excellent restaurants and places to stay.  The National Park Centre here provides information on the whole area and there is a large car park on the edge of the village.

With over 200 listed buildings Dunster is preserved so that generations to come can enjoy the historic qualities of this unique village.

Butlins in Minehead

Warren Rd, Minehead TA24 5SH  0330 100 6648

A great place to go for a day out with the kids, just book a day pass..

  • Amazing indoor Splash Waterworld – open every day ( call to check opening times)
  • Traditional Fairground
  • Unlimited rides in our special indoor fair for little ones
  • Live daytime entertainment in our Skyline Pavilion where you can see the likes of the Teletubbies, Mr Men Little Miss™ and Danger Mouse (call ahead to find out what’s on when you want to visit)
  • Sports activities with our qualified instructors
  • Indoor soft play areas
  • Outdoor play areas

Porlock and Porlock Weir 🐾

This beautiful fishing village is a must. Apparently the Hotel at Porlock Weir is well worth a visit with some interesting decor. Good for a pint or a coffee. Also amazing pizza served here at The Mandala Pizza Place…

Eating Out and Going Out

 Pebbles Tavern  🐾

24 Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN  01984 634737

To many this is the heart of Watchet. Just a stroll back towards town from the cottage. You just can’t miss this place. It has a wonderful atmosphere whatever time of day and hosts lots of local live music, mainly folk based. The bar had a great selection of ciders and real ales and has won awards. The owners are great hosts and very knowledgeable, they even let you try the ciders before you purchase. The pub also provides plates and cutlery should you wish to bring in food from any of the nearby takeaways!! So although you can’t buy food here it is a great place to bring food from any of the local takeaways. Highly recommended and definitely on our list of favourite things to do in Watchet.

The Esplanade Club 🐾 

5 The Esplanade, Watchet TA23 0AJ 07876 353 819

This lively club is open to all and has lots of events and music on in the evenings. During the day it also makes a great place to grab a drink and sit by the harbour watching the world go by.

The Spice Merchant

14A Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN 01984 633010

https://take-a-way.co.uk/menu/5158/the-spice-merchant-watchet/

Great Classic Indian Cuisine – Just a minutes walk down the road from the cottage. Very friendly and good quality food. Not too pricey and you can easily phone up and just get a takeaway if you don’t fancy eating in. Recommended.

The Corner House Cafe 🐾

1, Market Street, Watchet, TA23 0AN

The Corner House is a family owned traditional coffee shop and cafe, where you can relax and select from our popular variety of coffees & teas, whilst treating yourselves from a tempting selection of home baked cakes, sweet treats, pastries or something more substantial.

The Valiant Soldier  🐾 

High St, Roadwater, Watchet TA23 0QZ, 01984 640223

A little drive out for to this friendly, olde world inn full of warmth and hospitality and surrounded by beautiful, peaceful countryside. Gets very good reviews on Trip Advisor.

Sam’s Deli 🐾 

34 Swain Street, Watchet TA23 0AE  01984 248008

My favourite place for a sausage roll or a scotch egg – Sam’s Deli specialises in fresh and tasty delicious food. Sam’s famous range of Pies, Pasties and savouries are freshly baked throughout the day. A large range of made to order Deli sandwiches are extremely popular with customers being able to choose from a delicious range of cold meat and cheese fillings from the Deli Counter. Lots more is available at Sam’s little Deli including famous Deli Platters, Hot Pie, Mash & Gravy and much more. Sam’s food can be enjoyed in his small eating area, as take away or around the corner at the famous Pebbles Tavern, washed down with award winning Ales & Ciders !!

Chives Deli 🐾 

33 Swain Street, Watchet TA23 0AE

Little cafe in the heart of Watchet serving home cooked food and cakes. Gets some good reviews.

The Star Inn 🐾 

Mill Lane,Watchet, TA23 0BZ  01984 631367

A traditional pub with a wide selection of snacks and freshly made classic pub food. At lunchtimes, they offer menus that include both traditional home-cooked meals and light snacks.

Just a minutes walk from the cottage turn right

The Bell Inn 🐾 

3 Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN 01984 631279

The 16th Century Bell Inn is situated in Market Street, Watchet, a few yards from the marina and is a family run pub.

A warm welcome always awaits you from Paul, Gill, Adam and Clare, along with real ales, fine wines and good food. Open all day every day, food is served lunchtime and evenings. (Food not served on a Tuesday). Good traditional pub food.

The Cat’s Whiskers Kitchen

7 Anchor St, Watchet TA23 0AZ 01984 633366

Mediterranean style tapas restaurant. Lots of interesting small plates to share. Tucked away in the Anchor Street, just a few minutes walk. Some Gluten Free Options

Open Thursday – Saturday 12.00-15.000/18.00-21.30 ish

Sunday 12.00-16.00

Oriental Pearl Chinese Restaurant

52 Swain St, Watchet TA23 0AG 01984 631479

Watchet’s Chinese restaurant is in all fairness perhaps not the greatest. That said we once had a meal there which was ok if not delicious. We prefer to use The Golden Bowl for Chinese which you will find in the takeaways section.

Tessa’s Tea Rooms Dunster

13 High Street, Dunster TA24 6SF 01643 821231

A little gem this one. In such a beautiful village, this place makes the perfect spot to have lunch or an afternoon cream tea, or go for a coffee and a slice of cake. Delicious fresh food. Very high Trip Advisor reviews and caterers for all sorts of dietary requirements.  Cafe, British, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options.

The Mandala Pizza and Salad Emporium

The Alamo High Street, Porlock, 01643 863023

This comes so highly recommended. The Mandala Pizza and Salad Emporium is a wonderful restaurant and takeaway offering freshly made pizza using homemade dough. Its fresh feel has authentic Italian food mixed with an alternative menu allowing everyone to eat together. All the pizzas have a gluten-free base option and we stock vegan cheese so that any pizza can be made vegan or adapted for the lactose intolerant.

 

Takeaways

Pizza Time & Kebabs – 6 Swain St, Watchet TA23 0AB  01984 633643

Local Fast Food place that do pizzas as well as offering other fast food, based on Turkish flavours with a British twist.

The Spice Merchant – 14A Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN 01984 633010

Good Quality Indian Takeaway just round the corner.

The Golden Bowl – 58 Liddymore Rd, Watchet TA23 0DR 01984 634174

Good quality Chinese Takeaway. We highly recommend the Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs.

The Harbour Fish Bar – 24C Market St, Watchet TA23 0AN 01984 631506

You can buy your food here and wander into Pebbles next door to eat it and buy a drink. So cheap fish and chip supper in a lovely award winning bar!

Beware of really weird opening times! Shut really early, not open Sundays 12-2, 5-7, or 5-8…summer can be

 

Walks  🐾

St. Decuman’s Church, The Mineral Line:

Another beautiful walk is to be found if you walk down West Street towards Watchet and turn left up passed the Star Pub. Follows this lane up and keep right when you meet the little street. This will take you to a footpath that leads up the Old Mineral Line, following the course of the steam railway and passed the old paper mill. Later you can turn right, across a bridge, through the farmyard and follow a path through the field to St Decumans Church. A 13th Century Church with a fascinating history and an ancient well. A path from here leads back down to Watchet.

www.westsomersetmineralrailway.org.uk/welcome/sites-to-explore/watchet-washford/

 Loads of Walks Online

 www.mapmywalk.com/gb/watchet-eng/

There’s plenty of things to do in Watchet and we really hope you enjoy your stay with us.  Hopefully like us you feel Watchet is a very special place in a beautiful area and that you will take many good memories with you from your holiday here at Greengates.